SuperTalk Mississippi

Annual Miss University Pageant set for Sunday at UM

Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc.

The following press release was provided by UM Public Relations:

Fifteen contestants will be vying for the title of Miss University at the 69th annual Miss University Scholarship Pageant, set for Sunday (Oct. 15) at the University of Mississippi’s Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

The pageant, sponsored by the Ole Miss Student Union and the Student Activities Association, is set for 5:30 p.m. Tickets, priced at $10 for UM students and $15 for the general public, are available at the Ford Center Box Office and online at

The winner advances to the Miss Mississippi Pageant in June 2018 in Vicksburg. Miss University 2018 also gets a scholarship and other benefits, said Bradley Baker, director of the Ole Miss Student Union and pageant host.

“The winner will receive over $5,000 in scholarships and prizes from various sponsors for the Miss University Pageant,” Baker said. “This pageant not only provides scholarships but it empowers young women to achieve their dreams while serving as role models for their communities, states and the nation.”

Contestants complete an interview session with judges before the pageant, and the on-stage competitions include talent, evening gown, swimwear and on-stage question events.

These contestants for Miss University 2018 and their platforms are:

  • Shelbee Avelino, of Arroyo Grande, California; Seventeen Strong and Overall Wellness
  • Asya Branch, of Booneville; Empowering Children of Incarcerated Parents
  • Madison Demotts, of Gulf Breeze, Florida; Move Mississippi
  • Emma Gaddy, of Moulton, Alabama; Dance For All
  • Kimberly Gordon, of Brooksville; Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Ke’Amber Holmes, of Magnolia; Surround Watch: Human Trafficking Awareness
  • Baylee Howard, of Corinth; Women in Engineering Proactive Work
  • Mary Randall Ivy, of Oxford; Listen Carefully: Healthy Hearing Awareness
  • Ciara Knapp, of Chatham, Illinois; Crowning Success: The Four Points Mentoring
  • Mary Margaret, of Hattiesburg; Advocate, Celebrate, Donate.
  • Charley Ann Nix, of Batesville; Don’t Wait, Educate: A Bullying Prevention Program
  • Meredyth Von Seelen, of Great Falls, Virginia; Heart Health and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
  • Dana Wesley, of West Point; Language-Learning to Foster Understanding
  • Hannah Whitlock, of Pontotoc; Game On for Literacy
  • Blair Wortsmith, of Little Rock, Arkansas; Guiding Youth to Financial Freedom

For more information about the pageant, go to

By Karoline Kouk

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