Through several weeks of hard work and long practices, a new queen was crowned Ms. Murray State for the 2013-14 academic year.
Rayna Gordon, junior from Terre Haute, Ind., was presented with her crown on Saturday the 13.
Ms. Murray State has been a long-standing tradition in Murray. To be a participant in Ms. Murray State a student must be elected by an on campus organization, then they go through an interview process and finally there are 15 contestants chosen. They began practice early on in the semester where they learned an opening dance, chose numbers, prepared for interviews and learned how to walk like a beauty queen.
For Gordon, being crowned Ms. Murray State made her feel like all the hard work she put into the pageant really paid off. She said out of everything she has done on campus, being crowned Ms. Murray State is the most rewarding feeling she has experienced. If she could give advice to any other young women planning on competing it would be to just be natural because they are one of a kind. Anyone can be recognized for who they are as long as they are true to themselves.
“Being in Ms. Murray State is not like being in a typical pageant,” said Mary Langford, junior from Hickman, Ky. “The women selected to participate are the most involved and most scholarly on campus. In a way, we have been preparing for Ms. Murray State our entire college career by being active on campus and in the community all while dedicating a lot of time to our studies.”
The participants began the morning of the pageant with personal interviews with the judges, then that night they had an opening number with introductions, moving on to evening wear. The top five finalists have on stage interview questions and after the reigning Ms. Murray State has her final walk, the new queen is announced.
Being in Ms. Murray State requires that you practice weekly at the beginning of the spring semester and daily practices the two weeks before the pageant.
“I actually worked the Friday before the show at the Murray Animal Hospital and practiced my formal walk while I walked the dogs outside,” Gordon said.
Some girls are sorority sisters and others familiar with faces by how involved they are on campus. During the weekly practices and ending with daily practices the contestants became more acquainted with each other and made new friendships.
“I was familiar with most of the girls in the pageant because they are all so involved on campus, which is one of the requirements for participating,” said Ashley Rudolph, sophomore from Benton, Ky. “Being able to see them every week and sometimes multiple days a week at practice I got to really know them. They were all very encouraging and helpful during the whole process.”
Rudolph said the outcome of the pageant isn’t just a crown and a title but it was a way for them to make lasting friendships, grow and evolve as a person. She said it was also a great way to build confidence and prepare for future jobs.
Story by Kelsey Randolph, Staff writer.