Business administration senior Heather Hays walked the field as royalty a year ago. Cal Poly royalty, that is. A member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, Hays spent her 2011 homecoming weekend as the Orfalea College of Business homecoming princess.
A year later, Hays is passing her royal crown to another member of the greek community, her ‘little’ sorority sister, business administration junior Kelly O’Rourke, also a member of Alpha Kappa Psi.
Hays attributes that day on the homecoming court to her love for Cal Poly, and is excited for her ‘little’ to have that same experience.
“That was the day I really felt the Cal Poly family vibe and that passion about campus,” Hays said. “It was a really cool experience, and probably my favorite college memory.”
While Alpha Omicron Pi does not have any official traditions for homecoming, one tradition that may take hold is helping Alpha Omicron Pi “sorority sisters” prepare for a role as royalty on the homecoming court.
“All my sisters were there,” Hays said of her experience, sharing that her sisters helped her pick out a dress, worked together to curl her hair and took pictures of her and her ‘prince.’
“As it (homecoming) continues, I could see more greeks on the court,” Hays said.
Hays met her O’Rourke when she was an incoming freshman and Hays gave her a tour of the dorms, campus and business building.
“She realized that Cal Poly was the place to be,” Hays said. “It’s kind of cute — now she’s doing the things I’m doing.”
As a freshman, O’Rourke followed in Hays’ footsteps and joined Alpha Omicron Pi and Alpha Kappa Psi.
“(Hays) knew that I had a lot of potential as a businesswoman,” O’Rourke said.
The reason greeks such as Hays and O’Rourke were chosen to represent Cal Poly on the homecoming court is because “greeks are so well-rounded,” Hays said. “The whole package.”
“It’s really great that we have greeks on the court,” O’Rourke said. “It shows we are involved in other activities, representing Cal Poly in general.”
It’s not only greek women on the court, either. The 2011 Orfalea College of Business prince was economics senior Matt Keating, a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity.
Alyssa Brigham, vice president of business council, wrote in an email they chose princes and princesses who are a great representation of the college.
“(They are) leaders, involved in clubs, ambassadors and a business fraternity, as well as outstanding students,” Brigham said.
To get ready for her debut as princess, O’Rourke first shared the news with Alpha Kappa Psi, the reason she applied for the homecoming court.
“At the meeting, I told them, ‘Say hello to the new Orfalea College of Business princess,’” O’Rourke said.
O’Rourke said the fraternity has been helping her get ready for the weekend.
“They’re all gonna come to the game, support me and help me be prepared,” she said.
When O’Rourke isn’t busy preparing her interview questions she said she’ll probably go shopping.
“I’m going to be so nervous, I don’t know what to wear,” she said.
Nonetheless, O’Rourke is excited to be on the homecoming court.
“Who gets to say that they are a homecoming princess?” O’Rourke said. “It’s special, it’s not just a high school thing. I’m representing my college.”