Six contestants vied for the annual Miss CU Pageant crown on Saturday, Sept. 26 in the Gemmell Multi-Purpose Room. The pageant was sponsored by the University Activities Board.
Ashley Thompson, Alyssa Creighton, Ivana Chambers-Bennett, Lauren Bovard, Farrah Cornick and Angelina Rodkey partook in this year’s jungle-themed pageant. Each contestant participated in the pageant’s five portions, including the personality walk, group questions, swimwear, talent and individual questions.
After the final portion, judges Jamison Staszewski, Marishika Wright, Abbey Streich and Professor Joseph Croskey crowned Bovard as Miss CU 2015/16. Creighton received first runner-up and Cornick won second runner-up.
Bovard, a senior dual major in human resource and business management, had never been in a Miss CU Pageant before this year.
“I decided to audition for Miss CU because the past four years here at Clarion University have shaped me into who I am today, and I truly feel as though I hold the values Clarion represents,” Bovard said.
The pageant had numerous walks and dance routines on top of individual and Clarion University knowledge questions.
“The planning process was very tedious. Ari Fulcher did a fabulous job organizing the event and making sure we all knew what to do for each scene. Practice required a lot of dedication and preparation for the show,” Bovard said.
The pageant opened with a synchronized group dance. All contestants were dressed in black and wore animal print skirts. Each contestant brought out a male partner and showed off their individual dancing skills. The audience clapped and cheered during the routine, adding energy to the contestants’ performance.
The talent portion of the pageant showcased a variety of skills, including singing, dancing, spoken word and a monologue reading. Rodkey sang “Rise Like a Phoenix,” Creighton performed a hip-hop dance to Fetty Wap’s “Again” and Thompson sang Beyonce’s “I Was Here.”
Bovard read a poem about a married couple and their argument over the relationship between a male lifeguard and a waitress.
“…It does take a certain kind of confidence to be on a stage in a room full of people. Looking back to freshman year, I would have never imagined myself doing this. I wouldn’t have been on stage though if I was not confident in myself and my love for Clarion University. I have never been on stage in my life! It goes to show why students are ‘Courageous. Confident. Clarion,’” Bovard said.
Before this year’s winners were announced, Miss CU 2014/15, Arnita Thompson, performed a walk. Thompson also crowned the runners-up and the winner.
Bovard said her favorite part of the night was being crowned winner and seeing her proud family sitting in the audience. She found participating in the pageant an honor and a privilege in her final year at Clarion.
“Miss CU is important to Clarion University because it gives a student a chance to represent what Clarion University prides their foundation on. In my opinion, Miss CU is a woman of substance who empowers everyone around her, is respected and carries herself with poise and confidence. Miss CU is a good representative of Clarion and all of its great students,” Bovard said.