Alma College’s 2023 Homecoming court finalists and Royal Scots were announced over the past couple of weeks as the college prepares for its annual alumni celebration. Homecoming court is a tradition that recognizes distinguished students who represent the college.
There were seven finalists this year: Chetara Knight (‘23), Derek Long (‘24), Emma Adams (‘23), Kara Sutherland (‘23), Mackayla Pirie (‘23), Megan Hope (‘23) and Noah Festerling (‘23).
The four individuals chosen by the student body were Chetara Knight, Derek Long, Megan Hope and Noah Festerling. They will represent Alma College at both the Homecoming parade and halftime of the football game.
“It’s really exciting and a little nerve-wracking. It doesn’t feel real yet,” said Knight.
Knight is an active member of the Alma College campus community. She is president of the Black Student Union and Gender Affirming Closet, a member of the choir and a member of both the art and psychology honoraries. She works as a Senior First Year Guide and as staff in the CSO, the bookstore and the DEI office.
“I used to think that homecoming court was a battle for popularity… in high school so I never thought about it. I proved to myself that it’s not all about that. It’s something bigger than me because I represent a lot of things on campus and I represent myself first and that representation is what’s important,” said Knight.
“It feels really cool. It’s an opportunity I never thought I’d have in college. It feels like a really special kind of recognition that all of campus is giving me,” said Festerling.
Like Knight, Festerling is also an avid leader on campus. “I’m the president of PMA, one of the campus fraternities; I’m on the tennis team; I play in the marching band; I’m involved in the political science club and I work for the Chapel as a tech coordinator,” said Festerling.
Brendan Murdie, Assistant Director of Student Engagement – Student Activities and Organizations, oversaw the selection of the finalists and played a large hand in the organization of Homecoming as a whole.
“The nomination form was posted and advertised around campus [and] Alma Connect. The Homecoming Court Selection Committee looked over each candidate’s materials. These included the application questions, resume, reflection paper, cumulative GPA and completed credit hours. Each candidate’s materials were scored on a common rubric, and we used those scores as the baseline for our decisions,” said Murdie.
“This year, the committee was comprised of the following people: Hank Wickley from Admissions, Dr. Laura Von Wallmenich from the Faculty, Taylor Neeb from the student body as Student Congress President, Alexa Wright from Advancement, Antonio Capaldi and Rebecca Kita from Athletics and myself from Student Engagement,” said Murdie.
“Being a Royal Scot means that both faculty, staff and students see you as one of the top student leaders on campus. The Royal Scots are featured in the Tartan alumni magazine, receive a $500 book scholarship, tickets to the homecoming football game for family [and] supporters, a few other gifts like an Alma necklace or tie bar and they represent Alma College in the Homecoming Parade and at the game,” said Murdie.
To learn more about the Homecoming court and Homecoming festivities, visit https://www.alma.edu/alumni/homecoming/.