The University of Central Arkansas celebrated a ’90s-themed Homecoming Week from Oct. 21-26, with students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the university celebrating at the week’s various events. This year marked UCA’s 92nd Homecoming.
Presented by Conway Regional Health System, UCA Homecoming 2019 included a Young Alumni Night, the Alumni & Friends Party, a victorious football game against Sam Houston State University and more. The Bears beat Sam Houston 29-25 on The Stripes.
The university kicked off the week with its high-energy Fall Fest and College Square Pep Rally on Oct. 21 and later in the week hosted performing arts and comedy shows for the UCA and Conway community.
The Oct. 25 Homecoming Greek Show at the Farris Center saw Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. take home the first-place prize of $1,500 for its performance in the step show, with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. being named first runner-up and earning a $1,000 prize, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. taking home the second runner-up title and $500 award. Also that day, the Alumni & Friends Party honored two UCA alumni for their service to the UCA or broader community. Brandy Pate ’98, clinical instructor I in the Department of Occupational Therapy, was presented with the Alumni Service Award, and Spencer Gordy ’07 was awarded the inaugural Young Alumni Award. Pate has been chapter adviser for Alpha Sigma Tau for about 20 years and serves on the interview committee for the Student Orientation Staff. While a student, Gordy held many roles. He was an SOS team leader, executive on the Interfraternity Council and UCA Ambassador, to name a few.
Also on Homecoming Day, UCA crowned senior Kamoni Manago as the 2019 Homecoming Queen and junior Jarrett Counts as its first-ever Homecoming King, bringing a historic moment to this year’s Homecoming celebration. Trace Huckabay was announced the Homecoming Prince, and Maggie Mankin was named Homecoming Maid.
Counts is a junior health administration major who is also a UCA Ambassador, Minority Mentorship Program leader and president of the UCA chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He said he was shocked to be named UCA’s first Homecoming King.
“It was a surreal feeling,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do other than stand there and wave. I was trying to take the moment in, make it last.”
Manago is an exercise science major whose campus involvement includes being a Minority Mentorship Program mentor, Women of Excellence member, Greek Elite board member, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. member and more.
“I really love UCA a lot because it makes me feel like I’m home,” Manago said. “They allow you to be you; they allow you to be free and express who you are as an individual as you represent UCA. The amount of love shown to each student here on campus, each and every faculty and staff, that’s amazing to me that UCA has that.”