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Their pathways to EKU were quite different, but Tyler Price and Ivonne Gonzalez, this year’s Homecoming king and queen, do share a love for the University they represent.

Gonzalez, of Shelbyville, is believed to be the first Latina homecoming queen at Eastern. She represented the Panhellenic Council, which she currently serves as president and has previously served as vice president of judicial affairs. She is also a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, Student Government Association, Latino Student Association, Rodney Gross Scholars, and the Freshman Academy for Diverse Students.

The crown was especially meaningful to Gonzalez, who grew up viewing college as a hopeful, but unlikely dream. After moving from Mexico to the United States at the age of 3, her immigration status limited her financial aid availability. It wasn’t until she attended a week-long camp sponsored by the Latino Student Success Center at EKU that she learned about all of the options available to immigrant students. The following year, Gonzalez joined the Colonel family, and began working in the Latino Student Success Center, where she helped to inform others of the programs and scholarships that had changed her own life. Her leadership and commitment to diversity was recognized in February 2016 when she received the University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Student Leadership Award.

“I feel like I am representing more than just the Panhellenic Council and the Greek Community,” she said. “I am representing the Latino students, first-generation college students, and even Spanish/public health students and everything else that I identify with on campus.”

Double majoring in Spanish and public health, Gonzalez will graduate in May 2018 and hopes to return to Eastern to pursue a master’s degree. While her career plans aren’t definite, she hopes to procure a position in the medical field that will allow her to personally help individuals on a daily basis, especially children, lower-income populations and other Latinos.

Whatever the future holds, Gonzalez feels prepared, thanks to Eastern. “My favorite thing about EKU is you can excel in the classroom and outside of the classroom,” she reflected. “EKU truly is a school of opportunities, and I just love how this campus has so much to offer for each of their students.”

Growing up in Richmond, Tyler Price developed a love for EKU at a young age, a love that has only deepened in recent years.

Representing Pi Kappa Alpha, Price currently serves as president of the fraternity, and has been a member for a little over a year. He is also involved in Campus Outreach, Student Advisory for Health Service Administration, and has previously served on the Student Activities Council and Student Alumni Ambassadors.

The title of homecoming king was a huge honor to Price, who said, “It’s awesome to be able to represent such a special place to me, as well as represent my local community!”

A junior majoring in health service administration, Price will graduate in the spring of 2019. His ultimate career goal is to work as the CEO of major healthcare system.

As he reflected on his time at EKU, Price, whose mother, Jill, is executive director of conferencing and events on campus, and whose sister, Jessica, is an Eastern faculty member, said he is especially grateful for the overwhelming sense of community. “I have met my best friends here, and I have cultivated friendships that will now last a lifetime.

“(EKU) has given me a program that I am passionate for with the greatest professors,” he continued, “and it has provided me with opportunities to make a real, genuine impact on campus and the city. It’s called Campus Beautiful for a reason, and I realize that more and more each day that I’m here!”

— by Yasmin White, Student Writer, EKU Communications & Brand Management