A bright-eyed individual, radiating with positive energy and a contagious grin to match, junior Tommy Kessler arguably embodies what many consider to be the spirit of Belmont University.
It was little surprise then, when Kessler received the Homecoming king crown Saturday night in the Curb Event Center.
Kessler, who originally came to Belmont for music business, now studies philosophy and writing.
“I switched to journalism for a second, but was taking some philosophy classes for fun in the meantime,” Kessler said. “I came to the conclusion that if I were that in love with a subject, then why shouldn’t I be studying it?”
During his three years at Belmont, Kessler has also been no stranger to leadership positions on campus.
“I got involved in Phi Kappa Tau, which introduced me to people who would later push me to seek more leadership positions,” Kessler said. “I became a part of several different organizations on campus like being a TT Leader, on Orientation Council, the lead editor for the “Philologoi” and on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, which has only helped me be more rooted and well-rounded.”
As an Alpha Sigma Tau Sweetheart, Kessler was initially nominated by the sorority. Though he was originally skeptical to have claimed the title, Kessler said he has received a lot of validation from it.
“I do have a panic disorder, so it was amazing to see that even through the midst of this, people still saw something in me that maybe I didn’t always see in myself,” he said.
“For me, it was a very wild realization to happen on such a large scale.”
Long, blonde hair. Royal blue dress. Ruby red lips. Who is this, you may ask? None other than senior Hunter Wade, the 2018 Homecoming queen.
Wade — who’s known around campus for her bubbly personality and is rarely seen without a beaming, infectious smile — received her crown as her mom and grandmother watched from the stands.
As a student leader and servant, Wade said she was excited to receive such an honor from the Belmont community.
“I was honored and very surprised that people thought of me for this,” Wade said. “There was just such an outpouring of love and encouragement that I could have never imagined.”
“Even without the title, just being selected for Homecoming Court reminded me of the community that I have here and how it’s so supportive and embracing,” she said.
Originally nominated by her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, Wade said she was surprised to be nominated to the court.
“I got this text out of nowhere saying ‘Oh, by the way, you’re the nomination,’ which was just so cool and a huge honor,” she said.
Wade also plays an active role in campus leadership positions through organizations like Delight Ministries, Towering Traditions, Bruin Recruiters and Theta.
All these positions of service have prepared her for an exciting future after graduation, she said.
“I’m a faith and social justice major with an entrepreneurship minor, so in August I’ll be moving to Los Angeles to work with Delight Ministries as a regional director,” Wade said. “I’ll be traveling around and mentoring leaders from different colleges.”
“I’m very excited, but it’s still so surreal.”
This article written by Coral Goldstein