Panther Editor Jerilyn Gamble poses with Miss Claflin Bria Spivey after the coronation ceremony.
By JERILYN GAMBLE
At Claflin University, the spring semester is usually the most anticipated time of the school year.
At this point, most students are only one semester away from being promoted to the next classification, the weather is warmer, new members in Black Greek Letter Organizations are revealed, and, yes, campaign week begins.
Last spring, the time had approached for one of the most-sought-after offices -- or should I say thrones. The Miss Claflin University crown was up for grabs.
Miss Claflin University 2012-13 Kristen Edwards Bell had completed her reign and was ready to continue the lineage of Claflin queens. The young woman who had been able to obtain this honor is Miss Bria Renee Spivey, a senior mass communications major from Philadelphia.
Spivey describes the experience she has had at Claflin University thus far as “humbling.”
“Just having so many people look up to me and tell me that I inspire them just to continue to do their best at Claflin is one of the things that I have been working towards. The love and support that I get from the student body keeps me going,” Spivey says.
Spivey decided to run for Miss Claflin during her junior year after establishing herself in various capacities, such as the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She decided to run so that she could use her title as a venue to support her mentorship program, which later became her platform during the campaign period.
Miss Claflin’s platform is a mentorship program for young males titled, “Men of the Future: Building Better Boys.” Her vision is to gather a group of troubled boys and assign them mentors. These mentors will be men who strive academically and socially.
Spivey encourages the mentors “to lead the young men in the right direction and give them some type of creative outlet so that they won’t turn to other detrimental things and get distracted in other ways.”
Every Miss Claflin has her annual coronation. This day is dedicated to her and is deemed “Miss Claflin University Day.”
Spivey’s Coronation was on Oct. 24, 2013. The night was filled with fellowship, fun, creative arts and more. Claflin University celebrated her achievements through her theme Circe Du Bria. “Coronation was amazing … Having my family come down here was the most exciting part about it”.
Spivey says that If she could give any advice to an aspiring Miss Claflin, it would be to “be true to yourself … do not let people change you and tell you what you need to be or how you need to look or what your platform should be in order to fit a certain image. In all honesty there is no image. You can be a big girl, you can be a small girl, you can be dark-skinned or light-skinned.
“Allowing others to change you causes you to lose all of the authenticity of your personality,” Spivey said.