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Freshmen Take BSU Pageant Crowns

During Berea's sesquicentennial homecoming weekend, the class of 2009 was well represented as two of its members were crowned King and Queen at the Black Student Union Pageant.

BSU Pageant

Following a tense break for the judges to convene, John A. Holbert and Shekina Huffman stepped forward to claim their new titles as BSU King and Queen. Holbert, a pre-med major, was stunned. "I was in total shock when they called my name. I wasn't expecting to win." Huffman, who hopes to pursue a career in broadcasting, says "It means that even a quiet little freshman who's never been in the spotlight before can achieve anything and everything she puts her mind to."

In royal fashion, Prince Valton Jackson and Princess Esther Dansby, no doubt thrilled and humbled by the experience, gave credit elsewhere. "Being crowned prince made me feel like I did something great amongst a group of contestants who were all truly extraordinary," says Jackson. Dansby adds, "All I could say was…praise God."

It seems the long rehearsals and pre-pageant run-throughs paid off for the newly crowned as this year's theme, "Jazz: Then, Now" allowed the contestants to express themselves in the many styles of jazz and encouraged them to explore its oral and musical traditions.

The contestants ignited the pageant with a skit that introduced each contender. Following a jump-and-jive choreographed dance number that nearly had the audience out of their seats, participants had a chance to talk about their career aspirations and showcase their varied talents. Afterwards, the participants were grilled during an intense question-and-answer session, which put each contestant under a scrutinizing spotlight as they responded to random questions.

With freshman taking the throne, it could be a long rule.

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