James Bowen II is not just the king of N.C. A&T. He’s the king of all the historically black colleges and universities in the nation. John Newsom of New & Record sat down with Bowen:

Q. How do you become Mister A&T?

A. You go through a pageant. You have to do an oratory, a talent, an ease of manner section — it’s formal wear — and then a question-and-answer portion. From that pageant, the judges eliminate it down to the top three. Whoever those top three are, they go on to campaign to the university. The students vote for who they would like to be Mister A&T.

Mister A&T serves the overall university. It’s part of the SGA (Student Government Association).

Q. What are your duties?

A. There are two main goals. One is, you have to speak at different events, attend events where the chancellor is present and provide representation on behalf of the student body.

Also, you provide community service for the campus. … Last semester I organized a march to the polls. We marched down to the Greensboro courthouse, and the students went down to vote for local elections. This semester, we just finished off a shoe drive.

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