Walter Kelly (COL ’16), Mr. Black Student Alliance, won the Mr. Georgetown Pageant on Friday night after three rounds of competition on Gaston Hall’s stage. He competed against 18 other seniors in swimsuit, talent and interview competition rounds. Kelly received a perfect score after each round — most notably, he did a backflip during the swimsuit competition and performed a spoken word poem during the talent round.
The Hoya sat down with Kelly to learn about his experience in the pageant, the BSA and his favorite meal from O’Donovan Hall.
What was the highlight of the Mr. Georgetown competition this year? Were there any lowlights?
The dance was a highlight and a lowlight for me. During rehearsal we never got the dance perfect; it always looked a little sloppy, or I would mess up billions of times … and people kept making mistakes and whatnot, but during show time it just all came together. And the energy from the audience was just so live and so warm, and we killed it. Each and every one of us slayed the opening dance and it was the best we’ve ever done it. But I guess it was also a lowlight because I got a little too into it, and my pants ripped. Too much bumping and grinding and my pants just slit at the seam, in the crotch area. …My mouth dropped as soon as it happened — I heard it, I felt it, but I had to keep going. It made it onto a lot of snap stories later that night.
Tell us about the organization you represented. What do you like about it?
I was actually a transfer student. I transferred from Catholic University in my sophomore fall, and it was a really rough transfer experience. I got here, I didn’t have a roommate, didn’t have family in the area, didn’t know anyone who went to the school. And I applied for a couple of clubs, and didn’t get into anything and so the transition was kind of hard. But the BSA just welcomed me with open arms, and invited me to their events. They had huge social gatherings and kickbacks, and that’s where I met most of my friends. That became my home away from home when I first got here. I found my place in the BSA. Through that, I met some people that did spoken word, and people found out that I did graphic design so I made their new logo. So I’ve really been able to exercise my talents and abilities through the BSA, but they’ve also created this home for me.
If you could say anything to your fellow Mr. Georgetown contestants, what would it be?
I think I would say thank you. Because they all worked so hard, and made me want to work harder. I feel like I just gained 18 new pals that I never would’ve met outside of this experience. So thank you for the laughs, thank you for the support, because we all just motivated each other. I feel like in real pageants, everyone is like, “I hope they fall, I hope they fall,” but that’s not the case at all for Mr. Georgetown: We all were rooting for one another. So thank you for the kind words, and being there and bringing your all.
Obviously, being crowned Mr. Georgetown was a success for you. What was a time in your life that wasn’t so successful? Do you have any particularly embarrassing moments to share?
My admissions interview for Georgetown. So my uncle owns his own firm, and he was saying that he’s really impressed by people that know a lot about him and a lot about the firm. So I got the name of my interviewer, I looked her up on Google and found where she worked, and what she did at Georgetown, and just found out so much information about her. And I was like, “Oh, she’ll love that I know about her and that I did my research for this interview. “So I got there and I started dropping all these names, and spitting out all this information that I gathered about her and her background, and she was so weirded out. She was like, “How do you know all of this?” It was just so awkward. And I was like, “I’m not going to get into this school now, she’s going to put a big fat sign that says, ‘Don’t let this guy in, he’s creepy.’ But luckily I guess she saw something in me. But, yeah, she was just like, ‘Woah. I’m going to watch my back when I’m walking home.’”
What is your favorite on-campus tradition and why?
Right now, it’s not stepping on the seal, because I’m a senior and it’s time to graduatee; I just can’t take any chances.
If you won $1 million tomorrow, what would you do with it?
I would definitely save $200,000 so I could pay for my Georgetown debt. And then I would buy my mom a house. She’s made so many sacrifices for me that I’d love to give back. And then … I would just turn up. Throw the biggest banger in the world. Like forget Project X, like Project Y, Project Z.
Who would you say your No. 1 role model is and why?
Donald Glover, Childish Gambino. I think he is one of the most talented individuals on the face of the earth. He sings, he raps, he dances. He has accomplished so much at such a young age, and it just shows me that anything is possible no matter what age you are or where you come from. And I love his artwork.
What’s one weird fact that the Georgetown community doesn’t know about you?
There’s a couple. So, I had a cat with one eye. Her name was Angel. I also used to be a child model. So I’m in a whole bunch of textbooks, like science textbooks. I don’t know what the names of the textbooks are, or where they are, but I’m in them, somewhere in the world. Right now someone is studying the solar system, and I’m in the textbook.
What is your favorite Leo’s meal?
None of them. No, I actually think that Leo’s is underrated … but I love the French toast sticks. The French toast sticks are bomb.