KEARNEY – Eight finalists for homecoming royalty were announced Monday during a pep rally on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus.
Queen candidates are Brooke Benck, Emma Benck, Lauren Benck and Aspen Luebbe, all of Columbus. King candidates are Ty Eggen of Waterloo, Joseph Hiatt of Spencer, Colton Roberts of Harvard and Aidan Weidner of Humphrey.
UNK’s homecoming king and queen will be crowned Thursday night following the lip-sync competition, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Health and Sports Center. They will also be recognized during the homecoming parade scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown Kearney and the home football game set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Cope Stadium.
The lip-sync competition, royalty crowning and homecoming parade will be livestreamed at http://unk.edu/eventdashboard.
Homecoming royalty are selected by two rounds of student voting, with the final round occurring this week.
Queen candidates, and the organizations they represent, include:
Brooke Benck, Gamma Phi Beta
Brooke is a senior majoring in middle level education-English language arts. She serves as president of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and works on campus as a tour guide and writing tutor. Two of her most valued experiences at UNK were when she served as a New Student Enrollment leader with the Admissions Office last summer and as a mentor in the Thompson Scholars Learning Community during the 2020-21 school year. Brooke has also been involved in the Collegiate Middle Level Association and Order of Omega and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies. She plans to student teach in the spring before starting her teaching career in Nebraska.
Emma Benck, Alpha Omicron Pi
Emma is a senior studying elementary and special education. She’s a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, Teacher Scholars Academy, Panhellenic Council, Holy Cross Campus Ministry and Kappa Delta Pi honor society. Emma also works in the Financial Aid Office on campus. She is most grateful for the relationships she has made during her time at UNK. Emma plans to student teach in fall 2023, then start her teaching career in Nebraska.
Lauren Benck, Panhellenic Council
Lauren is a senior majoring in biology with a health science emphasis. She’s held several leadership positions in the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and currently serves as executive vice president of the Panhellenic Council and president of Greeks Advocating for Healthy Lifestyles. Lauren has worked as a welcome desk assistant for the UNK Learning Commons and as a campus tour guide for the Admissions Office. She also served as a resident assistant for two years. She is involved in Chancellor’s Ambassadors, Mortar Board and the Kearney Health Opportunities Program. Lauren enjoys participating in intramural sports and attending as many UNK events as she can. Off campus, she’s a Sunday school teacher at Holy Cross Lutheran Church and is employed at CHI Health Good Samaritan as a CNA. She plans to begin medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center next fall.
Aspen Luebbe, Alpha Phi
Luebbe is a senior majoring in exercise science and minoring in health science on the pre-physical therapy track. The third-generation Loper serves as vice president of new member education and member experience for the Alpha Phi sorority and as a Chancellor’s Ambassador. She’s also an active member of Mortar Board, Circle K, Loper Leaders, Order of Omega honor society and numerous UNK intramurals. Off campus, Luebbe works as a rehab technician at CHI Health Good Samaritan and officiates high school basketball games and tournaments.
King candidates, and the organizations they represent, include:
Ty Eggen, Pi Kappa Alpha
Eggen is a senior majoring in political science and business administration with a supply chain management emphasis. He has a minor in international studies. Eggen is a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, Supply Chain Management Organization and UNK Men’s Project. He was previously part of Model United Nations.
Joseph Hiatt, Delta Tau Delta
Hiatt is a junior majoring in business administration and political science with a minor in ethnic studies. He serves as president of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity on campus and as a member of the Undergraduate Council for the international fraternity. Hiatt previously served as vice president of public relations on the Interfraternity Council. He’s the chief of staff on the UNK Student Government Executive Cabinet and is involved in the Honors Program, Undergraduate Research Fellows program, Kearney Law Opportunities Program, FBLA Collegiate, Locke and Key Society, Mortar Board, Order of Omega honor society and Chancellor’s Ambassadors. Hiatt works for the Honors Program and as a success coach for the UNK Learning Commons. He spent the past two summers serving as a New Student Enrollment leader for the Admissions Office and also worked as a campus visit assistant. He enjoys volunteering with the United Methodist Church and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Colton Roberts, Sigma Phi Epsilon
Roberts is a junior exercise science major with a pre-physical therapy emphasis. He’s an active member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, First Gen Lopers and Exercise Science Club. Roberts is also involved in the Undergraduate Research Fellows program and First Gen Connection Committee and he’s president of First Leaders. He served as a New Student Enrollment leader last summer and continues to work on campus as the Blue Gold Welcome student coordinator in the Office of Student and Family Transitions and as a tour guide. Roberts was a resident assistant last year.
Aidan Weidner, Loper Programming and Activities Council
Weidner is a junior majoring in elementary education with a double minor in special education and coaching. He’s involved in the Loper Programming and Activities Council (LPAC), Teacher Scholars Academy, Christian Student Fellowship, Honors Program, intramurals, Elementary Education Club, Student Government and University of Nebraska President’s Sustainability Council. Weidner also serves as a campus visit assistant and New Student Enrollment leader. His leadership positions include the Christian Student Fellowship LEAD Team, event programming co-chair for LPAC and facilities, campus development and sustainability committee chair for Student Government. He volunteers in elementary schools and leads a youth group at Holy Cross Lutheran Church.
PHOTOS BY ERIKA PRITCHARD, UNK COMMUNICATIONS