A Royal Occasion: FAMU Coronation
By Dominique James
Special to the Outlook
On Oct. 11, Rattlers came out to witness the Florida A&M University Royal Court being crowned at the 109th Mr. and Miss Florida A&M University Coronation.
As the first event of Homecoming Week, students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of FAMU gathered around in awe of this age-old tradition among Historically Black Universities (HBCU).
Lead by Mr. FAMU Imir Hall and Miss FAMU Anquinette D. Taylor, the court had been patiently waiting for this day to receive their crowns and be presented to the campus.
“Our crowns are finally here,” said Crystal Sheffield the current Miss Junior Attendant. “We have not been able to wear them since we were not yet coronated, but that problem will be fixed today.”
Coronation is one of the most formal events to take place at FAMU, with strict guidelines on the formal program.
The event was launched by the “Keeper of the Seal” announcing that we will open up the call to royalty on that evening only.
Once the ceremony is over, the seal is to be closed until the following year at coronation.
Next in the official program was the presentation of guards from the Army and Navy ROTC, then the Royal Proclamation was made.
The previous Mr. and Miss FAMU gave their farewell address. Then the court began to make their debut.
Miss FAMU 2014-2015 said that one of her accomplishments during her reign was her “On The Run Reading Tour” which included traveling to schools throughout Leon County and reading to students. She is a first-generation college student dedicated to inspiring, working and serving her community.
“I wish I would’ve gotten the chance to travel to more schools for my reading tour and also teach more etiquette classes for young girls,” she said.
Nia Jackson, a fourth-year criminal justice student, shared her experience with Miss FAMU 108.
“Dominique always carried herself as a queen. She left a positive impact on the student body and also the university,” Jackson said.
James was featured in Ebony Magazine as a 2015 Ebony Campus Queen.
Miss FAMU 2013-2014, Nicole Bowden, also reminisced on her experience at coronation.
“I feel like I’ve seen this happen from every aspect now – as a participant, an audience member and now a former Miss FAMU. Each year I’m excited to see the new personality of the court and of course the gowns they are wearing,” she said.
The Court, composed of 14 students ranging from freshmen to graduate status, were voted on by their constituents to represent the university’s legacy, serve as campus ambassadors and recruit around the country.
They came down the aisle of Lee Hall one by one in kelly green gowns and matching gloves with their escorts waiting for their arrival near the stage.
Working their way from freshman on up, the Mr. and Miss are the last to appear on stage.
Proceeding after the royal adornments, Hall and Taylor walked down in a pure white tuxedo and sweetheart gown with a ruffled train to follow.
“Coronation is a big moment during our reign. We serve everyday of our lives, so it’s kind of nice to have a day dedicated to our accomplishments as a court,” said Hall the 16th to hold this position.
Throughout their reign the court will continue to organize programs and campus wide initiatives, travel on behalf of the university, and speak at public events.
The newly coronated Miss FAMU, Taylor, 21, was born and raised in Orlando, Fla., and is studying public relations from the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.
She’s a first generation college student in her family who has been involved with the following activities on campus: Sophomore Attendant to the Royal Court in 2013-2014; SISTUHS Inc.,; Secretary of Student Welfare in the Executive Branch of the Student Government Association; and President and Founder of the Central Florida Club.