Spencer Kirkpatrick will make history this weekend as he becomes the first ACCESS program student to represent Mississippi State University as Homecoming King. In his last year at MSU, Kirkpatrick made the decision to take on eight other candidates and run for MSU's homecoming king. He won with a whopping 36% of the votes, according to the MSU Student Association.
Spencer Kirkpatrick’s father, Kevan Kirkpatrick, described his son’s long-standing dedication to the university.
“He had been a Mississippi State fan since birth. He has grown up wearing maroon, went to State sporting events … you name it. The thought of college really was never a possibility for him, until we discovered the ACCESS program and he applied. So, just the fact of him being able to go to college and then being able to go to college at Mississippi State was just really a dream come true for him,” Kevan Kirkpatrick said.
Deandra Andrade, a senior business information systems major, said Spencer has become an important part of many MSU students' lives.
“Spencer always had a smile on his face. Him and his friends always spoke in passing and always made your day brighter if you had the chance to stop and talk. He was very involved on campus and even after I moved out of the dorm my freshman year, I still continued to see him actively on campus.”
The smiles Kirkpatrick puts on his friends' faces can be clearly seen in a video posted to Kirkpatrick's campaign page on Facebook. Along with Kirkpatrick's pure joy from the election outcome, the video captures several of his friends' joy as well.
Andrade said Spencer Kirkpatrick embodies the values of MSU and is well-deserving of the role of King.
“The ACCESS program has provided him with great tools that will surely help him later in life, but Spencer is strong and ambitious with great willpower to go above and beyond pushing limits. I think him winning Homecoming King is a well-deserved example of this—a true representation of the ideal, well-rounded MSU student,” Andrade said.
Of course, there is more to Spencer Kirkpatrick than becoming Homecoming King. According to Kevan Kirkpatrick, when Spencer was younger, he dreamed of higher education and a true chance of having independence in his life. Considering his imminent graduation, Spencer's goals are becoming a reality.
“Like any college student, he’s very excited to graduate in May and he will move back to Tupelo. He will have a job, most likely, at North Mississippi Medical Center...He’ll live as independent of a life as he possibly can,” Kevan Kirkpatrick said.
On Saturday, Spencer Kirkpatrick and the rest of the Homecoming Court will take the field during the football game against Abilene Christian University. Spencer’s ACCESS adviser and friend, Melody Mayden, a junior kinesiology major, praised Kirkpatrick's attitude and commitment to the university. She commended him on his ability to be a representative of the values of MSU.
“Not only does he love this school wholeheartedly and in a whole other kind of way that people probably don’t understand, he knows almost every person on this campus. And even if he doesn’t, he’s going to learn their name ... He truly loves this school wholeheartedly and everybody in it and there’s not any motive behind it. Where other people may have motive behind what they’re doing, whether it’s for their face to be out there the most or people to know their name or for networking purposes, Spencer just did it because he loves this school and he wants people to know that.”