All Hail Emperor Gary I of The Western™!
At the noon hour on the twenty-ninth day of April of the year of our Lord 2011, Ye Board of Regents of The Western™ offered President Gary Ransdell the title of Emperor and declared amid trumpet fanfare, “The government of The Western™ is vested in the Emperor, who takes the title of Emperor Gary I of The Western™.”
The pomp of the Coronation Day began when a dozen processions of deputations from the Dormitories, the Campus Police, the Student and Faculty legislative, judiciary, and administrative corps, the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis left different points to converge on the Gary A. Ransdell Hall Cathedral. The grand officers of the Board of Regents rode to the coronation in ornate coaches pulled by gaily caparisoned horses of great beauty. The procession was led by Abbot Lawrence Caillouet on a mule bearing aloft the Papal crucifix.
Last of all was the Emperor’s royal coach ornamented with gold and emblazoned with a red capital G, drawn by eight horses, and bearing the Emperor dressed in Hilltopper-red velvet embroidered with rubies and gold. With him was Chief of Staff Lady Deborah Wilkins robed in silk and sparkling gems. Commented a peasant onlooker, “Her face was so well made up that she appeared to be a maid of but five-and-twenty.”
Imperial protocol demanded that twelve virgin youths with candles transport the crown to the royal brow. As three years of BCS-level football at The Western™ had depleted the stock of readily-available virgins, minions were forced to search far and wide across the County Warren for a fortnight.
As the first bars of “Forever Young” rang across the Emperor’s demesne, an unmanned balloon, ablaze with 3,000 red lights forming an Imperial crown was launched from the front of the Gary A. Ransdell Hall Cathedral. The balloon came to rest atop the Wah-Bah Steakhouse on Russelville Road 46 hours later; the Emperor considered this another sacred omen of his destiny.
A medal was struck to commemorate the coronation. Regent Yevette Haskins closed the ceremony by leading the masses of commoners in the traditional shout of “All hail Emperor Gary I!”