Every year, around this time, students gather together to don the traditional green and gold colors of NMU and celebrate homecoming. With various activities planned throughout the week, there’s something for everybody to enjoy. To some people, namely those in the running, there’s only one competition that matters, and that’s the crowning of homecoming king and queen.
For senior hospitality major Pat Digneit, it’s even more important this year, as the past three have seen Digneit run for homecoming king and each year he has come in second place. Now, in his final year at Northern, Digneit has one more shot at making his dreams of homecoming king a reality.
When Digneit first decided to run, it wasn’t even his idea, as his Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brothers coerced him into it. Digneit acquiesced to their request.
“Nobody wanted to run and they were like, ‘you do it,'” Digneit said. “If you’re going to participate in Homecoming you might as well go out and win participation
The next year nobody else wanted to run and Digneit once again felt encouragement from his fraternity to do it another time, but once again the attempt was to no avail. The same story occurred the following year, as well.
Since it was now Digneit’s third time running, he and his “brothers” felt the old adage of “third time’s the charm” might hold true, but it proved to not be so.
“All the guys I’ve lost to have all been my friends so it’s funny because at the end we all go and hang out afterwards. I don’t hold grudges.”
For Digneit’s final year at NMU, he wasn’t even planning on running again, but was once again surprised by his frat when they announced they had already signed him up for the competition.
“I’m finally going to graduate in May. I might as well go for it,” Digneit said.
Even before college, Digneit was no stranger to Homecoming ceremonies, having been the class president in high school. During that time he was involved with float making and organizing events.
While the duties accompanying the homecoming king crown may be few, Digneit said he can still give back to a university that has given him so much.
“I think Northern’s the greatest
school in the world,” Digneit said. “I tell all my friends to come here. It’s the best kept secret.”
Digneit went on to say he especially
likes the administration for their easy access to students and teachers who are always there to help.
“I don’t know many universities where if you saw [the president of the university] you could go up to him say hi and have him remember your face if he’s seen you at events or stuff like that,” Digneit said. “At other places you’re just a number. I’m going to take everything I’ve learned from Northern and apply it to my life.”
Senior hospitality management major Nancy Kenok ran for homecoming queen with Digneit last year and also came in second. Kenok responded favorably about her experiences with Digneit and his numerous runs for king.
“Pat’s an awesome guy. He deserves
it. Let him leave Northern happy. He’s ran so many times and then gotten second every time. He’s definitely a number one type of guy,” Kenok said.
Junior public relations major Lizzie Corser is the Special Events Coordinator for Homecoming and said Digneit is one of the most enthusiastic and determined contestants she has worked with.
“Regardless of his second place standings for the past three years, he was always ready to give it another shot, which speaks a lot for his personality,” Corser said.
According to Corser, the king and queen finalists are chosen first through an audience vote based on their performance during the dress categories, theme wear and semi-formal wear. The votes from the audience decide the top five contestants in each division.
“Those contestants then proceed to the question and answer round where they are placed before a panel of judges made up of faculty, staff and administration members,” Corser said. “The judges then score the contestants based on their poise, appropriateness of answer and audience reaction.”
The judges’ scores are then added to determine who is crowned. In the case of a tie, the contestant who received the greater number of audience votes wins, Corser added.
Homecoming kicks off Sept. 19 and continues through Sept. 26. Events planned are a scavenger hunt, the stepping competition
and a video game night.