It is often said that the people you meet and experiences you encounter in college are among the best memories you will have in life. School-sponsored events like talent shows, charity events, street parades, and football games can help shape one’s reminiscence of time spent in college. The 2012 Ball State Homecoming Steering Committee played their cards right and provided all of that and more in making my first homecoming experience a memorable one.
Now, I think it’s only fair to mention that my participation in homecoming this year was not typical… I was a candidate. Sophomore Casey Prins and I were nominated by the Student-Alumni Relations Team last spring and were thrilled to be representing St.A.R.T., the Alumni Association, and Ball State at the Homecoming Week festivities.
Casey Prins and Malachi Randolph: 2012 St.A.R.T. homecoming candidates
The rigorous candidate schedule began with the Royalty Fashion Show. Casey and I dressed as the sailor/nurse duo from the famous World War II photograph and received many compliments for our originality. At the end of the show, the voting results were announced. And while I was disappointed Casey did not make the finals, I was looking forward to further representing Ball State in the days ahead.
Sailor/Nurse duo at the Royalty Fashion Show
The next event was a royalty social and interview night at the Alumni Center. Since my position in St.A.R.T. exposes me to a lot of networking opportunities, socializing with other candidates and various faculty members for many hours was not a problem. I was able to reconnect with familiar friends and make many new ones. As I walked into my interview, I was relieved to recognize nearly every faculty judge. The interview felt more like a conversation than a competition; and since it concluded my night, I was pleased to walk out of the Alumni Center almost six hours after arriving.
Royalty Social at the Alumni Center
Talent Search was next. Ball State’s most-talented students were showcased in front of a large crowd at Emens Auditorium, and royalty candidates were lucky to hold front-row seats. It was a wonderful show and spoke volumes of the talent prevalent on campus. The next morning we attended the Royalty/Faculty breakfast. And while I have obtained a few socializing skills over the years, they protested performance so early in the morning. In fact, much of my body refused to perform. I’m going to have to work on that.
Malachi and 2012 Homecoming Queen Caitlin Cambron at Talent Search
BSU AirJam in Emens was the following night. Anyone who has attended this sold-out spectacle knows that it cannot be easily described. With that, I’m only going to say that it lived up to its reputation. Homecoming Court was announced at the conclusion of the show, and I was honored to be selected into royalty court, along with nine other deserving students. Caitlin Cambron and Justin Friend were named 2012 Homecoming Queen and King, while Jayme Skillman and Shawn Vondran took away the faculty titles.
2012 Royalty Court after AirJam
I was honored to be in superior company Friday evening at the annual BSUAA Alumni Awards Dinner. Many accomplished Ball State graduates—young and old—were in attendance, celebrating the successes of past Ball State students. As a college sophomore, I was thankful to the many alumni who left their professional responsibilities in other cities, states, and countries to return to campus for such an event.
Game day began with a parade in the morning. I was paired with the lovely Tiffany Shivers, and we had an awesome time distributing ridiculous amounts of candy to many, many pleading children (and even parents!). Royalty court reconvened at the Alumni Center for a luncheon/pre-game rally before heading to the big game.
Malachi and Tiffany prior to the parade
After being announced at halftime, most of the candidates took refuge in the Alumni Center from the cold rain outdoors. I decided to weather the elements and witnessed our team escape with a 30-24 overtime victory over Western Michigan. I enjoyed the post-game celebration with close friends at the Alumni Center, then attended the women’s volleyball game that night, and finally returned to my dorm after 13 hours of homecoming fun.
Some of the court before going on the field at halftime
Malachi announced at halftime
Homecoming 2012 was a blast, and I look forward to using such traditions to further alumni involvement in the years ahead.
-Malachi Randolph (St.A.R.T. member)