Few Homecoming campaigns make the national news, but in 1989, one contest managed to do exactly that when UNT students campaigned to elect Hector the Eagle Dog and a squirrel named Agnes Homecoming king and queen. The Dalmatian was the cheerleaders' mascot, and the tame Agnes made her home in a tree near the Physics Building.
According to 1989 issues of the North Texas Daily, the furry nominees were quickly disqualified by the Student Association as
neither had the minimum 2.5 grade-point average required. But ultimately, they had many fans and became write-in candidates
in a student-generated effort that received national media coverage.
Wade Duchene ('92), Hector's self-appointed campaign manager, said when he nominated Hector he saw the dog's admirable qualities, including his attendance as a loyal fan at every home football game. As for Agnes, she has "brought maturity to the ticket, her being a mother and all," he told the Daily.
Homecoming king nominee Brian Coolidge ('91, '95 M.S.) believed people on campus wanted to have fun with the campaign. He certainly did.
"I knew I couldn't possibly defeat Agnes the squirrel," he says today. "I wanted my campaign to be as entertaining as Hector and Agnes."
He reported that Agnes came to him asking to be his running mate, because she and Hector were fighting. Thereafter, she appeared with him on several campaign fliers.
"One of my fliers said Agnes was voting for me," he says. "It was of a big squirrel eating a nut and said something like ‘I'm nuts about Brian.'"
Newspaper commentaries supported the canine and rodent nominees.
Student Chris Nemec ('92) wrote: "I think if the students want a squirrel for Homecoming queen and a dog for Homecoming king, they should be allowed to have them. It is not a question of being silly but one of allowing the fundamental right to vote for whomever one chooses."
Hector and Agnes managed to land in third place in the voting (with 183 votes and 186 votes, respectively) and received rewards for their celebrity — a gift certificate from a mall pet center and a gift basket of pecans. The newspaper reported that Hector began work on a campaign for the next year, and Agnes was rumored to have graduated in May 1990.