KSU spirit dominates weekend

Theresa Edwards

Homecoming royalty crowned during halftime

Senior architecture major Tori Ung is congratulated by her cheerleading teammates after she was announced Homecoming queen during halftime at Saturday’s game. Senior finance major Jamal Redding (not pictured) was named Homecoming king. KATIE ROUPE | DAIL

Credit: Jason Hall

Tori Ung was congratulated with hugs after she was announced Homecoming queen until Flash whisked her off the field to celebrate with her fellow cheerleaders.

Her friends pushed and pulled until they got her in just the right spot. She was in shock.

The cheerleaders raised Flash above them so he lay flat and pushed Tori so she was on top of him and told her to stand upright. Then, they carried her toward the end zone.

Ung and Jamal Redding were announced as the 2006 Homecoming queen and king.

Ung, senior architecture major, and Redding, senior finance major, said they were both happy about the opportunity to be on the Homecoming court, but neither expected to win.

“I didn’t want to be disappointed,” Ung said. She didn’t realize how large the school was before she met the other candidates and didn’t know any of them.

Redding said it’s more meaningful to be elected by a larger school such as Kent State.

“It felt good to know I had support from students and alumni,” he said. “I know how important it is because when you’re on the Homecoming court, you’re representing the university. I wanted to represent the university to the best of my ability.”

As the candidates arrived on the field, students cheered like thunder in support of their Homecoming candidates. And with the student section overflowing, there was only room to cheer.

“I got emotional,” Ung said. “I was looking at my architecture friends in the stands and coming around the corner I saw my cheerleading and dancing friends.”

She motioned to the stands and the cheerleaders forming the path she walked as she sat in the President’s Loge, a room that overlooks the stadium.

After the winning candidates were announced, they were guided to the President’s Loge where they got to mingle with the president, alumni and other guests, said Lori Randorf, executive director of the Kent State Alumni Association.

“It’s a nice honor for them to be up there,” she said.

They didn’t know they would be going there until about two minutes were left on the game clock.

Moving them from the field to the Loge was almost as difficult as moving a celebrity. The two were continually sidetracked with more hugs and congratulations off the field.

Redding said being in the President’s Loge was truly amazing.

“It was a really great experience to be able to get up there and get the chance to meet Dr. Lefton,” he said. “He’s a really nice guy.”

Redding said he got more nervous as Homecoming got closer, but the event still seems surreal even after being announced as king.

“It still hasn’t hit me as to how meaningful yesterday really was,” he said.

He was sponsored by the finance and hospitality management departments, and Ung was sponsored by Kent State Cheerleading.

The pair had to submit applications with a letter of recommendation and go through a series of interviews to be chosen for Homecoming court.

Redding is prepared to take on the leadership role of king.

“With the king and queen position comes a lot of responsibility,” he said. “But I’m ready for it.”

Contact alumni affairs reporter Theresa Edwards at [email protected].


Click image to view.