Annual scholarship showcase returns to K-State for 15th consecutive year

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The Kappa Tau chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. will have their 15th annual Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant in Forum Hall in the K-State Student Union tomorrow night. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the show will begin at 7 p.m.

The showcase, in its 15th consecutive year, is one of the longest running programs at K-State. Including the seven featured women this year, a total of 147 African American women have participated and performed in this annual event.

“Every year, Alpha Phi Alpha hosts this event to exemplify and to reflect on the positive nature of African American and other multicultural women,” Craig Swan, Miss Black and Gold coordinator for the Alphas and senior in finance, said. “Historically, these women haven’t been told they were beautiful compared to what was seen in the mainstream media. This showcase is a platform for these women to show how beautiful they are.”

The women will be competing in a number different categories. After the opening number, the women will present their career wear or business attire. The winner of this category is dubbed Miss Career. Next, is the talent portion of the showcase where the winner is presented with Miss Talent. Following that is the swimwear competition, the winning woman of which is crowned Miss Swimwear. After swimwear is evening wear, where the winner will be crowned Miss Elegance. Finally, the women will compete in a Q-and-A portion of the pageant.

There are also other titles given to women for work done off-stage. Miss GPA is presented to the woman with the highest grade point average. The woman who sells the most amount of ads for the annual souvenir book will win Miss Souvenir Book. The Miss Sisterhood winner is similar to a Miss Congeniality award as it is voted on by the women competing in the pageant. Miss Dedication is voted on by the pageant’s coordinators and awarded to the woman who showed the most dedication towards the showcase. And Miss Diligence is given to the woman who sells the most amount of tickets before the event.

The ultimate winners of the showcase are the second runner-up Miss Black, the runner-up Miss Gold, and Miss Black and Gold, the winner.

“I am always excited for the young ladies who are participating,” said Brandon Clark, the Alpha’s adviser, the state director for Alpha Phi Alpha and the program coordinator for the office of diversity. “I also take a lot of pride in the people who come out to the event and enjoy it. This is a quality product that families can enjoy. These young ladies never disappoint. It’s a quality event where we do everything first class to make people feel like they had a quality time to encourage them to come out again next year.”

Outside of what is shown on the stage, these young women are also taken to church weekly with the Alpha men. The Alphas also make a homemade dinner for the women before and after the pageant to show their appreciation for participating in the pageant. The women are also taken to dining etiquette, interviewing and public speaking classes. Swan said they try to emphasize their pageant is more about development and intelligence than just exterior beauty.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door.

“We hope that every one who is available comes out to this event,” Swan said. “Fifteen years is a long time for having an event continuously on this campus.”

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