By Carl Vulcain
On Monday night, March 31, 2014 at 7 PM, in the International Cultural Center, The Lincoln University crowned Kiara Jackson and Brian Fenderson its new Mr. and Ms. Lincoln University for the 2014-2015 academic school year during its annual Mr. and Ms. Lincoln pageant.
The pageant lasted for two hours as Jackson, along with two other contestants, Brianna McPherson and Tiana Wilson, displayed their talents and abilities to perform in efforts to be crowned of Miss Lincoln University. Fenderson was the only candidate running for Mr. Lincoln. The pageant included several of categories in which the candidates displayed their skills through an introduction dance, oratory, talent, eveningwear, and question and answers session.
“The pageant was well put together,” stated Len’L Russell, Mr. Lincoln University 2011-2012 and 2012 graduate. “I do wish there [were] more males participating. However, I think the [newly elected] Royal Court will do a great job.”
Although he was named Mr. Lincoln without contest, Fenderson participated with a number of performances himself and sang for the talent category. Jackson impressed judges in her own right as she executed each category with confidence and precision.
“The talent portion was my favorite category. The song I performed my dance to was called ‘Who You Are, by Jesse J,” stated Jackson, a current junior at the university. “I chose that song because it speaks to women who lack confidence and self worth. I was blessed with the power to perform these emotions on stage and it allowed me to speak to female empowerment,”
The pageant was hosted by Mr. and Ms. Lincoln 2013-2014, Dustin Fowler and Monique Barnes. The couple kept the crowd entertained with humor and commentary throughout the event as they introduced each performance. In addition, both delivered farewell speeches before the crowing the new Mr. and Ms. Lincoln.
“It’s been a privilege and an honor to not only attend this university but to serve as Mr. Lincoln. My experience as king has allowed me to inspire the campus and to truly show what the template of a Lincoln man is,” reflected Fowler, Mr. Lincoln 2013-2014 and graduating senior.
Additional contestants, Brianna McPherson and Tiana Wilson, won 1st runner up for Ms. Lincoln, as Ms. Legacy and 2nd runner up as Ms. Orange and Blue, respectively.
“It was exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time,” explained McPherson, also a junior. “Doing the pageant gave me a lot of courage and confidence. I’m excited to serve as Ms Legacy
The newly selected royal court will officially assume their positions in the fall semester of the 2014-2015 academic school year.
Mr. Lincoln is crowned without contest, yet again.
For the 3rd year in a row, Mr. Lincoln was crowned with only 1 candidate up for the title.
The winner, Brian Fenderson, a junior, participated in the annual Mr. and Ms. Lincoln pageant without an opponent, and as a result there was no mystery as to who would be the winner of the prestigious title.
Some students have said that the competition for the coveted position has not been promoted well enough.
“I would’ve ran for Mr. Lincoln but [Student Life & Development] really didn’t talk about it enough nor promote it. I didn’t even know there was an interest meeting,” said Stephon Ford, current junior.
While some students complained about the promotion of the competition, some felt as though the requirements to hold the position were too intimidating.
“I think some guys just might be discouraged,” said Len’l Russell, Mr. Lincoln 2011-2012 and 2012 graduate. “I feel like the GPA requirement does affect it. A lot of males run for SGA where the requirement isn’t as high, but [not a lot] try to run for Mr. Lincoln.”
With a new royal court crowned, students hope the university will improve the requirements for running for Mr. and Ms. Lincoln for the 2015-2016 academic school year.