Collegiate 100 pageant blossoms on Nelson’s watch

Terrell Nelson has raised the profile of the Collegiate 100 pageant. Photo by Nelson

Pageantry and royal courts are a part of FAMU’s rich and special culture. Almost every organization on campus has its own form of a royal court.

These royal courts usually have a Mister or Miss for the top title, then lesser reigning kings and queens. The goal is to have all of these individuals work together to represent the organization by putting on events and programs on campus.

One pageant/court in particular has recently been in the spotlight. The Collegiate 100 scholarship pageant has grown since it first started four years ago under the leadership of Terrell Nelson, who is a graduating senior.

Nelson joined Collegiate 100 with the hope of taking over the university campus, but God had another plan, he said. His adviser asked him to take on the role as the organization’s pageant director.

“I knew nothing about pageantry other than besides being The Mister Alpha Kappa Alpha but I started off with five  girls, raised $3,000 and had 50 people in the audience the day of the pageant,” he said.

It was a lot of hard work for Nelson, but he didn’t let that stop him. He decided to reach for higher heights.

With the next pageant he was able to have nine females participate, raised $6,000 and attract more than 100 people for the audience.

It continued to grow. Last year there were 12 females, $13,000 raised and more than 250 people came to support.

“So you see little things do rise up and if you trust the purpose and always have passion in what you do, things can grow. This pageant grew beyond my imagination and gas changed from its structure, its process, its passion and its impact,” Nelson said.

Diamond Cruz, a fourth-year political science student, has been a contestant in the scholarship pageant and is now working as the creative director of the upcoming pageant. She has been working with Nelson for a while now. She regards him as  a diligent, hardworking peer who will take anything he is given and turn it into something magical.

“Terrell and the Collegiate 100 pageant have impacted me in a positive way because I found confidence in myself I didn’t believe I could ever have,” Cruz said.