Tears, crowns and campaigns: Homecoming king and queen named


Pitt senior Megan Zammerilla attended her first Pitt football game before she could even crawl.

This weekend, more than 20 years later, Zammerilla and fellow senior Feargal Gilmore stepped onto the grass at Heinz Field to claim their titles of Homecoming king and queen. 

Zammerilla, a senior exercise science major, Pitt cheerleader and member of the Pathfinders, said she looked to the sideline at her team after her crowning and immediately began crying with them. 

“I cried because they cried, and my family came, and it was just a great feeling that there were so many people there supporting me. I’m so thankful and just glad,” Zammerilla said. 

Gilmore, a senior finance major, said winning the crown was the “icing on the cake” for his homecoming season. 

“I didn’t really expect to win at all. The goal was just to make the court,” Gilmore said. 

Voting for candidates, held on my.pitt.edu, began and ended Friday. Zammerilla and Gilmore were crowned during Saturday’s homecoming game against Georgia Tech.

Gilmore said he ran so he could meet new people on campus and to stay involved during his senior year. 

While running for homecoming king, Gilmore said the process was a lot of fun and wasn’t too serious.

“I also want to say it was stressful, too, because it was a really big time commitment, if someone was thinking of making a run at it,” Gilmore said. “It’s kind of crazy that it’s over. It was like the longest three weeks of my life.” 

However, Gilmore said the hard work is worth it as long as you make it on the court. 

“You get to go to the alumni tailgate and meet the chancellor. It was all just really fun,” Gilmore said. 

Zammerilla credited her campaign success to her friends and her teammates. 

“They were flyering the day of the voting. They were speaking out to their friends and clubs they are in,” Zammerilla said.

Zammerilla said members of her cheer team also ran her homecoming social media pages. 

“That really took pressure off of me and allowed me to have a little more fun with it, since I wasn’t worrying about what I should be tweeting or posting all the time,” Zammerilla said. 

Zammerilla and Gilmore will represent the University at events such as the Cathedral Ball, and Zammerilla, who said she already volunteers on campus, plans to increase her volunteer outreach on campus. 

“I absolutely love Pitt and people probably say that all the time, but even what I’m involved with on campus — I’m a Pathfinder and a cheerleader — show I love Pitt,” Zammerilla said. “I was a Pitt fan since I was born.”

Gilmore said his life at Pitt will be the same, crown or no crown. 

“It’s a great a tradition, and that’s why I wanted to do it, but now it’s back to square one. Maybe I’ll say hi to a few more people,” Gilmore said.