Kent State Trumbull bucks tradition with Homecoming king and queen


Kent State Trumbull’s homecoming court From left: Raelyn O’Connell, Wayne Holloway, Brooklyn Bennett and Jessica Brumfield (not pictured: Dustin Tushar)

Rachel Walker

Wayne Holloway, 50, and Brooklyn Bennett, 30, were crowned Kent State Trumbull’s Homecoming king and queen on Oct. 6.

Holloway and Bennett come from unique backgrounds and are not your typical Kent State Homecoming king and queen.

Bennett is a single mom of two girls (6 and 8) and works two jobs while attending Kent State Trumbull full-time.

Bennett is an English major from Leavittsburg, Ohio, who’s heavily involves herself in the Kent Trumbull community. She is a part-time employee of the university and tutors Spanish.

Holloway’s employer closed several years ago, so he decided to go back to school at the Trumbull Business College. However, the school closed before he could graduate. Holloway found himself looking for a school yet again.

“When Wayne was considering finishing his degree at Kent State Trumbull, he sat in the parking lot for a good portion of the day to see what our students were like and whether he felt he would fit in,” Jim Ritter, the director of enrollment management and student services at Kent State Trumbull, said.

Holloway chose to finish his degree in accounting technology at Kent State Trumbull, citing Ritter as the one who convinced him. He made a pact with his 23-year-old daughter for both of them to finish their degrees at their respective colleges; Holloway at Kent State Trumbull and his daughter at Youngstown State.

“He has fit in quite nicely,” Ritter said. Holloway always has a smile on his face and has the “what do I need to do to get this done” attitude, he said.

Holloway has inspired people across the Trumbull campus, including Ritter.

Holloway was motivated to get his degree to prove to his 9-year-old son anything is possible. His son gets excited every time he visits campus and “cannot wait to go to Kent State,” said Bill Burgess, the marketing director at Kent State Trumbull.

One of the reasons Holloway and Bennett are such inspirations on campus is because they are nontraditional-age students. At Kent State Trumbull, 70 percent of students are “traditional age” compared to the 30 percent that are nontraditional, Burgess said.

While managing kids and class, they still find time to be involved in and make an impact on student life at Trumbull’s campus.

Rachel Walker is the regional campuses reporter. Contact her at [email protected]