Glitter, heels and Cru spirit strutted the stage in the form of the annual 2013 Miss MHB pageant.
The two-day show allows female students to portray their talents and gifts to the Crusader community.
Miss McLane Hall, sophomore Kat Pasichnyk, was crowned Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor 2013. An English secondary education major, Pasichnyk will represent the university in parades, community activities, meeting and greeting trustees and important school occasions.
The theme this year revolved around the 31st chapter of Proverbs and its message about becoming a godly woman.
Miss MHB 2012 senior elementary education major Lauren Rodriguez led devotionals before practice. Each day, she focused on a different aspect of the character of the Proverbs 31 woman.
“Through pageant, I just wanted the girls to take each minute intentionally, knowing that the Lord has called them here for a purpose. … He’s doing a work in every girl throughout the whole experience,” she said.
President Dr. Randy O’Rear selected senior marketing major Jenna Jones for director this year.
Jones assisted all aspects of the production. She hopes that contestants learned more about themselves and the God they serve.
“This is one of the biggest traditions at UMHB…. Everyone sees the show and not the practice. But pageant isn’t just the production. It’s the experience of growing as sisters in Christ,” she said.
Jones encouraged the young women as they polished talents and stepped out of their comfort zones.
“My favorite part has been watching the girls grow…being in a stressful environment is where you can do that the most. The coolest thing is the difference from the first night of practice until show week.
It’s amazing how much work these girls have put into this,” she said.
Practice began Sept. 24 and continued for six weeks. Stiletto boot camp, “heels practice,” taught the contestants to walk with grace and confidence.
Friday featured judges’ interviews and individual talents the contestants worked so hard to perfect, while Saturday spotlighted a group dance, platform speeches and evening gowns.
Among other things, entrants recited poetry, rapped, danced, and played instruments to showcase their unique abilities.
Sophomore Spanish major Melanie Gatlin played the piano and sang one of her favorite songs. Last year, she watched pageant from the crowd and decided she wanted to be involved this year.
“I saw all of the community that was built by the girls, and I wanted to be a part of that….God definitely opened the doors…. My favorite part has been getting to know people individually…It’s so sincere and genuine.”
But Jones said her main goal for the girls was for them to take their experiences beyond the stage.
“They have found their passions through their talents and platforms. Seeing them build confidence in that and taking it past November, making disciples… that’s my prayer for the girls,” she said.
Sophomore nursing major Sarah Mackie enjoyed performances from all of the representatives but felt proud that a sophomore won the title.
“It’s awesome to be a part of a class that is so talented and passionate. From Stunt Night to Miss MHB, the sophomore class is involved and dedicated to this school,” she said.
As Pasichnyk looks toward an eventful year, she wants to remember all the memories she made with her fellow contestants as well as the knowledge gained about herself.
She said, “I am incredibly honored to serve such a great university as Miss MHB. I am so blessed and thankful to have the opportunity to share what the Lord has done in my life through my platform. Through pageant, I got to see more deeply into the heart of God. I have learned so much about beauty and identity and developing deep abiding friendship. I will always remember to sparkle for Him.”