Kevin Widmaier, fourth-year PUBP major, and Eden Smith, fourth-year IE major, were named Mr. and Ms. Georgia Tech 2008 during halftime of this year’s homecoming game.
The contest began about a month before Homecoming Week, when organizations across campus nominated outstanding individuals to be Mr. or Ms. Georgia Tech.
These individuals went through an interview process that cut the candidates down to 10 males and 10 females.
After a 10-day voting period, each of the candidates was scored, half based off the interview and half based off the voting results. At this point the candidates were cut down to 5 males and 5 females, the finalists were present on the football field during halftime.
Kevin Widmaier comes from Acworth, GA. He has served as Chair of the Student Lobby Board and is currently President of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity on campus. He was sponsored by the Phi Mu sorority.
“I was very honored to be nominated by Phi Mu at the beginning of the process. Once we got to the finalist stage, it was great to even be mentioned with guys like Nick [Wellkamp], Garrett [Langley], Brandon [Kearse] and Sunny [Shah]. I’ve known a couple of those guys for almost my entire time at Tech, and they’ve done a lot of great things for the Institute,” Widmaier said.
“I figured out that I had won about five seconds before they called my name when the camera crew came and stood right in front of me. Then when they called my name, it was just surreal. Hearing Beta’s block go crazy when they called my name was probably one of the coolest things I will ever experience. Those guys have been like a family to me for the past four years, and I was really happy to get to share the moment with them. Also, it made the experience even better that someone as accomplished as Eden was honored with me.”
Eden Smith is from Atlanta. Her campus involvements include serving as vice president of Panhellenic Recruitment, attending the Asia INNOVATE Conference in 2008 and competing on the Equestrian team. She was sponsored by the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
“Homecoming to me is a celebration of all things ‘Tech’ and a showcase of our traditions and what we are all about,” Smith said.
“I was very flattered when I was nominated, I was not expecting Sig Ep to nominate me, and it was definitely a nice surprise… I was excited just to be included in the top 10, and when I was announced as a finalist at Mock Rock, once again I was shocked. The best part about that announcement was that I could be excited with my two sorority sisters who were also finalists.”
Like Widmaier, Smith said she was not expecting to win. She said she was simply glad to be included among other fantastic candidates.
“I was shocked when they called my name, and I didn’t quite grasp what had happened until my dad said, ‘You won,’ and gave me a big hug and I just started laughing because I couldn’t believe it. Had I realized that I was on the big screen, I would have tried to look less bewildered,” Smith said.
“Overall, it was just a very exciting and humbling experience to receive that kind of recognition from the Georgia Tech community,” Widmaier said.
The responsibilities of Mr. and Ms. Georgia Tech to campus are up in the air. According to Widmaier, he and Smith will host the Up with the White and Gold Awards Ceremony in Spring 2009.
According to Smith, the application stated that Mr. and Ms. Georgia Tech may be called upon during their tenure.
Widmaier will be graduating in December, at which point he will be going to work for an energy developer, Allied Energy Services, based out of Conyers, GA. He plans on marrying Amanda Hughes, a 4th-year Industrial Engineering student, in July 2009.
Smith plans on continuing to stay involved on campus and maintaining the relationships she has made here. She is interested in working abroad, and she hopes to work as an international consultant once she graduates.