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A Homecoming queen’s flashback

November 5, 2017

 

Morgan Bernard
News Editor | mrb056@latech.edu

 

The year of 1994 was a special one for Louisiana Tech. Along with the traditions of Homecoming, there were also centennial celebrations for the university’s 100th year. With the usual events such as the parade and football game, the Homecoming king and queen at the time also had to participate in centennial affairs.

 

Jennifer Riley was the Homecoming queen during this time. Looking back now, she said she loved her time as a student at Tech as well as her time as queen.

 

“Being Homecoming queen my senior year was one of my favorite experiences during college,” Riley said. “I loved my time at Tech, and still feel a strong connection to the university today.”

 

Riley graduated from Tech in 1994, majoring in political science with a concentration in pre-law. She then furthered her studies at Louisiana State University for two more years and graduated law school. Riley has since returned to Tech to serve as the executive director of university advancement and general counsel of the Alumni Association.

 

Riley said being Homecoming queen 23 years ago is something she will never forget.

 

“There were a lot of festivities going on for Homecoming along with the centennial,” she said. “The fundraisers, parties and stuff like that were so much fun to participate in as a student. There was also the centennial celebration gala, which was a big, beautiful dinner.”

 

Riley said she is lucky to have the opportunity to work for Tech, a university she holds close to her heart.

 

“This is a job that I truly love, and I look forward to coming every day,” she said. “It’s great that I get to work for a university that I have loved for such a long time.”

 

Today, Riley is still an avid fan of Tech and attends games and other events with her family frequently.

 

“We love to come with our kids and enjoy it as a family,” she said. “My parents are also Tech fans, so they come to visit and we make it a family event.”

 

Riley began her studies at Tech in 1991 and was involved in several student organizations, including the Kappa Delta sorority. She was also a member of SGA and a orientation student leader her junior year.

 

Along with her involvement in organizations, Riley also worked for the English department during her four years at Tech. She said she enjoyed working in everything she was involved with and is thankful for the memories.

 

“I made so many friends in my sorority and the other groups I joined at Tech,” Riley said. “I also loved working for the English department. I have so many fond memories from working there.”

 

Riley said Tech’s campus has changed so much, but it also sometimes seems the same to her.

 

“Physically, Tech has changed a lot and has grown larger,” she said. “But at the heart of it, there’s a lot of sameness as well. You can stand in the quad and get feelings of nostalgia because it still looks the same.”

 

Riley said the audience at football games and the students of Tech have also risen in numbers, and she sees this constant growth as a good thing for the university.

 

“When I was a student, coming from a small town, I thought our games were a big deal,” Riley said. “But they’re even bigger now. There are more people and more spirit surrounding the games.”

 

She said she has also witnessed the town of Ruston grow and become more connected with Tech.

 

“Ruston has grown and changed in such a good way,” Riley said. “There’s a more vibrant feeling downtown, and there is more involvement with university students. It’s always been a great place but I think it’s becoming even better. I will always love Louisiana Tech and Ruston.”

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