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October 30, 2018

A More Gender-Inclusive Spirit Court

2018 Adelphi Spirit Court

Homecoming kings and queens have been the tradition for decades at universities across the nation. At Adelphi’s first Spirit Weekend, in 2017, the Homecoming Court name was changed to Spirit Court, but the king and queen still reigned.

This year’s Spirit Weekend saw a major change, as the king and queen handed over the “reigns,” so to speak: Henceforth, the rulers of the Spirit Court will preside under the more gender-inclusive title of Prestigious Panthers.

According to Lauren Purcaro, associate director of the Center for Student Involvement, the name change is “on trend with other institutions both on the local and national level. We have been wanting to make the change for some time and were so excited to move in that direction.”

The 14 self-nominated students went through an interview process with administrators from various departments, campaigned and wore sashes to identify themselves on campus the week during which voting took place. Ten students were chosen to sit on the Adelphi Spirit Court. At the Panther Carnival, President Christine M. Riordan announced the top three winners: Nicole Zisa, Ernesto Marcano and Lauren Mangiafreno, who were given plaques and sashes in lieu of crowns and flowers.

The new Spirit Court title wasn’t the only change for Spirit Weekend. Other new events included the Fall Frenzy concert, the Athletics Hall of Fame Induction, the Spirit Service Project and the Letters Lunch, which was attended by more than 170 students and alumni. Jodie Sperico, executive director of Alumni Relations, noted that the goal is to keep the weekend new and exciting. Another first-time initiative was the Spirit Squad, 84 volunteers who assisted with social media promotion, event logistics and engagement.

The weekend did indeed draw “thousands of Panthers,” as promoted—more than 3,000, according to Kate Haughie, senior associate director of Alumni Relations.

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Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

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