Mary-Elizabeth Killian crowned Miss Starkville

Mary-Elizabeth Killian was crowned Miss Starkville and will go on to compete in the Miss Mississippi Pageant in June. (Submitted photo)
Staff Writer

Mary-Elizabeth Killian was crowed Miss Starkville on Jan. 13 and will go on to compete for the title of Miss Mississippi this summer.

Killian's platform is "Dance From the Heart," which focuses on educating Mississippians on the importance of exercise and eating healthy.

In the future, Killian said, she hopes to host activities in the Starkville area to promote her platform, and all funds raised will benefit Children's Miracle Network.

"Taking note of the issue that's surrounding us, I wanted to do everything I possibly could to make us a stronger and better community," Killian said. "I wanted to help people meet their exercise goals and make sure people are fueling their bodies properly so they can have the opportunity to succeed in every aspect of life."

Killian is a junior at the University of Mississippi, where she is majoring in accounting with a minor in economics. She is also a member of the Ole Miss Rebelettes dance team. She plans to attend graduate school and then become a certified personal accountant.

"In my future years, I plan to hopefully come back and get my master's in business administration that way I can eventually meet my goal of becoming a CFO of a large, private firm," Killian said.

Killian, a native of Hoover, Alabama, said she decided to move to Mississippi after friends and family who are alumni of both Mississippi State University and Ole Miss showed her everything the state has to offer.

Killian said she began competing in the Miss America Organization when she was in the teen division for Outstanding Teen.

"At the time, I was still residing in the state of Alabama, so that's where I competed in the teen preliminaries, and I went on to Miss Alabama's Outstanding Teen, and it was very exciting to get to compete there," Killian said. "I did start into the Miss program in Alabama, however when I made my transition to the state of Mississippi and began a full-time student career at Ole Miss, I knew it was time to begin competing in the Miss Mississippi organization."

The Miss Starkville pageant is a preliminary pageant for Miss Mississippi and Miss America.

Local director Angella Baker said six contestants participated in the Miss Starkville pageant, and the contestants participated in talent, interview, swimsuit, on-stage question and evening gown portions of the competition.

Baker said this was the first Miss Starkville Pageant since 1980.

"We are reviving the Miss Starkville Pageant," Baker said. "The last Miss Starkville was Cheryl Prewitt who went on to win Miss America."

The Miss Mississippi pageant will take place June 20 through June 23 in Vicksburg.