It was four days of suspense before any of the eight female contestants and four male contestants found out if they had won the title of Mister and Miss FGCU.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the pressures of the competition, but it is honestly an experience of a lifetime,” said Jordan LaCrosse, winner of the Miss FGCU crown. “I was able to make friends with some of the most interesting people on campus, participate in crazy events, and promote school spirit and tradition everywhere I went.”
The competition wasn’t only about school spirit and tradition, however. All of the pageant’s contestants exemplified service by donating to help the less fortunate in the local community.
Student Government President Peter Cuderman said more than $11,000 was raised for underprivileged families in Southwest Florida and more than 1,000 cans of food were given to the FGCU Campus Food Pantry.
The competition also furthered FGCU’s environmental initiatives. Cuderman said more than 500 gallons of trash was picked up across campus.
“The week proved to be exactly what we had hoped,” Cuderman said in an email. “It was a group of dedicated individuals with purpose in mind — helping the local community.”
But the time came to crown two winners and LaCrosse and Andrew Grillo were both shocked when it was revealed that they were chosen to represent FGCU.
“It is extremely humbling to be selected out of over 13,000 students to represent FGCU,” LaCrosse said.
As for future contestants, Grillo said students should be invested in their campus.
“Don’t act differently just be yourself. If you are a student that is involved around campus, hold leadership positions around campus, and you have a lot of school spirit, then you will have a great chance at becoming a future Mr. FGCU,” Grillo said.