Show that smile: Dental school-bound Love wins LBC king

Love said he attributes his drive to his parents.

Julian Love did not expect to be named the title of Legion of Black Collegians Homecoming king at this year's ball.

"I'm just at the ball, just hanging out and having fun,” said Love, a senior studying nutritional sciences. "I'm just, like, you know, whatever happens, happens. I am literally turned to the side, and she says my name. I was excited. I didn't expect it."

Love found MU almost by accident. Many of his friends were talking about MU recruiting in Chicago, so Love looked into it and could not turn down the numerous scholarship opportunities.

"I liked the big campus feel, and it's very social here, so that's what attracted me to it," Love said.

After college, Love aims to enter dental school.

"I'm doing a lot of nutrition classes, a lot of science, and science and more science," Love said. "So basically everything that I need for nutrition and also for the dental exam that I will have to take to get into dentistry school."

Love said that he has a different approach to teeth than most.

"I think that teeth are a big deal; teeth make a big difference," Love said. "You know when you think about what you look at first when you see people? I look at a nice smile."

As a child visiting the dentist or orthodontist, Love never feared going. In fact, he loved it.

"I loved going to the dentist or the orthodontist,” Love said. “I always have, and I’m very close with my dentist, and we’ve talked about it (becoming a dentist) a lot. I love that you don’t have to have a specific major to be a dentist, as long as you have the required classes. That’s why I also chose nutrition."

Love recently began to realize the importance of networking on a college campus. Determined to bridge outward, he became heavily involved on campus and set a few goals, including running for Homecoming king.

"I went to the Homecoming Ball last year, and I didn't participate because I hadn't been that social," Love said. "I told myself last year, 'I'm running for Homecoming king next year, and I want to win, and I want to be involved. And that's what I did."

Love has been busy since he stepped foot on campus in August. As a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, he felt obligated to network, as socialization is integral in his fraternity.

"We do service events, we have Kappa Week every year, we have parties — you know stuff like that, just to represent ourselves on campus," Love said. "We're also part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, we work with our (Gaines/Oldham) Black Culture Center and do different events with them. We co-program with anybody willing to co-program on campus."

Additionally, Love is a member of the United Ambassadors Minority Student Recruitment program, which travels to cities such as St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago to minority students.

"We do black and gold days on Fridays, so people come to visit, we talk to their parents, we do panels," Love said. "Basically, it's being a base that works along with admissions for the university by giving students a more direct approach, where they can speak to us instead of adults."

United Ambassadors also offers a program called Clue N2 where students from Kansas City and St. Louis can come to the university and shadow the members.

"I'm learning now to be more involved on campus with things, not only with my fraternity, but also with other people," Love said. "I'm around more, like in the (MU) Student Center talking to people, especially freshmen since I'm a United Ambassador. We work together to get them here, but I want to speak to them and keep them here, be a familiar face, be a friend."

Love attributes his motivation to his parents. They had put his older sister of six years through college already.

"It was like, I’m the last one, so I really just want to do this for them,” Love said. “You know, it’s more so about the sacrifice and all the money that they spend for me to do this."

Love said his ultimate goal, however, is not simply about becoming a dentist.

"I want to be successful for my parents because I want to be able to give back that money," Love said. "I just want to take all of that off their shoulders."

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