by Claudia Brunson
On Oct. 31, Millsaps College crowned senior Daniel Kees as Homecoming king and Ericka Wheeler as Homecoming queen. Both Kees and Wheeler were elated to have been chosen as this year’s king and queen.
“It’s difficult to put into words,” Kees said. “I guess validation comes to mind. In truth, just making court was validation enough that being considerate of others and treating people fairly is a powerful thing. It’s reciprocated. It all comes back to you.”
“I was surprised and humbled that my fellow Millsapians felt me worthy of the crown,” Wheeler said.
Kees, a senior and double major in Political Science and Economics, says his only duty in upholding this title is to really be himself. He appreciates the fact that Millsaps College is an environment that embodies diversity and difference.
“As Homecoming king, I definitely have a duty to uphold,” Kees said. “I think it’s probably the most important thing I can do: be myself. If anything, this award is just confirmation that I’m doing something right. I try to be my normal, slightly idiosyncratic self in all situations; being someone else would be too hard. And, overall, Millsaps tends to embrace difference. It certainly has embraced me. But, yeah, my greatest duty is to just keep being Daniel.”
Likewise, Wheeler, a senior from Greenwood, Mississippi, believes she has a standard to uphold and will try to embody what the Millsaps College mission statement entails.
“I think that, to represent any organization or entity, a certain standard is befitting and required,” Wheeler said. “I accept the standards that Millsaps portrays and I will strive to the best of my ability to uphold the standard—because I’m not only representing Millsaps, but myself as well. This position represents Millsaps College and a person that students look up to. Just as Millsaps College became a greater gateway in 1965, 75 years after its inception, this opportunity as Homecoming queen makes me so incredibly proud of what we do here. I strive for social justice, freedom of thought, open-minded thinking, and equality for all. May it never be said that I took my position lightly.”
Kees has embraced all of the feedback and congratulations that he has received from people.
“The outpouring of support has been truly unexpected but very welcomed,” Kees said. “I’ve had people I don’t even know particularly well congratulate me. All sorts of students, from ‘leaders’ to less visible members of the student body, have offered congratulations. This is our campus, and it takes all kinds of people to make this place special.”
Similarly, Wheeler says others have commented to her, “you certainly deserved it,” and even that “you are like Princess Tiana from Princess and the Frog.”