Anna Brasfield started the school year off flying solo as Gold Side leader. Luckily, the person who was ready to step up to the plate and stand by her side happened to be her best friend, Abi Dewilde. Now, Gold Side is looking to make a strong comeback, and the duo is pumped to lead their side to that coveted Gold Victory.
Brasfield, a communication studies major, ultimately chose Gold Side because it gave her opportunities that she feels she wouldn’t have gotten in other areas of College Night. The Chelsea native took on the role of head costume designer in her first year playing.
“It was something I had never done before,” Brasfield said. “Gold Side really took a chance on me and said, ‘we trust you with this.’ It made me feel like I could be a part of something and make amazing things with these people. I feel so supported and loved and encouraged by them.”
Over the years, Brasfield has served as head costume designer on the Gold Cabinet twice, played on the women’s basketball team and was in the cast of the 2023 production, “Starpower!” She decided to run for leader to support the side in bouncing back this season.
“As a coms major, I have a lot of recruiting skills, and I wanted to build Gold Side back up,” Brasfield said. “I think we’ve done really well this year getting new Golds.”
After being elected leader, Brasfield was thrown a curveball when her originally elected co-leader stepped down from the role. Enter Dewilde, who was ready to jump on board and help her friend however she could.
“It’s definitely a learning curve, stepping into such a big role,” Dewilde said. “Luckily, I have an amazing co-leader and we split roles easily. We’re always there for one another. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Dewilde, a psychology and sociology major minoring in communication studies, began her college journey at Troy University, but transferred to UM after her first year in order to be closer to her home in Alabaster. She found even more of a home upon becoming a Gold.
“My sorority big was Gold Side’s secretary, so I ended up going to everything with her,” Dewilde said. “I just felt so supported and loved for who I was as a person, and that’s something that I was really longing for.”
On Gold Side, Dewilde has served as an usher, secretary and was also a cast member in last year’s show. She was excited for the opportunity to step up to the plate as leader, and aims to show everyone the love, support and talent that Gold Side has to offer.
“I wanted to give back to Gold Side because Gold Side gave me so much,” Dewilde said. “It gave me such a support system and lifelong friends. I wanted to do everything I could to make Gold Side even better and show people how amazing this side is.”
This past weekend, the two College Night sides convened in Myrick Gym for the annual pep rally and women’s volleyball game (in which Gold Side took the win) and mounted their signs on Farmer Hall lawn. Aside from the shows, this is one of Dewilde’s favorite events of the season.
“You finally get to announce the cast and you reveal a little bit about the show without giving it away,” Dewilde said. “And it’s mid-season so it kind of re-hypes everyone up for what is to come. You’re getting toward all the athletic events and you’re so much closer to the start of all the shows.”
As for Brasfield, the high-energy atmosphere of the men’s basketball game is what she most looks forward to each year.
“The energy in the stands is crazy, and everyone’s anticipating the night to come because it’s Sweet Saturday,” Brasfield said. “There’s just so much on the line, and the men on the court take it so seriously. Also, the alumni support is amazing. We love seeing all the Old Golds there.”
Outside of College Night, Dewilde is a member of Phi Mu, where she previously served as the chapter’s philanthropy chair. She is also a Montevallo Master and was president of Order of Omega, the Greek honor society, this past year. She is hoping to take a year off after graduation and then pursue her master’s in counseling and applied behavioral sciences.
“I want to help counsel victims of violent crimes through those situations,” Dewilde said. “I would also love to work with children again at some point. I used to be a camp counselor and I absolutely loved it.”
Brasfield is a UM cheerleader and a member of Chi Omega. Post-graduation, she looks forward to seeing what doors her communication degree will open. But first, of course, she wants to secure a GV.
“We’ve just had so much love for this season and so much fun,” Brasfield said “A huge part of it has been collaborating with this team. It’s been a learning curve for me — I have no experience writing music, but here we are creating a musical. I’ve just seen myself do so many things that I have never done before. It’s amazing to see myself grow, but also my team grow.”