Get to know the homecoming king and queen

The votes are in, and students chose seniors Nic Smith and Erin Hill as homecoming king and queen Oct. 14 in Braly Stadium.

Last year’s king and queen, Drake Vaccaro and Summer Richardson crowned the new royalty before the football game.

The male members of the court were seniors Hugo Castillo, Jordan Cooper, Hugo Dante, Nic Smith and junior Nicholas Watts.

Female members were seniors Albany Dial, Mary Filiatrault, Erin Hill, Lizzy Whitley and junior Nikki Matthews.

Smith said he was so caught in the moment he did not hear the announcer declare him the winner. He only realized he won when his escort, senior Albany Dial, repeatedly told him he was the winner.

“I was just shocked,” Smith said. “The entire experience has been amazing.”

The LaGrange Society nominated Smith for homecoming court where he serves as co-captain.

“I just love interacting with students,” Smith said. “One of the best things about UNA is we have a smaller campus, which allows you to personalize more with the individual students.”

Eria Jackson said she has known Smith since middle school.

“I have seen him grow over the years, and he has truly become an amazing man,” Jackson said. “He is a person who wants the best for absolutely everyone and will go above and beyond to make sure that happens. I honestly don’t know of a more deserving person.”

Junior Ashton Haralson said she was a Student Orientation Advising and Registration counselor with Smith, but she knew of Smith before this because of his involvement.

“I knew him as a very respectable figure on our campus,” Haralson said. “I knew he was super involved in fraternity life, the Student Government Association, Lagrange Society and was an overall asset to UNA.”

He is involved in Alpha Tau Omega and Alternative Breaks. Smith said one of his favorite memories of his time at UNA was going to Haiti with Alternative Breaks.

Smith was involved in the Student Government Association for three years. He served last year as vice president of the University Program Council before deciding to take his senior year off from SGA.

Haralson said Smith has a personality that cheers people up just from him being around them.

“It’s very apparent that he cares just as much about the people on campus as he does being involved with it,” Haralson said. “(There is) no one more deserving to have been crowned king than Nic.”

Junior Holly Luttrell said Smith encourages others to be involved at UNA because of his leadership.

Luttrell said Smith is always making someone laugh or encouraging others.

“Nic is someone who makes you feel important when speaking to him,” Luttrell said. “He has already contributed to UNA so much.”

Students know both Smith and Hill for their leadership and love for the university.

Hill’s involvement in various leadership roles is what attributed to her winning, said Hill’s boyfriend, Hugo Dante.

Dante said Hill works hard and has such a love for the UNA community.

“She’s a super selfless, humble and kind person that truly has a heart for others and UNA,” Dante said. “She’s definitely very deserving of the title.”

Junior Brittany Cagle said she initially met Hill through their sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. The two now serve on the executive council of ZTA together.

“I initially thought of Erin as an outgoing, positive and kind-hearted soul, and that stays true to this day,” Cagle said. “She is the most beautiful person on the inside and out, and it is truly a blessing to call her my best friend.”

Hill is involved in various honor societies and serves in her sorority.

In the past, she served as a Student Orientation Advising and Registration counselor, a LaGrange Society member, and she played saxophone for two years in the Pride of Dixie marching band.

“She is involved in so many capacities at UNA and is loved by everyone,” Cagle said. “To know Erin is to love Erin.”

Senior Christa Sides said Hill treats everyone she meets with the same amount of love and respect.

“She is so outgoing and hardly ever meets a stranger,” Sides said. “We cannot go anywhere on campus that she doesn’t stop and talk to everyone that she knows.”

Sides said UNA has helped Hill as much as Hill helped UNA.

“UNA helped bring out her true passion for being a leader, and she brings that back to the university by being the best leader that she can for UNA,” Sides said.

Hill said she is currently looking at attending graduate school for public relations.

She hopes to gain a job through her internship this summer.

Luttrell said she expects Smith to continue to be present in the UNA community as an alum.

Smith said he is looking into going to graduate schools and hopes to one day work as a university event planner. He is currently majoring in hospitality management.