Lyles and Green crowned Homecoming Queen and King

Ellen McDonald, Managing Editor

After the announcement made by the University of North Alabama last Aug. to postpone Homecoming to the spring, many students feared that Homecoming, like many other traditions, would fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Despite their worries, the University Program Council (UPC) planned and executed a successful Homecoming week for the students, faculty and alumni of UNA. 

The week was filled with the beloved window painting competition, a pomping competition and the crowning of Homecoming King and Queen. 

On March 14, Brooke Lyles and Daniel Green were crowned as the University of North Alabama’s Homecoming Queen and King. 

Brooke Lyles was nominated for Homecoming Court by her sisters of Phi Mu. She is currently a senior at UNA and is completing her student teaching at Central High School. 

During her time at UNA, Lyles served as a student SOAR counselor, was a member of the LaGrange Society, a member of the Honors College and was a member of the UNA softball team for two years. 

After graduation, Lyles plans to start her masters at UNA, and she hopes to stay in the Shoals area. 

“I don’t even know if it seems real yet,” said Lyles. “It’s an honor and a privilege. I told myself that if I made the court, that would be a win in my eyes because it’s so competitive.”

Lyles explained that during court nominations, students must decide between some of the best role models on UNA’s campus. They are faced with individuals who exuberate all of the best qualities of UNA. 

“It means the world to me and it means that I worked really hard to show people that there is more than just looks and below the surface it’s important to be involved and be a caring person,” said Lyles. “It’s not about what you look like on the outside.”

Lyles explained that during the crowning ceremony, she felt like she was in a daze. 

“I was crying and wiping my tears,” said Lyles. “It was so surreal. It’s one of those things where since I was a freshman, I knew that I really wanted to be that girl one day who younger students can look up to.” 

Lyles added that being crowned Homecoming Queen was something that she had been hoping for, for so long. It allowed her UNA experience and her time as a student to come full circle from where she began. 

During a normal Homecoming, registered student organizations are able to work diligently on a homecoming float and present it to the UNA community during the Homecoming Parade. Due to the ongoing pandemic, many sororities and fraternities competed in the pomping competition. 

“I know it was different this year, but I love doing the float,” said Lyles. “I helped with it every year… it’s a good opportunity for you to get to know the other people in your RSO.” 

Lyles explained that before coming to UNA, she felt that she was defined only by the sports she participated in. 

“It [UNA] opens doors for other leadership opportunities,” said Lyles. “I was never that girl that was super confident enough to be a SOAR counselor. UNA is small enough to where you can manage multiple things.”

Lyles added that she did not think that she could have had the same college experience anywhere else. She emphasized that without UNA, she would have never grown as a leader.

Lyles would like to thank her family, the sisters of Phi Mu, all her past coaches and sponsors, her professors who have helped her along the way. She added that she would like to thank President and Dena Kitts and all of the individuals who helped make Homecoming possible and safe. 

“I can’t believe I’m about to graduate,” said Lyles. “It has been everything I thought it would be times one hundred.”

Daniel Green was nominated for Homecoming court by the sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha. He is currently a junior at UNA majoring in Entertainment Business. He was previously chosen as Mr. University and currently serves as the UPC Hype Man. 

Green is also involved in the Baptist Church Ministries (BCM) and he serves as the Vice President of External Affairs for his fraternity, Lambda Sigma Phi. Furthermore, he is a member of Order of Omega and Gamma Sigma Alpha, two Greek honor societies on campus. 

“I was surprised, more than anything it was because I was a junior standing up there with a bunch of seniors,” said Green. “It’s hard to see yourself in that place until you’re actually up there.” 

Green explained that his favorite Homecoming tradition has always been the pep rally. He said that the pep rally is always a good mix of students, whether they are involved in a RSO or not.

“I said when I graduated high school, I always wanted to find somewhere to go to college that was large enough that I could meet someone new in every class, but there were also a couple of familiar faces,” said Green. “I feel like UNA is exactly that.”

 Green explained that UNA has provided unique opportunities for him, especially in his spiritual life. 

“I’ve been able to follow the Lord and seek him more, which I believe is why He has blessed me,” said Green. 

Green would like to thank his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha, his parents, UPC and the brotherhood of Lambda Sigma Phi.