Music filled the student center ballroom as the audience awaited the start of the 2023 Homecoming Pageant on Sept. 26. The pageant, hosted by ACBU, consisted of three sections: a talent show, a Bradley spirit fashion show and a fishbowl question round.
The homecoming royalty will win a $500 scholarship after the crowning takes place.
To start the event, the homecoming court performed a dance routine to “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins. This was followed by the talent portion of the pageant.
Senior biomedical science and pre-med major Alenna Martin Del Campo took audience members’ suggestions while constructing balloon animals. Del Campo’s talent was inspired by her experience making balloon animals for a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital fundraiser with her service sorority, Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA).
Next up was senior electrical engineering major Rodrigo (Roy) Alvarez Gonzalez who sang “American Pie” by Don McLean. Gonzalez brought three audience members on stage and provided them each with one item that signified different parts of the chorus.
Students waved their phone flashlights and joined in song and dance as Gonzalez lit up the stage.
Senior music entertainment industry major Ana Lucia Pancini performed a cheer routine for the audience, showing off jumps that she learned in her eight years in cheerleading.
Showing off her oral communication skills was senior manufacturing engineering major Giselle Artajo recited a speech that she wrote about how important family is to her, and how anyone can accomplish their goals if they set their mind to it.
Artajo ended her speech by saying “Sí, se puede,” a Spanish phrase which translates to “You can do it.”
“I want to help encourage and motivate Latinx students, first-generation students, those who are underrepresented and … those who don’t feel comfortable in their major,” Artajo said. “I’m one of the only girls in my classes … I’m trying to motivate and support people just to say that if I can do it, they can do it too.”
Artajo described her experience in running for homecoming royalty as eventful, exciting and a lot of hard work.
The pageant later transitioned to the Bradley spirit fashion show where candidates were called onstage to rep their Bradley gear.
Senior political science major Jack Batz wore a Bradley Basketball uniform, a headband and foam finger.
Next up was senior biomedical science major Ivonne Rios wore Bradley gear and passed out bubbles that she made for her talent. Each bubble container was labeled “Vote 4 Ivonne.”
Wearing a Bradley hat and glasses, senior chemistry major Katelyn Shelton ran onstage cheering and passing out candy to audience members.
The pageant took an intermission as the candidates changed into formal attire in preparation for fishbowl questions.
“What has been your proudest moment at Bradley?” senior MIS business analytics and cybersecurity double major Nicholas Currier was asked.
“I think it was when my older brothers came back,” Currier said. “It was really fun to have that family experience of having them back and telling me that they’re proud of me.”
The next question was for senior elementary education major Sadie Pirkle who was asked what her biggest accomplishment has been at Bradley.
“During this term, I was invited by my national sorority headquarters to represent Alpha Chi Omega as a national sorority in Washington D.C.,” Pirkle said. “[I talked about] Greek life issues, so working through accountability on hazing or any student organization and nonprofit housing.”
Senior social media marketing major Izzy Fontane was asked, “How do you plan on making an impact on the community around you after you graduate?”
“For me personally, I’m one of the captains of the Bradley dance team this year,” Fontane said. “I would love to set up a scholarship for future dancers that are on the team to be able to cover some of their uniform and team fees.”
At the conclusion of the pageant, ACBU hosts announced that students can vote for Homecoming court until Friday at noon. The voting form can be found in ACBU’s Instagram bio.