Recap: HSU Homecoming King and Queen
By Skylar Bell Brenner, Entertainment Editor
Hardin-Simmons University Homecoming was on Saturday, Oct. 19. The Homecoming king and queen were announced during half time of the football game. Seniors Parker Johnson and Elizabeth Bygel were crowned king and queen. They recently got engaged and plan to get married after they graduate.
Homecoming king, Parker Johnson is a biology major and heavily involved on campus. After graduation, in addition to marrying Bygel, he will attend HSU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program to pursue a career in physical therapy. HSU has had a significant impact on his life.
“Hardin-Simmons has played a major role in shaping the way I view God, myself and others. Pushing me to think more deeply, my mentors at HSU have led me to pursue a God who is big enough to answer our most challenging questions; a God who is far too great to be reduced into our simple Sunday school answers,” Johnson said.
“With God as the starting point, my perception of myself and my role towards others has shifted during my time at HSU. I am called to see others. Before I can authentically love people, I must see myself, and ultimately the image of God in others. These perspectives will have a lasting impact on my life,” Johnson said.
Johnson hopes to leave a lasting impact at HSU, just as HSU has impacted him during his time in college. “I hope to leave a legacy that multiplies. I know that I will leave, and the roles that I have filled during my time here will be filled by others. My hope is that the students that replace me will take what I have done and carry the torch further than I ever could,” Johnson said.
Johnson feels that since his freshman year, he has changed and grown into a healthier place as a result of learning valuable lessons. “My freshman year I was in a place where my life was running me. My schedule, classes and responsibilities dictated the way I felt. Now, I feel like I am in a much healthier place. I love the things that I am doing, but they don't get to determine how I am doing. I am in charge of my life, rather than the other way around,” Johnson said.
Homecoming queen, Elizabeth Bygel, is a marketing major with a minor in communications. She hopes to stay in Abilene with her future husband and work in public relations and advertising.
Similar to Johnson, HSU has played a significant role in Bygel’s life in the time she has been at college. “Hardin-Simmons has played a major developmental role in my life. I have grown so much since my freshman year. If you told me on the first day of Stampede that I would be as involved on campus as I am and have the leadership roles that I have I’d say you were crazy. Hardin-Simmons has given me friends, professors and mentors who have pushed me out of comfort zone and inspired me to a better version of myself,” Bygel said.
Bygel hopes to leave the legacy “...of being a person who was always willing to give a listening ear and someone who cared about people.”
Since being at HSU, Bygel feels she has grown significantly in her confidence in her leadership ability. “My freshman year and throughout high school, I always thought I was only cut out to be a follower. But through upperclassman and different mentors I had around campus, I was pushed out of my comfort zone and into leadership positions. Hardin-Simmons has given me a lot of tools and resources to become a better leader and I'll always be grateful for that,” Bygel said.