As an out-of-state student from Franklin, Tennessee, Rachel Dumke has been motivated to get involved on campus since she first came to Mississippi State University. Now, Dumke’s involvement has granted her the opportunity to fulfill the role of MSU’s latest Homecoming Queen.
Dumke is the current Panhellenic Council president, campus-wide senator, member of Delta Gamma and tour guide of Maroon VIP. She has also participated in Dance Marathon, Women’s Club Volleyball, Lambda Sigma Honor Society and currently holds the undergraduate seat on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.
She said her involvement in organizations like the Student Association allow for her to make a change that benefits the entire student body. In her organizations, she has also developed lasting mentorships and relationships with faculty members. Following graduation, Dumke hopes to continue her passion and advocate for the voiceless on a larger scale.
“Throughout college, I’ve been inspired by all of the leaders that I’ve been able to see and that helped me grow and become passionate about continuing that legacy,” Dumke said.
Dumke, a kinesiology major, said her passion for public service has inspired her to pursue a career in law and public policy. Looking to help each student on campus, Dumke dedicated her campaign to understanding a diverse range of students’ passions and experiences at MSU.
“I really wanted to make the campaign about Mississippi State students and less about me,” Dumke said.
Dumke's involvement, service and advocacy for all students motivated her to run for Homecoming Queen. She said it is a way for her to promote the countless opportunities that MSU offers to its students.
“When I leave campus, I want it to be better than when we all came here, in small and large ways,” Dumke said.
Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities and Fraternity and Sorority Life Jacqueline Mullins said she can attest to Dumke’s passion for service. Mullins has known Dumke for three years and has watched Dumke lead the Panhellenic Council and other organizations. Mullins said Dumke’s motivation to run for queen aligned with her willingness to serve the university.
“I felt as if her reasoning and want to do this was on par with the servant heart that she has in all aspects of the positions she’s served in and the decisions she’s made,” Mullins said.
Mullins said Dumke is a role model to other students because she works to create a more inclusive environment in every organization in which she is involved.
“It’s exciting to see that the hard work she has done over the last four years was recognized by the student body,” Mullins said.
Dumke’s close friend and campaign manager, Erin Linley, a junior accounting major, said she is very excited for her friend. Linley said Dumke wanted her campaign to be highly inclusive and help her develop a personal connection with the student body.
“Homecoming is something everyone is involved in and Rachel was willing to reach out to people,” Linley said.
When Linley found out Dumke had won, she said she teared up and instantly thought of helping her friend choose the perfect gown for the Homecoming Game. Linley said Dumke was the best candidate for Homecoming Queen because of her ability to serve and her dedication to ensuring that every student feels included in homecoming activities.
“She is so beautiful inside and out,” Linley said. “I can’t wait to see her walk across that field. That’s something that she will never forget.”
Dumke said she is honored to serve as MSU's 2019 Homecoming Queen. She is also looking forward to cheering on the football team in Davis Wade Stadium. Dumke said the idea of her walking onto the field is unreal and has expressed deep gratitude for the student body and their support of her campaign.
“I’ve received so much back from this university and the students that I could never repay,” Dumke said. “I hope when people are watching everything at homecoming, I hope they realize that pouring into this university is really awesome and worth it.”