The Natchez Garden Club recently presented Kenneth “Ryan” Skates (Alpha Mu–Millsaps ’22) as NGC King of the 2023 Spring Pilgrimage.
Ryan is a 2021 Honors graduate from Cathedral High School. In high school, Ryan was voted Mr. CHS. Ryan was awarded the Presidential Scholarship by Millsaps College, The Academic Excellence Scholarship, and the MS Eminent Scholars Grant.
Ryan lettered in track 7th-12th grade and received the MVP award in 10th grade. He also lettered in cross country 8th-12th grade, helping Cathedral’s cross country team win State for four consecutive years. He placed first overall in the State meet, 10th, 11th and 12th grades. He was named All-MAIS. He received the MVP award in the 9th through 12th grades. Ryan also played soccer from 7th to 10th grades, receiving the Hustle Award in 9th grade. One of his greatest high school memories was helping Cathedral track team break the MAIS Class 3-A State record in the 4 x 800 relay. Ryan is a member of St. Mary’s Basilica, where he was an active member of CYO and attended several Catholic Heart Work Camps (CHWC).
Ryan is presently a sophomore at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS, majoring in psychology and economics. He is a Presidential Scholar and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the Kappa Alpha Fraternity.
Ryan grew up participating in the Historic Natchez Tableaux as page, Maypole dancer, the Wedding, and Showboat, and now proudly accepts the honor of representing the Natchez Garden Club as the 2023 King.
Ryan is the son of Michelle and Jeremy Skates of Natchez and the grandson of Eileen and John Ball, Ken Janette and the late Ann Janette and Sherry and Mike Skates. He is the brother of Ella Skates, who has also been a very active participant in NGC events.
Ryan said his favorite part of the Pilgrimage has been reconnecting with his high school friends and members of the Royal Court. He has known NGC Queen Blair Smith since they both served as pages in 2009 for King Jordan Farmer and Queen Hannah Loy.
Ryan enjoys travel, running and hanging out with friends. He has traveled the world, visiting many countries and historic sites, including Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, six months before the 2019 fire. He looks forward to future adventures.