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Homecoming Royalty

The Homecoming Committee has announced royalty candidates for the University’s 2022 Homecoming celebration.

Students may begin voting at midnight Monday, Oct. 10, by logging into CatPAWS; voting ends at midnight Wednesday, Oct. 19. The king and queen will be announced Thursday, Oct. 20, at the conclusion of the Homecoming Variety Show, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. Variety Show tickets are $5.

King candidates

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Nicholas Bolton

Year: Junior

Major: Physical education

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

Campus involvement: Club basketball, Minority Men’s Organization, Navigators, student ambassador, Lead Green, peer mentor, Black Student Union

Favorite part about Homecoming: The parade

What does being a Bearcat mean to you? Being a Bearcat means everything to me. The connections that you build here will last a lifetime.

Personal motto: The good times, the trying times, I value all my experiences at any time.

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Hunter Grantham

Year: Senior

Major: Elementary and special education

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

Campus involvement: Student Senate, Sigma Tau Gamma, Council for Exceptional Children, student ambassador

Favorite part about Homecoming: My favorite part about Homecoming is seeing everyone back for a bigger cause. After the last couple years of chaos, Homecoming is where everyone gets to come back to Maryville and just spend time with each other. I love the parade, football game and everything in between. The energy around Homecoming is something that cannot be recreated. It truly is special at Northwest.

What does being a Bearcat mean to you? Being a Bearcat to me means leaving your mark on any endeavor that you take. We are given so much here at Northwest, so we can use these things that we have learned and make life better just not for us but everyone that we come into contact with.

Personal motto: Be you and do not settle for anything less than the best. People can say all they want about you, but it is important to stay true to yourself. Be you and be the best you that you can possibly be.

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Foster Huggins

Year: Senior

Major: Physical education

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

Campus involvement: PE Club, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Newman Center

Favorite part about Homecoming: Seeing people come together and embrace our home here at Northwest.

What does being a Bearcat mean to you? Being myself and embracing who I am, because back in high school I used to be so shy and so afraid of the world’s judgment. But ever since the first day I arrived at Northwest, I have made it my goal to be me. Making this decision to fully be myself has allowed me to be surrounded by people that truly love me for me, and it also has allowed me to enjoy my time as a Bearcat so much more than if I was to have stayed in my shell.

Personal motto: Your life is worth living. Losing my best friend to suicide has opened my eyes to the battles that people face regarding mental health. I just want to remind the world, whatever you are going through, keep pushing, because there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you owe it to yourself to make it there. On the other side of your struggle is a story, and a chance to impact the world. Keep pushing because your life is worth living.

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Jayden Pierce

Year: Senior

Major: Biomedical sciences

Hometown: Linwood, Kansas

Campus involvement: Blue Key Honors Society, Student Success Center

Favorite part about Homecoming: My favorite part about Homecoming is connecting with students, alumni and community members to celebrate the positive impact Northwest has on every one of us.

What does being a Bearcat mean to you? Being a Bearcat means developing tight-knit friendships, making life-long memories and becoming the best version of yourself. It means being a member of a special, supporting community that always has each other’s backs. As Bearcats, we welcome new challenges, learn from our mistakes, and go above and beyond to achieve success.

Personal motto: “Just keep swimming” – Dory

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Dami Popoola

Year: Senior

Major: Computer science

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Campus involvement: Student Senate, Tau Kappa Epsilon, African Student Organization, International Student Organization, Black student Union, Minority Men’s Organization, soccer club.

Favorite part about Homecoming: The International Flag Raising-Ceremony because it is such an honor to raise my country’s flag each year.

What does being a Bearcat mean to you? Being a Bearcat to me means finding my home away from home and making friendships that feel like family.

Personal motto: “Throw me to the wolves and I’ll return leading the pack.”

Queen candidates

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Hadley Renee Douglas

Year: Senior

Major: Human Services, minor is Psychology

Hometown: Saint Joseph, Missouri

Campus involvement: student ambassador, peer advisor, Northwest Dance Company president, Alpha Delta Pi Chapter director of new member experience, TRIO

Favorite part about Homecoming: My favorite part about Homecoming is the excitement, preparing for the events that everyone presents, and all the activities that every student and employee can attend. It’s an exciting moment to watch how much hard work and dedication is put into Northwest’s Homecoming.

What does being a Bearcat mean to you? Being a Bearcat to me means that I am a part of a big happy family. We all support one another, we uplift each other in the best and worst times, and that makes Northwest feel like home everywhere I go.

Personal motto: “By always being myself, I am putting something wonderful in the world that was not there before.”

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Makenna Johannsen

Year: Senior

Major: Marketing and communication with an emphasis in public relations

Hometown: Bellevue, Nebraska

Campus involvement: Panhellenic Council president, Lambda Pi Eta public relations chair, Phi Mu, Order of Omega, Homecoming Public Relations Committee, Booth School of Business ambassador, Student Affairs public relations intern

Favorite part about Homecoming: My favorite part about Homecoming is the coming together of future, present and past Bearcats, and I’m also a huge fan of the breakfast casserole that my roommates and I eat while we watch the parade.

What does being a Bearcat mean to you? Being a Bearcat means not just joining an organization but leading it, not just playing an intramural softball game but being the MVP of it, and not just continuing education but taking what we learn and using it to better the community around us.

Personal motto: Love God and love people. 

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Jenna Lee-Johnson

Year: Senior

Major: Elementary education

Hometown: Indianola, Iowa

Campus involvement: Student Senate, Panhellenic Council, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Order of Omega, student ambassador

Favorite part about Homecoming: My favorite part about homecoming is the sense of community on campus and in Maryville. Everyone comes together to celebrate some of the best Northwest traditions.

What does being a Bearcat mean to you? To me, being a Bearcat means having a family and a home no matter where life takes you after graduation. It means learning, connecting, caring, practicing civility and showing pride wherever you go.

Personal motto: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou

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Becky Kats

Year: Senior

Major: Dietetics

Hometown: Tinley Park, Illinois

Campus involvement: Bearcat Steppers

Favorite part about Homecoming: I love the atmosphere. It is unlike any other Homecoming out there because you really understand how much the town and the community support each other. I feel nothing but Bearcat pride during Homecoming week.

What does being a Bearcat mean to you? Being a Bearcat to me means family. I came to Northwest not knowing a soul, but the friends I’ve made, and the people I’ve met make Northwest feel like home. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

Personal motto: Wear a seatbelt. Drink orange juice. Make good choices.
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Ady Watts

Year: Senior 

Major: Middle school social science education

Hometown: Gretna, Nebraska

Campus involvement: Bearcat softball, Blue Key National Honor Society

Favorite part about Homecoming: My favorite part of homecoming is how the community and the college come together as one to celebrate Northwest. I also love going to the Student Union to look at all the creative and unique banners that different organizations have made.

What does being a Bearcat mean to you? Being a Bearcat means to me being the best leader I can be in and out of the classroom.

Personal motto: Hakuna matata