Homecoming king, queen reflect on new royal status

October 12, 2010

Justin Ross and Danielle DaSilva were both shocked to have been nominated for the 2010 Homecoming Court.

Ross, a mechanical engineering senior and president of the Blue Band, considered himself a “band geek” and didn’t know his friends were nominating him until after the fact.

DaSilva, a bioengineering senior and president of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), also felt humbled when her friends secretly nominated her for court through a Facebook group.

And then they won. The two engineering students received more votes than eight other members of the court, despite how modest they are.

"Honestly, I never even expected to be selected for the homecoming court," Ross said. "As a result, I did not expect to chosen as homecoming king -- as a music geek and an engineer."

Ross said when he heard Danielle announced as homecoming queen, he was excited that an engineering student had won, and especially her. "She totally deserved the recognition," he said. But when he heard his own name, he said it took a second to register that the announcers were talking to him.

"It seemed surreal -- as if I was daydreaming," he said.

DaSilva had a similar dreamlike experience and said she was genuinely shocked when her name was called. "I could barely even figure out what arm to put through the sash, and I didn't even see what the crown looked like until a half hour after hearing the announcement," she recalled.

DaSilva saw her initial nomination as an opportunity to do a little bit of PR for engineers, proving they're not "nerds" -- and that's how her SWE friends treated it, too. "I felt like it was a win for them, as well. They were so proactive throughout the whole nomination and voting process through e-mails, Facebook and word of mouth."

The College of Engineering also was represented on the faculty homecoming court with Cheryl Knobloch, who coordinates the College's Women in Engineering Program.

When DaSilva returned to class Monday, she said almost nothing had changed in her daily routine. "My vibrations professor, Dr. (Eric) Marsh, began class by playing 'We Are the Champions' and sharing the news with the class," she said.

Although Ross dedicates 25 to 30 hours a week to Blue Band and oversees all the other officers, he said he was surprised to have been nominated alongside the other members of the court who are "so involved" and represent great organizations.

Ross has remained humble since his crowning -- although he has earned a new, facetious nickname. "My friends and fellow Blue Banders now jokingly refer to me as 'Your Highness' -- the jokes the just keep coming," he laughed.


  • Homecoming king Justin Ross and queen Danielle DaSilva were introduced to the crowd during Saturday's football game against Illinois. Both said they couldn't believe they were nominated to be a part of this year's homecoming court.

    IMAGE: Annemarie Mountz

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010