By NATHAN GREGORY
Thirty-five Mississippi State University women will compete for the Miss Maroon and White crown tonight at Lee Hall’s Bettersworth Auditorium.
The annual pageant, which begins at 7 p.m., will also feature singing from Miss MSU Stephanie Stanford, a piano performance by former Miss Mississippi Sarah Beth James, entertainment from MSU student-led show choir Blitz! and a performance by Terpsicorps, a MSU dance group.
The event is sponsored by the MSU Campus Activities Board.
Event coordinator and MSU Student Association Senator Avent Clark said the 35 contestants will go through a preliminary interview process before the pageant with a panel of three judges.
“(The panel) will ask them about their involvement with community service,” she said, “as well as their hobbies and interests.”
Clark said the pageant provides the opportunity for the contestants to showcase their diverse interests.
“The students come from all kinds of different backgrounds and may have competed in beauty reviews (previously). When you come to a school with 20,000 students, it’s tough to find your place,” she said. “The girls have a place in this setting. It’s a neat way to meet some new people and do things you may have enjoyed in high school, and it’s always good to get interview practice.”
Each of the 35 contestants will come through the stage once before there is a cut to the top 25 and another to the top 15. Contestants who make the cut will be asked a question on stage.
Clark said she believes there will be a good turnout at the pageant. The public is invited to attend.
“I know (the pageant) will probably bring in a lot of out-of-town guests such as family members to watch the students,” she said. “MSU is a huge part of Starkville, and this provides a good opportunity for people of Starkville to come see the great talent of the student groups performing and see what the students in the competition do best.”
Admission to the Miss Maroon and White pageant is $10. For more information visit the MSU CAB website at http://www.cab.org.msstate.edu .