Ouachita Baptist University hosted the 51st annual Miss Ouachita Baptist University Pageant on Saturday, Feb. 2, and crowned Arkadelphia, Ark., native Julie Williams as Miss OBU 2019.
“I find pride in being from both Arkadelphia and from Ouachita,” Williams said in an interview with The Signal, Ouachita’s student newspaper. “I’ve always said that being from somewhere is not about the place; it’s about the people. And when I won Miss OBU, I thought of dozens of individuals and specific names and faces … that were the entire reason I was here to begin with. … They changed my life, and they invested in me.”
Williams is a senior political science and mass communications double major. She is the daughter of Rev. Charlie and Amy Williams and represented Student Senate. Her platform, “Bridging the Gap Between the Free and the Fighter,” focuses on the value of interactions between school children and local veterans. In addition to winning the Miss OBU crown, Williams received the Bethany Briscoe Toney Presence and Poise in Evening Wear Award and Kristen Glover Belew Private Interview Award.
Williams added that receiving the title of Miss OBU “is one of the most beautiful feelings I have ever had in my time at Ouachita – that I’m branded a Ouachitonian.”
Gracie Stover was the first runner-up. She is a junior communications & media/multimedia journalism major from Little Rock, Ark. She is the daughter of Mike and Laura Stover and represented Beta Beta men’s social club.
The second runner-up was Madeline Martin, a sophomore musical theatre and mass communications double major from Sheridan, Ark. She is the daughter of Robert and Angi Martin and represented EEE women’s social club. Martin received Suzie Gresham Barham Alpha Evening Award and Kiley Wright Engel Alpha Award.
The third runner-up was Stormi Leonard, a senior finance, mass communications and Spanish triple major from Decatur, Texas. She is the daughter of Scott and Jami Leonard and represented the Ouachita Tiger volleyball team.
Abigail Sanders was the fourth runner-up. She is a sophomore music industry major from Little Rock, Ark. She is the daughter of David and Becca Sanders and represented Eta Alpha Omega men’s social club. Sanders received the Photogenic Award.
Other award-winners included:
Patti Thorn Lusk, a 1988 Ouachita alumna, former Miss OBU 1985 and Miss Arkansas 1988, served as emcee for the pageant. Becky Hartsfield, a Ouachita alumna, served as the pageant’s executive director. Claudia Raffo, Miss Arkansas 2018, made a special appearance during the event.
Special entertainment for the evening was presented by Miss OBU 2018 Emma Pitts, Miss Central Arkansas 2019 Kyla Soden, Miss White River 2019 Madi Rottinghaus, Miss Southwest Arkansas 2019 Avery Jackson, Miss Metro 2019 Taryn Bewley and Miss Conway 2019 Elizabeth Steely, as well as the Miss OBU Court of Honor.
The Court of Honor included: Bethany Courtney, a sophomore music major from Little Rock, Ark.; Aaron George, a senior accounting and finance double major from Rogers, Ark.; Clay Mobley, a senior music industry major from Wylie, Texas; Zach Myers, a senior musical theatre major from Greenwood, Ark.; and Paige Price, a sophomore musical theatre major from Plano, Texas. Alumnus Stephen Curry served as musical director, and alumna Abby Curry served as choreographer.
Williams will go on to represent Ouachita at the 2019 Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant in Little Rock, Ark., June 11-15.
For more information, contact Becky Hartsfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Rachel Moreno // Photos by Alex Blankenship. Download image above (full size).
February 8, 2019