D’Rae Wise and Katie Hill were crowned Homecoming king and queen at Saturday’s homecoming game, and talked about their experiences that led them up to this point in their lives.
Senior physical activity and fitness management major, Wise said that he was inspired to run because of his presence on SRU’s campus, and because of the challenges he faced growing up in a strict household.
“I wasn’t allowed to really be social growing up,” Wise said. “I dealt with a lot of bullying and scrutiny because of who I was. I thought I should run for me and because of what I faced growing up to be an example to others to never quit trying.”
Wise grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is the public relations officer for the Body Building Fitness Club. He is also a member of the Strength and Conditioning Association, and works with both the basketball team and the athletic department. Wise is also pioneering “Rock Rowdies,” which is an organization that will focus on giving support to various sport teams, including providing fan buses to away games, and promoting school spirit.
Senior early childhood and special education major, Katie Hill, 21, is the president of SGA, and was previously the president of the Green and White Society. She also describes herself as “very involved in the campus community,” and “passionate about getting students involved.” To promote student involvement, Hill has also worked with House Council, and served as an orientation ambassador. Hill also is actively involved in the Campus Crusade for Christ.
Hill said that she ran for Homecoming queen because she sees herself as an advocate for students. Her friends encouraged her and told her that she would probably win, so Hill said that she just went for it and hoped for the best.
Neither Wise nor Hill said that they expected to win, and both said they were equally surprised that Hill won queen because of her minimal campaigning efforts.
“Other people made cookies and had parties,” Hill said. “I made a Facebook page, and wrote my name in chalk in the quad right before voting started.”
Hill advises students looking to run for king or queen next year to start getting involved more on campus, and to be a manifestation of what a great student and community member could be.
“You have to make yourself a person that people can not only come to as a friend,” Hill said, “but also one that they can respect and look up to.”
Wise said that if someone is looking to run for Homecoming king or queen, that they should go into it headfirst, be willing to embrace who they are, and put in the effort to be their best self.
Wise and Hill both said that they would have been happy just being on court, but will remember the feeling of being crowned for the rest of their lives.
“I’m still amazed that the student body had enough confidence in me to allow me to represent them,” Hill said. “It’s an incredible feeling. I feel very humbled by it.”