Lindsey Fox / Asst. multimedia editor
Students, faculty, staff, fans and alumni came together last weekend to honor the university for Ohio State’s 2011 homecoming.
With OSU being a family and home to many, the Scarlet and Gray spirit was certainly showing through all of the weekend’s festivities clear until Saturday’s game against Wisconsin, under the lights.
The pre-game activities, half-time show and singing of “Carmen Ohio” after the Buckeyes’ victory made the game an event in itself.
With 160 applicants narrowed down to 24 candidates, student leaders were chosen to represent the university as members of the Homecoming Court. With 20 minutes to go before the game started, the court stood in front of 105,551 people, anxiously awaiting the crowning of the king and queen.
“A judging panel consisting of 60 members including staff, faculty and alumni selects these individuals,” said Josh Harraman, director of student programs. “The court members are chosen based on their ability to exemplify the qualities of leadership, spirit, integrity and achievement through their contributions and involvement at The Ohio State University and Columbus community.”
Both Archie Griffin and President E. Gordon Gee were there, along with many others, to crown Evan Davis and Sarah Beale as the king and queen.
Davis is a fourth-year in international studies and political science from Xenia, Ohio, and Beale is a fourth-year in leadership studies from Hilliard, Ohio.
“It is a true honor and blessing to represent ‘The’ Ohio State University as Homecoming Queen,” Beale said. “This university is truly Ohio State’s university. I was fortunate enough to travel with Dr. Gee this summer on his State Tour and through that experience I was able to see this Ohio State on a different light (with having 5 regional campuses), an extension office in every county, and are so interconnected with the State’s economy and industry.
Beale said she is honored to be chosen as a representative of the university.
“Though I don’t believe I am worthy of this honor, it is a blessing for which I am incredibly grateful,” Beale added. “I could not be more proud of this University, and I am so thankful for this opportunity to represent Ohio State in this capacity.”
Davis said that being a Buckeye is being a part of something that is unexplainable, something is greater than yourself. The OSU community is larger than the campus itself, it extends throughout world and this can be seen in all of the great achievements of Buckeyes of the past, present and future, according to OSU’s homecoming website.
This was the first year that a homecoming court with a king and queen were also selected from each of OSU’s regional campuses: Newark, ATI, Lima, Marion and Mansfield.
At the regional campuses, students were selected based on the strength of their campus and community involvement, grade point average, interviews and student vote on each campus, Harraman said.
“It is a big deal for the campuses. We wanted them to be a part of the special tradition,” Harraman said. “It is such a great interest to pay forward to the university, to be ambassadors and get involved in the different events at OSU.”
The courts from the different campuses met at the Longaberger Alumni House on Friday to learn which court members represented their campus as homecoming queen and king at the first official Regional Campus Homecoming Court Crowning Ceremony.
Along with the usual routine from the band and the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Script Ohio, Eddie George, the Heisman Trophy-winning tailback who holds the single-season and single-game rushing records for OSU, was honored at halftime.
OSU’s Department of Athletics recognized George for his pending induction into the National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame in December.
George, who was inducted into OSU University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006, will become the 23rd OSU player to enter college football’s Hall of Fame. He is one of only six individuals with his name honored in lights in the north end zone of Ohio Stadium.