Barnes Crowned Miss UNCP
By Sara Owen, Managing Editor
Hailey Usher, Staff Writer
Bessie Barnes, a graduate student at UNCP, was crowned the 2015 Miss UNCP on Jan. 29 at the Givens Performing Art Center (GPAC). Barnes is the first Miss UNCP since Kelsey Cummings was crowned in 2013.
Barnes competed against six other UNCP students in a pageant that included categories such as a talent competition, question and answer, casual wear and evening gown. Barnes danced in the talent competition.
The seven contestants were Kara Atkins, Taley Strickland, Amanda Levy, Alexis Jones, Jael Pembrick, Tatiana Reed and Barnes.
The first runner-up was Strickland, a freshman who sang for her talent.
Atkins, a junior, was the second runner-up and performed on the drums for her talent.
Jones, a freshman, received third runner-up and also sang as her talent.
The title of Miss Congeniality was given to Levy, a freshman.
Pembrick sang for her talent and Reed performed a monologue.
Barnes said when she won she was really happy and that she couldn’t wait to make a difference by encouraging others to dream more and do more to overcome their obstacles.
Barnes is the second graduate student crowned Miss UNCP, following Kelsey Cummings, who was crowned as the first graduate student in 2013.
Barnes is a graduate student in the Master of Public Administration program.
Once the pageant ended, Barnes was joined on stage by her daughter and her family. She posed for pictures with Cummings, Chancellor Kyle R. Carter and Sarah Carter, SGA President Biruk Kassaw and many others.
Former Miss UNCP, Kelsey Cummings, who held the title for two years, asked the contestants questions during the question and answer portion of the pageant. She also played the piano and did a farewell walk around GPAC.
During Cummings’ final farewell, the pageant committee presented her with the “Kelsey Cummings Spirit Award,” which was created in her honor because of all she has done with her title. The award stands for strength and heritage.
She was also presented with her own personalized UNCP football helmet.
It had her last name written on it. She said she asked for a football helmet because she spent many years on the football field making memories with the marching band.
Photo by Sara Owen. Bessie Barnes being crowned Miss UNCP on Jan. 29.