Elijah Perry Imbong: Texan Rider, Residential Leader and the 2019 Homecoming King


Alex Huerta/The JTAC

Elijah Perry Imbong holds the Tarleton Flag before the Homecoming game on Saturday Oct. 19 during Texan Tunnel.

During halftime of the football game on Saturday, Senior Elijah Perry Imbong was crowned the 2019 Tarleton State University Homecoming King by the previous Homecoming King, senior Omar Herrera.

Imbong is from Mansfield, Texas. Before graduating from High School, his good friend Taylor Dempsey, a Tarleton graduate, told him about Tarleton and how great the nursing program is. Imbong then applied and came to realize he had no idea where or what Tarleton even was. He scheduled a tour, and fell in love with Tarleton.

Not only did he enjoy the campus, but he also “loved each and every kind and welcoming person” he met, from the Texan Rep to faculty and staff members during his tour.

“Tarleton is just the right size and I’m glad I decided to attend here,” Imbong said.

Imbong is a Psychology major and has a minor in Childhood and Family Studies. He hopes to one day be a Pediatric Therapist in a children’s hospital like Cooks, or to own his own practice. Although Imbong came to Tarleton as a nursing major, during his sophomore year he came to realize “nursing wasn’t [my] passion.”

His psychology classes lit a passion in him. The occupation of a Pediatric Therapist will give him the opportunity to still work in a health care setting and help others. His passion stems from a love for kids. He wants to help kids live their childhoods despite whatever hardships they may be facing at the time.

“Even if a kid is going through chemotherapy, they still deserve to be who they are, and live the free and fun life any kid deserves. Hopefully I can help with that,” Imbong said.

Imbong has been involved in many things on campus, but he attributes his success to his residential leader freshman year pushing him to become a Hall Counsel Chair, which would then create a path for him to become a residential leader himself. This was a stepping-stone for his involvement on campus, and he has continued to be a residential leader for the past three years.

Imbong was active with the Residence Hall Association, serving as a Hall Counsel Chair, Director of External Affairs, and even the President. He was also an Executive Member with Tarleton Activities Board, and he took part in the Paradigm College Ministry. Currently he still works closely with Tarleton Activities Board and is continuing his time as a residential leader on campus. Imbong is now a part of Texans for Christ College Ministry, and he is on the Cheer team as the mascot, our Texan Rider.

Imbong’s favorite core value at Tarleton is tradition.

“Tradition embodies Tarleton as a whole, and it helps to bring students, alumni, and the community together,” Imbong said.

He attributes the success of our traditions to organizations that he interacts with, like; the Purple Poo, Cheer, Texan Stars, PANKUS, Plowboys, the Corp of Cadets, and the Sound and the Fury.

“Each and every day these organizations strive to build up and keep traditions alive on campus,” Imbong said.

When asked about a role model in his life, Imbong quickly said, “my mom. Shout out to my momma.”

“She pushes me to hold up my head no matter the lows I may reach,” Imbong said.

Her inspiration pushes him to strive for greatness, causing him to be better, and go out of his way to help others. One day he would love to be as inspiring and loving as his mom.

As a freshman, his residential leader and one of his friends helped to light a flame in him. Coming in he had no idea what to expect, and he was greeted by strong role models who helped to build his love and passion for this university. One day he wants to be that person for future Tarleton students.

“I want to be the person to help other students fall in love with Tarleton the way my leaders helped me,” Imbong said.

He strives each and every day to show ways to create and light a flame in the heart of future Texans.

“Being the Texan Rider was something unimaginable at the beginning of my Tarleton story. It has helped me to become a better person and to further honor the core values of our university,” Imbong said.

Furthermore, it has given him new skills of interacting with anyone on campus. As the Texan Rider he has been given the opportunity to be who he wants to be and to showcase how he can help others.

“Anything can happen here. People at Tarleton will love and support you endlessly, and you must strive to give that same love and support to others,” Imbong said.

He is thankful to represent our wonderful campus in another way, to come full circle in his Tarleton journey in the last year before his expected graduation in August 2020. He hopes to leave a legacy at Tarleton as the Texan Rider, as a Residential Leader, and as a student.