Bethany Whitfield, a sophomore history major from Bryant, Ark., was crowned Miss Ouachita Baptist University on February 28 in the Jones Performing Arts Center on Ouachita’s campus. Whitfield will be representing Ouachita Baptist University at the Miss Arkansas pageant July 15-18 in Hot Springs, Ark. She also won the People’s Choice award and the swimsuit and talent categories of the pageant.
“I am thrilled to go to Miss Arkansas as Miss OBU,” Whitfield said. “I love this university and everything it represents. It has impacted my life tremendously. I look at this opportunity as an honor, a privilege and a huge responsibility.”
Whitfield was crowned by former Miss OBU Lauren English. Upon receiving the title of Miss OBU, Whitfield was rewarded a $1,000 scholarship by the university, wardrobe allowances, photography and teeth whitening sessions and other prizes from donating businesses.
Whitfield is the daughter of Donny and Tanya Whitfield of Bryant and the granddaughter of Kenneth and Beth Cole of Keo and Bill and Norma Whitfield of Toltec. She is a member of EEE Women’s Social Club and serves as the club’s song leader. She also serves as secretary of OBU’s College Republicans as well as sophomore class president on OBU’s Student Senate. Whitfield’s critical issue platform for the pageant was “Manage for the Future: Personal Finance.”
“Being crowned Miss OBU was certainly a moment I will never forget,” Whitfield said. “I am extremely proud of the fact that this was my first pageant, and that I worked so hard while still having the time of my life.”
Ouachita alumnus Lacy Fleming Glover, former Miss Arkansas and 3rd runner up to Miss America 2004 served as the pageant’s emcee and also performed. Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Sloan Roberts and Miss Arkansas 2008 Ashlen Batson also performed. The pageant was directed by Justin Harper and Kirt Thomas.
The court of honor that performed during the pageant included Stephanie Batsel, a freshman church music major from Mansfield, Texas; Jarrett Davis, a junior music major from Henderson, Texas; Cortnie Devore, a junior musical theatre major from Beebe, Ark.; Miss OBU 2008 Lauren English, a junior mass communications and psychology major from Hot Springs, Ark.; Samantha George, a junior communication science and disorders major from White Hall, Ark.; Sky Howard, a junior church music major from Nacogdoches, Texas; and Justin James, a junior mass communications and kinesiology major from Weatherford, Texas.
All 12 contestants were nominated by campus organizations and clubs. First runner-up and winner of the interview portion of the pageant was Bethany Briscoe, a junior graphic design major from Plano, Texas. Second runner-up and evening gown winner was Kristen Glover, a sophomore chemistry major from Stuttgart, Ark. Third runner-up and congeniality winner was Melissa Elliot, a freshman from Little Rock.
The other contestants in the pageant included Christina Albee, Melissa Collier, Andrea Jones, Kathryn Kellogg, Molly Johnson, Sarah Johnson, Andrea Ross and Katie Steele.
by Megan Lindsey