Getting to know Mr. Millersville

Xavier Dillingham happily accepted his title as Mr. Millersville. Photo courtesy Xavier Dillingham.

Sade Palmer

Features Editor

He comes from a small town in Massachusetts called Kingston, a transfer student, currently a junior here at Millersville. A film major, and a member of the Black Student Union (BSU), he’s Mr. Millersville 2018, he is Xavier Dillingham.

His hobbies include watching movies, rock climbing, playing sports, playing drums, and more. He says he has too many hobbies, some of them being pretty strange.

“I love reading books and comics. I truly love watching and analyzing films . . . film major so go figure,” he jokes.

Describing himself as an extrovert with introvert tendencies, he loves to spend time with people, but really enjoys being out somewhere, alone reading books or doing word searches. With a family of teachers and doctors, it was instilled in him to have a love for helping people in different ways. He does it through a mentorship, helping someone with medical issues, and just in general being a service to people.

He says, “I just really love doing exciting things, and meaningful things.”

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Dillingham participated in the Mr. Millersville competition and to his surprise, he won. Before the event took place, he joked about winning with his family and friends.

“I would jokingly say, ‘oh I yeah, I have this in the bag’ but in reality, I had no idea what was going to happen,” he said.

Although at some point, he was a little nervous because before going into the competition he didn’t know what talents the other contestants would have, but he still was confident in himself. Talking to his parents about it, he hoped nobody would sing because it would be tough to beat. His talent that he chose to perform was dancing.

Sade Palmer: What does it mean to win Mr. Millersville?

Xavier: It was such an amazing thing that I got to be a part of. I was proud to represent BSU, first and foremost because I am so proud of this organization, the people I have the pleasure of working with, and the work that we do and the work that remains.

He was invited to participate by the BSU president, Cass LeJeune, and he accepted without hesitation, for different reasons. First, he says he is a person of impulse and spontaneity. Two, he saw this incredible opportunity to enter this fun competition and wanted to be a part of it. Three, he had experience doing something similar in high school, which he didn’t win. He looked at this opportunity to redeem himself and win this time.

SP: What was the planning process like?

X: It was a bit stressful. I am unfortunately a person that waits too long to do things or forgets about a thing that I need to do then remember at the last minute. I was told about this a little late, entered a little late, got my stuff late and even showed up to rehearsal late.

He goes on to further explain what the planning and preparing process consisted of. Saying that because he’d done something similar to this in high school, he thought of “evolution of hip hop dancing” would be his focus for the talent portion, admitting that dancing is something he enjoys, but he never had the confidence to fully put it and himself out there. Once that idea came to Xavier, he thought he needed a partner to perform with. Sophomore, Aaron Harrison came to mind, describing him as “one of the most suave, relaxed and old school people I met on this campus . . . he dances all the time. He’s not shy and he has the personality built for this.”

There was a Disney portion to the competition and once he knew that, he knew he wanted to do Aladdin. It’s his favorite Disney movie so there was no doubt that he’d select that.

“I’ve seen it way more times than I care to admit. I can’t sit still when the songs come on and it’s just a classic, it’s what got me into singing a little” he said.

The wait for his costume was as exciting and joy-filling as it was nerve-racking. As he mentioned, almost everything was late for him, and he got the vest the same day as the show.

He said the most stressful part of his preparation was when he had to create a powerpoint presentation for his talent section. This included hours of making the slide, editing songs and trying to match the time of both together.

“Because my schedule is in a complete disarray, I didn’t get to practice with Aaron until the day of . . .once we were there and the show was about to take place everything was golden!” he said.

Although it took a lot of quick planning, it all came together in the end for Dillingham. It was worth it when he saw the support and excitement from BSU members and at the end when he took home the crown as Mr. Millersville 2018.