One lucky woman will be crowned Miss Murray State University Saturday.
After interviewing more than 50 women, the judges have narrowed it down to 15 women who will participate in the final competition this weekend.
Since the 1970s, Miss MSU has given young women the opportunity to represent their families, their organizations and the University.
“It brings the campus community together to support 15 amazing women who are highly involved on this campus,” said Elizabeth Tarter, executive director of Miss MSU. “The Miss MSU 2014 continues to be involved in community and University events throughout the year.”
Because the pageant is based on scholarship, the contestants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and they must plan to attend Murray State the following year. The ideal candidate must be scholarly, have good involvement in the community and take pride in Murray State, Tarter said.
During the events Saturday, the 15 contestants will be interviewed by the three judges in the morning. Later that evening, doors will open to the community and the final portion of the competition will begin. The women will perform a dance number, introduce themselves to the audience and walk in their formal wear.
“The top five are based off of the interview that day and your individual walk with your evening wear,” said Christina Priddy, junior from Franklin, Tenn. “The individual walk is you walking by yourself as they read off all your accomplishments.”
The theme for this year’s pageant is a masquerade theme called “Behind the Mask.” The theme adds another entertaining aspect to the show.
Additionally, Men of the Note Jazz Band is going to perform at the show and President Tim Miller and his wife will crown Miss MSU during the awards.
Brie Haner, Haley Barfield, Lexy Gross, Amanda Winchester, Shayna Busche, Mallory Tucker, Angela Survant, Summer Davis, Paige Hoffmeister, Heather Wissbaum, Christina Priddy, Sarah Hamby, Hannah Owens, Devan McCoy and Kayla Hartley are all working hard for the crown. Although the competition mostly stays the same every year, the group dynamic and contestants change.
“I’m excited to be on stage with all the girls I’ve become friends with and seeing everything come together,” said Kayla Hartley, junior from Ledbetter, Ky. “I think these are some of the best girls on campus so we’ve really gotten along.”
With the excitement also comes nerves. The women have to do a solo walk in an evening gown while the master of ceremonies reads a prepared description of their hobbies and aspirations.
“I am most nervous about the evening wear walk,” said Barfield from Hanson, Ky. “It isn’t often that I wear high heels so I’ll certainly be praying for gracefulness that evening!”
Other than being graceful, the winner of Miss MSU should have qualities that represent Murray State accurately. The 15 women who will perform Saturday strive to exhibit those qualities.
“She needs to be someone who is very well-rounded and involved in the community and has devoted a lot of her college career to Murray State,” said Winchester, junior from Murray, Ky. “They also need to be poised but approachable and confident.”
The show will be at 7 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium Saturday. The tickets are $3 ahead of time and $5 at the door.
Story by Madison Wepfer, Staff writer