Second-year Honors student Victoria Hudgins is a Sports Communications major with plans of graduating Spring 2017. She likes to keep very active— during her first year at Ferris, Victoria belonged to two RSO’s: Crossfit, and Active Minds. She held two jobs: a clerical position in the football office, as well as work as gymnastics instructor at Rhythmic Dance Studio here in Big Rapids. Of course Victoria spends all of her “spare” time with classwork, and fulfilling her community service and cultural events requirements as all Honors students are required to do, but Victoria had other duties to fulfill as well. On June 14, 2013, Victoria was crowned the 49th annual Michigan Sugar Queen at the Sebewaing Sugar Festival in Sebewaing, MI.
We asked Victoria, “What does it mean to be Sugar Queen?” Her reply was, “Being the Michigan Sugar Queen is more than just wearing a crown and a sash. To me, being the Michigan Sugar Queen is an honor and a privilege.” Along with the sash and crown come many obligations. Victoria has traveled to different cities throughout the state of Michigan. When she describes her duties she states, “it is my job to represent not only the Michigan Sugar Company, but also its growers and owners. My duties include traveling the state to cities, mostly in the thumb of Michigan. As Queen, I am required to attend at least 22 events throughout my reign and they range from parades to festivals to other agriculture related events.”
We were curious if there were any benefits to being the Michigan Sugar Queen. Victoria responded, “There are many benefits that come along with being the Michigan Sugar Queen. I have met so many people who have helped me along my journey. My title also allows me to be a role model for girls everywhere. Seeing girls’ eyes light up when I wave to them while passing by in a parade truly warms my heart. Speaking to the public about myself and the company has allowed me to improve my public speaking skills, which I hope will one day help me to achieve my dreams of becoming a sports broadcaster.”
Since being crowned Michigan Sugar Queen Victoria has had many unique opportunities including attending the Cherry Coronation Ball in Traverse City and to watch the National Cherry Queen be crowned. She also had the privilege of meeting several of our State Representatives, Senators and Governor Rick Snyder during AG Day at the Capitol in Lansing. She made two trips to Mackinaw Island—once for the Lilac Festival in July, and again in August for the Fudge Festival. During the Saginaw County Fair, she did an on-air interview for WSGW’s Terry Henne, and she also participated as a guest judge for Zehnders Snowfest’s two Karaoke contests. Victoria had the privilege of crowning the 2014 Michigan Sugar Queen at the 50th Anniversary Sugar Festival in Sebewaing, MI on June 13, 2014.
When asked what she has gained from her honors experience so far Victoria replied “Through the Honors program, I have developed another family. Living on the second floor of Miller was the best decision of my freshman year. I made so many new friends that I am so close with that I would call them my family. I would like to say that the friends I have made have gained a very outgoing, adventurous and trustworthy friend.”
Victoria has several academic achievements. She has received the Lapeer Democratic Party Scholarship, the Lapeer American Legion Scholarship, the Lapeer Oddfellows Scholarship, Michigan Sugar Queen 2013 Title Scholarship, and also served as Publicity Chair of Active Minds.
Looking back at our college years as adults we hope to recall them fondly. The days (and nights) spent in classrooms and college halls with classmates will be etched in our memories forever. When we asked Victoria to share some of her favorite memories, she revealed the following, “There are a few memorable experience that I’ve had at Ferris that I would say are my favorite. One of my favorite experiences was creating a music video for a previous TDMP class. I chose to use my friends Patti, Wayne, and Zach as my actors and filmed them singing and dancing to the song ‘Timber’ by Ke$ha and Pitbull. We had a blast filming and I was extremely proud of the end product. Another experience I would call my favorite would be Relay for life. It was an extremely emotional night, but I am proud to say that I relayed in memory of my Grandma who lost her battle with liver cancer in 2010. I had so much fun donating money for such a good cause and enjoying all of the activities different teams had to offer, such as henna tattoos, going to “jail” and all sorts of different food.”
Victoria found a quiet spot down by the river after taking a walk there with her suite-mate and her boyfriend, and that became her favorite place on campus. She says, “It was the most beautiful, peaceful and calm place I had seen on campus all year. It was a place where I was able to relieve stress from exams in the spring and just enjoy the beauty of nature.”
Victoria’s plans for after graduation include getting a job in broadcasting or announcing for a sports team, with her lifetime goal being a broadcaster for the Detroit Redwings.