“I FIGURED, WHY NOT? IF NOTHING ELSE, IT HAD THE POTENTIAL TO BRING SOME ATTENTION TO ICTHUS AND THE WORK WE WERE DOING.” -Dave Cox.
Dave Cox, a speech communication major, never planned on running for Homecoming king.
Until his junior year at Missouri State University (then Southwest Missouri State University), the title of Homecoming king didn’t even exist.
From 1940 to 1978, the Missouri State Homecoming queen sustained a solitary reign. It wasn’t until 1979 that the Student Government Association cleared the way for a king to join the court.
Cox, a 1980 graduate of Missouri State, was perfectly content with staying on the sidelines of the first-ever campaign for king.
His friends had other plans.
“I RECALL THINKING, ‘HOW IN THE WORLD DID THIS HAPPEN?’ I IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT OF THE FOLKS AT WELLS AND ICTHUS WHO HAD GONE OUT OF THEIR WAY TO HELP ME WIN. I KNEW THEY ALL HAD TO BE PUMPED.” – Dave Cox.
A strong candidate for king needed to have excellent grades, a high level of involvement on campus and a personality infused with school spirit. Attending college in the era of “Animal House,” Cox assumed that the first man to be crowned king would most likely be a member of a fraternity.
When a group of friends from Wells House asked for his permission to nominate him, however, he said yes.
After Cox gave his friends the green light, Wells House held a meeting to select its candidate. During the meeting, each potential candidate answered the question, “If there is one person in the world you could be, who would it be?”
Cox’s answer would eventually secure his nomination.
“I paused to think for a moment, and then said, ‘Me,’” said Cox. “I felt that I had a really blessed life. I was surrounded by people who loved me and challenged me to be my best. I couldn’t imagine being anyone else.”
Once the campaign began, Cox and his friends created posters and other materials to encourage students to vote for him. One of his favorite memories of the campaign was getting to know the other candidates.
“They were an incredible group of people,” said Cox.
At the Friday night pep rally, Dave Cox was announced as Missouri State’s first-ever Homecoming king.
He was stunned.