Late Monday evening, Robert Walter was at Starbucks with his friends when he received the phone call that he would be the 2013 Homecoming Executive Director.
“All my friends started cheering. I was laughing, and one of my friends even cried,” Walter said. “It all happened very quickly.”
Walter (junior-public relations), who had previously served as the public relations director for homecoming this past year, said he is ecstatic about being chosen for this newly appointed position.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Walter said. “Homecoming is something I am really passionate about, and I’m looking forward to continue to work on it and help it develop.”
The decision to appoint Walter was made by this year’s Homecoming Executive Director Bridgette Carrier, as well as her two Homecoming advisors.
“It’s a standard application process, and then we conduct interviews,” Carrier (senior-kinesiology) said. “The qualities we look for are passion for Homecoming and the desire to give back to Penn State. We also look for leadership skills, and for people with innovative ideas to help Homecoming grow next year.”
Walter, who said he believes he was chosen for his passion for what he does, will be postponing plans to study abroad next semester for his new executive position.
This previously described passion is what some other Homecoming executive directors believe got Walter to the position he holds today.
“I was so excited for Bobby, and I think he will be an incredible executive director next year,” Parade Director Gabrielle Donchez said. “I know that he will have new visions and new ideas to take Homecoming to the next level.
Donchez (junior-marketing) said Walter previously was “the face of Homecoming” as the public relations director and that his work demonstrated what Homecoming was all about.
“He excelled in his position this year, and I can’t wait to see what he does next year.”
Walter said he is most looking forward to seeing Homecoming again from the point of view he saw it at this year.
“I remember being up on the float with the rest of the executive committee, and I’ll never forget the sight I saw turning down Shortlidge onto College Avenue,” Walter said. “I saw so many people I knew and didn’t know. I saw kids, and classmates, and alumni that all were here to come together for one thing. I can’t wait to see that again and feel that feeling again.”
Carrier said she believes Walter’s passion and dedication will steer Homecoming in the right direction next year and allow the event to grow and improve.
“He gives his whole heat to the organization and has a lot of skills from being the public relations director that make him qualified for the position,” Carrier said. “He is someone who will take the opportunity fully and grow as a person while improving Homecoming next year.”