The Howard University 2022-2023 Royal Court Coronation was nothing short of a royal affair. On Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, Howard University officially swore in this term’s royal court alongside the 46th Mr. Howard (Rashan Schoffner) and 84th Miss Howard (Cecily Davis).
The event was hosted by Colonel “Cap” Higgins, a senior honors marketing major from Smithfield, Virginia. “Nowhere at this university will you find a more dedicated group of students to [preserve and serve] Howard University than here in the royal courtroom,” he said, emphasizing how crucial it is to lead by the University’s motto of “truth and service,” alongside serving communities with enthusiasm and grace to keep Howard at the “pinnacle of Black excellence.”
The evening commenced with a moving performance of the Black National Anthem, sung by Lazarus Brown, which set the tone for the rest of the ceremony. Soon after, Higgins introduced each school’s respective representatives, followed by the grand introduction of Mr. Shoffner and Miss Davis.
As the spotlight beamed down upon the faces of the royal court members, the misses could be seen wearing elegant, pastel blue ball gowns, alongside the misters wearing classic, black suits. The glamor did not just stop there. Miss Howard graced the ballroom in a white, floor-length lace gown, alongside Mr. Howard rocking a white, buttoned-down suit with black slacks.
Following the procession was a lively performance by the Drew Hall and Harriet Tubman Quadrangle stroll teams. After the strolls ended, the audience was surprised by another special ensemble. The royal court performed a choreographed dance to “Zone 6” by rapper Young Nudy, dedicated to Atlanta-raised Schoffner and Davis.
Soon after, Schoffner and Davis were crowned by Dr. Cynthia Evers, the vice president of student affairs. Davis’ crown was striking as it towered above her head, representing the indispensable role and various responsibilities the title of Miss Howard comes with. Each royal court member then spoke of Mr. and Miss Howard in the highest regard before they were crowned by Schoffner and Davis themselves.
The court’s members referred to Davis as an inspiration, role model and mentor who often “takes care of others more than she does herself.” They then showed their love for Schoffner by speaking on how they view him as an older brother who inspires them to reach their fullest potential.
Mr. and Miss Howard’s respective families also spoke fondly of them. Schoffner’s parents and aunts spoke of his dedication and determination to be his best self as he works hard to achieve his aspirations. Davis’ parents stood at the podium and referred to their only daughter as their “favorite girl,” highlighting her proximity to her faith and her desire to help anyone as much as possible. Following these remarks, Davis and her father made their way onto the dance floor for a father-daughter dance to “Never Enough,” by Loren Allred.
Later that evening, we caught up with Mr. and Miss Cathy Hughes School of Communications (SOC), Jabari Richardson and Michayla Maxwell. Richardson, a junior television and film major, yearns to aid people in turning their dreams into reality. He plans to do so by helping “students make sure their education turns into job opportunities and career opportunities.” Maxwell, a junior broadcast journalism major, is passionate about “inspiring the students of SOC with different events and initiatives through their matriculation at Howard.”
Both Richardson and Maxwell are carrying out Howard University’s mission of truth and service through their initiatives to create countless opportunities for the students they represent.
Richardson’s platform, titled “ACE: Action through Care and Encouragement,” is centered around the mentorship, tutoring and advancement of both communications students and “local children in the DC area.” He believes it is important to “be involved in the outside world” to effectively execute Howard’s mission and better oneself.
Maxwell’s platform is called, “Pushing C: Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity.” She hopes to shed light on the various “scholarships, internships [and] opportunities” available to SOC students and aid them in “connecting [with] their peers.” She also wants to encourage SOC students to “embrace their creative side” and take advantage of every opportunity available to them here, so that they may leave the University with the skills and experience necessary to ensure their success in their chosen fields.
As the ceremony ended, the crowd rushed to the dance floor to celebrate the unforgettable evening. At this moment, while family and friends danced, laughed and captured the soon to be memory, a sense of togetherness and love were displayed all around.
Copy edited by Chanice McClover-Lee