Lord Lopez and Lady McManus, crowned at May Fete


The JTAC Everett Meade

Dalton Lopez and Hannah McManus are crowned Lord and Lady Tarleton at the 2019 Founder’s week festivities during the May Fete celebration.

With the end of the spring semester fast-approaching, the Tarleton State University Family observed Founders Week with the annual May Fete pageant. Hosted by the Tarleton Ambassadors, May Fete crowns a male and female student as Lord and Lady Tarleton and celebrates by wrapping the trees of Heritage Park with ribbons of various colors. This year, seniors Dalton Lopez and Hannah McManus were given the honor of wrapping the trees of Heritage Park as the 2019 Lord and Lady Tarleton.

Lopez, a senior Industrial Technology major, has spent the last five years learning the ins and outs of the manufacturing industry while making his mark at Tarleton as a member of the Tarleton Plowboys. Following the May Fete pageant, Lopez has been able to make his mark once more as the 2019 Lord Tarleton.

“It’s awesome. It is an honor, for sure,” said Lopez. “I never would have expected it out of myself when I first came to Tarleton.”

Lopez explained that he was rather shy person during his first few weeks of his freshman year. Lopez heard of Tarleton before he graduated High School.

“I heard about Tarleton from one of my best friends in high school. Him and I had full plans of coming here and we were going to room together and all that stuff,” Lopez said.

These plans had come to a halt when Lopez’s friend had to move to South Texas and could no longer attend Tarleton.

“I had already applied and had gotten accepted and had done everything to come here. So I came here, didn’t know anybody. I came to Tarleton without knowing anyone and not really knowing what to expect.”

While Lopez found himself without any connections, that was set to change when he was introduced to the Tarleton Plowboys, where he experienced their devotion to serving the Tarleton Family.

“I think the first time I remember seeing the Plowboys was at the Street dance during transition week,” said Lopez. “I saw them walking around, they were helping out, passing out drinks and stuff like that, I was like, ‘Man, that’s kind of cool.’”

After that instance, Lopez found himself being taken to a Plowboys meeting by who he now considers a brother.

“(Now-Tarleton Plowboy) Lee Smith kicked in my door (to my room) one day and said, ‘Hey, you’re coming to this meeting with me’ and I thought, ‘Alright, might as well,’” said Lopez.

To Lopez’s surprise, the meeting he was attending was not only organized by the Plowboys, but it was also a recruitment meeting for students interested in becoming a Plowboy.

“It just so happens that the meeting was a closed meeting where you become recruits and so I was like, ‘well, I guess I’m in it now.’ I haven’t looked back,” said Lopez.

“What I really enjoyed about the Plowboys was, my first month in it and seeing what they did,” said Lopez. “You could tell that they were involved on campus, you could tell that they were getting to do things that not every other student gets to do, necessarily.”

Lopez described his first month as attending volleyball games and other events and finding himself standing out amongst the crowd as a Plowboy.

Over the five years Lopez has served as a Plowboy, he has made his mark within the organization in many ways. According to Lopez, he has become the first Plowboy to ever be crowned Lord Tarleton, he served in more leadership positions without ever taking the role of president and overall.

“I personally feel like I have done a good job of maintaining what the Plowboys stand for while also changing with the times of this school and having to make changes throughout our years here,” said Lopez

“The Plowboys has changed everything about me,” said Lopez. “This organization has given me more confidence in my abilities to do things.”

Lopez explained that he has carried three leadership roles during his time as a Plowboy, from recruitment chair, treasurer and vice president.

“It’s been a lot of fun to see a lot of different sides of the officer core and how it works. It’s given me a lot more confidence in myself and my abilities,” said Lopez.

One of the biggest ways the Plowboys has changed Lopez, is it has allowed him to become better at socializing with his fellow Texans and others, a definite growth since his early days as a freshman.

As Lopez prepares for his time to cross the stage at commencement, he hope that his mark on campus will inspire others to be themselves.

“With me graduating from Tarleton, I’m hoping that, even if it’s just a handful of people, I have inspired them to be themselves,” said Lopez. “That they can be who they are and not be afraid to be excited, be passionate about this school and do everything with out core values in mind.

“When I leave Tarleton, I’m definitely going to take my sense of pride in the school, my sense of pride as being an alumnus, and of course, with The Plowboys,” said Lopez. “I have my brothers for life, they are there (for me) no matter what. I also get to have the pride of being able to say, ‘I am a Tarleton Texan.’ I honestly feel like I bleed purple every day and I try to live my life by doing everything I can to show Tarleton is more than just some school in the A&M System. Tarleton is its own thing, its own identity.”

