History was made on Oct. 5, 2013, when student Talha Qureshi became the first international homecoming royalty winner in the 80 year legacy of Colorado State University-Pueblo.
Qureshi, a native of Karachi, Pakistan, is a senior mass communications major who is no stranger to the campus spotlight. His concentration in integrated marketing gave him the advantage of a seasoned politician during the election, where he courted votes using brightly colored posters, candy and a network of friends who promoted his campaign.
Since transferring to CSU-Pueblo in the fall of 2012, Qureshi has been involved in nearly every aspect of campus life, striving to get the most out of his time as a ThunderWolf. He is a member of the speech and debate team, serves as a student ambassador, works in various offices across campus and remains active in several student organizations.
Qureshi’s election as homecoming king is an important milestone in his own life, and is a step forward for international students at CSU-Pueblo. It has helped draw attention to the growing number of students from other countries that, despite cultural differences, are an integral part of the ThunderWolf family.
Annie Williams, director of International Programs at CSU-Pueblo expressed the excitement of the whole community when she said “We are proud of our Talha. He has been a huge inspiration and role model for his international peers to emulate. He is a hard-working student who plans and implements cultural activities across campus, and he is a ‘global minded’ organizer with wonderful leadership attributes.”
Devan Mills, a friend and campaign helper, recalled the impact Qureshi made on her the first time they met.
“I had Talha in one of my classes, and really, who doesn’t notice the guy? He was always in a hurry. He talked really fast and I couldn’t understand a word he was saying, but he was really excited about life.”
But after getting to know Talha over the next year, Mills came to understand why he was always in a hurry.
“Yes, he is always in a hurry. That is because he is so involved in our school and the outside world. CSU-Pueblo is very lucky to have him representing our school. Winning this wasn’t just about getting the crown. I know he has big plans to help others and I hope he will let me help him with that as well. He is a remarkable person,” Mills said.
After graduating from Canon City High School in 2007, Qureshi returned to Pakistan, where he took higher education classes and worked as an activist, promoting issues such as global hunger, literacy and the environment.
Qureshi hopes that winning the homecoming crown this year will give him the opportunity to continue his service.
“My journey as homecoming royalty does not end here,” he explained. “I plan to use this crown as a medium to raise funds towards eliminating hunger and health problems in Africa, and to support the rehabilitation of the children in Syria and other countries facing war.”
Qureshi has high expectations for his future. His resume contains many accomplishments, including a command of four languages and service as a liaison officer in the Model United Nations in New York.
Once he graduates from CSU-Pueblo, he hopes to attend one of the Ivy League schools for his graduate studies and move on to a career where he can tackle major social problems that are threatening people worldwide.
Even with his many accomplishments, Qureshi understands that he couldn’t have done it all alone.
“Last year when I joined CSU-Pueblo, this university was my only hope to complete my college education due to law and order problems in my country. I have to thank all my international and American friends and all the faculty and staff members at CSU-Pueblo who were there for me, not only during this campaign, but at times when I needed them. I cannot believe that it’s only been a year since I have arrived back in the United States and joined CSU-Pueblo. Now I have won the homecoming royalty crown. It’s like a dream come true,” Qureshi said.