Homecoming King 2021: Smith Lyon

Those who know Smith Lyon, the 2021 Mississippi State University homecoming king, describe him as the embodiment of compassion.

Lyon is from Greenwood, Mississippi, and is a senior marketing and political science major. His decision to enroll at MSU was natural due to his family's consistent and pleasant trips to Starkville.

"I actually have been coming to Mississippi State my entire life, so I did not apply anywhere else," Lyon said.

He said he was genuinely surprised by his positive experience at MSU and was relieved to find his college experience has exceeded his expectations through the warm interactions Lyon has had on campus and within clubs.

"The way that I love Mississippi State now is different from what I expected," Lyon said.

Highly involved on campus, Lyon has participated in a variety of MSU organizations throughout his tenure. He has been a New Maroon Camp counselor and programming staff member and served as marketing coordinator for the Brickfire Mentoring Program. Lyon was an orientation leader and is currently a Roadrunner. In addition, the homecoming king has exemplified his work across Student Association within the Freshman Forum committee as the director of outreach.

After four years of joyous connections, it was important to Lyon to finish his time at MSU by doing something out of the ordinary.

"I had always thought about running for homecoming king and decided that I was going to do it. I am not someone who typically enjoys being in the spotlight, but I decided to overcome that. I really just did it because I love everything about Mississippi State," Lyon said.

Lyon said he wanted his role as homecoming king to create a path for individualism, service and kindness.

"I try to be a role model for students who are coming here and who are in my shoes," Lyon said. "I just like to be completely who I am and show them that whoever you are, you can be you. I think, at my core, I'm a person who just loves people. I very rarely ever dislike someone. I tend to see the good in people."

During this year's homecoming election cycle, candidates could support philanthropies throughout their campaign to highlight causes they are passionate about.

"I tried to raise awareness for food insecurity. It's a lot bigger problem on campus and in the state of Mississippi than a lot of people realize. Through that, we decided to raise money for Bully's Closet and Pantry. We actually went out and were able to raise over $600 from over 45 donors," Lyon said.

Julia Love Lyon, Smith Lyon's sister and a freshman nutrition major at MSU, explained that Lyon's kindness has comforted her throughout their lives.

"He loves to help people. He will go out of his way to help anyone. When we were growing up, I knew I could always count on him. You could give him a call, and he would drop anything for anyone," Lyon said.

Julia Lyon felt like her older brother was a stellar selection for homecoming king due to his excellent work ethic and humble presence.

Additionally, she explained how her brother's love for MSU developed over time because of the fond memories their family collected here.

"Our grandmother used to live here, so we came to Starkville a lot. Our best memories were baseball games at Dudy Noble on Sunday afternoons with our grandmother. It was always so relaxing, and we loved coming here on the weekends," Lyon said.

Hope Lee, campaign manager of Smith Lyon and senior communication major at MSU, described her initial interactions with Lyon and how his work ethic blossomed throughout their friendship.

"I met Smith through New Maroon Camp during sophomore year when I was on executive, and he was on staff. I got to know him a little better when he became a director of Freshmen Forum. At the time, I was deputy chief of staff. When he applied for the position, I knew he was going to switch things up a little bit. I was so excited to have him kind of join the team because I knew he would put a fresh perspective on things," Lee said.

Lee described Lyon as a magnetic and loving individual who enjoys building friendships with others in his vicinity.

"In social settings, I see how people are just drawn to Smith. He can and will never turn anybody away. He truly wants to be friends with everybody," Lee said.

The magnetism and originality Smith Lyon displays stood out to Lee, and she persuaded Lyon to campaign for homecoming king.

"When I think of Mississippi State, I think inclusivity. I think people who make this home. I think of people who will never turn anybody away. I think of Smith. He is just the embodiment of everything that I love about Mississippi State," Lee said.

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