Homecoming Court is a longstanding tradition at the University of Minnesota where students compete to become the University’s official ambassadors of spirit. As ambassadors and stewards of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Royalty will represent the University on campus and at a variety of external events. Court Members also participate in various competitions in the months leading up to Homecoming for a chance to win the Royalty title. The two students who win the Royalty title will also be rewarded with a scholarship!

2017 Royalty Candidates


Ali Miller

Hi all! My name is Ali Miller and I am thrilled to be on homecoming royalty this year. After transferring to the U in 2015 from Nashville, TN, I quickly found my new home within Alpha Phi, the Leadership Minor community and met countless individuals who make me proud to be a golden gopher. In fall of 2017, I will begin my senior year as a strategic communication major and leadership minor (how does time go this fast?!). My passion lies within the art of photography, and last year I founded the I Am Movement-a photography project that focuses on empowering women to share their vulnerabilities through social media. On any given day you can find me drinking Diet Coke from McDonalds, listening to Taylor Swift and wearing my converse with holes in them.


Dustin Nguyen

I am majoring in biochemistry with a minor in chemistry. At the U of M I've had a lot of fun experiences such as joining the Gold Standard Show Choir and volunteering at the U of M Medical Center as a patient visitor. I am also involved with the Nature of Life program in CBS as a peer mentor. Additionally, I work in the biochemistry department assisting in research on the mechanisms of post-translational modification necessary for protein enzyme activity. After graduating, I plan to attend medical school to pursue a career in family medicine. In the future, I hope to be an educator. Aside from being a student, I am a photographer. I also love hugs and have been giving out free hugs at the state fair for the past four years; in the year of 2015 I gave 530 hugs over 14 hours!


Elizabeth Brunette

I am studying Strategic Communication with a minor in Management. I hope to work in Nonprofit Communications after graduation. I am excited to represent you as a member of the 2017 Homecoming Court and I cannot wait to get to know many of you through this experience. In order that you might get to know me, I took a few Buzzfeed quizzes that help exemplify who I am: According to the quiz “What Cheese Are You?” (I am from Wisconsin, so I HAD to take this), I am Swiss Cheese! And, according to the quiz “Which Emoji Are You?,” I am the Winkey Kissy Face, which says that I'm not afraid of “witty banter” and I love meeting new people- INCLUDING ALL OF YOU! I can't wait to grow in Gopher Pride with you spirited Gopher fans! 


Emily Wydo

Hello Gophers! I'm studying Human Resource Development, Political Science, and Leadership. After graduation, I am undecided on what to do, but I know one thing: I want a job to help people, not to make money. I am currently an officer for two student groups; International Justice Mission and Cru. I also work at CEHD Student Services. To my roommates’ aggravation, I am a believer that every Gopher Game Day is a holiday. Waking up and getting to the gates at 6 a.m. (before the players even) is my Saturday ritual. You can bet I'm the loudest one out there, and probably wearing my gold bucket hat, too. And, I am known in my friend group as "Goldy's Gal" because well, I adore Goldy the Gopher with all my heart. Be loud, be proud, be GOLDEN, and I'll see you at the Bank!


Lulu Bauermeister

Hey Gophers! I’m Lulu Bauermeister and I grew up in Minneapolis with my family and my rescue doggies. I’m lucky to be involved in a range of activities on campus, but I’m beyond excited for the opportunity to make connections and meet people from a variety of communities at the U through my experience on Homecoming Court! I’m a sophomore majoring in Physiology and minoring in Public Health and Leadership. After graduation, I hope to become a doctor and pursue my passion for changing inequalities in health care both nationally and globally.


Mitchell LeGrand

Hello Gophers! I am pursuing a degree in Global Studies; I figured the best way to change the world was to learn all about it. I really enjoy being involved on campus! I am the Economic and Social Justice Fellow for Minnesota Public Interest Research Group. I am also a member of the Human Rights Student Board and Born Passion, the Venerable Dean of Acacia Fraternity, and the president of the White Bear Lake Rotaract Club. In my free time I love playing guitar, singing, writing, and pursuing acting. My plans for after graduation are up in the air! I’m considering the Peace Corps, a Master’s in public policy, a law degree or maybe running away to California to be one of those “artsy-types.” Who knows! All I know is that I am honored to represent the institution I’m so grateful to attend. 


Noah Estabrooks

Hey, Gophers! I'm majoring in Youth Studies with a minor in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. I was born and raised in Shakopee, MN. I also spent time living in Curitiba, Brazil, where I became fluent in Brazilian Portuguese. I am an active member in Greek life as a part of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. For the past four years I have been a barista at Caribou Coffee; my favorite drink is a caramel cold-press! As a proud Eagle Scout, I've worked as a camp counselor for the past eight years. I am thrilled to be a part of a school that welcomes all people, no matter their differences; to be a part of a university that challenges social normalities, striving for equality for all, in every regard. I am ecstatic to call myself a Gopher!


PJ Aarsvold

Hello fellow Gophers! I am a senior at the U majoring in Mathematics. After graduating I hope to go to seminary and become a pastor! Here on campus, I have been involved in a variety of activities ranging from Navigators, FarmHouse Fraternity, Agricultural Education Club, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. You can find me losing my voice at various Gopher sporting events like football and volleyball. In my free time, I do some photography/videography, write poetry, and go on adventures with friends. I am so excited to be on this year’s homecoming court as this has been something I have wanted to do since I was a little kid first learning about the U of M. I cannot wait to meet so many great students, alumni, faculty, and supporters and attend all the crazy fun festivities. 


Sarah Moechnig

Hi! My name is Sarah Moechnig. I am from Woodbury Minnesota. I am a Junior studying Health Services Management and minoring in Leadership and Business Management. After graduation I hope to pursue a career in where I can help people live better lives by improving the healthcare system. I am currently serving as the President of my sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi and work in the Office of Admissions. In my free time I like to find new hammocking spots around campus and listen to music. I am so excited to represent homecoming royalty this fall. Ski-U-Mah Friends!


Veronica Lafky

Hi, friends! My name is Veronica Lafky, but I go by Roni! I am originally from Stockton, MN, a small town about two hours south of the U of M. I’m currently a third-year student majoring in Communication Studies with minors in Leadership and Public Health, and after graduation, I hope to work in higher education and eventually pursue a graduate education in organizational leadership. I am so honored to be able to serve as a representative of the school I love as a part of Homecoming Court in 2017!