Saginaw Valley State University students elected Brandon Jones, a business management major from Saginaw; and Charnae Keith, a social work major from Redford Township, as the university’s 2015 Homecoming king and queen. They were crowned Saturday, Oct. 17, during halftime of SVSU’s home football game against Lake Erie College.
Students initially elected Jones and Keith to the 10-student Homecoming Court earlier in the month. Then Jones and Keith, who are friends, campaigned for the Homecoming king and queen titles as a tandem.
“We were pushing each other,” Keith said. “So, when they called his name, I was scared that they weren’t going to call my name. That was another fear – we wanted to win together because we did the race together.”
Keith said she felt relieved after hearing her name announced. She and Jones represented SVSU’s Office of Multicultural Services.
A graduate of Saginaw High School, Jones said he was honored to be selected, but what really caught the public’s attention was his mother Tonya Jones’ reaction when she heard her son’s name announced as Homecoming king.
“My mom’s reaction was priceless,” Brandon Jones said. “The announcer didn’t even finish my name before she started screaming and shouting.”
Jones said he “never expected to win.”
“Each candidate was amazing and could have received the crowns and I would have been just as happy,” he said. “I am so grateful and so humbled.”
The two were joined on the Homecoming Court by:
• Marianna Cuevas, a social work major from Tecumseh
• Kevin Finley, an accounting major from Flint
• Sam Hudson, an English major from Port Hope
• Samantha Hull, a management major from Clinton Township
• Riley Hupfer, a communication major from Freeland
• Keshara Mumford, a social work major from Eastpointe
• Kimberly Salwey, a marketing major from East Tawas
• Grant Voisinet, a nursing major from Laingsburg
Jones is actively involved on campus, and currently serves as president of Valley Voices Gospel Choir; as a senior orientation leader, assisting new students acclimate to college; and as a member of the Organization of Black Unity. Jones also has been selected for SVSU’s Vitito Global Business Leadership Institute, an in-depth leadership development program for business students that includes an international travel experience; only 12 students per year are chosen for the program. He remains connected to his community, as well, serving as a mentor for students at Saginaw High School.
Keith also is active on campus. She is a founding member of Pretty Brown Girls, a registered student organization for female minority students; she also is a member of Valley Voices Gospel Choir and the Student Social Work Organization. Keith also serves as a mentor to other SVSU students through the King-Chavez-Parks 4-S P.A.S.S. grant, a program designed to increase graduation rates through effective instruction, counseling strategies, tutoring, and mentoring programs.