Mr. And Miss Tennessee State University Coronation Continues Homecoming Tradition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University continued a Homecoming tradition with the crowning of a new Mr. and Miss TSU.

Hundreds of people — including parents, relatives, friends and fellow students — packed a jubilant Kean Hall on Oct. 17 to witness the coronation of Darian McGhee and Kayla Sampson, and their court.

TSU President Glenda Glover congratulated the new king and queen after giving them the oath of office. Dr. Tracey Ford, vice president for Student Affairs, followed the president. She charged the two students to take their roles seriously.

TSU President Glenda Glover congratulates Darian McGhee and Kayla Sampson after being crowned as the new Mr. and Miss Tennessee State University. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“Taking on the responsibility of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU is steeped in tradition, as many are looking up to you,” Ford said. “Be reminded that this is serious.”

McGhee, a senior electrical engineering major from Memphis, Tennessee, is the outgoing Mr. Junior. He said in an interview before the coronation that his goal is to help more male students succeed in college. Compared to females, McGhee said, male students are disproportionately not successful in college because many lack the zeal and desire to persevere “when things get tough.”

“When I go to bed each night and wake up the next morning, I want to feel I am a better person than I was the day before; that comes from my drive to be better,” said McGhee, of Memphis Tennessee. “You have to have a drive and that’s what I want to pass on to my fellow students.”

Sampson, who becomes the 89th Miss TSU, is from Jackson, Mississippi. She is a senior agriculture science major with a concentration in biotechnology. Her goal is to use her “unique position” to implement a platform built around community service, especially reaching out to young kids, and helping incoming freshmen get adjusted to college life.

“The TSU motto of Think, Work, Serve is built around service and I want to make sure we carry out that mission in our community by participating in activities in elementary schools,” Sampson said. “My goal is to inspire more little kids through mentoring or helping in their schools. They respond more to young people. If they see us looking well and setting good examples, they will want to be like us”

The new Mr. and Miss TSU Court include: Christian Shack, Mr. Freshman; Tyahna Arnold, Miss Freshman; Donovan Stewart, Mr. Sophomore; Joycelyn Barney, Miss Sophomore; Damyr Moore, Mr. Junior; Deirdre Johnson, Miss Junior; Devinn Pauley, Mr. Senior; Arnella Williams-Foster, Miss Senior; Nadia Butterfield, Miss 1912; and Wimberly Robinson, Miss Blue & White.


Department of Media Relations

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With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at