Q&A: MTSU homecoming king, queen provide insight on personal outlook, school spirit

Photo courtesy of Paige Phillips

During MTSU’s 2017 homecoming game, Montavius Euwing and Paige Phillips were officially announced as the homecoming king and queen, respectively. Euwing, a senior majoring in business administration and Phillips, a senior majoring in organizational communications, both competed against four other king and queen candidates and won, thanks to the votes of their fellow Blue Raiders. Many may wonder, once the crown is won, what is next for the newly appointed royalty. For those who wish to gain some insight into the students behind the titles, below are questions and, more importantly, answers from the court.

What do you want to do, career-wise, after your time at MTSU? 

Euwing: I see myself working for a Fortune 100 company in Manhattan, New York. Also, there is a slight chance that I may start off in the communications field due to my superior background in communications.

Phillips: I aspire to be an event director on a cruise ship.

What would you say some of your main life goals are? 

Euwing: One of my main life goals is to start a nonprofit for high school students in my hometown of Jackson, Tennessee. The nonprofit will be called “The Business Boot Camp,” and it will prepare high school seniors for corporate America before they start school. They will create resumes, business cards, LinkedIn accounts and do mock interviews and workshops. This will prepare them to enter their career field.

Phillips: I believe that a successful life is one in which I am content and happy with where I am and what I have accomplished. My goal is to be financially comfortable and to know that I have taken advantage of every opportunity that came my way. I also aspire to be a role model to those around me and be an example of how faith, passion, optimism and dedication can transform you into a version of yourself that you might not know exists.

Why do you believe the students at MTSU voted for you?

Euwing: I believe that the students on campus voted for me because I exemplify a “True Blue” spirit like no other. Every time someone sees me, I’m always smiling and making other people smile. I’ve been involved in so many diverse organizations, and I believe that the students see the hard work that I put in on campus. That’s why they voted for me.

Phillips: I have been blessed with a personality that desires to meet everyone that I encounter, and people’s first response upon meeting me is always about how my happiness is contagious. Not only do I enjoy meeting new people and making them smile, but I have also been involved on MTSU’s campus in multiple organizations, including Alpha Omicron Pi and the Real Estate Club. I have also been a Blue Elite tour guide, a student orientation assistant, a YoungLife leader and MTSU’s previous softball manager. Therefore, I believe that students could see my involvement, dedication and passion for this university.

Why did you pursue the homecoming crown?

Euwing: I felt that I had all of the qualifications to pursue the crown. My heavy involvement on campus, my high impact on different lives that I have come across and my warm-hearted school spirit makes me deserving of the crown.

Phillips: Being MTSU’s homecoming queen seemed like a dream that would never actually turn into reality. I remember sitting at Alpha Omicron Pi’s recruitment retreat one weekend, and our president asked if anyone had any nominations for who our chapter’s 2017 homecoming queen representative would be. My sister, Bekah Juergens, nominated me, of all the seniors, and I accepted. Discovering that my entire chapter believed in me is a feeling that I will never forget. From that moment on, I was showered with continuous love and support from students all over campus.

Did you expect to win? 

Euwing: Honestly, I felt it hard in my heart that I would win because I knew how hard I campaigned. But, you honestly never know. So, I was still nervous.

Phillips: I honestly had no idea who was going to be crowned as the queen. Every candidate that ran for queen put in a tremendous amount of time and effort campaigning. So, I knew that whoever won would deserve it.

How did you feel when you were crowned homecoming king or queen?

Euwing: It was one of the happiest moments of my life. The feeling that all of my hard work and dedication to make a mark on this campus paid off is an unforgettable feeling that could never be matched.

Phillips: Wow. I remember squeezing my escort’s arm, and my hands were shaking like crazy. I was standing there, waiting to hear who the queen was going to be. I heard “Paige Phillips,” and my heart dropped. Words cannot describe the emotions that were racing through my mind when I walked up to President McPhee to get my crown, sash and roses. I wish that I could relive that moment, again and again.

In what ways will you use the title to improve the lives of MTSU students? 

Euwing: I feel that I was awarded this crown because I have already improved the lives of multiple MTSU students. After receiving this crown, it has motivated me to keep pushing to improve even more lives on campus.

Phillips: MTSU has over 250 organizations on campus that are full of leaders and exceptional students. My goal is to be a helpful and accessible member of the student body. Therefore, I would strive to help every student find an organization that will benefit their future careers and will be a place of comfort for them throughout the next couple of years. I would also strive to boost the attendance of MTSU’s athletic events and help the “Blue Zoo” truly come to life. I believe that highly attended sporting events will not only strengthen students’ school spirit but also highlight the love and support that we have for our student athletes.

Why is the homecoming tradition important for colleges to continue to have?

Euwing: I believe it is an important tradition to have. It gives the student body a chance to reward people who have helped make a difference in their lives. The smallest thing could make a huge difference in a person’s life. The smile on someone’s face for rewarding them for all of the lives that they have made an impact on is a worthy tradition to continue.

Phillips: Homecoming is the time of the year that the community, students and alumni have the opportunity to come together and show their love for this university. After graduation, many graduates will move away from Murfreesboro to pursue their career. Homecoming is the time they come back, visit their “home away from home” and celebrate its continuous success.

Why did you choose to receive higher education at MTSU?

Euwing: My aunt worked for MTSU for over 10 years. The summer before my senior year, I visited my aunt in Murfreesboro, and she would give me a map of the campus. I would go and explore. I fell in love with the library and how huge the campus was. I ended up enrolling in summer swimming lessons and almost drowned because I caught a cramp while swimming. When they saved me, that moment became one of the most hilarious and memorable moments of my life. Soon after that, I applied and was accepted, and that’s why I chose to receive an education from this amazing university.

Phillips: I am from Murfreesboro. So, I was not originally considering applying to MTSU because I thought that I wanted to go away for college. However, my mom wanted me to look at the campus and give it a chance. I took my first step on campus and was immediately shocked. I remember thinking that the campus is so big and that I won’t even realize that I am still in Murfreesboro. I got accepted and signed up to attend CUSTOMS, and those two days are forever imprinted in my head. My student orientation assistant’s love for MTSU was so contagious that it made me so excited to see what doors MTSU would open for me.

Can you tell me one or two of your favorite memories at MTSU?

Euwing: One of my favorite memories is being involved in the MTSU orientation video. It was played at every student orientation session. The video’s purpose was to get the students excited about getting involved on campus, and it came out to also be hilariously funny.

Phillips: One of my favorite memories at MTSU was while I was a student orientation assistant. The first CUSTOMS session that I was a student orientation assistant was so nerve-racking, but I was super excited. Knowing how much my CUSTOMS experience impacted me made me put a lot of pressure on myself to assure that my students would leave feeling the same way. Toward the end of the day, one of my students told me that she couldn’t wait to be a Blue Raider. In that moment, my heart was so full. I had successfully achieved what I was hoping for. I made a positive impact on her, and we still talk to this day.

Answers were edited for clarity.

To contact News Editor Andrew Wigdor, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

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