Senior Courtney Barrentine was crowned as UCA’s 2015 Homecoming Queen during the halftime ceremony during the Bears’ football game against Southeastern Louisiana.
2014 Homecoming Queen Lacy Flurry placed the crown on Barrentine and took her into a loving sister-like embrace, tears welling in their eyes.
Senior Natalie Brown was named Maid of Honor.
Barrentine said she does not take her new role lightly, expressing the depth to which being selected has impacted her.
“For me, chosen to be queen means that the little things don’t go unnoticed. Every person you impact and influence will make a difference in their life, so I strive to be a friend to everyone I meet,” Barrentine said. “You never know who you could impact or who will impact your life. I was not expecting to win. The entire Homecoming court consisted of great women who are highly involved around our campus and do so much for UCA. In my opinion, every person on that court deserved to be Queen.”
Barrentine is a member of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority from Sherwood, Arkansas. She attended Sylvan Hills High School, where she was involved in cheerleading and student government. She worked on her school’s yearbook staff as the advertising editor. She graduated with honors and was a member in the National Honor Society.
Barrentine will graduate in May with a nutrition major. She hopes to take her degree and go to nursing school, where she wants to work on becoming a registered nurse.
Barrentine said attending UCA was a logical and friendly option.
“I picked UCA because of how at home I felt when visiting,” she said. “Faculty and even students were very welcoming and inviting.”
While being a safe and fun environment to grow and learn in, Barrentine feels that she gained even more.
“My time here so far has been unforgettable,” she said. “UCA has given me not only the best education, but also a safe place to live, leadership skills for present and future opportunities, and friends that I will have forever.”
The process for selecting a Homecoming queen is a rigorous one. Members must be nominated by a group from UCA before they are officially able to be voted for.
Then, candidates must endure another round of selection before finding out which nominees make it onto the court at a pep rally a few days prior to the Homecoming game. Once the court is established, judges from the school make a final vote to decide the queen and subsequent positions on the court.
Senior Kelsey Pope, one of the women who was voted unto the court, said that the competitive nature of the process did not affect the dynamic between members of the court.
“I would definitely say it’s a family atmosphere,” she said. “The girls on court are all very supportive of one another.”
Pope said she will look back on her time at UCA fondly and that her Homecoming experience was unforgettable.
“It was exhilarating and it all went by so fast,” she said. “Having my family and friends there to support me was amazing. I feel like the winners felt surprised simply because the eight people on court were all so deserving. It was a wonderful night for all of us.”
This article appeared in the Nov. 4, 2015 print edition of The Echo.