Mercerians celebrated the university's largest homecoming in history this Saturday. Spectators braved the rain, donning ponchos and cheering as Benjamin Smith '24 and Ashton Mayo-Beavers '24 were crowned the 2023 Homecoming king and queen at halftime. Smith and Mayo-Beavers hugged and congratulated one another after the announcement.
For many students, Smith is a familiar face on campus. He is the president of the Student Government Association (SGA), and he is also involved in Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM), Mercer Admissions and the peer advising team. At the pep rally on Friday, he carried on the tradition of his predecessor, Rylan Allen '23, by performing a routine on stage alongside the Mercer dance team.
Smith is a double major in biology and communication studies with minors in chemistry, global health studies, and business administration. He is from Macon, and he has spent a large part of his childhood on Mercer's campus, so this is an important moment for him.
"It's so exciting," Smith said. "Throughout my four years I have been as involved as I can, trying to get to know people, and to know that I've been nominated by an organization and that I have been made homecoming king by my peers, it's just a true honor."
Mayo-Beavers is from Chattanooga, TN. She is majoring in computer science with minors in math and law and public policy. She's president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), and she is also a member of Mercer Minority Mentors and Opportunity Scholars.
Mayo-Beavers says she is grateful to all of the support from her friends, family, and community.
"It truly is an honor to get to represent the student body and the organizations I'm so proud to be in leadership of, and I'm just so excited to continue to have this opportunity," Mayo-Beavers said.
The final candidates for the Homecoming court were announced at the pep rally the night before.
The candidates for king were Benjamin Smith (SGA) Satchel Sumner '24 (Alpha Tau Omega), Mathew Smith '24 (BCM), and Jin Choi '25 (Sigma Nu).
The final candidates for queen were Ashton Mayo-Beavers (Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.) Alex Norwood '24 (SGA) Ava Stauffer '24 (Chi Omega) and Lindy Kanaday '24 (Phi Mu).
The winners of the student organizations competition that had been occurring throughout the week were also announced at the game.
The small group winner was the Organization of Black Students, ASA, and Carbsa. The Medium group winners were SGA and MerServe. Finally, the large group winner was Lambda Chi Alpha, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Sigma Rho, and Phi Delta Theta.
Eliza Moore ‘24 is an English and Journalism student at Mercer University. She is now in her second year working as The Cluster’s News Editor after a semester abroad. She is currently producing work for Macon Magazine and Georgia Public Broadcasting in addition to her work with The Cluster. She loves breakfasts, the ocean, and all things related to writing.