McManus is a senior Kinesiology major and Business minor who has represented Tarleton as a volleyball player and as a Tarleton Transition Mentor. Throughout her time as a Texan, she has experienced many challenges and overcome many trials that have led her to pursue a Master’s degree and a career in student affairs. McManus had experienced many things in her time but participating in the May Fete pageant was a first, alongside with being crowned the 2019 Lady Tarleton.

“I think it was super cool,” said McManus “I did it just to get the experience of doing a pageant but then I ended up winning and I was excited.”

McManus first heard of Tarleton when she was looking for a university to be recruited to play volleyball.

“One of my coaches actually came to Tarleton, so she (told me) ‘hey, you should look into Tarleton, I think that would be a great fit for you,’” said McManus.

Heeding her coach’s advice, Hannah looked into Tarleton and got in touch with the Athletic Department.

“I messaged the coaches and I ended up coming on a visit, and as soon as visited I knew that it is where I wanted to go,” said McManus.

“One of the main things was just that everyone was so friendly,” said McManus. “Anyone that we passed had a smile their face, a lot of people stopped to talk to us as we were walking through campus. It just felt like home. I just had a feeling that this is where I should go.”

Following that visit, it wasn’t long until McManus received an offer to play volleyball for Tarleton.

“I was so excited,” said McManus. “Just because that’s what I felt like I wanted to do, was come here and just having that offer just reassured me that this is where I wanted to go.”

When McManus first arrived as a Texan, her end goal was to become a math teacher and volleyball coach. With this goal, she majored in Kinesiology to receive her certification. This plan came to change when McManus joined the Tarleton Transition Mentors program her junior year.

“Once I started in the TTM program, I kind of fell in love with student affairs,” said McManus.

McManus explained that by this point in her college career, she had begun to question her passion for her initial goal of coaching and teaching.

“Being in the TTM program really opened my eyes to student affairs and that’s really whenever I decided I wanted to go to grad school and look at different options for what I would want to do for my future,” said McManus.

McManus was first introduced to the TTM program during her experience at Duck Camp.

“My freshman year, after I went to Duck Camp, I went home and I told my mom, ‘I’m going to apply to be a TTM. I think it’s so cool; I wan to do what those people do,’” said McManus.

Despite the fire in her heart wanting to become a TTM, McManus had succumbed to the routine of a student athlete.

“Once I got to school, I kind of got stuck in the athlete mentality of ‘I’m only doing my sport and that’s it’ even though I wanted to be a TTM,” said McManus. “I was just scared because no one else had done it before.”

During her first two years of college, McManus did not apply out of fear and uncertainty, but her junior year she decided to apply.

“I just took a leap of faith,” said McManus. “I said, ‘You know what? This is the last time I’m going to be able to do this. It’s been two years and I still wanted to do it so I’m just going to go for it.’

And I did, and it ended up being the best decision I’ve made at Tarleton.”

During her time leading her team in volleyball and leading the cause in the TTM program, McManus has felt that she has grown from her roles in each of these programs.

“They’ve impacted me tremendously,” said McManus. “They’ve taught me things no person could ever sit down and teach me one-on-one. Just doing things through experience and through different groups have really opened my eyes to how different everything and everyone is and how to work through different situations.

“I know it’s not typical for athletes to get out and do other things as far as (being a part of) different organizations,” said McManus. “I think it was kind of challenging for me to be that person that stepped out and did it. But now that I’ve done it, I’ve realized that you have to know time management but other than that, it’s totally doable. I think that more athletes should get out of their comfort zone and not just spend all their time doing their sport.”

McManus explained that one of the benefits of participating in the TTM program was that she was able to learn about leadership qualities that she was able to apply within volleyball.

McManus has travelled and learned so much from her experience. To her, she would not have made it to where she is without the people in her life encouraging her and teaching her all the qualities that she now carries with her.

“For sure, (I want to thank) Mike (Barnett) and Kristy (O’Keefe),” said McManus, showing appreciation to the directors of New Student Programs. “They have made such a difference in my life in the short amount of time that have been in the program. I am so grateful for their leadership and for them just having my back on things. I am definitely grateful for my parents because they have supported me throughout all of the changes and all of the decisions I have had to make. Also, my coach because she has been someone that’s been in my whole Tarleton life, so she’s definitely been through it all. So I have to say, I am grateful for her too.”

As McManus prepares to receive her Bachelors degree and begin her studies for her Masters, she will be forever grateful for where she has been and for the experiences that has led her to where she is.

“I think that Tarleton has given me numerous opportunities and eye-opening experiences that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else” said McManus. “I’ve had the opportunity to get to know a lot of people. To get to serve and lead other people. I honestly didn’t know how passionate I was about that until I was faced with these opportunities that Tarleton offered.”