Skip to content
HOMECOMING

Homecoming concludes, ExCEL winners announced

Back in Action | KU Homecoming 2021

Three University of Kansas students, Javen Betts of Kansas City, Kansas, Nikki Brown of Kansas City, Missouri, and Lily Nguyen of Wichita, are winners of the 31st-annual Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Awards. The award presentation during halftime of the KU-Texas Tech football game Oct. 16 in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium concluded KU’s 109th Homecoming celebration. 

Betts, a junior in education, is a student ambassador for the School of Education and an assistant for KU TRIO SES & STEM. He is president of the Black Student Union and serves as the Big XII constitution delegate for Black student government.

Brown, a senior in political science, sociology and American studies with a minor in social justice, is vice president of the Latin American Student Union and vice president of the Latina-founded sorority Kappa Delta Chi. A McNair Scholar, she is a peer mentor for first-year minority and first-generation students as well as a social justice peer educator in the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Nguyen, a senior in global and international studies and Japanese language and culture with a minor in political science, is a resident assistant for KU Student Housing and an honors seminar assistant for the University Honors Program. She was a digital media engagement intern at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The ExCEL Award provides an annual $250 scholarship to students. Nominees were selected on the basis of leadership, effective communication skills, involvement at KU and in the Lawrence community, academic scholarship and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations. 

The Alumni Association also honored Navya Singh, a pre-medicine sophomore from Chandigarh, India, with the Jennifer Alderdice Homecoming Award, which recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding loyalty and dedication to the University. The award honors Alderdice, of Lawrence, who led student programs for the Alumni Association from 1999 to 2009 and earned her KU master’s degree in education in 1999. 

The theme for this year’s Homecoming was “Back in Action.” The event was sponsored by Best Western Plus West Lawrence, KU Bookstore and Truity Credit Union.

Students and alumni participated in several in-person and virtual activities throughout the week, including competitions, networking events, reunions and tailgates.

 

The annual celebration was organized by the KU Alumni Association and a student-led steering committee, which included Madison McGuire, a senior from St. Louis, majoring in human biology, who served as executive director; Katherine Hanselman, a senior from St. Louis, majoring in biochemistry; Kayla Hernandez, a junior from Eudora, majoring in strategic communications; Johnny Meehan, a senior from Lenexa, majoring in strategic communications; and Sophie Schmidt, a senior from Olathe, majoring in chemical engineering. They worked with Alumni Association staff member Paige Freeman, director of student programs.  

Other 2021 Homecoming event and award winners are:

 

Rich and Judy Billings Spirit of 1912 Award

 

Leawood residents Dr. Andrew Godwin, a 1982 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences alumnus, and his wife, Cecilia Romero Godwin, who also graduated from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in 1982.

 

Overall Winners

 

Large Group

1st Place: Sigma Kappa, Alpha Tau Omega

2nd Place: Sigma Tau Gamma, Alpha Delta Pi, Theta Chi

3rd Place: Delta Tau Delta, Alpha Chi Omega

 

Small Group

1st Place: Multicultural Greek Council

 

Competition Winners

 

Jayhawk Jingles

1st Place: Alpha Delta Pi, Theta Chi

2nd Place: Delta Tau Delta, Alpha Chi Omega

 

Chalk ’n Rock

Large Group

1st Place: Sigma Kappa, Alpha Tau Omega

2nd Place: Sigma Tau Gamma, Alpha Delta Pi, Theta Chi

3rd Place: Delta Tau Delta, Alpha Chi Omega

 

Small Group

1st Place: Multicultural Greek Council

 

Best interpretation of theme

Sigma Kappa, Alpha Tau Omega

 

Best use of space      

Sigma Kappa, Alpha Tau Omega

 

Difficulty level

Multicultural Greek Council

 

Most spirited 

Sigma Tau Gamma, Alpha Delta Pi, Theta Chi

 

Best incorporation of organization  

Multicultural Greek Council

 

Fan favorite   

Sigma Kappa, Alpha Tau Omega

 

Sign Competition

1st Place: Sigma Kappa, Alpha Tau Omega

2nd Place: Sigma Tau Gamma, Alpha Delta Pi, Theta Chi

3rd Place: Kappa Alpha Theta, Zeta Beta Tau, Alpha Sigma Phi

 

Fan favorite

Kappa Alpha Theta, Zeta Beta Tau, Alpha Sigma Phi

For more information about this year’s event, visit the Homecoming website.

More News

Kyou Networking Week connects Jayhawks with industry peers

Kyou Networking Week invited alumni and students to connect for fun and informative conversations based on career industry.
Read More
Back in Action Homecoming 2021

31st annual ExCEL Award finalists named

Fifteen KU students have been selected as finalists for the 31st-annual Ex.C.E.L. Awards.
Read More
Back in Action Homecoming 2021

2021 Spirit of 1912 Award recipients announced

Andrew and Cecilia Romero Godwin of Leawood will receive this year's award.
Read More