Terrell Gorham and Leighann Westfall each wanted to leave their mark on Northwestern State University and according to their fellow students, they have done that. Gorham was named Mr. Northwestern State University for 2016 and Westfall was named Miss NSU for 2016.
“Receiving the honor of being Mr. NSU is truly a dream come true,” said Gorham, a senior social work major from Alexandria. “It is something that I always wanted since I first arrived here at Northwestern State University. I feel extremely humbled and honored to earn the respect and admiration of faculty, staff and the students here on this campus. I will definitely not take this for granted and continue to represent this University in a positive manner.”
This is Westfall’s second major honor awarded to her by Northwestern State students. Last month, she was the 2016 Homecoming Honor Court queen.
“This honor means the world to me,” said Westfall, who is from Houston. “I was completely humbled and honored. It is really amazing to know that my peers recognize my hard work and love for our university and have the confidence in myself to represent the student body and Northwestern State.
Gorham is the son of Terrell Gorham and Jennifer Gorham. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Order of Omega, the National Panhellenic Caucus, Helping Hands and the African-American Caucus. A Dean’s List student, Gorham is a former member of the Student Government Association and Student Activities Board. He was a member of the 2016 Homecoming Honor Court.
Gorham initially joined Alpha Phi Alpha and branched out.
“To leave my mark on this campus in some form or fashion, I knew that could only be possible if I got involved as much as possible,” said Gorham. “I knew that I wanted to hone my leadership skills, and gain other skills as well. I’m a firm believer in making the most out of your college experience. You can develop life long friendships along the way as well.”
Westfall is a hospitality management and tourism major in the Louisiana Scholars’ College. She is the daughter of Tim and Carrieann Westfall. A member of Phi Mu Fraternity, Westfall has been a freshman orientation leader and member of the Demon Days Welcome Week Committee. She is a President’s Leadership Program mentor and member of Order of Omega, Purple Jackets and Phi Kappa Phi. Westfall is a President’s List student.
Westfall was selected to the Purple Pizazz Pom Pon Line before enrolling at NSU, then was selected to be an ambassador in the Office of University Recruiting where she worked with prospective students, their parents and university officials.
“It is important to be involved on campus to fully immerse yourself in Northwestern State and I think it is the way students make NSU their home,” said Westfall. “To be a successful student I feel as though you need to be well rounded both academically and socially. The experience students get from joining campus organizations is where they ultimately will gain experience for future jobs.”
Gorham and Westfall are supporting the Wade Smith Foundation, an organization founded by Smith, a former NFL Pro Bowl player. The organization supports community youth programs in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Greater Houston area focusing on literacy and education.
“As a social work major, I believe in helping and advocating for others,” said Gorham. “I feel this foundation is awesome. I believe that this program is remarkable due to the fact that it gives back to youth. With education and literacy programs, and scholarship programs, I feel that this foundation is blessing to those that are involved.”
Westfall was inspired by hearing Smith speak about his work.
“I am supporting the Wade Smith Foundation because I want to help children grow and develop themselves through education so hopefully they will have the same opportunities I was fortunate enough to have such as going to college to earn a degree,” said Westfall. “It is amazing that I will get to be a part of something bigger than myself and help build libraries for children across my hometown.”
Northwestern State President Dr. Jim Henderson, far left, with, from left, 2016 Mr. NSU Terrell Gorham, 2016 Miss NSU Leighann Westfall and Dr. Chris Maggio, vice president for the student experience at Northwestern State.