By Alyssa Richardson
Less than one week ago the NeW Gentlemen’s Showcase was coming to its final hours. My nomination for Bryant had been in second place for about three weeks and I wasn’t focusing on winning. I was simply thankful for the opportunity to participate in my first Gentlemen’s Showcase. The most important reason for nominating Bryant was to spread NeW’s mission of encouraging recognition of gentlemen and respect between the sexes. It didn’t matter if my video received the most votes.
I was actually fortunate enough to be staying with some of my girlfriends at Bryant’s college the last night of the showcase, and I am so thankful I was able to spend that time with Bryant. Everyone was coming up to Bryant and I at dinner asking where we were with votes, what they could do to help, and encouraging Bryant that he was deserving to be “Gentleman of the Year.” The support of Patrick Henry College’s student body, my fellow NeW ladies at JMU, as well as our family and Facebook friends was overwhelming. This showcase reminded me of the importance of personal relationships and the spirit of unity that Bryant and I have in our lives. People were excited to help Bryant represent chivalry by voting and then sharing that excitement with their family and friends to also vote. That excitement shared through a simple grass-roots effort resulted in our video gaining over 600 votes in less than 12 hours!
The numbers were climbing and I was astonished and thankful. When I first posted the video on March 1 I made a huge goal (or so I thought at the time) to receive 500 votes. Now the video has approximately 860 votes and I realized that in the future I need to dream even bigger!
As a true gentleman, Bryant displayed modesty and humility throughout the entire showcase. Even when being contacted by ABCnews.com and other media for interviews, Bryant displayed a humble heart and provided a great deal of wisdom as to what he thinks it means to be a gentleman. As Bryant told NeW, “it’s not the behavior that defines a gentleman, but the attitude and the heart.”
I have been very encouraged by NeW’s efforts to recognize chivalry. As ladies, I believe it is important for us to encourage the men in our lives by recognizing and thanking them for their respectful acts. I would like to thank everyone who participated in this Gentlemen’s Showcase and who supported the nominations. I have great hopes for next year’s competition and can’t wait to see all the nominated gentlemen!
Alyssa Richardson is a Junior at James Madison University and President of JMU’s NeW Chapter