2021 welcomed the return of crowning royalty at the homecoming football game. Hayley Anderson and Abdulomar Tucker were crowned as this year’s Homecoming Royalty. For the first time in SU history, a dog was part of the entourage.
Ollie, Anderson’s service dog, was crowned in the ceremony alongside the human royalty.
The court was presented during halftime. The 10 court members were heralded onto the field with music by the Shippensburg University Marching Band. Although overcast and rainy for most of the day, the sun popped out for the ceremony.
This year’s homecoming court included SU students Hayley Anderson, Hunter Gross, Clarence Johnson III, Alycia LaLuz, David Maldonado, Jordan Newsome-Little, Robert Rainey, Julianna Rehberg, Lindsey Spector and Abdulomar Tucker.
Together the court raised $14,151.56 for the Shippensburg Community Resource Coalition (SCRC), Tyler Rock, the Campus Activities and Programing Advisor, said. The SCRC fights food insecurity and provides social and educational programs for youth in the Shippensburg community, according to Rock.
Seniors Anderson and Tucker are the first homecoming royalty to be crowned at the annual football game since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.
“[It feels] surreal honestly. I didn’t expect it all, but it’s amazing. I couldn’t ask for any other way to top off my college experience,” Anderson said.
Tucker and Anderson smiled and were met with congratulations as Charles Patterson, SU interim president, crowned them.
“It’s honestly a humbling experience. Words really can’t describe how happy I am. This really means everything,” Tucker said. “Shippensburg has given me so much. I just have to say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Go Raiders!”
Candidates turned in their fundraising money and service hours by 11:59 a.m. on Oct. 22, the day before coronation, Rock said. A committee met for two hours after the deadline to finalize scores and majesties, he said.
“When we found out that one of the recipients was Hayley, we wanted to ensure Ollie was involved and acknowledged as well,” Rock said.
“Myself and one of the committee members, Alyssa, went to spirit Halloween at 11 a.m. just two hours before kick-off to ensure that we had a crown to give Ollie as well. It was well worth rushing around.”
In the month leading up to homecoming, each court member had to raise $1,000 though events and fundraisers. On top of being students, participating in extracurriculars and having jobs, court members put in an incredible amount of energy and dedication.
As past royal, it was an honor to welcome Tucker and Anderson into the Royal Family, Rock said.
“Homecoming Court and the royalty process is a tradition that embodies and highlights the impact that our students make during their time at the university. With a focal point of service and giving back to our local community, we see that the title of Crowned Majesty is more than just a title,” Rock said. “The heart and true meaning of the process stems from a desire to show your Raider Pride and demonstrate compassion along the way.”