To celebrate the 125th anniversary of Bradley’s founding in 1897, this year’s Homecoming centered around the evolution of Bradley’s history.
Throughout Homecoming Week, event coordinators Jack Batz and Madison Edwards put together an event for every day of the week.
Sept. 23 kicked off the week with the annual Painting of the Lydias. Sept. 26 led with an event for the philanthropy, Wags for Mags, where students could pet some puppies and get some popcorn. On Sept. 27, a foam party was held on Meinen Field, and Sept. 28 hosted the flag football game between faculty and students.
ACBU hosted these Homecoming events to celebrate the evolution of Bradley. On Sept. 28, they hosted a pageant to give the students a more intimate look at this year’s candidates.
Instead of the gendered terms “king” and “queen,” ACBU elected to use the terms “royalty” and “ambassador” to be more inclusive. Royalty winners received a $500 scholarship, and ambassador winners received a $250 scholarship.
The royalty hopefuls included De’jah Donahue, Cooper Wilt, Kate Hampton, Mitch Thiel, Dennise Collins, Clara Lawson, Mark Arroyo, Lilia Kothari and Emma Davidson.
A panel of guest judges consisting of director of orientation and advertisement David Trillizio, associate professor of the department of education Deitra Kuester and director of inclusive excellence Kelvin Herrera-Hassan oversaw the pageant.
“I’m here to support my friend Dennise,” Madie Trolinger, senior English major, said. “I heard she was on the court and I figured I’d come out in support of her.”
The candidates came together to perform the “We’re All In This Together” dance from “High School Musical.” The dance was met with applause, especially future royalty winner Arroyo’s dedicated performance.
After their performance, each candidate showed their talents off in individual performances. A few highlights were Hampton’s upside-down painting of the Lighting of the B, Kothari’s violin performance and future royalty winner Donahue’s speech on her talent of empathy.
A fashion show followed the talent portion of the pageant. In groups of four and five, the candidates sported their Bradley pride in a storm of confetti, flags, red paint and bucket hats.
Bradley trivia questions acted as an intermission for the candidates. Questions such as the name of Bradley’s mascot and founder or the oldest building on campus tested the audience’s knowledge of their university. Any attendee who answered correctly earned prizes after the event.
To end the event, homecoming coordinators Batz and Edwards gave each candidate two fishbowl questions, centered around fun and the Bradley experience. Prompts included “Describe yourself in three words,” “Name someone you admire” and “How would you describe Bradley to a prospective student?”
“We have great meetings at ACBU with people we get to work with,” Batz, event coordinator and junior political science and international studies major, said. “And then once we started selecting the homecoming court, me getting to tabulate everything out on the quad, it’s been a lot of fun.”
Students and faculty alike came together in celebration of Bradley’s 125th anniversary. The excitement of the events may have died down, but the excitement of Bradley’s evolution continues.