BUS to host 47th annual Renaissance Ball

Daria Gaither

Black United Students will be hosting its 47th annual Renaissance Ball on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Kent State Center’s Ballroom. The theme of this year’s ball is “Redefining Our Royalty.”

The Renaissance Ball, originally called “Queen Meuse Ball,” was created by BUS in 1969 after African-American students were not allowed to participate in Kent State’s homecoming.

BUS board members over the years have taken pride in its theme each year, said Kyndall Echols, director of programming for BUS. The theme for the ball this year came from junior fashion merchandising major, Quierston Byers.

“My idea was that we are a completely different generation and it is time to define our royalty,” Byers said. “Every generation has had to define themselves and now it is our turn.”

The Renaissance Ball is pageant-based. Echols said attendees can expect to see talent, formal wear and much more.

“It’s a pageant. This is a chance for the community to see different God-given gifts. We are all different, but at the end of the day, we are all the same,” Echols said.

Contestants will compete for the title of king, queen, prince and princess. There are a total of nine contestants, five men and four women.

This event is free for all Kent State students. Students are encouraged to dress in formal wear.

“We encourage people to dress up, look nice and celebrate black excellence,” Echols said. “It’s formal wear so dress to the nines.”

The number of attendees to the Renaissance Ball has grown over the years. Last year, the event drew 400 people. BUS is expecting at least that number this year, Echols said.

Daria Gaither is the diversity reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].