Queen Gordon makes Old Gold history at DePauw University

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Old Gold Queen Dione Gordon stands with Old
Gold King Johnny Bartlett at half time of the football
game against Denison University. 
CHRISTA SCHROEDEL / THE DEPAUW

Crowning an Old Gold King and Queen has been a DePauw tradition since 1919, and last weekend, senior Dione Gordon became the first African-American woman to receive the Old Gold Queen title.

This year, the Union Board Executive Team decided to invite the entire student body to participate in the Old Gold festivities by nominating representatives from each respective year. This created a more traditional homecoming court and caused more DePauw students to be interested in the nomination and voting process.

“Opening up the court to include all classes definitely got a lot more excitement and participation from the campus,” said senior Courtney Cosby.

In the Great Hall of the Green Center for Performing Arts the Union board began the festive weekend by hosting a formal Gala on Friday, Oct. 3, for DePauw students.

The Union Board began the evening by recognizing the Lady and Lord of the freshmen class and ended the evening by crowning the King and Queen. Gordon’s face lit up when her name was announced.

“Oh My Goodness I couldn't believe it,” said Gordon when she found out she won. “It didn't hit me until Saturday that it could be true, I didn't get to keep the crown until Saturday when they recognized us at the game.”

Gordon is a sociology major with a concentration in law and plans to teach in Brooklyn following graduation while she earns her Masters in Education. Gordon is a Posse scholar and active member in many school organizations including Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

“I am the first student of color to win Old Gold Queen,” said Gordon. “I am a part of history and it helps show my friends that they can change history too, it may be the little things that happen but it can happen.”

This year the Union Board also opened up student nominations to the Independent Council. Students nominate one person per chapter, and independent students are nominated by friends or through organizations they are affiliated with.

Traditionally Old Gold Queen has been a member of one of the larger six sororities within the Panhellenic Association.

“This lets the campus know that you do not have to be in a large, Panhellenic sorority house in order to win,” said Cosby. “With passion and drive, you can come from a chapter of eight members, as is the Lambda Tau chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and work against the odds.”

Gordon had the dedication and desire to win Old Gold Queen not just for herself but also for those close to her in the DePauw community.

“She ran for us; the students of color, and she won for us,” said sophomore, and Old Gold Duchess Nominee, Iness Girimata. Girimata among many other students was extremely pleased that Gordon won Old Gold Queen.

“[As a nominee] I honestly didn't put in that much work into campaigning, if any," said Grimata. "First, because yes, I am an independent student and second a student of color but also because at this moment I can almost tell where the winners would be from and I just don't particularly enjoy disappointment. ... Dione winning is something personal to me, she has set the standard for me and opened up the doors for me.”

Gordon actively campaigned by getting in touch with students involved in different organizations as well as talking to men and women in different sorority and fraternity houses in order to receive their vote for the crown.

“I absolutely love the way in which Dione went about gaining support in her efforts; she was fearless in reaching out to the entire campus,” said Cosby. “She most definitely stepped outside of her comfort zone, and it paid off for her in the end.”

It is evident Gordon has left an impact on the DePauw Community as an inspiration to DePauw students and not only students of color.

“My mission, the mark that I want to leave to students is that their voices can be heard," Gordon said, "but it takes hard work, patience, dedication and stepping our of your comfort zone to start something that you feel is important on campus."