Homecoming callouts have been a long-standing tradition at Mississippi State University. Every election winner and homecoming court position has been announced in this way. For this year’s round of callouts, many candidates opted to bring their friends or campaign manager.
Not wanting to draw attention to himself, he stood at the back of the crowd to observe and wait alone. In fact, he had only told two people he applied to be Mr. MSU.
When the category was finally announced, he couldn’t believe it. He was in shock. Suddenly, people began high-fiving him and celebrating.
Davis Helton was named Mr. MSU.
Helton is a senior biochemistry major with a pre-dental concentration from Amory, Mississippi. Helton only knew a handful of people on campus when he arrived at MSU, but after years of involvement, that changed.
"Three years ago, I didn't know anybody," Helton said. "Now, it seems like every time I walk around campus that people are coming up and telling me congratulations, so it’s just really humbling to be able to see all the students and people on campus react that way."
Helton has been involved in a long list of extracurriculars and organizations over the last three years. He has served as president of Roadrunners, Derby Days coordinator of Sigma Chi Fraternity, a Student Association senator, a member of the Interfraternity Council and a member of Lambda Sigma.
John Helton, his father, said he encouraged his son to apply for a bigger position on campus since he was so heavily involved. However, he had no idea that his son had applied to be Mr. MSU until after he interviewed.
"When he called me to tell me when he interviewed, he downplayed it. He didn’t think he had an A-plus interview, but he still felt good about it," John Helton said.
Avent Vanhorn, associate director of Marketing and Recruitment and advisor to the Roadrunners organization, said that she has seen Helton grow significantly since he first joined Roadrunners.
"I have seen him come more out of his shell over the last couple years and just be a vibrant student from somebody who was a little more shy and reserved," Vanhorn said.
Davis Helton said MSU is where he has always wanted to be, and it feels incredible to now be in this position.
"It means everything," Helton said. "I’ve grown up coming here. There are pictures of me when I couldn’t even walk yet, in Davis Wade Stadium. I’m a third-generation Bulldog. This has been the dream."
He said that he plans on giving back to the university and the community through this role and others that he will hold.
"I just want people to know that I’m not just going to be the guy that gets this and just becomes a hermit and just uses the title just to have a title," Helton said.
According to Helton, he has been planning to participate in service projects in his positions. He mentioned he was interested in helping other members on the Homecoming Court with their own projects.
John Helton said he could not be prouder of his son and the work he is doing on campus.
"He’s worked tirelessly to help support Mississippi State in any role he’s been needed," John Helton said. "As a result, he’s developed life-long friendships through these different roles, but MSU has given him endless opportunities to grow as an individual."
As the new Mr. MSU, Davis Helton said he hopes to live up to the honor that has been bestowed upon him.
"I do not take it lightly by any means," said Helton. "I’m just trying to make sure I appreciate the honor and just making sure I don’t waste it and make sure I don’t dishonor it."