Bethany Briscoe, a senior mass communications and graphic design double major from Plano, Texas, was crowned Miss Ouachita Baptist University Feb. 6 in Jones Performing Arts Center on Ouachita’s campus. Briscoe will represent Ouachita Baptist University at the Miss Arkansas pageant July 14-17 in Hot Springs, Ark.
Briscoe was crowned by former Miss OBU, Bethany Whitfield. “I very much believe that Bethany will make a capable Miss OBU. Bethany’s very connected to this school. She loves Ouachita, and that will be apparent on the Miss Arkansas stage,” Whitfield said. “Ouachita to me represents faith learning and service—so does Bethany.”
Upon receiving the title of Miss OBU, Briscoe was rewarded a $1,000 scholarship by the university, wardrobe allowances, photography and other prizes from sponsoring businesses.
Briscoe is the daughter of Rick and Barbi Briscoe of Plano, Texas. She has been a member of EEE Women’s Social Club for three years and served as pledge mistress this year. She is also a member of OBU’s Student Senate and is on the yearbook staff. Her platform is High Definition Living, which inspires girls to have a healthy body image.
“This school has given me so much over the past four years,” Briscoe said. “It has helped shape me into the woman I am now, and I could not be more thrilled to give back to this school and represent Ouachita at Miss Arkansas this summer.”
Briscoe also tied for first place in the lifestyle and fitness portion of the competition with Katie Strickland and won the poise in evening gown portion. There was a three-way tie in the talent portion among Briscoe, Brandi Hull and Kinsey Ann Carpenter.
The 11 contestants were nominated by campus organizations and clubs. First runner-up and winner of the private interview portion of the competition was Katie Strickland, a senior business administration/marketing major from Alma, Ark. Second runner-up and winner of the People’s Choice and Spirit of the Pageant awards was Brandi Hull, a sophomore instrumental music education major from Longview, Texas. Third runner-up was Melissa Elliot, a sophomore communication sciences and disorders major from Roland, Ark., and fourth runner-up was Megan Gentry, a senior English and mass communications double major from Alexander, Ark. Allie Ward, a sophomore pre-nursing major from Louann, Ark., earned the Lauren English Community Service Award.
Other contestants included: Lindsey Baker, a senior Christian studies/Biblical studies major from Benton, Ark.; Kinsey Ann Carpenter, a sophomore choral music education major from Mason, Tenn.; Karis Crosby, a freshman Christian studies/Christian ministries major from Columbia, Mo.; Daniela Novotna, a freshman vocal performance and political science double major from the Czech Republic; and Abby Turner, a senior business administration/marketing major from Sherwood, Ark.
Ouachita alumna Lacy Fleming Glover, former Miss OBU and Miss Arkansas and 3rd runner up to Miss America 2004, served as the pageant’s emcee and also performed. The pageant was directed by Justin Harper and Kirt Thomas, both Ouachita alumni.
In addition to Whitfield, others who performed as part of the court of honor were Mark Bartels, a sophomore church music major from Henderson, Texas; Stephanie Batsel, a sophomore choral music education major from Mansfield, Texas; Cortnie Devore, a senior musical theatre major from Beebe, Ark.; Alyse Eady, a senior mass communications and speech communication double major from Fort Smith, Ark.; Sky Howard, a senior church music major from Nacogdoches, Texas; Alex Ray, a junior political science and business administration double major from Jacksonville, Ark.; and Grace Whitaker, a senior biology major from Victoria, Texas, who also served as the program’s choreographer.
By Meg Gosser