Sep 24, 2012

‘Homecoming is the Best Holiday of the Year!’

After Cindy won Homecoming Queen in 2002
Left to right: Julie Bricker, 2000 Queen, Elizabeth Anderson 
Fromm, 2002 Queen Runner-Up Carrie Foulk Connelly, 
2001 QueenSonya Khera North, 1999 Queen
That headline is a common phrase among my friends. Every Bearcat I know looks forward to this one weekend. It’s a time to celebrate the start of a new school year, to make new friends or catch up with old ones, and to show your Bearcat Pride and sing the fight song until your voice runs out.

Ten years ago, I rode in the Homecoming Parade as an honored member of the 2002 Homecoming Court. I can still smell the crisp fall air and feel the incredible anticipation of halftime when the King and Queen would be crowned. I stood in the middle of Carson Field wearing a brand new red suit with my heart pounding out of my chest … and then I heard my name called as Queen. My Chi Omega sisters erupted in a deafening cheer that echoed throughout Nippert Stadium. It’s undoubtedly one of my most cherished memories as a Bearcat. 

Cindy Chiang Halvorsen (Engineering, 2004) and Ernie
Halvorsen earned $1 million after being named co-champions
of CBS’s19th season of The Amazing Race.
2011 was yet another benchmark year in my personal storybook! My then-fiancé, Ernie, and I raced around-the-world on CBS’s Emmy Award-winning reality show, The Amazing Race, ultimately winning the competition and the coveted $1 million prize. This year, we were quickly thrown into a whirlwind of TV appearances, magazine photo shoots, radio interviews, runway shows, charity events and public speaking engagements. Oh, and we somehow managed to find time to get married. 

But the one thing we have really been looking forward to all year is visiting campus for UC Homecoming! I have always tried to describe to Ernie the feeling of riding in the parade, yet couldn’t find the words to convey my most memorable undergraduate moment to him. On October 6, he actually gets to experience it first-hand as we lead the Homecoming Parade as your Grand Marshals. We feel so honored to have been asked to represent UC in this prestigious position.
Mr. and Mrs. Halvorsen 
I am so thankful for the outpouring of love and support from UC over the past 14 years. My experience on campus has been instrumental in developing the woman I am today, fostering my strong connection and deep sincerity for our university. With deep appreciation we look forward to visiting campus, a place that is very much my home.

See you at Homecoming!

Proudly UC,
Cindy Chiang Halvorsen

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