Mr. NDSU: A Night of Amusement and Charity

Skits, humor and school pride took the stage at the annual Alpha Gamma Delta event

PHOTOS BY AUDREY WENTZ | THE SPECTRUM Charlie Cummings was crowned as Mr. NDSU by former winner, Andrew Fugleberg.

With a large college campus, it is impossible to know everyone and even more impossible to tell who the biggest heartthrob on campus could possibly be. This makes the Mr. NDSU contest the perfect opportunity to find an answer once and for all.

Mr. NDSU is an annual event put on by Alpha Gamma Delta to crown one lucky man to represent North Dakota State, all while raising money for charity.

Competing for the honored title were 18 contestants nominated from sororities, fraternities and various student groups. Charlie Cummings, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering and nominated by the Panhellenic Council, was crowned Mr. NDSU.

Cummings’ sense of humor and his care for NDSU immediately stood out. His skit pitting an NDSU student against “students” of rivals UND and SDSU in a game of “Jeopardy” showed that NDSU truly is the best. His humor showed not only how much he cared, but how much fun he was having with the event. When he made the top eight and had to describe his love life in baseball terms, he promptly answered “on the bench,” which got the crowd laughing.

As a top-three contestant, he also had to answer what he would tell a high school senior about NDSU to get them to attend. His care and understanding of the culture here truly showed when he answered that he would advertise NDSU’s community and presence on campus.

Cummings explained the experience of winning as “crazy because I didn’t really think this was a possibility; just in shock right now.” Cummings credited his experience trying for the title last year in aiding him to know what to prepare for this year.

One thing Cummings focused on was the importance of getting involved. “Get involved. It is so easy to be involved on this campus in one way or another, and if you’re not involved with at least one organization or one facet of this ever-expanding community, then you’re doing college wrong,” Cummings said.

Overall, there were four positions up for grabs. “Mr. Social Media” went to the contestant with the most retweets on their bio. “Mr. Congeniality” went to the contestant with the most audience votes. “Mr. Money Bags” went to the contestant that had the most money donated to the North Dakota Heart Gallery on their behalf, and of course Mr. NDSU, who was chosen by the four judges.

With nearly 100 retweets, Ismael Kamara, a senior majoring in management information systems, was named Mr. Social Media. He first wowed the audience with his cheer moves and stole hearts when he said he’d impress a girl’s parents by cooking for them. After being crowned Mr. Social Media, Kamara said, “Honestly, I was not expecting this. It was really fun, and the Twitter race was unreal.”

Mr. Congeniality was voted via a link during intermission. It was all up to the audience, and they chose Chad Thomas Blank. Blank is a junior majoring in horticulture and sports and urban turfgrass management. From his dad jokes to his bright blue tie, this fan favorite won the hearts of all.

Raising over $500 in donations to the North Dakota Heart Gallery, Jade Hepper took the title of Mr. Money Bags. Fans of this junior, who is majoring in political science, had generous hearts donating for him to win. His friends joined him on stage in the skit portion of the event for his exciting performance of “Ice Ice Baby.”

There were a variety of talents from painting to poetry on display throughout the night. There were many memorable moments that left the crowd laughing or in awe. Adam Muske’s skit shocked the crowd as he had his guitar unexpectedly smashed. Other performances include: Noah Carlson recreating the dance from “Napoleon Dynamite,” Erik Sjursen performing what the Super Bowl halftime show should have been and Dan Ukkelberg performing a dance that featured a man in a banana suit and North Dakota pride.

This year, all proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction went to the North Dakota Heart Gallery, an organization that raises awareness of children in need of adoption.

First started by a social worker in New Mexico, the North Dakota branch was started by Michelle Kommer, who wanted a way to help foster children while attending law school. During Mr. NDSU, Kommer told her story and brought light to the importance of the Heart Gallery here in North Dakota.

As she mentioned, after age 9, the chances of a child being adopted plummet. The photos in the Heart Gallery allow for the personalities of the children to shine through and widen their opportunity for adoption.

The Heart Gallery displays the photos on canvas and puts them in an annual gallery for viewing. This gallery was available for students to see during the event. The Heart Gallery also provides these kids with what is sometimes their first shopping experiences, allowing them to have an outfit that is truly theirs.

This year’s Mr. NDSU was a great success and all around an enjoyable experience.

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