Amarah Blythe | Staff Writer
The crowd went wild for the 2015 Miss Hampton Scholarship Pageant contestants as they made their grand entrance on Friday, September 26, 2015. The audience was in awe as the contestants modeled their beautiful gowns. The nine contestants performed in several categories: the opening dance, talent, evening wear, swimwear and finally questions. All of these categories led up to the to moment where one lucky woman was crowned “Miss Hampton University”.
The winner of the pageant was Brittany Harper, a senior history major, from Memphis, Tennessee. Harper is the face of the university for the 2015-16 school year. Miss Hampton is a university tradition that has been present for twenty-one years. Every year women compete, but only one walks away with the title and bragging rights.
“It was a great experience working with all nine contestants. It was rewarding seeing them grow as Hampton women and become more confident in themselves. I’m extremely proud of all of them. To Brittany, I’m so happy for you and this major accomplishment. I know you will do great things and represent our ‘Home by the Sea’ extremely well.” said Whitney Young, a senior, business administration major, from Detroit Michigan and also the director of the this year’s pageant.
The nine contestants all had respective platforms.
Highlighting the Contestants
Contestant 1 Alexis Perry: a senior psychology major, leadership studies minor from Louisville, Kentucky. Her platform was Embracing Your Crown: Helping young girls in the Hampton Roads community embrace their confidence, resilience, originality, Womanhood and Nobility.
Contestant 2 Alexyss Scott: a senior business management major from Willingboro, New Jersey. Her platform was “The Miss Hampton Initiative:” Encouraging Minds; you cannot live a positive life with a negative mind.
Contestant 3 (pageant winner) Brittany Harper: a senior history major from Memphis, Tennessee. Her winning platform was The Superwoman Project: encouraging self-esteem, self-confidence and a SUPER future.
Contestant 4 Clarke LeGrand: a senior fourth year, fifth year masters of business and administration major from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Her platform was Chad’s Dream: Promoting Leukemia Awareness.
Contestant 5 Kayla Brown: a senior biology major, from St. Louis Missouri. Her career driven platform was Women in Science: Promoting Young African American girls in the sciences.
Contestant 6 Jerlesia Henderson: a senior mathematics major from Norfolk, Virginia. Her empowering platform was Still I Rise: Building Identities while Destroying Insecurities.
Contestant 7 Gizelle Harris: a senior music education major, strategic communications minor from Wendell, North Carolina. Her platform was Love the Skin You’re In: Promoting happy and healthy self-confidence on our campus and in our community.
Contestant 8 Brittany Middleton: a junior biology major, from Atlanta, Georgia. Her platform was One of A Kind Project: Encourage young women to embrace their uniqueness and share it with the world.
Contestant 9 Ivana Thomas: a senior psychology major, from Durham, North Carolina. Her Platform was The Global Mindshift: embracing differences in our interconnected world.
Kiana Dash, a junior biology major from Rochester, New York said “I thought the contestants last night really brought their ‘A’ game. It was really inspiring to see such beautiful and talented women in an amazing show. Every girl was a star in my eyes.”
From the dazzling gowns and figure flattering swimsuits to the questionnaires, the audience was anxious to see who was going home with the crown. Based off of the crowd’s reaction swimsuit wear and talent were the audience’s favorite. It’s empowering to see women embrace their bodies and face their fears to perform in front of so many people.
After a brief intermission the contestants graced the stage yet again. The pageant was coming to an end and it was becoming harder to see who would win.
“I felt that all of the contestants did a phenomenal job and presented one of the best pageants I’ve seen here at Hampton,” said Peter Savage, a junior history major from Surry County, Virginia.
Savage expressed that the contestants kept the audience on the edge of their seat throughout the whole pageant.
As the question and answer segment of the pageant ended the audience knew that moment they all have been waiting for was near. Before the winner was announced the audience had a chance to watch a slideshow presentation of the girls throughout their journey. A lot of glimpses were in the presentation, from the late rehearsals to their one on one time with the former Miss Hampton, Joye Parker.
The hosts Valen and “Frenchie” kept smiles on everyone’s face with their jokes, they added a lot of their personal experiences into the comments they made.
Finally, after the multiple segments it was time to crown the new face of Hampton University.
“…And the 2015-2016 Miss Hampton is… Brittany Harper!” said Valen, the male host. The audience stood, and there was mixed emotion’s throughout the crowd. Brittany’s family ran to the front of the stage to congratulate their new queen. The queen’s court and the former Miss Hampton, Joye Parker crowned Brittany during the surreal moment. Family and friends crowded the stage after the pageant to congratulate all of the contestants.
Harper will now reign as Miss Hampton 2015-16 and will carry on the legacy of Miss Hampton. A week before being crowned Harper expressed she was not leaving Hampton University without at least being a part of the pageant. Now the new queen can say that she not only participated, but won the title of Miss Hampton University before she walked off of Hampton’s campus.