Purdue holds gender-neutral homecoming, honoring ‘royalty’ rather than king, queen.
Purdue University selected its homecoming honorees at its Saturday game against Boston College.
But don’t call recipient Lily Bishop Homecoming Queen or Grant Wood Homecoming King. Instead, the university opted to do away with those gender-specific titles and replace them with the more inclusive Homecoming Royalty.
Purdue is the latest university to adopt a gender-inclusive homecoming policy. Penn State announced earlier this year it was doing the same, as has the University of Minnesota and the University of Iowa.
Purdue’s Spirit and Traditions announced its change earlier this week. This year’s royalty were selected by a combination of online student voting and formal interviews.
At Penn State, the move to eliminate male-to-female court ratio was led by the student-run Homecoming Committee in an effort to “foster more diversity and gender inclusivity.” The two winners would be called “Guide State Forward” award winners in keeping with the homecoming theme.
“We’re striving to open up Homecoming so that all Penn State students can feel like they are welcome and able to participate. Our goal is to identify the best students to represent Penn State without regard to their gender, gender identity or gender expression,” said Ally Berdan, executive director of Penn State Homecoming 2018.
Twenty finalists for the honor will be interviewed before students are allowed to vote on the top five finalists, the university said. Penn State’s Homecoming game is set for October 13.