Williams is first Mr. Southeastern in over a decade


Prakriti Adhikari/The Lion’s Roar

Miss Southeastern Louisiana Univeristy 2019 Chelsey Blank hugs Brian Williams, a senior communication major, after Williams was announced Mr. Southeastern Louisiana Univeristy 2019. Blank organized the competition to raide funds for her platform: Down Syndrome Awareness.

For the first time in over ten years, a student has been crowned Mr. Southeastern Louisiana University 2019.

Brian Williams, a senior communication major, was crowned Mr. Southeastern on Wednesday, Oct. 2, after winning first place in the pageant. He described what it was like the moment he realized that he had won the pageant.

“It was unreal to me,” described Williams. “It felt like I was in a movie. It is really unexplainable. I remember when they were calling out the results – I felt like I had lost, and I was starting to accept that fact. When they announced that I had won, my jaw dropped. I thought to myself that there was no way this is happening. I was awestruck that I was given this honor.”

Williams explained that he was inspired to participate in the Mr. Southeastern Pageant by Miss Southeastern Louisiana University 2019 Chelsey Blank.

“I actually ended up registering the very last day possible,” shared Williams. “Chelsey and I are good friends, and she really felt like I should do this. I just wanted to do it because I love this school to death, and I wanted an opportunity to get to represent this school in the best way possible.”

Several of William’s close friends and family encouraged him during the process. He feels that he could not have become Mr. Southeastern without the support of his friends and family.

“Literally everyone supported me,” said Williams. “I remember the first time I announced that I need to raise money for the Down Syndrome Association for Greater New Orleans to the marching band and that same day, I reached my goal of $50. I ended up raising up well over $200. I didn’t know this many people supported me.”

For Williams, the process of preparing for the pageant required rigid practice.

“There was a lot of practicing because for my talent, I played ‘You’re Welcome’ from ‘Moana’ on four different instruments in two minutes,” said Williams. “It took a long time to get my chops up for each of those instruments, and I also had to get the transitions right. It was a lot of hyping up and making sure my affairs were in order for the pageant night.”

Eleven students participated in the competition. Williams shared that one of his favorite parts of the entire process was getting to meet all of the other contestants.

“I loved getting to know the other contestants,” stated Williams. “Our two rehershals we had were really cool because there was a sense we were all in this together. We weren’t all nervous, but we were preparing to do something that had not been done in a very long time. It was this really awesome atmosphere getting to be with all of these other great guys.”

Serving as a drum major for the university band, Williams’ platform of promoting music education was something deeply personal to him. He hopes to promote music education throughout his time as Mr. Southeastern.

“I want to be able to go to different schools around the area and use my position to tell them how important music education is,” said Williams. “I remember in high school, someone came to talk to me about it, and it left a big impact on me.”

One of the most important goals for Williams is setting a precedent for future Mr. Southeasterns, since no one has held that title in so long.

“There has only been one Mr. Southeastern before back in 2007,” shared Williams. “That means I do not have anything to work off of. This is both terrifying but also really exciting at the same time. I am very excited to see what I can do in this position.”


Prakriti Adhikari/The Lion’s Roar
Jacob Summerville, a junior history and political science major; Jonathan Zeringue, a junior nursing major; Chelsey Blank, Miss Southeastern Louisiana University 2018-2019; Williams, Mr. Southeastern and Austin Noel, a senior biological sciences major, pose for picture after the competition on Oct. 2. Zeringue, Noel and Summerville won the first, second and third runner up respectively.