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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA crowns Homecoming king and queen

    A crowd of about 900 students and alumni gathered at the Alumni Plaza to watch the crowning of the Homecoming king and queen Friday night at the annual UA bonfire.

    Adam Ritter, a civil engineering senior, and Hilary Niccoli, a senior majoring in English and sociology, won the titles and were presented with sashes and crowns.

    “”It’s pretty crazy,”” said Ritter, who is a member of the UA swim team. “”I know the guys on the team are going to get a kick out of it when they tell this to coach.””

    Niccoli, a member of Chi Omega sorority, said the title was something she hoped for so she could honor her sorority.

    “”It was really surreal,”” Niccoli said. “”It’s really just shock and disbelief because you kind of prepare for a let-down.””

    As king and queen, Ritter and Niccoli’s duties mainly consist of appearances with Wilbur and Wilma, Niccoli said.

    However, Niccoli said she hopes to turn the title into “”more than just a name.””

    “”I’d like to get some sort of fundraising to throw a philanthropic event during the year,”” Niccoli said. “”A lot of people think it is just a popularity contest.””

    The finalists for Homecoming king and queen are chosen by Mortar Board and Bobcats senior honoraries.

    After the nominees were narrowed to five men and five women, the winners were then selected by online votes from the student body.

    The selection of the nominees is a very credible process, and as such it will produce candidates worthy of something more than a name, Niccoli said.

    The criteria for king was an outstanding male with at least a 3.0 grade point average, Ritter said.

    “”The best part about tonight is having the excitement of people speaking and getting excited for the game,”” Ritter said. “”The team has had a tough time so far this year, so to see everyone come together in support is really inspiring.””

    The crowning included a large bonfire on the UA Mall, music by the Pride of Arizona marching band and a fireworks display.

    Sean Hillier, an undeclared sophomore who attended the event, said he liked the band and the event because they demonstrated school spirit.

    Kaira Malone, a psychology sophomore, said she was surprised the bonfire was so large.

    “”I never thought we’d do anything like that on the Mall,”” she said.

    Malone said she expected a higher turnout for the event, but thought it was not advertised as much because it is understood to be a tradition.

    “”I didn’t even know about it last year,”” Malone said. “”This year I didn’t know about it until yesterday.””

    Hillier said he had not been to a UA bonfire before.

    “”I’ve been missing out,”” he said. “”It means a lot that the alumni come back. It shows how much they care.””

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