Ten students vying for titles of Homecoming king, queen

Members of WCU’s 2017 Homecoming court are (front, from left) Briana McManus, Mollie Jones, Megan Vincent, Mary Elizabeth Prince, Kalliope Balatsias, (back, from left) Shaquille Smith, Davis Wilson, Michael Caleb Queen, Coleman Leopard and Jacob French.

Ten Western Carolina University students, including five women and five men, have been named to the Homecoming court for 2017.

The court will be presented and Homecoming king and queen announced during halftime activities at WCU’s home football game against Furman University on Saturday, Oct. 28. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at E.J. Whitmire Stadium.

WCU students voted online in September to choose their top 10 candidates for king and top 10 candidates for queen from a pool of entrants. A Homecoming court panel conducted interviews with each of the 20 candidates, and then, based on the interview sessions and letters of recommendation from WCU faculty or staff, narrowed the pool of candidates down to the five men and five women who make up this year’s court. The WCU student body voted earlier this month to choose the king and queen.

Members of the court will participate in WCU’s Homecoming parade that begins in downtown Sylva at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27.

Seeking the title of queen:

Kalliope Christine Balatsias, a sophomore from Charlotte majoring in inclusive education. A graduate of Ardrey Kell High School in Charlotte, she is the daughter of Lambros Balatsias and Alexandria Gallins.

Mollie Elizabeth Jones, a junior from Hendersonville majoring in political science and business administration. A graduate of West Henderson High School in Hendersonville, she is the daughter of Garland Jones and Nancy Jones.

Briana Callie McManus, a senior from Cary majoring in music education. A graduate of Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, she is the daughter of Cecil McManus and Sarah McManus.

Mary Elizabeth Prince, a senior from Tryon majoring in elementary education. A graduate of East Henderson High School in Hendersonville, she is the daughter of Marcus Prince and Alice Prince.

Megan Leigh Vincent, a senior from Exeter, Rhode Island, majoring in communication sciences and disorders, and special education. A graduate of Exeter-West Greenwich Regional High School in Exeter, she is the daughter of Robert Vincent and Lisa Vincent.

Seeking the title of king:

Jacob William French, a senior from Reidsville majoring in business administration and law. A graduate of Rockingham County High School in Reidsville, he is the son of Kimberly Brown.

William Coleman Leopard, a senior from Clyde majoring in business and political science. A graduate of Pisgah High School in Canton, he is the son of Melissa Leopard and the late Jeffery Leopard.

Michael Caleb Queen, a senior from Taylorsville majoring in computer information systems. A graduate of Alexander Central High School in Taylorsville, he is the son of William Queen and Shannon Fox.

Shaquille Marcheal Smith, a senior from Hickory majoring in entrepreneurship and marketing. A graduate of Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High School in Hickory, he is the son of Marc Smith and Tracy Smith.

Davis Chandler Wilson, a senior from Hookerton majoring in recreational therapy. A graduate of Greene Central High School in Snow Hill, he is the son of Ledford Wilson and Lisa Wilson.

For a full schedule of Homecoming events at WCU, visit homecoming.wcu.edu and click on the links for alumni and student event schedules.