Ouachita Baptist University will host the 51st Miss Ouachita Baptist University Scholarship Pageant on Saturday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center. Seven contestants will compete for the crown. Tickets are $12 at the door.
The winner of the pageant will compete in the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant, part of the Miss America Organization, this summer and receive a $1,000 scholarship and other prizes. Her responsibilities as Miss OBU will be to volunteer in numerous activities and organizations throughout the community of Arkadelphia and the state of Arkansas. The event is directed by alumna Becky Hartsfield.
The Miss OBU Pageant crowned Sharon Evans Bale as its first winner in 1967. Bale went on that year to win the title of Miss Arkansas. Since the pageant’s start, five women who held the title of Miss OBU went on to represent the state as Miss Arkansas.
“Ouachita has always been represented by young women with poise, intelligence and talent,” Hartsfield said. “The board looks for a woman who upholds the ideals and values of Ouachita Baptist University.”
The students competing in this year’s pageant include: Kara DeLaune, a junior Spanish major from Conway, Ark.; Lauren Ford, a senior political science major from Cabot, Ark.; Alayna Morphew, a junior elementary education major from Nashville, Ark.; Emma Pitts, a sophomore music education major from Clarksville, Ark.; Abigail Sanders, a freshman music industry major from Little Rock, Ark.; Caroline Sweet, a sophomore secondary education and English major from North Little Rock, Ark.; and Julie Williams, a senior mass communications and political science major from Arkadelphia, Ark. The women will be judged in talent, evening wear, onstage question, private interview and fitness categories.
The pageant also will honor Miss OBU 2017 Tiffany Lee’s year of service to the university.
“From the moment I stepped on stage to compete for Miss OBU, everything became worthwhile. I have had the chance to meet amazing alumni, share my platform, ‘Stay Hydrated, Stay Healthy,’ hang out with some precious kiddos, work community events, raise money for Children’s Miracle Network and be on the stage with our current Miss Arkansas,” Lee said. “Everything I did throughout the year taught me something and made my heart happy. There is no feeling like the feeling of getting to represent this school.”
Each Miss Arkansas contestant has a platform and works with the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation to raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network. In 2017, Miss Arkansas contestants were awarded more than $172,000 in scholarships to maintain their tradition of “empowering young women to achieve their personal and professional goals while providing a forum in which to express their opinions, talents and intelligence.”
“This year has been one of the most fun, challenging and rewarding years of my life. I wish I could do it 100 times more,” Lee said. “I am beyond blessed that God put the Miss Arkansas Organization in my path.”
Additional entertainment during the pageant will be provided by the Court of Honor, which will include: Hannah Hines, a senior musical theatre major from Russellville, Ark.; Zach Myers, a junior musical theatre major from Greenwood, Ark.; Noah Nalley, a sophomore biology and Spanish major from Benton, Ark.; and Libby Villegas, a senior music industry from Wylie, Texas. Stephen Curry serves as their musical director, and Abby Curry serves as choreographer.
Tickets for the pageant are $12 each for the general public and $7 each for current Ouachita students with a valid student ID. Tickets are available for purchase at the door of the event. The pageant will also be livestreamed on
By Addy Goodman
February 20, 2018