By Lori Bredemeyer, Student Reporter
When Marianna Yarbrough was crowned Homecoming queen, she didn’t anticipate becoming royalty again 50 years later.
She was selected Homecoming Queen in 1952, and this year, Dr. Marianna Rasco was selected to be one of two grand marshals in this year’s Homecoming Parade. She said she did not expect to be voted Homecoming Queen.
“It was a big surprise,” she said. “I had gone to Tarleton but I came here to finish my degree. I had always wanted to come to ACU, and I had only been here a couple of months. I was so shocked; it was just an absolute surprise.”
Rasco said she was equally surprised to find out she had been named grand marshal when she was presented with a balloon bouquet when several people came to her classroom.
“They came to my 9:30 class on Tuesday and knocked on the door,” she said. “My administrative coordinator and two faculty members and my husband and two of the secretaries from the dean’s office were all there in the hallway. I must have shouted or something. I was just overcome because I would never have dreamed being chosen as a marshal.”
Each year the Homecoming Steering Committee nominates 10 men and 10 women from ACU faculty and staff, and a male and female representative are then chosen from the 20 to be grand marshals in the Homecoming Parade.
Rasco is the chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Science and was out of town the day the other grand marshal, Dr. Perry Reeves, was presented with his balloon bouquet. Hazel Fillmon, Rasco’s administrative coordinator, knew of the honor but had to suppress the news for a week.
Fillmon has known Rasco for 28 years and said there are several reasons she was chosen as grand marshal.
“She’s one of the most efficient, articulate, sharp, bright, beautiful people I know,” Fillmon said. “This is to honor her for all of her years of service at ACU.”
Rasco said her son had to remind her it had been 50 years since she was nominated Homecoming Queen.
“I was amazed that 50 years have passed since I was here as Homecoming Queen,” she said. “It doesn’t seem that it has been because this has been a life that I’ve loved here at ACU. I just really couldn’t fathom that it had been 50 years; it doesn’t seem like it.”
Amber Peck, coordinator of Alumni Outreach, said the Alumni Association was excited to learn this is Rasco’s 50th anniversary.
“When she was chosen to serve as a grand marshal we did not know she was crowned Homecoming Que- en 50 years ago,” Peck said. “We were delighted to find this information out and think it just added to the honor of being a grand marshal. I think this is a very memorable experience for her, what a celebration.”
Peck said the Alumni Association is planning something special for Rasco, but it will not be revealed until the parade.
Rasco said Homecoming then was different from today’s Homecoming.
“All things have grown since then,” she said. “We were at Fair Park at the football stadium. That’s where our games were played then; we didn’t have Shotwell. We didn’t have a parade, but we were brought out onto the field in Sedans.”
Although Homecoming was smaller then, she said she still has fond memories of it.
“There were eight contestants who were presented in Chapel in evening dresses the day that the students voted,” she said. “[For the game] we were told to not wear evening gowns, so we wore suits and hats. I wore a navy blue suit that I borrowed from a nice young lady who lived in McKenzie, and I wore my light blue hat. Homecoming back then wasn’t as expansive as it is now, but it was as exciting as it could be.”
She said she has many qualities that she thinks made people elect her to these two positions.
“I’m a people person; I’m a peace maker,” she said. “I think I’m just basically a friend, and kind of easy to manage, and not filled with strife. I remember well the lines from the movie, Harvey. ‘I could have been rich; I could have been smart; I could have been successful, but I chose pleasant.’ And maybe that’s a quality of my life. I’ve always liked that philosophy.”