Homecoming Queen April Pruitt and Homecoming King Jonathan Alexander at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Homecoming football game on Nov. 2, 2019.

Last week, UL Lafayette crowned seniors Jonathan Alexander and April Pruitt as the 2019 Homecoming king and queen. Alexander and Pruitt say they both feel very honored to be picked, and both credit their academic accomplishments for the opportunity.

“I was on the homecoming court in high school,” said Pruitt. “I definitely feel like back then, it was more of a popularity contest than it is now.”

Pruitt then went on to describe the process of getting onto the court, explaining how the qualifications are more merit-based.

“The good thing about UL’s process is that it takes into account your academics, your student involvement and your spirit for the university,” Pruitt said. “It’s not a popularity contest. Of the large panel of judges, I only knew a couple. They make their decision based on who you are holistically, not just by how many people like you.”

Pruitt is a senior majoring in biology, and she said she hopes to go into graduate research.

“I enjoy neuroscience,” Pruitt said. “I love the intricacies of the brain and how much we don’t know about it. There’s a large avenue for researchers to explore, to really just understand basic questions about neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.”

Jonathan Alexander is majoring in finance, with the hope of either pursuing a career in the U.S. State Department as a foreign service officer, or going on to graduate school to study student affairs, with the hopes of becoming a dean of students one day.

“Both of those paths are very different, I know, and neither really coincide with my major,” Alexander said. “I chose finance because I also have a dream of opening up my own business one day. I kind of have my hands in a little bit of everything.”

Pruitt is the secretary of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. She is also the president of the University Program Council and a member of Habitat for Humanity. Pruitt has furthered her biology education by participating in numerous summer internships both here and in California.

“My classes are more difficult, and I do take a lot of hours, but I enjoy hard science classes,” Pruitt said. “I knew coming into UL Lafayette that I’d have to be more competitive if I wanted to succeed in this line of work.”

Alexander is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, as well as the Black Male Leadership Association and the Association of Future Alumni. He also holds the position of senate chair on SGA.

Neither Pruitt nor Alexander had initially planned on going to UL Lafayette, but both agree that it turned out to be the best place for them.

“I was originally looking into Tulane; I loved New Orleans, but the price made me look elsewhere,” Pruitt said. “When I came to UL’s preview day, I was amazed by how happy the students were here, and by how much they wanted me to come to their school. I felt that this was a community I could get attached to quickly, and I’ve gotten more and more school pride over the years.”

“I was between Xavier, Southeastern and UL,” Alexander said. “My brother went to Xavier, and we used to live in New Orleans before Katrina, so I really wanted to go there. But people from my high school went to UL, and when I visited, I just loved the atmosphere here. I’ve had the best experience here.”

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