Homecoming; past, present and future

By Brandon Barber

Homecoming returns once again with a week of powderpuff football games, Banana Splittin’ and the highly anticipated homecoming court. According to university archivist David Roepke, this will be the 88th homecoming court election.

The first homecoming was in 1922 and the first homecoming queen was elected in 1935. Between the years of 1942 and 1944, homecoming was canceled due to the war effort for World War II. There was no football due to the lack of players on campus. The first homecoming king was elected in 1981.

Jennifer Washock, director of orientation and first year programs, who coordinates homecoming court voting, said that all campus organizations and athletic teams can nominate candidates.

First, there is a preliminary election in which a student can select up to five male and five female candidates. Next, students are asked to select one male candidate and one female candidate for the second round of elections.

“Every single vote is computer automated [when counted], so human error isn’t possible,” Washock said.

Then, the homecoming king and queen are crowned at Banana Splittin’.

“Bragging rights and knowing that the campus community respects you are some of the benefits that come with being crowned king or queen,” Washock said. “The event itself is widely supported because it brings different populations together to support a traditional AU event….It gives something for alumni to cherish.”

Senior Alan Dunson, an integrated mathematics education major, a varsity football player, and a track and field athlete, said that it is an honor.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be nominated for the 2010 AU homecoming court,” Dunson said. “To potentially be crowned homecoming king is a tremendous honor and makes me extremely proud to be an Eagle – the purple and gold runs in my blood.”

Dunson said that he was nominated by the Alpha Delta Pi sorority.

“Homecoming court traditionally has been filled with students who have achieved and contributed to the Eagle nation above and beyond what is asked of them,” Dunson said. “This year is the case again; 10 well deserving students representing 10 charitable organizations working together to make the reunion of past and present Eagles a memorable one.”

Senior Kendall Johnson is a social work major and was nominated by Phi Kappa Psi and Delta Zeta.

“I feel honored that two Greek organizations nominated me and I hope to make them proud,” Johnson said.

Johnson is a member of Delta Zeta and Order of Omega and Rho Lambda.

“I love the homecoming court tradition here at AU because it gives each organization and group on campus a chance to nominate one of their peers,” Johnson said. “I also love that it brings spirit to campus during the homecoming week.”