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A year with the crown

November 3, 2017

 

Bryn Young

News Editor | bjy001@ latech.edu

Ben Rice and Megan Franks were crowned during halftime of last year’s football game by 2015 king and queen Bailey Laborde (left) and Hannah Francis (right). – Photo courtesy of Tom Soto (University Communications)

 

Homecoming is a time for stories. A time for alumni to tell the young students of how it used to be. A time for students to return the favor and tell those alumni how it is now. This year, 2016 Homecoming king and queen Ben Rice and Megan Franks get to tell their tale of being royalty for a year.

 

Their story began the same way this year’s royalty’s will: with the Homecoming court nomination process. Both Rice and Franks said the process was stressful and nerve-wracking, and neither expected to make the court, let alone be voted king and queen.

 

“No, (I didn’t expect to make it),” Rice, a senior English major, said. “I really wanted to because my mom had been on it before, and I knew that would be really cool for her more than anybody. I knew she was rooting for me. I had to interview with some alumni. I had to basically submit my resume and they scored it. So I made it to the ballot because of that, and students voted for me for some reason. That was really cool for sure.”

 

Franks said the news of making the court came as a huge relief after a week of such major scrutiny and self-doubt.

 

“The whole experience, honestly, it’s rough,” she said. “Once you make the ballot, you’re just so nervous the whole week. And no, I did not expect to make it at all, even on court, because if you are not an OSL, you go in there as an underdog. I knew a lot of people on campus, but again, there’s the whole self-confidence issue. That’s a big issue for Kappa Delta. That’s our philanthropy. Girls struggle with that all the time, and this whole process is just that amplified.”

 

Rice said the moment of being announced king and queen was a rush of emotions and surprise, catching them both off-guard.

 

“I don’t think my partner or I expected it at all,” Rice said. “I had definitely heard a lot of people think the other couples were going to be king and queen, so we really didn’t expect it. That’s not just me saying that to be humble; we really didn’t expect it. So when I heard them say ‘Megan,’ that’s all I heard because I knew it was us at that point. She was bawling. I’m not a crier, but my mom was crying. Everyone was crying.”

 

Franks and Rice said their time as Homecoming royalty was an experience that taught them more about themselves. Franks said she learned self-confidence and Rice said he learned to handle the pressures of the spotlight.

 

“Homecoming king is interesting in a way because you’re never really asked to do anything,” Rice said. “You don’t have to go to events, for instance, like Miss Tech does. But I will say that it put a bit more of a spotlight on me. You have to remember to carry yourself as someone who represents the university should. I learned how to represent something bigger than myself.”

 

While both Franks and Rice hope they served the role well over the year, they are excited to pass the torch to their successors.

 

“It’s exciting,” Franks said. “Ben is SGA president, so he already knows who it is. I was like, ‘Don’t tell me, I want to be surprised!’  So I am really excited to figure out who it is. I have so many friends on court this year, and I’m really excited for whoever it is. I’m just excited for them to experience the joy and excitement that afternoon and the football game.”

 

Both Rice and Franks had words of advice for the couple that will replace them in the coming days. Rice told the next king to be humble and be cautious with how he carries himself.

 

“Don’t let it get to your head,” Rice said. “Remember you represent this place in so many ways. A future king should take it as an honor and represent this place as it deserves to be represented and keep that in mind as you post on snapchat and social media. (Have) the ability to not let it go to your head either. In a way, it is a popularity contest, but there’s no reason to think you’re better than anyone else because of it.”

 

Franks said the next queen should be respectful of the title and simply enjoy her reign as queen.

 

“I’d say my advice is be a humble queen but really soak up everything it has to offer,” Franks said. “Don’t over push the boundaries of all the recognition you get but also just enjoy it. It’s a year of being a queen.”

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