» By TRENT SINGER – tsinger@my.apsu.edu

On Friday, Nov. 11, the Music and Mass Comunication Concert Hall housed the 35th annual Miss Austin Peay Scholarship Pageant awards. Judges crowned sophomore, elementary education major, Katie Kennedy. They also chose sophomore, business and communications major, Ashley White as the first recipient of the Mrs. Governor’s Pride award.

The ceremony featured 14 students who competed for the $2000+ scholarship award. The winner was chosen based on a variety of factors, including fitness, talent, accolades, and questionnaire. Among those who received recognition were 3rd runner-up freshman, Victoria Davis, 2nd runner-up Skylar Wall, and 1st runner-up senior, pre-pharmacy major, Lesleigh Stanfill.

The events, which began its tradition in 1959, are co-sponsored by the Sigma Chi fraternity and the office of Student Life & Leadership. “The office handles expenses and production, and the fraternity raises money to give the scholarships to the women,” said Executive Director Victor Felts.

Last year’s winner, Miss Katie Neely, was on hand to crown this year’s winner. Miss Kennedy, a Clarksville native, was the ideal candidate for the 2012 Miss Austin Peay crown. She is sponsored by the Kappa Alpha Order and her platform brings awareness to Second Chances, an organization that helps underprivileged children in urban areas.

Miss White, from Franklin, Tennessee, is Austin Peay’s first-ever recipient of the Mrs. Governor’s Pride award. She is sponsored by the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and her platform focuses on bringing awareness to child poverty.

The 2012 committee was headed by Felts, Student Director Spencer Davis, Assistant Director Miller Hyams and ticket manager Matt Zenker. The judges were Stephen Dominy, Kaci Fisher, Dr. Marsha Lyle-Gonga, Cindy McElroy, Keith Spain, Tim Strobl and Carrie Harris. The mistresses of ceremonies were Nikki Peterson and Cydney Miller, both recipients of the Miss Tennessee award.

Both Kennedy and White will now go on to compete in the Miss Tennessee pageant in June for more scholarships, as well as an opportunity to go on and compete in the Miss America pageant.
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