May Queen Simon Lewis, center, along with May Princess Quonna Holden and May Prince Mason Garland. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Students, Alumnae Celebrate Annual May Day and Reunion Weekend

Apr 17, 2018
Kristen Bowman

Friday and Saturday, April 13-14, Women’s College of Brenau University students and alumnae celebrated the annual Alumnae Reunion Weekend and May Day, one of the oldest traditions at Brenau.

Formerly known as Spring Festival, May Day takes place on front campus, highlighted by the presentation of the May Court, crowning of the May Queen and wrapping of the May Pole. The Court includes the May Queen, Princess, Prince and four members from each class. All are elected by the student body. The event occurs in conjunction with Alumnae Reunion Weekend, which celebrated this year the 50th anniversary of the Class of ’68 and the 90th anniversary of Brenau Academy.

The 2018 May Queen was Simone Lewis from Woodstock, Georgia; the May Prince was Mason Garland from Hoschton, Georgia; and the May Princess was Quonna Holden from Toccoa, Georgia. Senior representatives included Sara Jane Bowers from Statesboro, Georgia; Hope Brown from Gainesville, Georgia; Connie Oldmixon from Statesboro, Georgia; and Shelby Strachan from Roswell, Georgia. Junior representatives were Chelsey Bell from Braselton, Georgia; Jennifer Benitez from Gainesville, Georgia; Lauren Hughes from Powder Springs, Georgia; and Celine Mansour from Duluth, Georgia. Sophomore representatives included Rachel Christina from Midlothian, Virginia; Jasmine Holt from Hendersonville, North Carolina; Darian Payne from Murrayville, Georgia; and Daniela Santiago from Suwanee, Georgia. Finally, the freshmen representatives were Annika Blanton from Dacula, Georgia; Alexus Cooper from Covington, Georgia; Shania McAmis from Omaha, Nebraska; and Olivia Pelton from Milledgeville, Georgia.

Other May Day traditions include the Class Day celebration, held in Pearce Auditorium and the Crow’s Nest on the morning of May Day. Individual and organizational awards are presented and, at the end of the program, the student body processes out to the Crow’s Nest, a historic gift to the campus by the class of 1905. Tradition states that only seniors can ascend to the top of the Crow’s Nest. Juniors are allowed as far as the second step, sophomores on the first step and first years on the ground.

The seniors ascend the structure for the last time as Brenau students, and a ceremony in which each class rises in rank is performed. First-years receive an ivy chain from the sophomores, sophomores receive a daisy chain from the juniors, and juniors are “robed” and ascend to the top of the Crow’s Nest for the first time as seniors. Then the entire student body sings “Seniors, We Honor Thee” to the new senior class.

Class Day coincides with a brunch for returning alumnae and their families, and May Day is filled with pieces of the Brenau Collaborative, which includes the Senior Projects and Portfolios Exhibition, the Undergraduate Juried Exhibition and the Student Fashion Show.

See the full photo gallery from both days of Alumnae Reunion Weekend & May Day on our Photoshelter.