The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff student body did its best Tuesday morning to rally the spirits of its struggling Golden Lions football team during the annual Homecoming week Black & Gold Pride Assembly.
Held in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Complex H. O. Clemmons Arena, the assembly featured head coach Monte Coleman introducing the team and coaching staff and performances by class spirit teams.
Student Government Association President Shi’Ann Wallace fired up the students, faculty and alumni with the Spirit Roar.
“It’s finally Homecoming,” Wallace said. “I’m ready to show that Golden Lion pride. I’m ready to see the coronation of the 84th Miss UAPB Homecoming queen. I’m ready to see the campus fill with alumni from all over. I’m ready to see the students going to all of the Homecoming week activities.”
Wallace told the crowd it was time to turn up and provided a quick explanation for the uninitiated.
“Now when we say we’re going to turn up, we mean like when we are going to a football game or a party,” Wallace said. “We turn up to pass that test. We turn up to get a turkey leg at the football game. We turn up for soul food Tuesday and catfish Friday. So UAPB let’s turn up!”
SGA Vice President Payton Parker shared the contents of a conversation for the assembly meditation.
“I had a conversation recently with Courtney Jackson [director of the student union],” Parker said. “He is usually in a joking mood, but this time he was serious. He told me not to take my time here at UAPB for granted. He said to remember the struggles that those who founded this institution went through. I took his words to heart and I wanted to share them with you today.”
The littlest Golden Lions from the UAPB Child Development Center took to the floor to show their spirit in the form of several teacher-led chants that included a great deal of jumping, singing and cheering, much to the delight of the audience.
UAPB Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Elbert Bennett crowned the class queens in advance of the Wednesday night coronation ceremony for Miss UAPB Alexis Cole.
Miss Freshman Diamond White, Miss Sophomore Jalissa Gardner and Miss Junior Miche’la Martin each came forward to receive their crown as student government president Wallace read brief biographies on each.
Miss UAPB Alexis Cole added her voice to those cheering on the Golden Lions.
“As Nelson Mandela said, education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world,” Cole said. “We must absorb this experience of Homecoming week so that we will always remember it. I think that this will be the best Homecoming yet.”
- - -