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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


More than crowns and sashes: What it’s like to be Homecoming royalty


The final 2021 Homecoming nominees spent a lot of time together during the week leading up to the bonfire. (Courtesy of Deip Sekhadia)

Many dream of becoming Homecoming queen or king, but could you imagine representing 44,000 students at the University of Arizona? Anna Rose Quinn and Deip Sekhadia were honored to win queen and king for the 2021-2022 school year, and they loved the camaraderie shared with their fellow nominees.

Anna Rose Quinn could not get enough of the UA and continues her education as a masters student of science in marketing. She was proud to represent a variety of organizations such as the Dean’s Council, Kappa Alpha Theta and the Eller College of Management.

“I was lucky enough to call them home for my time in undergrad. I think it is a huge honor to represent the university and those organizations that helped shape me into the person that I am,” Quinn said.

Quinn described the nomination process where the queens were chosen by Bobcats Senior Honorary and kings by Mortar Board National Senior Honorary. There were around 45 students nominated by organizations to attend mixers, events and UA games before entering the top five.

Deip Sekhadia was nominated by Alpha Epsilon Delta  and was also involved in Links Junior Honorary and research labs on campus. Most of the nominees were highly involved within their organizations, already serving as ambassadors for the UA. Sekhadia and Quinn attended many mixer events with the other nominees and honoraries where they were able to get to know more about their peers and the UA.

Annarose Quinn was excited and honored to win the 2021-22 Homecoming queen title. (Courtesy of Annarose Quinn)
Annarose Quinn was excited and honored to win the 2021-22 Homecoming queen title. (Courtesy of Annarose Quinn)

“I think it was really special because I wasn’t expecting it to be as group-focused as it was. We spent all day every day together that whole week, and I feel like they know me better than some people do,” Quinn said.

They were immersed in UA culture through events, campaigning and the Homecoming football game, the only game UA football won last season. Both Quinn and Sekhadia described this as good fortune for their thrilling week.

“It was the game that we won … We won and everyone was screaming and the university was electric. It was a great way to end the Homecoming celebrations and a great memory that all of us will share,” Sekhadia said.

Their main duty as Homecoming king and queen candidates was to be role models and ambassadors for the university. Many UA alumni and families would come up for photos while the king and queen were out, according to Quinn. She recalled times when children would approach her on the street, hoping to be queen someday.

The events that the remaining top five candidates attended included club olympics, the lighting of A Mountain and the bonfire. At the club olympics, organizations were invited to compete in games and activities to build interclub connections and camaraderie, an important value of Homecoming week. 

Deip Sekhadia and his biomedical engineering advisor Diana Wilson celebrating his win. (Courtesy of Deip Sekhadia)
Deip Sekhadia and his biomedical engineering advisor Diana Wilson celebrating his win. (Courtesy of Deip Sekhadia)

The king and queen were announced at the bonfire. It was a nerve-racking and tender moment as it was the last event for all 10 students to be together as nominees. 

“I really didn’t think I was going to win so it was a great shock seeing that,” Sekhadia said.

Quinn described the win as an honor. The two became very close after weeks of connecting and were ecstatic to have won together.

The royal responsibilities all equated to bringing future, current and past Wildcats together. As queen and king, Quinn and Sekhadia were able to impact future students and serve as role models within the UA tradition and heritage.  

  Follow Ellen Nangia on Twitter  

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