Hannah Hurst, Staff Writer
The year was 1988. Ronald Reagan was president of the United States. A gallon of gas cost only 91 cents, and you could purchase a movie ticket for an average of only $3.50. College students enjoyed listening to Christian artists such as Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith while they were still in their musical prime. Permed hairstyles were frequently seen and puff-sleeved dresses were hugely in style for special events.
And North Greenville University was making preparations to announce its first ever football homecoming queen.
Kimberly Jo Blackwood (with the last name Yeomans at the time) was excited, to say the least, at having been nominated for this special opportunity. NGU had announced previous homecoming queens for basketball, but never before had they declared a football homecoming queen.
Several of Yeomans' closest friends were also nominated. Yeomans described that she had a great time alongside all of her dearest college friends. Fortunately, they all got along quite well and there was no drama between who was going to win. Instead, all of her friends were just excited to all be together in the mix for possibly winning the title.
As the announcement of the football homecoming queen drew closer, Yeoman doubted that she would win. She expressed that she was just honored to be nominated. But the day before the name of the winner for the football homecoming queen was going to be released, she knew she had already won.
Yeomans jokingly recalled that her best friend was one of the organizers of the whole event and was in charge of counting the votes. Full of excitement, her friend just couldn't keep the results a secret from her. Yeomans knew a full day before the announcement that she was going to become NGU’s first ever football homecoming queen.
The day of the big event, Yeomans was escorted by her significant other, Mike Blackwood. During a Skype interview with the Blackwood’s, Mike joyfully chimed in, “I escorted her 29 years ago and I’m still her escort today.”
Blackwood is extremely thankful for all of her college friends who were nominated alongside her and for their nice, sweet spirits. She still keeps in touch with several of them today. Blackwood also shared her love for NGU.
“I believe in [NGU’s] mission, and it's awesome to see how God is using the school,” Blackwood added.
Blackwood conveyed how amazed she was with how much NGU has grown over the last 29 years. She recalled that when she was attending NGU, it was still very small and whether or not the school would be able to continue on in the future was uncertain. However, today she is overjoyed to see NGU thriving.
Originally choosing to attend NGU in order to pursue her passion for music, Blackwood eagerly signed up to take part in Joyful Sound. During her time with the group, her love for music ministry only grew. Now, the Blackwood's have the opportunity to work side by side leading worship. They have three children together, their youngest child is still in high school. The oldest two in the Blackwood family currently attend NGU.