Contestants prepare for Miss MHB pageant

The Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor pageant has been an annual tradition at the university since the 1950’s. However, the pageant we know today was a little different when it first premiered on campus.
Originally titled the Miss Bluebonnet Pageant, the peageant was later changed to the Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor College Pageant in the 1960s and was a part of the Miss Texas Pageant System for a short time.
Once UMHB achieved university status, it was no longer associated with other pageant systems.
Its purpose is simple— to provide the contestants and pageant staff an opportunity for developing leadership skills, theatrical training, responsibility, and confidence.
Many changes have been made to the university and the pageant is no exception. In the past, the show was held on two separate nights with the latter involving the crowning ceremony. Last year, the university decided to show it only on one night instead. This year we will be continuing with this new tradition and will host the UMHB pageant on one night only. The pageant will be held in Walton chapel on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.
Jenna Albright is a junior film studies major and is representing the junior class in this year’s pageant. She said that students can expect a lot of fun during the performances.
Junior mass communication major Tori Pharris is representing Search Cru and is looking forward to the talent portion of the evening.
“Each talent varies and wasn’t what I was expecting,” Pharris said, “The girls in the pageant are great so I have no expectations of being crowned, but if it happened my goal is to just love people. I don’t want to change just because of a crown.”
Sophomore psychology major Sarah Szyperski, this year’s Miss MHB director, agrees with Albright.
“All of the contestants are absolutely amazing and beautiful inside and out,” she said. “They each bring their own unique quality to the show,” she said.
Szyperski said that her role as director is to develop a theme and vision from the pageant, as well as lead the ladies and prepare them for the process. However, she doesn’t take all the credit. Szyperski credits a portion of the work to her assistant directors, committee, and advisors.
“I am so excited to watch the girls grow and discover new things about themselves,” she said. “It was a great transition last year from Miss MHB being only one night instead of two, and it was one we wanted to continue. The show still contains the main components: talent, dance, evening gowns, and stroll.”
The director said it is more than a traditional beauty pageant – it is a time for students to choose 20 women who represent the school.
“These ladies are lights in the worlds and were chosen because of their inner beauty, but also because of all the hard work and dedication they put into production,” Szyperski said.
Miss MHB 2017’s winner, Bridgit Sillman present the 2018 Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor with her crown at the end to the show. She described the past year as being an incredible honor and unforgettable experience, from the day-to-day to parade appearances and everything in between.
“Early in the pageant process, I set some personal goals that have been fruitful. More publicly, my platform goal has been a struggle of a journey, but with success in sight.” Sillman said, “I hope the Miss MHB 2018 contestants are able to find and bring a new generation of sweet, supportive, and genuine sisterhood in rehearsals and beyond the crowning.”

Author: Madeline Oden

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