Homecoming Queen to be Crowned Nov. 5Nov. 3, 1998
An annual Baylor tradition will be renewed Thursday, Nov. 5, when the 1998 Homecoming Queen is crowned during Pigskin Revue at Waco Hall.
The tradition of selecting a Homecoming Queen dates back to 1934, with the selection of the first "Homecoming Sweetheart," Elaine Cross. Today, Baylor student organizations receive information and forms to choose a nominee to represent their group. These nominees go through an interview process, and from their number, a Queen is selected.
This year, 61 women have been nominated for the traditional honor. Of these, six will be chosen, one as the Queen and five to serve as her court.
The 1997 Homecoming Queen, The Woodlands senior Amy Bourque, remembers well her selection. Though Bourque was also selected in high school as Homecoming Queen, she said the experience at Baylor was more meaningful.
"I felt like I represented a much larger entity," she said. "There were so many girls nominated, it's really a great honor."
Bourque was nominated by Baylor's Yell Leaders, and is also an alumna of Pi Beta Phi sorority. She is graduating from Baylor in December, 1998, with a degree in Health Sciences.
The contest is not about who's most beautiful or popular, said Bradley Simmons, the Chamber member assigned to oversee the judging process. According to Simmons, "The queen is someone sincere, well rounded and she loves Baylor." Simmons said the court is usually a very diverse group.
Each nominee is interviewed by a panel of three judges during Homecoming Week. The judges are Baylor graduates and have maintained some affiliation with the university, though none of the judges lives in Waco. "We screen the judges just as much as the nominees. They know so much about the tradition of the Homecoming Queen," Simmons said.
Thursday night is filled with suspense, as each nominee is announced and presented during intermission of Pigskin Revue. Bourque said that while nominees are instructed about where to walk on stage for the presentation, there is little other preparation for the nominees, who wait patiently ¡ and nervously ¡ for the Queen to be announced. "I don't usually get real nervous," said Bourqu, who said she was very surprised when her name was called.
Once the winners are announced, the Queen is taken from Waco Hall to a reception in her honor at retired Professor Robert L. Reid's home. There the Queen and her court will meet Baylor faculty, staff, administrators, regents, and the three judges. The Queen will receive $1,500 ¡ $2,000 in gifts, including a gold medallion with a Baylor Seal and crown on it.
Saturday, Nov.7, the Queen and her court will take part in the annual Homecoming Parade. The Queen and her court will be presented again at halftime during the Baylor vs. Kansas State football game at Floyd Casey Stadium.
When the weekend's festivities draw to a close, many will remember the bonfire, the parade, the football game, and the other traditions woven into the fabric of Baylor Homecoming. For at least one Baylor student, however, the weekend will be truly unforgettable.