By Nethan Crew
Members of Gold Side and Purple Side crowded around the front steps of Palmer Hall to await the announcement of the 2022-2023 Gold and Purple Side leaders on April 19. The 2021-2022 Gold Side leaders, Joy Hill and Kensley Sandlin, announced that Delaney Eaves and Alex Wilson would serve as the new Gold Side leaders. This was immediately followed by 2021-2022 Purple Side leaders Katy Barnes and Elicia Freeman announcing that Abigail Heuton and Karly Wilmore would serve as next year’s Purple Side leaders. Both sides then performed their side songs and proceeded to congratulate the new leaders.
Eaves is a double communications studies and musical theater major from Nashville, Tennessee. She is involved with Chi Omega sorority, SGA, the Honors Program and works as an Orientation Leader and a Montevallo Maven. Eaves said one of her favorite things to do on campus is intramurals.
Eaves said her campaign team was majorly beneficial for her, saying “They were just really great as people that supported me and [served] as a shoulder to lean on. If I was ever stressed about the process, they were always there for me and there to support me.”
Eaves said she knew she was a Gold after meeting many friends on campus that helped her “find her place” within Gold Side. She said she was inspired to be a College Night leader after constantly being involved and slowly taking on more responsibilities on her side.
Wilson is a music education major from Pensacola, Florida. He is involved with National Association of Future Music Educators as well as the American Music Educators Association. He also runs a hair salon, an event planning business and loves to play music and cook in his spare time.
Wilson said his campaign team was very helpful through the election process, saying “They helped me out by posting on social media and talking to people individually” His team also helped him set up a kickball event for his campaign.
He said he knew he was a Gold after randomly being invited to a Gold Side event one night in a practice room of Davis Hall his freshman year. He said he was inspired to be a leader after having conversations with members of his side, inspiring him to run for the position.
Wilson and Eaves have a long history of working together since the 2019 season, where Wilson was the Vocal Coach and Eaves was in the cast. This year, Wilson served as the head composer of the show, the Vocal Coach and the Pit Chorus Director. Eaves served as Assistant Director, Head of Recruitment and was in the cast.
Some of their major goals for their side this College Night season include spreading the love farther through the side as well as promoting a positive experience for everyone.
Wilmore is a BFA musical theater major with a minor in deaf studies from Gadsden, Alabama. She is a member of Phi Mu sorority, a student employee, a Montevallo Master and has been involved with several musicals on campus including A New Brain and Company. She served as Head Event Coordinator and Assistant Production Book on Purple Side this year, as well as being in the cast and on the Stage Managers Team.
Wilmore said her campaign team helped her “gain more perspectives on what makes a successful side for College Night” by including freshman and outgoing seniors alike on the team
She said she knew she was a Purple from her first Purple Side Mixer: “I felt like home and I felt like I found my people and felt seen; it was like a gut feeling sort of thing.” Her favorite College Night traditions include seeing the vintage purples come back to campus as well as the side song.
Heuton is a communication studies and political science double major with a minor in public relations and prelaw. She went to Montevallo High School and came to many College Night shows before deciding to come to the University of Montevallo. Outside of College Night, she is involved with SGA, Chi Omega sorority, is a student worker and loves participating in theater in her spare time. She served as Baby Purples Coordinator as well as being in the cast of the Purple show this year.
When asked about her campaign team, she said “I had a wide range of people on my campaign team. And I think that really helped because they brought different perspectives that I wouldn’t normally see this because I was only in the cast and in cabinet. So I felt like I only saw like one certain aspect of college night… They also were just very sweet.”
Heuton said she knew she was a Purple when she started to naturally associate with her Purple friends, eventually being mentored by close Purple Side friends Sara Peete and Kayla Hampton.
Her favorite College Night traditions include the “Break a Leg” call and response before every show and the side song.
One of Heuton’s main goals is making what she calls “Poof Binders,” which would “help people figure out what they are supposed to do and have an outline of what they need to be doing” by including dates for rehearsals and important things to know.
Another idea from Wilmore is installing a program which would allow for Baby Purples to shadow cabinet members and parts of the cast and crew to allow for them to “get a taste of responsibility without the commitment.”
Some main things the pair want to achieve with their side is promoting positivity, connectivity, positive mental health and teaching the fun of the game. They feel like this, along with lots of hard work will lead to winning 2023 College Night.