Homecoming candidates excited to be part of ‘whirlwind’ experience

The homecoming bulletin board. 

Anna Lawson

With Homecoming preparation in full swing, the student body finds itself in the thick of pre-game festivities. Hilltoppers, however, will have to wait until Saturday’s halftime program to witness one of the week’s most anticipated events: the coronation of a new Homecoming queen.

“The Homecoming candidate experience is a unique and unforgettable one, and I am already enjoying it immensely,” Glasgow senior Taylor Emberton said. “It’s a busy, whirlwind of an experience, but it is one that I am so humbled and honored to have.”

A field of 22 candidates are vying for the crown this year. Each student must attend a roster of activities this week, which range from interviews to volunteer work and banquets, to demonstrate that they can represent WKU with dignity and grace.

Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity selected Louisville senior Abby O’Bryan as their Homecoming candidate. She said she is grateful for the opportunity to make WKU proud.

“Being nominated has been great so far, but it’s really strange for me to see posters of myself hanging up in buildings and having people come up to me — even people who I don’t know very well — congratulating me on my nomination,” she said.

O’Bryan has tried to keep the attention from going to her head.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely gracious and humbled that people are giving me so much support and encouragement,” O’Bryan said. “I just never in a million years dreamed that I would be that girl walking onto the field waving a red towel.”

O’Bryan said she doesn’t feel like it is a competition as much as it is just an opportunity to spend time with some wonderful and inspiring women.

“Being the Homecoming queen for me would mean that anyone has a shot at being something bigger and better than themselves,” O’Bryan said. “I fell in love with WKU before I even got my acceptance letter. Being able to represent this university as Homecoming queen would be an incredible honor because WKU has helped me to form my identity.”

For Bowling Green senior Emily Gott, winning would signify the continuation of WKU spirit within her family.

“I was born and bred a WKU Hilltopper, as both of my parents attended as well as my older brother,” she said. “I could not imagine myself anywhere else. We were Family of the Year in 2011, and this would just be icing on the cake of a perfect four years at WKU.”

Gott said that she owes all of her success as a Hilltopper to her Honors College peers and faculty.

“These are the people who have shaped my college career into what it has been,” she said. “They are my family and they have supported me every step of the way.”

All of the candidates continue to make the rounds this week in the hopes of becoming Homecoming queen. However, it is also important to them to learn things and become better people along the way.

“I have already learned that our campus houses some absolutely amazing, unique, driven women that are perfect representations of WKU,” Emberton said. “I hope that is exemplified to the campus and community this week. No matter what the outcome of the week is, I can already say that I wouldn’t change one thing.”