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Q & A with the Champion of the Hill

Mary Maker ’23 was crowned this year’s Champion of the Hill during the annual homecoming week pageant. Following the event, Maker sat down for an interview with the Manitou Messenger to discuss her time competing in Champion of the Hill. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

How did you get nominated for Champion of the Hill?

Maker: “I have no idea who nominated me … I thought it was going to be the whole school just coming and then we play games together, and that’s what Champion of the Hill meant. I didn’t know it was a competition … After the first game, I’m like ‘can I now go, please? Can I just leave?’ And they’re like no, just have fun with it. So, I decided to make it a fun moment.”

During the fashion show round it seemed you took a more serious route than other competitors, how did you decide to do that?

Maker: “The prompt was chose something that you want to wear and say what it means to you. For me, it was the dress. Any African print, we call it in Swahili kitenge, is really an important fabric. It makes me feel a sense of identity to my motherland … just wearing that gives me an impression that I have a community, I have an identity. I’m not just Mary, but I have people who care about me. I have a whole continent with different countries and different wonderful people who know that I am their person.”

How did you feel getting that opportunity to be able to share who you are throughout the competition?

Maker: “I love sharing because I feel like there are so many people from where I come from that will never get that chance to speak up. If you’ve been given that platform, why don’t you speak up for them? Because the moment you do that, you are saving a community, you are being a voice to the voiceless, and that’s what we all need to do. If you were born extroverted, use that extroversion to uplift every other person. If you’re born introverted, use your introvertedness to make people feel comfortable around you. Be a good listener and make people feel like they belong.”

stroth2@stolaf.edu