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Purdue removes traditional homecoming gender labels

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue kicked off its 150th birthday celebration with a change to a traditional halftime ceremony.

Earlier this week, Purdue announced it would not crown a homecoming king and queen in a student-driven effort to bring more gender equality to campus. Purdue’s Spirit and Traditions committee implemented the change, marking the first gender-neutral homecoming court in university history. While the change was a first for the school, Purdue is not the first university to institute such changes to traditional homecoming weekend ceremonies.

Despite the changes to the ceremony, the only thing different about the halftime tradition was the label given to both recipients. A man, Grant Wood of Indianapolis, and a woman. Lily Bishop of Cincinnati, were crowned, although they weren’t called “king” and “queen,” respectively. Purdue instead called the male and female students who donned a crown “homecoming royalty.”

Members of the homecoming court were Laura Boodt of Carmel; Adam Cullers of Greenwood; Katie D’Addato of Frederick, Maryland; Morgan Montgomery of Carmel; Lindsay Neufer of Fishers; Bailey Ransburg of New Palestine; Caroline Shanley of Fishers; and Maci Tetrick of Plainfield.

The Boilermakers beat No. 23 Boston College 30-13.