Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo

MSU homecoming king meets President Trump during Tupelo visit

By Danny McArthur Daily Journal

TUPELO • After being named Mississippi State Homecoming King, Tupelo native Spencer Kirkpatrick received recognition for his accomplishment from the highest elected office in the United States: President Donald Trump. Spencer Kirkpatrick, alongside his father Kevan Kirkpatrick and stepmother Maribeth Kirkpatrick, met Trump Nov. 1 before Trump’s political rally in Tupelo.

Kevan Kirkpatrick said the opportunity for Spencer Kirkpatrick to meet Trump happened by chance. He was meeting with the lead press advance representative from the White House, who was touring the building days prior to the rally. While touring the building, the representative mentioned being a Mississippi State graduate and talked about Spencer winning homecoming king, not knowing he was Kevan’s son.

“After a few minutes, I told her he was my son and we just talked about that for a few minutes. Next thing I know, the following Thursday, she sent me an email to call her and I just assumed it was for something with the event, and that’s when she said Spencer’s been invited to meet Donald Trump,” Kevan Kirkpatrick said.

Kevan Kirkpatrick said the family was in shock. He remembers asking why and being told that since Spencer Kirkpatrick had achieved so much, they felt he was deserving and the president would enjoy meeting him.

“That’s something you would never dream of in a lifetime, that you would be able to meet a sitting president and be requested. For Spencer to be requested to meet a sitting president is just an incredible honor for Spencer, and as parents, an incredible honor to be included along with Spencer,” Kevan Kirkpatrick said.

Trump met the family prior to the rally. Kevan Kirkpatrick said the family was in a room with Republican candidates and officials such as Gov. Phil Bryant, Tate Reeves, Delbert Hosemann, Cindy Hyde-Smith and others as they waited for the chance to meet the president.

Spencer Kirkpatrick went up to Trump first, Kevan Kirkpatrick said. He described Trump as being very warm with Spencer Kirkpatrick. He signed a hat for him and gave Spencer Kirkpatrick the presidential pen, as well as taking pictures with both Spencer Kirkpatrick and his parents. However, Kevan Kirkpatrick said even after the photo, Trump spent time with them.

Kevan Kirkpatrick emphasized for his family, the meeting was not political but about it being an honor to meet the president.

“This was about the office of the presidency and requesting a visitation with my son, and it was something that we’ll never, ever forget. I’ll never let anyone turn it into something political because that’s not what it was,” Kevan Kirkpatrick said.

Kevan Kirkpatrick said for his son, this was another instance of something acknowledging what he accomplished.

“[Spencer] treated President Trump just like he would treat you if you walked into a room and he was meeting you for the first time. He kind of gave him a little hug and he really was like with President Trump like he is with anybody else, and I think Trump appreciated that,” Kevan Kirkpatrick said.