Music, laughter and shouts of excitement filled the air in McCain auditorium as 20 young women competed for the title of Miss K-State.
The contestants competed in four rounds, Wildcat Pride, talent, career and questions. After the first two rounds, there was a short intermission in which the Swingin’ Spurs performed, and the top nine ladies were announced followed by a vote to save one girl from among four girls chosen by the judges.
After a tenth girl was selected to continue competing the ladies demonstrated their plans for future careers. Career choices ranged from chiropractor to becoming the voice of a Disney Princess.
Finally the contestants showed off evening wear and answered a question about their organization or experience at K-State. Questions ranged from “If you had to choose one person to be the face of K-State who would it be?” to “If you were to be remembered for one thing while at K-State what would you want that to be?”.
At the conclusion of the evening Abby Alsop, sophomore in microbiology and Miss K-State 2014, handed down her crown to Miss K-State 2015, Ashley Wilmoth, sophomore in accounting.
“There is so much excitement, I just can’t believe it,” Wilmoth said. “This whole experience has been a blast, just getting to know the men of Delta Upsilon to all the girls.”
Wilmoth said her favorite part about competing in the pageant was the talent portion. Wilmoth performed a clogging piece that was spiced up with modern steps.
“I haven’t done clogging since high school,” Wilmoth said. “It felt great to get back on stage. It felt as if nothing changed.”
Other talents ranged from dancing to stand up comedy to rapping about calculus. Lauren Dunkak, senior in political science, although passionate about singing performed an upbeat swing dance routine. This was Dunkak’s third year competing in the Miss K-State pageant.
“It’s been such a great experience getting to know all these girls,” Dunkak said. “Its also amazing that the money also goes to a great organization.”
Another member very familiar with the events history is Russell Harp, senior in entrepreneurship and founder of the Miss K-State pageant.
“It’s amazing to see how much it has grown in three years,” Harp said. “It stared as an idea my sophomore year and has grown so much.”
This year Harp left his behind-the-scenes role to other members of Delta Upsilon and took on the role as an Emcee for the night alongside Alsop.
“Abby and I had so much fun, but it was a lot different being on stage,” Harp said. “The last two years i was backstage in the background. This year i let it go and handed over the responsibility to the other guys and they did such a great job.”
As Harp took the stage, Michael Emley, senior in accounting and this years Delta Upsilon philanthropy chair, stepped up to man the helm behind the scenes. The Miss K-State pageant is one of Delta Upsilon’s fundraisers for its international philanthropy, Global Service Initiative.
“The money goes to help supplying materials and tools for mission trips to Jamaica and urban areas in Washington D.C,” Emley said. “We use the supplies to build schools and other buildings needed in these communities.”
The event brings in a lot of money to support the Global Service Intuitive,
“The very first year we raised about $3,000 and last year we raised about $8,000,” Emley said. “This year we’ve raised counted about $5,000, but we still have to add in ticket sales.”
Not only does the event help support communities in other cities and countries, it also provides a sense of pride for in Manhattan, not to mention dozens of opportunities for the winner to connect with the community. Alsop was became an active member in the community through her title.
“It was definitely a lot more to it than I think I realized last year,” Alsop said. “There were so many opportunities like participating Dancing with the K-State Stars and reading to children in the community.”
Alsop hopes that the pageant continues to grow and incoporate more voices and girls from outside of the Greek community.
“I think sometimes we forget about those other important groups that make K-State a great place,” Alsop said.
Stephen Janes, sophomore in construction science and management, attended the event to support his close friend, Whitney Dill, the contestant representing the Kansas State University Marching Band Color Guard.
“It’s amazing the diversity in the group,” Janes said. “There were organizations representing race, disabilities, Greek life, and other campus organizations.”