While EKU’s football team won its second game of the year against University of Tennessee Martin this homecoming, they were not the only winners of the day.
Tyler Price and Ivonne Gonzalez, representing Pi Kappa Alpha and the Panhellenic Council, respectively, were crowned 2017 EKU Homecoming king and queen during the game’s halftime on Saturday, Oct. 21.
After a registered student organization (RSO) properly nominates a person for king or queen, he or she must then be interviewed by a committee. The interview process is often considered the hardest by nominees, and dwindles the prospects down to only 12: the Homecoming court.
Price, a junior health services administration major from Richmond who currently serves as president of the colony of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, said his connection to campus — and his past experience as a nominee — made the interview process much easier.
Price said he was asked by the committee what impact EKU had on him, and it was easy for him to find an answer.
“Eastern has given me more opportunities than a lot of people realize,” Price said. “It’s a big university, but it still has that small feel where you are able to take part in multiple organizations.”
In addition to being a member of Pi Kappa Alpha, Price is also involved in Campus Outreach, sits on the student advisory board for his major, and previously held positions in the Student Activities Council (SAC) and Student Government Association (SGA).
“I was involved in various groups; I think that’s one thing that makes me unique,” Price said. “A lot of people are Greek and solely Greek, but being able to be involved in Greek life and outside of Greek life set me apart.”
Gonzalez, the 2017 Homecoming queen, was also nominated by a Greek organization but participates in several groups outside of Greek life.
A senior from Shelbyville majoring in public health and Spanish, Gonzalez is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, president of EKU’s Panhellenic Council, director of Diversity for SGA, a Freshmen Academy mentor and member of the Latino Student Association.
Despite participating in different groups across campus, Gonzalez said she did not think she was going to win whatsoever. She said her mother was in the crowd to watch the ceremony but was not able to document the win because she set her phone down after Gonzalez walked onto the field.
“I guess my mom didn’t expect me to win either,” Gonzalez joked. “We were both in shock.”
In front of EKU’s largest crowd of the season, the two said they were honored to hear their names be called.
“I just remember looking up at [former queen] Michelle Goda with her arms wide open, motioning for me to move,” Gonzalez said.
While ecstatic about his win, Price said he was even more excited to stand next to runners-up Jeffrey Canady and Griffin Sexton, his fraternity brothers in Pi Kappa Alpha.
“It was much more of an honor than me winning king,” Price said. “It speaks to the caliber of guys the fraternity has, and it was really cool to see all of our hard work get paid off in the public spotlight.”
Price and Gonzalez will be invited back next year to crown the 2018 king and queen.