A pair of local students were voted Homecoming royalty by their fellow classmates at Fairmont State University’s 2021 Homecoming celebration over the weekend.
Seniors Grant Elliott and Katlyn Cunningham, both North Marion High School graduates, were crowned Homecoming King and Queen by reigning royalty, Ja’Lon Staples and Trang Ta, at Saturday’s football game against Alderson Broaddus University during halftime.
“Being from the Fairmont area adds to the feeling of home that I get from being named Homecoming Queen,” said Cunningham, a social studies education and sociology major from Barrackville. “I’ll really cherish that forever.”
For Cunningham, a member of Delta Zeta who is also the secretary for All Greek Council, the honor is a testament to the support she feels from her sorority sisters.
“I feel like being Homecoming Queen isn’t just a win for me, but for my sorority,” she said. “This past week brought me so much closer to my Delta Zeta sisters and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Elliott, a math education major from Mannington, said the moment he was crowned was one he had envisioned since he was young.
“I watched the Lion King a lot, and I just couldn't wait to be king," joked Elliott.
Elliott’s humor is just part of the reason his peers selected him to represent them, however. A member of Greek life and the Math Club, in addition to serving as Alpha Sigma Tau’s Sweetheart, Elliott is also invested in making a difference through his involvement on campus.
"Winning Homecoming King allows me to represent this school and my fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon in a positive way,” he said.
Though the weekend’s festivities culminated in the crowning of Cunningham and Elliott, the three-day celebration was marked by a multitude of other events. Members of the Falcon Family attended a kick-off bonfire, volunteered in a litter pick-up on Locust Avenue, honored alumni award winners and Hall of Fame inductees and marched through the streets of Fairmont during the annual Homecoming Parade. Fairmont State Athletics also added some wins to the record books, with both the Fighting Falcon volleyball and football teams hosting home contests and emerging victorious.
“Homecoming is always a magical time on campus where students, alumni, faculty, staff and the rest of the Falcon Family join together to celebrate,” said Fairmont State University President Mirta M. Martin. “But because last year’s celebration was affected by the pandemic, this year felt even more special, and it felt as if we were all truly ‘coming home.’ Our 2021 Homecoming is one we will not soon forget, and we are incredibly grateful to those who made the festivities possible.”