By NATHAN GREGORY
Thirty-five Mississippi State University women will compete for the Miss Maroon and White crown tonight at Lee Hallâ€™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.
â€ś(The panel) will ask them about their involvement with community service,â€ť she said, â€śas well as their hobbies and interests.â€ť
Clark said the pageant provides the opportunity for the contestants to showcase their diverse interests.
â€śThe 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, itâ€™s tough to find your place,â€ť she said. â€śThe girls have a place in this setting. Itâ€™s a neat way to meet some new people and do things you may have enjoyed in high school, and itâ€™s always good to get interview practice.â€ť
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.
â€śI know (the pageant) will probably bring in a lot of out-of-town guests such as family members to watch the students,â€ť she said. â€śMSU 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.â€ť
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.