Each year, eight individuals are nominated by their class to the Homecoming Court, a group of students chosen to represent California Baptist University. This year, Catherine Rice and Joshua Perez took home the crowns, representing Mr. and Ms. CBU for the 2014-2015 academic year.
In order to become homecoming princes and princesses, students must be nominated by their graduating class, which leads to the classes voting to choose their princes and princesses. Even before homecoming, these nominees were excited to participate in the homecoming festivities and represent the university.
“I was pretty stoked,” said Nick Worrel, sophomore Christian studies major, who was nominated as the male representative of the class of 2017. “I love being a part of the community and being involved in the student body, so when I was notified I was chosen for it, I saw that as an opportunity to be an encouragement to people.”
Only the senior class representatives are eligible to be crowned Mr. and Ms. CBU so as Homecoming weekend came to a close, students and guests gathered on the front lawn to celebrate not only Fortuna Bowl, but the crowning of this year’s CBU royalty.
During halftime at the Fortuna Bowl, the princes and princesses from each class walked down a red carpet on the Fortuna field as they were announced, standing with their partners as they were given a box that encased either a white or gold balloon.
The couple that had a gold balloon float out of their box was declared the winner, but before the winners were revealed each male nominee was instructed to move one position to his left.
In the end, Rice, senior childhood studies major, and Perez, senior applied theology and graphic design double major, were announced as Mr. and Ms. CBU.
Rice said she was ecstatic when she realized she won.
“It felt very surreal,” Rice said. “While waiting for them to announce the winners I was nervous and excited at the same time, and to be honest it still does not feel real. I feel very honored and privileged.”
Rice, who has attended CBU since her freshman year, said she believes she represents the university well. Rice also said she did not campaign for the title, but made it clear she was grateful for all of the help she got from her friends.
Similarly, Perez said he felt honored and humbled to have been nominated along with the other candidates, especially in light of winning Mr. CBU.
Perez, an Office of Community Life intern who enjoys taking pictures with his GoPro, said he takes pride in being a student at CBU and believes that his opportunities here have played a huge part in guiding him for the next chapter in his life.
“I was really shocked and surprised from the moment Cat and I saw the gold balloon float out of the box,” Perez said. “Everyone was running up to congratulate us. It was awesome.”