Homecoming week at Newman University is filled with dress-up competitions, banner decorating, voting for homecoming royalty and dancing it out at Campus Activity Board’s annual Lip Sync Battle — all of which lead up to the culmination of basketball games and a roaring crowd of Newman fans.
A taco tailgate for Newman staff and faculty started off the 2022 Newman homecoming night Thursday, Feb. 24. The Newman Troubadours, directed by Deanne Zogleman, performed the national anthem before the basketball games in the Fugate Gymnasium.
At 5:30 p.m., the women’s basketball team took on a powerful game against the Blue Tigers of Lincoln University. The Newman Jets consistently kept the lead and celebrated their first win of the MIAA conference with a final score of 78-64.
The women’s halftime featured a performance by the Cheer and Dance team, minute-to-win-it games, as well as an announcement of the student winners for the essay, TikTok and visual arts contests during Heritage Month.
First-year student Emily Pachta won for her essay, senior Steven Nguyen for his TikTok submission and first-year student John Suffield for his visual arts piece. Each student collected his or her prize of $100.
The 7:30 p.m. men’s basketball game started strong and finished even stronger, with a victory over the Blue Tigers 89-76.
Crowning homecoming royalty
Each year at halftime of the men’s game on homecoming night, Newman University presents its student candidates of the homecoming court.
This year’s candidates for homecoming king were Brenden Schwartz, Tyler Push, Steven Nguyen, Tejay Cleland and Daniel Knolla. Homecoming queen candidates were Anna Veltien, Marie Moore, Julia Myers, Allison Williams and Kayla Garvert.
Both Knolla and Moore said they were surprised to hear their names called.
“Most of the people on that court are probably the reason why we are homecoming king and queen,” Knolla said. “So if anything, it makes me more appreciative to them. They’re all awesome people.”
Moore agreed and added, “I am just really grateful for Newman as a whole and how it shaped me as a person. I never thought I would be here my freshman year, even on the court, so winning was a shock to me.”
Reflecting on Newman experience
Being crowned homecoming king and queen together “definitely made the night extra special,” Moore said.
Knolla and Moore met during their freshman year in the Mabee Dining Center on campus and got to know each other more through the Honors Program.
“I was kind of being loud in the dining hall and I made an impression on him, and we’ve been dating ever since — for three years and some change,” Moore said.
Looking back on her years at Newman, Moore said she’s especially grateful for her immediate friends who convinced her to try out for the Sloppy Joe Improv Troupe.
“That helped me break out of my shell and I’m just so grateful to Dan, Brenden and Austin Schwartz,” she said. “And also for my science professors, Dr. (Michael) Bradley, Dr. Jones who was really impactful to me and Sara Evans for just helping me get to the next step in my career, which hopefully is medical school.”
Knolla describes his experience on the Sloppy Joe Improv Troupe as his “rock here at Newman.”
“I just love those guys,” he said. “I also want to give a shout-out to Dr. Evans who is my advisor and has dragged me by my toes all these years at Newman. Even though I might not have made it easy, I just want her to know that she’s very much appreciated.”
Both Knolla and Moore added in succession, “And, Mark Mannette, of course.”