FMU crowns 2016 Homecoming King, Queen


Photo by: Keyla Shepard

Eric Charley and Shayla Franklin were crowned FMU’s 2016 Homecoming King and Queen during the basketball games on Feb. 6. Charley said he was happy to have the opportunity to be a role model for other students during his campaign.

Senior healthcare administration major Eric Charley and senior biology major Shayla Franklin were crowned Homecoming King and Queen for 2016 during the men’s basketball Homecoming game.

Charley said he plans to enter the Air Force after graduation. He’s an FMU Diplomat and an Orientation leader, and he aims to inspire students to be themselves.

“Always be yourself,” Charley said. “I understand that you may seek acceptance from your peers and desire to be cool, so you may join cliques to fulfill that acceptance. I feel like that’s a cop out because you’re not truly getting the full college experience. Don’t stick to one group of friends; get out and explore. Talk to people you think you would never have talked to in a million years. You’d be surprised; y’all may share a few things in common.”

Charley said he ran for Homecoming King so he could better inspire students to form respectful relationships and to be original.

“I didn’t run for Homecoming King for the title; I wanted to prove that you could be your own person and still be considered cool and have people’s support,” Charley said. “Being yourself is what makes people cool, and that’s how you earn their respect. We live in such a cloned society that everyone lacks originality. Everyone wants to follow the trend, and I’m daring people to step out on their own path and create their own trend.”

Charley said his campaign for Homecoming King gave him the ability to be a role model for students.

“Respect one another, uplift one another, love one another and the sky is the limit for us all,” Charley said. “Take it from me, a kid from the small town of Orangeburg, S.C., that anything can happen.”

Charley said he is thankful for the students who helped him campaign for Homecoming King.


“You all are the real kings and queens at this university, and I thank you,” Charley said.

Franklin, from Charleston, S.C., plans to go to graduate school at Webster University and eventually work in her hometown or in Charlotte, N.C. On the average Saturday, Franklin said she can be found shopping, watching “The Haves and the Have Nots,” and sleeping. She’s also an intern at Homestead Hospice. While at home, she attends church at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Franklin said she has an optimistic outlook on life, and she lives her life following the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11.

Franklin said she enjoys dancing on her step team with her sorority sisters. She’s been in Delta Sigma Theta sorority since her junior year, and her sisters were some of her biggest supporters in her campaign for Homecoming Queen. She had a campaign promotion team consisting of four of her friends, Chastity Chaplin, Kimberly Ravenell, Kadeja Thomas and Deja Fludd.

While campaigning, Franklin said she took advantage of the chance to meet new people. She knocked on doors and approached people where she went. She also received support from her family.

When she won, she was happy to have their praise and encouragement.

“It was good to make my mom proud,” Franklin said. Franklin encouraged students to remember to stay positive even when others around them aren’t.

“Smile when others try to bring you down,” Franklin said. “It’s an easy way to maintain your enthusiasm and focus. When other people treat you poorly, keep being you. Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness change the person you are.”

Both the Homecoming King and Queen encouraged students to be themselves, and they both believe that being genuine is the key to Homecoming royalty.