Homecoming king and queen crowned loyal and true - The University of Tulsa
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Homecoming king and queen crowned loyal and true

While the fans were cheering and the band prepared to play, the homecoming king and queen were announced; Andrew Mangan and Claire Chapman were crowned at halftime.

At this year’s homecoming celebration, The University of Tulsa welcomed alumni, students and the community to celebrate its 125-year anniversary and cheer on the Golden Hurricane. Traditions from past and present made an appearance, including the famous bonfire and pep rally, street painting and gameday tailgating that kept the TU spirit strong.

Claire Chapman of Chillicothe, Missouri, is a biology major in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences and Andrew Mangan from Hot Springs, Arkansas, is studying exercise & sports science with a pre-med option in the Oxley College of Health Sciences. Both have demonstrated a tremendous amount of passion for TU that has not gone unnoticed by the student body. 

Claire Chapman – worth knowing

Before arriving at TU, Chapman would constantly think about what her college experience would entail. “I would daydream about going to college, and every time I imagined what my life would be like I always ended up on TU’s campus.”

Narrowing down the list of her favorite things about TU, she explained that the small campus environment fills the number one spot. “I like being able to walk around, always seeing someone that I know and having the opportunity to always meet new people,” she explained.

Through Chapman’s various leadership experiences, she has found them to be rewarding yet challenging at the same time. She is currently CEO of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. “It has been great to be able to give back to an organization that has given me so much the past four years,” she stated.

Chapman wasted little time during her sophomore year (2017-18) to take charge. She was the executive director of homecoming and grad party for TU’s Student Association. “Homecoming is my favorite time of year. It’s a time where different generations of TU come together,” she said.

As a result of her hard work, she was crowned homecoming queen and named an outstanding senior. Chapman was overwhelmed with gratitude when she heard her named announced as queen. “It was like my love for TU reflected to me,” she described.

Chapman has participated in many research projects. She has worked on both cellular and organismal biology research projects with Mark Buchheim and Ron Bonett, and she will also be traveling to Costa Rica this Thanksgiving break to research tropical ecology “This has been valuable because I get to combine research with an incredible chance to experience the world through studying abroad. Doing research exposes me to life science in a hands-on way that enhances what I learn in class and teaches me to think more critically,” she said.

Chapman is currently applying to medical schools across the U.S. and plans on becoming a physician. When reminiscing about her college years, Chapman defined her time at TU as being worthwhile. “From the first day I set foot on campus it’s been worth all of the hard work and effort I have put in,” she said. “And to have spent this transformative time in my life at a place where I’ve had the support of friends, family, professors and mentors has made me feel more worthy of the journey that I’m on.”

Andrew Mangan – engaged at TU

Mangan has found a gracious support system from the community while attending TU. “Professors make sure that your classes are going well, and the members of my campus ministry are always encouraging. Anytime that I am struggling or going through a hard time, I know there is always someone I can lean on,” he explained.

Among his accomplishments, he is most proud of being named an outstanding senior. “Being selected as an outstanding senior at TU is a huge deal,” he stated. “It’s like someone validating all of your hard work.” Mangan is a member of Mortar Board, Alpha Epsilon Delta and Order of Omega honor societies, and he has been recognized as a member of the President’s and the Dean’s Honor Roll.

Mangan is currently the president of Kappa Alpha Order fraternity where under his leadership, the chapter has raised a historic number of philanthropic dollars and contributed a record-breaking amount of community service hours. KA has added 28 new members this year with an initiation rate of 100%.

As a researcher, he was involved in a partnership with the Tulsa Fire Department and the Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences at TU to help compare submaximal exercise testing with maximal effort exercise lab testing. “Our goal was to determine if the firefighter tests are an accurate measure of exercise capacity,” he explained.

As he applies to medical schools, he is determined to become a patient-focused physician and gain valuable experience in research centered on people. “Rather than being in a lab I see my clinical research involving patients.”

Notably, Mangan’s engagement across campus has helped him develop as a person. “I have been engaged in the TU community through Greek life, organizing Springfest as the associate director, being a University Ambassador secretary and freshman representative, serving as a member of Future Alumni Council and organizing small group meetings through my campus ministry,” he said.  Through his academic endeavors, he tutored younger students, conducted research and received mentorship from his professors. What’s next for TU’s new homecoming royalty? If their careers are any indication of the future, both students hold boundless potential.