In line with University of Miami tradition, representatives from several student organizations competed Oct. 29 for a spot on the 2018 homecoming court during the annual King and Queen Pageant.
Contestants participated in choreographed dances, performed themed homecoming skits and showed off their special talents, all with the hopes of being crowned a member of the homecoming court.
After a spirited competition, the judges determined that two contestants stood out above the rest. Sophomore Bobby Shore, representing the Council of International Students and Organizations, and senior Kristi Reynardus, representing the Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos, won the titles of this year’s homecoming king and queen, respectively.
Adrian Nunez, an employee of UM’s government and community relations department and a graduate student studying public administration, participated as one of this year’s judges. He said he’s very excited about the picks for homecoming king and queen.
“I think both of them are great,” Nunez said. “It is really cool that this year we have a sophomore king. I think that gives younger people on this campus an image that you don’t have to be an upperclassman to run.”
Shore, who is double majoring in economics and China studies, said he’s very honored to obtain the title of homecoming king.
“Being homecoming king makes me think that I represent many facets of the university,” he said. “It just makes me feel like I truly am home and that I’m certainly in the right place.”
Reynardus, a Miami native, said winning the title of homecoming queen made her even more proud to call this school and city her home.
“The University of Miami is not independent of Miami, they work in unison,” said Reynardus, who is a public health major. “So, growing up in Miami, it means a lot to me to be a Cane and to be a full member of this community and really get to experience all of it.”
Reynardus demonstrated her school pride during the pageant by painting a portrait of President Julio Frenk in under two minutes. Nunez said the contestants’ displays of creativity were a highlight of the pageant.
“Usually it is a lot of singing and dancing, but we had really cool talents this year, like Kristi’s speed painting, and even parkour from one student,” said Nunez.
Reynardus said her victory was a special addition to her final homecoming as an undergraduate at UM.
“It’s really nice to be able to represent my community and experience my last homecoming in a very full circle way,” she said. “My freshman year, my best friend Daniella Lorenzo won homecoming queen for FEC and now this year she gets to come back as an alumna and watch me in the parade.”
Both Shore and Reynardus won because judges thought they embodied what it means to be a Cane. But for Shore, Sebastian the Ibis is a perfect example of the UM spirit.
“The ibis is the last animal to leave before a hurricane and the first to come back, no matter how bad the storm is,” he said. “So, to be a Cane means to have courage, trust your instincts, and to always love and come back home to UM.”