As thousands of LSU football fans cheered, pre-med senior Hayden Guidry and mass communication senior Sarah Catherine LaBorde were crowned the 2019 Homecoming King and Queen. It was an intense moment for both students.
“Honestly I think I blacked out in that moment. I couldn’t tell you what happened,” LaBorde said. “I saw a picture and the sash was on upside down, but I didn’t really notice much that was going on.”
Guidry said he just wanted to enjoy the half-time presentation. He knew his family was in the crowd watching and proud of him no matter the outcome, but he was shocked when the announcers called his name.
“It was such an overwhelming feeling, I was kind of stunned in the moment,” Guidry said. “I didn’t even know what to do. They came and grabbed me and were like ‘come on.’”
LaBorde and Guidry, friends from the LSU Ambassadors program, both said they felt extremely honored to be elected Homecoming King and Queen. They both look forward to representing the University they love over the coming year.
In an alternate timeline, however, the two students may have never been LSU tigers at all.
In high school, LaBorde and Guidry initially had no intention of coming to the University. LaBorde said her older brother and sister-in-law are University alumni, so she only applied to appease her brother. She said she fell in love with the University when she toured campus for a scholarship competition.
“I was actually enrolled at another university at the time,” LaBorde said. “I had a roommate, I had paid my deposits, I was going to that other school, and then that one tour changed everything.”
As for Guidry, he wanted to leave Louisiana and attend an out-of-state college, despite his family’s lifelong support of LSU athletics. His mom managed to convince him to tour the University; just like Laborde, his visit to campus made him realize that the University was the right choice.
“I thought beforehand that I knew everything about LSU because I knew the athletics,” Guidry said. “When I came and walked around campus, I realized there was so much that I didn’t know. I fell in love with campus in a different way.”
During their time at the University, Guidry and LaBorde have both been heavily involved in various extracurricular activities.
LaBorde said the program that has had the biggest impact on her is LSU Ambassadors. She said she went to an informational meeting so one of her friends would have someone to sit with, but afterward she felt the organization would be a perfect fit for her.
“(I realized) this is perfect. This is just what I want to do,” LaBorde said. “That whole process really showed me a lot of the history and the heart behind LSU. A lot of people just look and they see the buildings and classrooms, but LSU Ambassadors taught me that there’s a lot more to the University than that.”
Guidry said he was interested in leadership after participating in his high school student council. He joined the Freshman Leadership Council and a fraternity that he is no longer a member of but realized he wanted to focus more on service work.
For Guidry, the most memorable experience he’s had with student service organizations was his work with Dance Marathon, which helps raise money for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. Part of the reason he wanted to join was because he wants to go to medical school and eventually work in healthcare, so the experience of working with a hospital was beneficial.
After joining, he said he was surprised by how meaningful the service was to the Baton Rouge community.
“Being in Dance Marathon has definitely been one of my most memorable experiences because I got to see the impact you can have,” Guidry said. “Looking at these children and these families who are saying ‘without your support, without the help of the community, without Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital I wouldn’t be standing here today,’ I think that’s something that speaks volumes.”
Guidry and LaBorde graduate in May, and it seems more school is on the books for the king and queen. LaBorde said she plans to go to graduate school unless she finds a job that’s too good to pass up. Guidry was accepted into medical school right before the homecoming game.
But no matter where life takes them, Guidry and LaBorde said they will always remember their experiences at the University and that they are excited to serve the LSU community over the next year as Homecoming King and Queen.