A smile travels through the telephone as Hope Hampshire, the former Miss FAMU, talks about what the Royal Court events of Homecoming week meant to her last year.
“It was surreal. I think it’s every girl’s dream to be honored, not just for her external beauty, but for the things she is doing on behalf of her beloved university,” said Hampshire, 22, a senior history student and education minor from Green Cove Springs.
“If there were any point in time where I could just pause, that would be it. I wish that everyone could be Miss FAMU for just one moment in time.”
During Homecoming week, this year’s Mr. and Miss FAMU will formally accept their crowns. The festivities range from an invitation-only royal luncheon to coronation and the homecoming parade.
Vivian L. Hobbs, assistant professor of English and Humanities and the lead advisor to the Royal Court, breaks down the week’s events.
The week kicks off Tuesday with the Royal Luncheon. FAMU graduate and former WCTV Channel 6 news anchor, Carmen Cummings, will be the keynote speaker in the Grand Ballroom, which will be packed to the walls with the Royal Court and more than 160 campus club and organization delegates.
“The luncheon’s purpose is to pay tribute to the queens of FAMU clubs and organizations,” Hobbs said. “It’s where we can thank so many people who have facilitated all of the efforts of the court.”
Hobbs said the event is invitation-only because the Grand Ballroom’s seating capacity of 200 barely accommodates the organization ambassadors in addition to the Royal Court and guests.
On Thursday at 7 p.m., the crowing event, the coronation, will take place. This is when the former Mr. and Miss FAMU hand over their crowns to the next generation. Anyone may attend this celebration held in Lee Hall.
Mr. FAMU, Theodore Goyins, 21, a senior business student from Voorhees, N.J., said he is looking forward to coronation because it is his chance to reciprocate his appreciation for the university that has benefited him in so many ways.
“FAMU has given me the chance to prove myself and this is my way of giving back,” said Goyins, 21. “I want to give other students the opportunities that I have (been given).”
Hobbs said coronation is a chance for the queens of the universities’ clubs and organization to pay tribute to the king and queen by giving gifts and greeting FAMUs royalty. She said the event replicates diplomatic rituals when meeting royalty. The minimum value for gifts to Mr. and Miss FAMU is $25 and typical gifts include gift certificates and FAMU paraphernalia.
Another exciting event for the Royal Court is the Homecoming parade. It begins at 8 a.m. Saturday on the intersection of Macomb Street and Georgia Street and ends at 11:30 a.m. by the Civic Center at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Madison Street. The court will occupy a float and the newly crowned Mr. and Miss FAMU will be smiling and waving to their faithful subjects.
“I’m not sad [to give up the crown]. I did everything I could do and I am more than ready to give the crown to a young lady whom I feel is more than capable to take the role of Miss FAMU to another level,” Hampshire said.
Miss FAMU Ashia Everett, 21, fourth-year business administration student from Tallahassee, was unavailable for comment.
Jessica Sattler can be reached at Jsattler19@hotmail.com.