Homecoming Court shows spirit

By Eric Gordon

For 20 seniors selected to be this year’s representatives for Homecoming Court, it shouldn’t be hard to “Feel the ‘Nois” at homecoming this year. As it turns out, these outstanding students have been feeling it all along.

Members of the Court are being celebrated for their accomplishments during their undergraduate careers at the University. They also were chosen because they embodied Illini student spirit.

Leslie Cornell, senior in Media and president of the Illini Union Board, is one of the members of the Homecoming Court and was encouraged to apply when the selection process began.

“It is a special opportunity to represent the University,” Cornell said.

Cornell, like many other of the finalists, underwent a rigorous application, essay and interview process. The Homecoming Court had a number of semifinalists before the final 10 men and 10 women were chosen. The students have diverse backgrounds and majors, and each has something different to offer as part of the Homecoming Court.

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    Brooks Moore, assistant director of the Illini Union, serves as a coordinator for the Homecoming Court. Moore worked on publishing the candidates’ applications and recruiting judges for the selection panel.

    “Applicants were asked questions about their leadership experience, academic achievements and their involvement with the University,” Moore said.

    The selection process for the Homecoming Court is different from other elections on campus because students don’t vote for those on the Homecoming Court.

    “The Homecoming Court is not a popularity contest, but rather a display of the impact the University made on these students and the impact they have made on the institution,” Moore said.

    Lhea Randle, senior in LAS, almost missed the deadline to apply, but said she feels “blessed to be on the Homecoming Court.”

    “I was inspired by a lot of people supporting me,” Randle said.

    Randle has worked with many organizations including the Illinois Student Senate, Office of the Provost and Volunteer Illini Projects.

    “All members of the court have shown their dedication in different ways, and we have gotten to know each other better over the past few days,” Randle said.

    Randle is most excited for her hometown friends coming to visit her home at the University.

    Danielle Wilberg works with the alumni center and serves as co-chair on the Chancellor’s Committee to Support Homecoming as part of this year’s festivities.

    “The purpose of the Homecoming Court is to highlight seniors’ extraordinary accomplishments on campus,” Wilberg said.

    The members of the Homecoming Court are expected to be involved with a number of activities leading up to the big day including the Homecoming parade, pep rally, Lunch on the Quad, a number of Homecoming receptions and attending the football game against Minnesota.

    “At halftime, members of the Homecoming Court will be recognized for their achievements,” Moore said.

    Wilberg encourages the members of the court to come to the alumni center and be a part of the action.