Harvard University officer recreates photo with girl he met 15 years ago

Crystal Wang was just 3 years old when she was photographed in the arms of a Harvard University police officer. 15 years later, she never thought that she will be able to recreate the prophetic photo in the same place and with the same person.

Parents love taking photos of their children, especially during their growing up years. Every milestone, every hilarious moment, and every special occasion is a perfect opportunity to add pictures in the album of memories that the whole family could someday look back on.

Harvard University

Crystal’s dad, Jin, is no different than most proud dads. During a business trip to the area, Jin took a photo of the little girl inside the Harvard campus. The year was 2004, and Crystal was dressed in a shirt and matching pink shorts and shoes. The toddler was sporting short pigtails as she looked into the camera, held in the arms by Harvard University police officer, Charles Marren, beside his department motorcycle.

Fast forward to 15 years after, Crystal was accepted into Harvard’s dual degree program with Berklee College of Music. Her dad showed her the old photograph and said that she should try to see if Officer Marren still worked there. But Crystal was skeptical.


“In my mind, the likelihood of [finding him] was very low,” she told CNN.

She forgot about the idea until she posted the original photo on her Instagram, announcing that she is now a member of Harvard’s Class of 2023. A reporter for the Harvard Gazette came across the photograph and recognized the officer. She reached out to Crystal and set a date for the two to meet again and recreate the photo.

When the two were reunited, they recreated the picture and Harvard shared it on their official Instagram page. Of course, Crystal looks a lot different now than she did in the original photo, but Marren, incredibly, hasn’t aged a day!


When they met, Crystal said that her connection with him was genuine. Marren even gave her his personal cell phone number and told her to give him a call if ever she needed anything.

“In your time here, if there’s anything you need, any issues you have in any way, let me know,” Marren told her.

“It was just a really, really good time,” Crystal said. “I really connected with him.”

As it turns out, Marren wasn’t new to these quick photograph sessions. He told the Harvard Gazette that he’s been with the university police department for 19 years, and he’s already used to posing for pictures.

Stephanie Mitchell | Harvard University

“I might be more photographed than the statue,” he said of the famous John Harvard Statue.

No one could have imagined that a simple childhood photo would somehow be able to “predict” what Crystal’s life would look like more than a decade later.

“My parents came to America to give me a better future,” she said of the original photo. “This was a glimpse into the future.”