Rai Nauman Mumtaz found a unique way to celebrate the UW's 150th birthday: serve on the UW Homecoming Court.
Mumtaz believes he is the first UW Tacoma student to be part of a UW Homecoming Court in Seattle. He was among 75 students who applied to be on the court through the Homecoming Royalty Scholarship competition. Six finalists were selected for the court, and the top two students from the court – Almeera Anwar and Kristin DeVleming – were each proclaimed “royalty” and received a $1,000 scholarship.
Though Mumtaz didn’t win the scholarship, he was honored to serve on the court. The court was feted at a homecoming rally at the Seattle campus the day before the big game between the Huskies and University of Arizona Wildcats, and the next day, October 29, at a pre-game reception.
The experience was packed with amazing moments, Mumtaz said. The court walked onto the football field at the end of the first quarter to the roar of tens of thousands of Husky fans. He saw his face on the Jumbotron. He watched the game and mingled with guests in UW President Michael Young’s box suite above the 50-yard line.
“It was overwhelming and exciting all wrapped into one,” Mumtaz said.
Several reasons drove Mumtaz to apply for the honor, starting with his love for the tight-knit Tacoma campus community. He saw it as a way to help commemorate the sesquicentennial.
“UW Tacoma is part of the UW system. When we celebrate the 150th anniversary, I wanted students to understand we are still part of that history, even though we’ve only been here 21 years.”
He hopes his selection will motivate other UW Tacoma students to apply for the scholarship and court in the future.
Mumtaz, 23, is easily one of the most familiar faces at the Tacoma campus. He has been active in student government and activities the past several years, serving as president of the Associated Students of UW Tacoma last year. His image appears on numerous university web pages, publications, videos and, most recently, a business card advertising the UW Tacoma Facebook and Twitter accounts.
A graduate of Curtis Senior High School in University Place and of Pierce College, Mumtaz has attended UW Tacoma since the fall of 2005, earning bachelor degrees in Environmental Science and Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.
He currently attends class part time at UW Tacoma, pursuing a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, and works part time as the Strategic Planning and Administration Student Assistant in the campus Diversity Resource Center.
But wait, there's more.
By taking some courses online, Mumtaz is also pursuing a Master of Public Health from A.T. Still University School of Health Management and studies as a full-time student at the International University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine. His goal is to become an orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in sports medicine.
When he completes the second year of the four-year program, he will do his clinical rotations at a hospital.
How does he fit it all in?
“It’s a combination of arranging my schedule appropriately and prioritizing myself and my goals,” he said.
He has had to cut back on sporting and social events, but he couldn’t miss serving on this fall’s Homecoming Court.
After all, it was a once-in-a-150-year opportunity.
John Burkhardt, Associate Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-692-4536