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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Miss MSU helps further education through scholarships

Taylor Robbins
Molly May, Miss MSU 2017, shows off her crown and sash to the audeince after her win.

On Sept. 23, 16 women, ranging from freshmen to seniors, competed for the title of Miss Mississippi State University 2017. Miss MSU is a preliminary pageant for Miss Mississippi and Miss America. 

Brad Hill, the pageant director, stated that, “Win or lose, these women are role models.”

Each of the 16 women was scored on five categories, every category comprising a certain percentage of their score. Each contestant completed an interview on Friday afternoon before the pageant. During the pageant, the women were scored on Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit, Talent, Evening Wear and On-Stage Question.

A panel of professional judges who have all previously participated in pageants, judged, coached, or organized pageants scored the women. The emcee for the night was Mr. Jeremiah Dumas, director of parking services.

This year, the pageant’s theme was ‘The Roaring 20’s,’ when flappers defied social norms to become young, empowered women. 

As the pageant began, the 16 contestants along with Miss MSU 2016, Meredith Thomas, performed a dance number to A Little Party Never Killed Nobody, featured on the Great Gatsby soundtrack. Each of the women wore bright, colorful flapper dresses. As the night continued, the Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimwear competition ensued. Each woman bravely and boldly stepped out wearing swimwear that showcased her fitness. 

As the contestants prepared for the talent portion, Thomas performed her talent from the Miss Mississippi competition, playing “Great Balls of Fire” on piano. Talents of the contestants included color guard, twirling, vocal performance, dance, ballet en pointe, trombone, violin, piano, drama and a poetry reading. 

The Evening Wear and On-Stage Question competitions were combined. Each woman wore her best contemporary evening wear style and was judged not only on her dress but on how graceful and poised she was. 

Each contestant then picked a question from a bowl. Questions were comprised of elements designed to show the judges a contestant’s personality. For example, one question asked why the contestant wanted to be Miss MSU. Another asked about the contestant’s philanthropic platform. A different contestant was asked what day in her life she would do over again. 

While scores were calculated and final details were prepared, former Miss MSU and current Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis took to the stage and performed a vocal number. A farewell presentation was given for Miss MSU 2016. After much anticipation, the results were calculated. Each of the 16 contestants appeared on stage wearing their evening gowns once more. The results are as follows:

Fan favorite: Hannah Lynn Daugherty 

Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimwear: Anne Elizabeth Buys 

Talent: Molly May 

3rd runner up: Anne Elizabeth Buys

2nd runner up: Callie Brown 

1st runner up: Alivia Roberts

Miss MSU 2017: Molly May

Each of the winners received a scholarship of varying amounts. Molly May, the overall winner, won a full-tuition scholarship. 

Hill said the pageant helps further women’s education by financial means.

“Miss MSU is a scholarship pageant designed to further education, earn money and foster good will and causes,” Hill said. “With these scholarships, some women have been able to graduate college debt-free.”

The overall winner also has the ability to promote a platform of her choosing sponsored in part by the university. May’s platform is Breast Cancer Awareness. 

Thomas, wrote “this has been the experience of a lifetime…I am extremely honored to have been able to represent this wonderful school.”

Miss MSU 2017 marks the 61st year of the scholarship pageant. Past Miss MSU representatives have proceeded to win Miss Mississippi and even Miss America. Most recently, Laura Lee Lewis (Miss MSU 2014) and Jasmine Murray (Miss MSU 2013,) advanced to the title of Miss Mississippi. Laura Lee Lewis, current Miss Mississippi, placed fourth runner up in this year’s Miss America competition.  

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Miss MSU helps further education through scholarships