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Homecoming Race is Over

Photo by Maggie Durnien
Photo by Maggie Durnien

The Ole Miss campus has been covered in campaign stickers, bombarded by campaign videos, and buzzing with election results anticipation.

Homecoming 2013 campus personality results were revealed on Tuesday, but it didn’t end there for all the candidates. A run off was announced for two positions. Voting came down to Rob Pyron and Houston Brock for Mr. Ole Miss and Megan Mcbeth and Madison Coburn for Homecoming Queen. Kay Kay Derossette, a senior exercise science major from Vicksburg, Miss., won her race Tuesday for the title of Miss Ole Miss. She says that she is thrilled to be representing Ole Miss.

“I’m so grateful I get to represent the intangible gifts that make everyone fall in love with this university,” said Derossette. “If hotty toddy was a feeling, that would be the perfect way to describe how my heart feels. I’m so honored to get this opportunity.”

Derossette hopes to promote the best of Ole Miss. “I feel like students believe that I am able to represent all the things they love about Ole Miss,” she said. “That is the best feeling in the world.”

With the Hotty Toddy feeling in her heart, Derossette felt support and stress during election week.

“I have never experienced so much love and stress at the same time,” she said. “It was by far my most memorable week at Ole Miss and made me love this great place even more.”

She added that she worked hard to win, but couldn’t have made it without her support system.

“The support of my friends and family is what really got me through the week,” she said. I’ve never felt so loved or respected in my life. It was truly a great week.”

Photo by Maggie Durnien
Photo by Maggie Durnien

With an exciting election week under her belt, Derossette feels that the experience of running for Miss Ole Miss is about more than just getting votes.

“Even if I didn’t win the election, I know the week tested my character and taught me so many great lessons. I’ll carry them with me for the rest of my life,” she said.

She says interacting with fellow contestant Blair Jackson, an Integrated Marketing Communications major from Hattiesburg, Miss., was one of the highlights of her experience.

“Blair is a great individual and was so pleasant throughout the whole campaign,” Derossette said. “That was the best part of the week.”

Derossette received 55.32 percent of the vote to Jackson’s 43.85 percent.

For Derossette, being Miss Ole Miss is more than a title. “Miss Ole Miss means representing something much larger than myself. It means promoting good character and practicing integrity in every aspect of the university,” she said.

Derossette ran for the title of Miss Ole Miss to serve and empower fellow students. “I ran for this title because it’s a service position and serving this University has made my Ole Miss experience so enjoyable,” she said. “I’ve grown to love this school for what it is today. I knew this position would allow me to empower others to make the most of their time here.”

The new Miss Ole Miss plans to make the most of her time at the university. She hopes to collaborate with Mr. Ole Miss Rob Pyron to leave their collective marks.

“I plan on partnering with Mr. Ole Miss to develop a huge community service project that benefits our campus community directly,” Derossette said. “I also intend to reach out to our students and ask them to help with this project. I want to get students excited about our university and all the great things going on by emphasizing the importance of involvement in activities such as Rebelthon, Relay for Life, and the Big Event.”

Derossette believes you get out of work what you put into it. “I’ve found that making this university my own by giving back has made my love for serving Ole Miss grow tremendously over the past 4 years,” she said. “Now that I’m Miss Ole Miss, I encourage others to take ownership around campus, get involved, make an impact and leave a legacy.”

For now, her accomplishment is still sinking in.

“I don’t think it has actually hit me that I’m Miss Ole Miss,” she said. “I feel so loved by so many people — administrators, professors, friends and family.”

Derossette has absorbed a deep respect for the other Miss Ole Miss contestants. “I hold a great deal of respect for everyone who was nominated in these personality elections,” she said. “It takes guts to put yourself out there to 20,000 students.”

Courage is something all the candidates have in common. For some that meant having the dedication to extend their campaigning to Thursday. A run off is put into place when no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the total votes.

Rob Pyron, who will be working along side Derossette, is a senior from Crystal Springs, Miss., majoring in Public Policy Leadership and minoring in Business Management. He was named Mr. Ole Miss on Thursday after a run off with Houston Brock, a Senior Journalism major from Ridgeland, Miss. Pyron won the run off with 51.1 percent of the vote to Houston’s 48.89 percent.

Finally, Megan Mcbeth, a Public Policy Leadership major from Flowood, Miss., won the homecoming race after a run off with Madison Coburn. Coburn is a Public Policy Leadership major with a minor in History from Ridgeland, Miss. Mcbeth won the election with 58.61 percent of the vote.

Maggie Durnien, journalism major, Meek School of Journalism and New Media

You can email Maggie at mkdurnie@go.olemiss.edu

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