Photo by The Creative Image
Rebekah Revels, a 2001 UNCP graduate, has won the crown of Miss North Carolina 2002.
Miss Revels, 23, is from St. Pauls and teaches English at Lumberton High School. An experienced pageant contestant, she was Miss UNCP 1998 and is the former Junior Miss Lumbee, Miss Lumbee, Miss St. Pauls and currently Miss Fayetteville.
She is the third UNCP graduate to win the Miss North Carolina title. Francie Adler '83 and Lorna McNeil '02 accomplished the feat before her.
"I am both extremely proud and happy for Rebekah," said Chancellor Allen C. Meadors. "She embodies the characteristics we cherish in our graduates - commitment, intelligence, poise, dedication and ambition. She will be a tremendous representative for Fayetteville, UNCP and the State of North Carolina."
Miss Revels will hold the title for one year and represent North Carolina n the Miss America Pageant in September in Atlantic City, N.J. She wins a $12,000 scholarship.
"This is overwhelming and probably the most emotional experience I have ever had," she told reporters following the contest.
Miss Revels is classically trained in voice. She performs opera, dances and plays the saxophone. Her community service project is Alzheimer's disease awareness.
Miss Revels won preliminary competitions for swimsuit and talent, said Dr. Diane Jones, vice chancellor for Student Affairs. Dr. Jones attended every night of the competition.
"Rebekah had the grace, beauty and stage presence that spelled winner," Dr. Jones said. "She was radiant, enthusiastic and a crowd pleaser from the very first night of competition."
"She worked hard which was evident in her swimsuit competition, interview and talent," she said. "She was an undisputed '10' in swimsuit! Rebekah will do well at Miss America and will have a lot of supporters from Robeson County. As a graduate of UNCP, we are very proud of Rebekah and her achievement as Miss North Carolina!"
It was the 65th Miss North Carolina pageant, and Miss Revels bested 33 other contestants including the current Miss UNCP titleholder Katherine Greer, a rising sophomore from Fuqua Varina, N.C.
Here is some of the reaction from around campus:
- "We are very excited and thrilled for her," said Darlene Cummings, who coordinates the Miss UNCP Scholarship Pageant. "She is a very talented young lady. She performed at our pageant last year as Miss Fayetteville."
- "Miss Revels was a scholarship recipient at UNCP and very deserving of it," said Carol Hunt of Student Services. "She displays what Lumbee means to all of us as a group of people. Go girl! We're very proud of you."
- "Please know that Rebekah is a wonderful person," said sociology Professor Frederick Stephens. "I had the experience of working with her during preparations for the Miss UNCP Pageant. She never met a stranger. After talking with her briefly, you have the feeling that you are friends. She will not only represent North Carolina with wonder, she will represent the university community as well. Rebecca is a humble, strong, competitive young lady."
- "Rebekah is a beautiful person inside and out and the judges obviously saw that in her," said Jessica Reed, Miss UNCP 2001. "I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the pageant and follow her that week and was so happy with her performance. Rebekah and I have either been competing or working together with pageants for the last few years and I am glad I have gotten to know her and all the beauty and grace she holds. I know she will do well in Atlantic City, and I plan to be there rooting her on 110 percent. Miss America or not, she still has repesented the Lumbee tribe, Robeson County, and this university in a positive way."
- "Congratulations Rebekah," said Jackie Clark, vice chancellor for Enrollment Management. "You have made the UNCP family and the Lumbee Tribe very proud."
- "Miss Revels was a Teaching Fellow at UNCP and we are sooo proud of her," said Dr. Irene Aiken, a professor and director of UNCP's Teaching Fellows program. "As I recently told someone who works with pageants, Rebekah is the perfect Miss North Carolina and Miss America. I am not at all surprised she won, and I am very proud to have been associated with her life."
- "Rebekah was one of my students when I volunteered at St. Pauls Middle School," said Blake Tyner, at the Art Department. "She did a wonderful project on the Indians of Robeson County."
- "As Miss UNCP, she represented the university in a first class manner, and I am sure she will do the same for our state," said Abdul Ghaffar, director of Student Activities. "We are very proud of her."
- "I have known Rebekah for years. She is a great person and incredible role model for her people," said Kay Oxendine of Business Services and host of the Public Radio program "Native Voices." "She always has a smile on her lips and a good word to say. She is very deserving of this title and definitely has a great opportunity in the Miss America pageant. She has made so many people proud just by being her. Her new titles are just bonuses!"
- She is a beautiful girl and comes from a fine family," said Susan Cummings of Sampson-Livermore Library. "She will represent the good 'Old North State' well."