Marianne Williams By Emily Sears | March 29, 2011 | RSS When Marianne Williams, a junior at BC, was announced queen at Spring Formal, everyone in the audience could see how appreciative she was. “I was so surprised that I started shaking and crying,” she said. “I had never even been on a court before, so I was excited just to be nominated for that. But to actually win was amazing.” Marianne’s smile at receiving the crown is the same smile she gives to members of Bluefield College’s Student Virginia Education Association. Marianne is president of SVEA—an organization whose members include every student involved in the Teacher Education program. The group has around 50 members and is responsible for community service projects that impact local schools. Marianne Williams and with her boyfriend after being presented as the 2011 Spring Formal Queen. “It’s at times stressful [being president] but it is worth it,” said Williams. “It’s rewarding to see all of the stuff that goes behind the scenes in being a teacher.” Although SVEA has not decided on a service project for this semester, last semester they collected Box Tops for Education and donated them to a local elementary school. The Box Tops could be traded in for school supplies, books, and much more that would benefit the students and teachers. SVEA also hosts three parties each year: a luau in the fall to welcome freshmen and one at Christmas and one in the spring to congratulate student teachers. “As SVEA president, Marianne really strives to make it better,” said Erin Darnell, a junior from Orange, Va., and a member of SVEA. “She puts a lot of emphasis on our service projects to make sure that they get done.” Williams decided to come to BC because she loved the education department. “When I met Dr. Watson and saw how hyper she was, I thought this place is great,” said Williams, referring to Dr. Donna Watson, who heads the teacher education program at BC. The education department has transformed from a set of classes Williams has to take into a family. She feels prepared for teaching, but she also feels loved. “Everyone goes out of their way to help you,” she said. “They are absolutely some of the greatest people in the world.” Williams not only found great people working in the education department, she found her boyfriend Benjamin Thurman, a 2009 BC graduate. She and Thurman have been dating for over two years, and they have plans to marry after she graduates in December. “My favorite memory at BC is a leaf fight Ben and I had my freshmen year,” she said. “He told me he always wins leaf fights, and I disagreed. The next day I had a package slip in my mailbox, and when I got it, it was a wrapped box full of leaves from him. It had a note that said ‘Told you I always win.’” Memories of love and laughter are what Williams has for Bluefield College, and that is why she was so grateful to be this year’s Spring Formal queen. She plans on student teaching next fall.