Story by Raegan Turner | Staff Writer, Video by Savannah Cooper | Broadcast Reporter
Many little girls dream of being royalty, but for a lucky group of Baylor women, that dream could become a reality this weekend. Every year, Baylor University selects a female student to be homecoming queen that year. Crowning a queen and her court is a long-celebrated tradition of homecoming week at Baylor. The first queen, Elaine Cross Roberts, was named in 1934, and there has been a sitting ruler every year since 1945.
Baylor’s Homecoming website describes the event as a significant way to honor female students that reflect the heart of Baylor.
“The rich history of the Homecoming Queen tradition remains an excellent way for Baylor to recognize the young women who live out the mission of the University,” the website said.
This year there are a total of 57 nominees for Homecoming Court. The nominees were chosen to represent a myriad of organizations across campus. Ways of selection vary — some groups have a tradition of appointing the president of their organization as a nominee while others conducted a survey of their female upperclassmen members.
Prior to the official crowning, the nominees have a month-long preparation period that includes multiple meetings, photo shoots, rehearsals and interviews with judges. In addition to these activities, a questionnaire is issued by the judges that asks questions such as how the nominees have been involved at Baylor and inquires about their academic experience at Baylor.
Despite this, being a nominee isn’t all work and no play. The women are presented with memorable experiences such as taking professional headshots and group photographs, attending the Court’s Reception on Thursday night, being introduced at Pigskin with their family in the front row and riding in a convertible as a part of the homecoming parade. Whoever is chosen enjoys the title of Baylor University Homecoming Queen of 2018 and receives a crown, along with the respect and honor that comes with selection.
Austin senior Callie Dick is a nominee this year for Baylor crew, a rowing club on campus. She is the second in her family to be nominated; her sister was also a part of the tradition in 2016. Dick expressed how honored she feels to represent crew, especially as the president of non-Greek organization.
“My sister was also a nominee two years ago for her organization, Mock Trial, which like crew, isn’t Greek. You usually hear nominees from Greek organizations, so it’s really cool being able to have that honor not because you’re in a Greek organization. I am in Greek life, but that’s not why I’m here. I’m really proud to be able to represent my organization because I’ve poured a lot into them the last couple of years,” Dick said.
Many women participating in this homecoming tradition are nominated by Greek Life. Delta Tau Delta, a fraternity on Baylor’s campus, nominated its sweetheart, Houston junior Darby Sorrels. Sorrels said she’s had a great time as a nominee representing the fraternity.
“It’s been a super fun experience. I never thought coming into Baylor that I would do something like this, so it’s been a really cool experience to be one of a select number of girls that have a chance to be a representative of the entire university. It’s an all-around great memory to have,” Sorrels said.
All of the nominated women are fully evaluated on the categories of scholarship, philanthropy, spiritual commitment and poise for the positions of homecoming queen and the members of her court. During Pigskin Revue last night, the judges announced who among the nominees most embodied these characteristics; their final decision for Homecoming Queen 2018 was Kennedy Moore. The Phoenix senior is a Child & Family Studies major and was representing Brothers Under Christ (BYX) fraternity as their sweetheart.