Inaugural Homecoming Alumni Court open for applications

John Patishnock
June 01, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Did you serve in Homecoming Court as a Penn State student or know someone who did? If yes, then here’s an opportunity to re-create those memories from yesteryear. 

Thanks to a new initiative, prior Homecoming Court honorees can apply to serve in the inaugural Homecoming Alumni Court during this year’s Homecoming weekend (Oct. 9-11). Alumni Court members will be invited to all Homecoming events and will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade.

The application form can be filled out online and is available by clicking here.

Penn State Homecoming is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 10, against Indiana, with this year’s theme: “A Legacy to Shape the Future!” Learn more about the motivation behind the theme in this video that features the Homecoming Court Executive Committee.

Homecoming Royalty Director Kelly Gastgeb became inspired to create the Homecoming Alumni Court because she wanted to honor alumni who served in Homecoming Court as students, while also connecting alumni to current Penn State students.

Most other positions within Homecoming already involve alumni, said Gastgeb — a sophomore from Pittsburgh who’s majoring in advertising with a minor in political science — so the Homecoming Alumni Court presented an opportunity for something new and different, while simultaneously keeping alumni connected to Penn State.

There’s also the personal interaction that goes along with that, as alumni meet students and they share stories, which is why Gastgeb joined the organization after initially seeing some information on a chalkboard her freshman year.

“I thought it was cool how big Penn State is on honoring alumni, I think that's really important,” Gastgeb said. “We wouldn't be where we are right now without our alumni, and they do so much for us. I thought it’d be a really good opportunity for me to be involved with a group that sets up year-long events to honor alumni.”

Shannon McConnell, alumni court liaison and royalty captain, is a sophomore from Macungie, majoring in psychology and criminology. She applied for the Homecoming Committee because she liked that it’s a student-run organization and she’d have the opportunity to spread the word about all Homecoming events, some of which not all alumni may know about.

Each year, Penn State Homecoming consists of events and performances all week leading up to the football game, with many other events taking place the rest of the year.

For the Homecoming Alumni Court, Gastgeb and McConnell both said they’re looking forward to hearing from alumni, with McConnell saying, “We all have Penn State in common. It’s going to be really interesting to read the responses and to see how we can relate to them through Penn State.”

Gastgeb added: “The reason I got involved in homecoming in the first place is because I really like connecting with alumni, especially those who are older. I think it’ll be really cool to hear their reasons, and see if maybe they parallel with mine, for why we love the University. That’d be a really awesome connection for students and alumni to make.”

Gastgeb and McConnell said they’re hoping to select five male court members and five female court members. The Homecoming Court Executive Committee will select the honorees based on application responses.

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    Penn State Homecoming is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 10, against Indiana, with this year’s theme: "A Legacy to Shape the Future!" 

    IMAGE: Homecoming Court Executive Committee

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 01, 2015