This time a week ago, it was the tail end of the 'Epic' homecoming of the illustrious Howard University (HU). The nation's capital bows to the festivities of the school from the kickoff services on the campus to the various activities around the city. It must be said, regardless of your station or status if you are familiar with HBCUs or have been/currently are a resident of the DC area, you understand the magnitude of this set of annual events. This particular homecoming is celebrated by just as many spectators (if not more) as alumni, but the alumni are never to be counted out. Their pride beams and boasts louder than the 'H's and 'U's on their memorabilia. For Lance Gross, that could not be more true to his description as he enters the POV Terrace of the W Hotel in downtown DC.
Beyond the gray hoodie, with the white Howard emblem on its center, is his heartthrob smile that seems to be amplified due to the occasion. Gross, who served as this year's Grand Ambassador for his alma mater's parade, literally lights up when you mention his school. His skin flawless and smooth glows and tightens as it has to accommodate the gorgeous, widened smile. "To be a part of this is amazing, our homecoming is legendary. It's broke artists like Notorious BIG, Jodeci...it's amazing," Gross states.
He walked into Heineken's 'Friends and Family' (HKNFF) event as its host, the room speckled with other alum HU alum, jamming to a musical set by DJ Clark Kent. HKNFF is in its premiere year, it will be a seasonal event series that works to bring attention to cultural events along with local tastemakers in New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, DC, Houston, and Philadelphia. "My first experience with Heineken was in NY, during the Tribeca Film Festival, so it's always good to team up with [them]. It's an honor," said Gross of his alliance with the brand. "This is their first time doing the Friends and Family event in DC, and I'm a Howard graduate, so it makes perfect sense," he continued with a smirk. Indeed, it did. Heineken chose the perfect event in HU's homecoming, had the perfect venue with a rooftop overlooking the White House, the perfect set up with the right music, the right food, including a chicken and waffle station as well as a grilled cheese station, and of course an open bar of Heineken beverages. Perfect sense, indeed.