She’s the first in nearly seven decades!
Grambling State University (GSU) welcomes their second female drum major in the school’s 120-year-history, The Grio reports.
Candace Hawthorne is a senior at GSU, majoring in engineering technology and music. She is now the first woman to become drum major and lead the World Famed Tiger Marching band since Velma Patricia Patterson in 1952. Hawthorne will lead alongside senior Deante Gibson and Sheavion Jones, a junior. Hawthorne called the historic moment “mind-blowing.”
“I never would have expected for me to make history like this. I am so honored…As head drum, I know I have a lot of eyes on me. And those eyes are pushing me to encourage my fellow bandsmen to push themselves to the greatest potential, give 110% and give the people what they like – a show-stopping performance,” Hawthorne said.
Many took to social media to congratulate the senior on her accomplishments, including a GSU Fanatics page.
Congratulations Candace Hawthorne on being the first female Drum Major of the World Famed in 70 years. pic.twitter.com/3I1lid4Nvs
— WeAreGrambling (@GramFanatics) August 16, 2021
Like many other universities, GSU had to deal with the cancellation of 2020 fall sports as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As athletes prepare to hit the field again, many fans are looking forward to seeing their favorite marching bands as well.
“Last year was very different not being able to have a season, so it feels good to be back. We have a new set of drum majors this season who are very eager to show what they are made of,” Dr. Nikole Roebuck, director of bands at GSU, said.
Hawthorne is set to hit the field on Sept. 5th when GSU travels to Canton, Ohio, to face off against Tennessee State University in the Black College Football Hall of Fame game.
Photo Courtesy of @GramFanatics/Twitter