U student reigns as Queen of the Snows

by Boa Lee

University senior Jennifer Sherry has temporarily abandoned her book bag for a crown and personal bodyguards.

Sherry, a sociology student, beat 20 other finalists to become Queen of the Snows for the 2004 St. Paul Winter Carnival. She is accompanied by two royal guards wherever she goes.

“This has changed my life,” Sherry said. “Just knowing the crown is on my head is amazing.”

Sherry won her first pageant at the Rice Street Festival in July, which automatically qualified her for the Queen of the Snows competition. But Sherry said she never imagined she would actually be Queen of the Snows.

“You just can’t put the feeling into words,” Sherry said. “My family was very excited. My mother was in tears. They were all just extremely happy for me.”

Aside from presiding over carnival events, St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation communications director Angela Yender said, the 20-member royal court is involved in more than 300 appearances throughout the year.

Since being crowned on Friday, Sherry, who is registered for 12 credits this semester, has moved her belongings into the St. Paul Hotel.

She said she has been in isolation and away from the University. But she and her sponsor, St. Paul’s Rice Street Festival, have been in contact with her professors.

“All my professors know. My coordinator is actually gathering all the materials from the classes to me,” she said. “I don’t think there will be a problem with catching up after the festival.”

Ann Miller, undergraduate advising coordinator for the sociology department, said she is excited about Sherry’s newly attained

status but worries about how Sherry will complete the one remaining sociology course she needs to graduate this May.

“There’s definitely a need for balance,” Miller said. “I’m sure she can do it, and we’re more than willing to help her work things out.”

Although the department has been in touch with Sherry, Miller said that “at some point, we’ll need to see progress pretty quickly.”

Sherry, who is considering doing her senior research paper on pageantry, said although she is not in the classroom, her involvement with the Winter Carnival royal family has contributed to her academic experience.

“It has upped my confidence a lot so far just in the past few days. I’m comfortable talking to numerous different people,” she said. “It helps you to understand so many different perspectives.”

Sherry said her education had a lot to do with her win.

“Without my education, I probably wouldn’t have a grasp on all these different aspects,” Sherry said. “Having an education will bring you places you never imagined.”

Using that higher education, Sherry will advise her king, Boreas, to flee the ice palace Feb. 8 to avoid a catastrophic mythological war with Vulcanus Rex.

Her counsel – and Boreas’ exodus – allows Rex to usurp the castle, prompting spring to warm these winterish temperatures.

Sherry said she plans to take a couple of days off to study and “make sure I do still get those good grades for the semester” when the Winter Carnival ends after Rex assumes command.