By Hannah Simpson
Junior Jamee Hunt won the crown January 31 at the 56th Annual Miss UNCP Scholarship Pageant held at the Givens Performing Arts Center.
Miss UNCP 2008 Jamee Hunt
Hunt, from Rowland, N.C., competed against seven contestants in the categories of interview, swimwear, talent and evening gown. The event was presided over by Miss North Carolina Jessica Jacobs of High Point, N.C., and the Rev. Kent Chavis, a vice president of Lumbee Guaranty Bank.
In addition to a $1,000 scholarship, Hunt was also awarded the Jessica Reed and Family Community Service Award and a $100 scholarship.
A health promotions major, Hunt said she had no expectations of winning the pageant, despite winning first runner-up in the 2007 pageant. She plans to work hard on her platform “ACTIONS- A Commitment to Improving Our Nation’s Students,” a dropout prevention program.
Junior Rebecca Capps from Selma, N.C., was first runner-up, winning a $500 scholarship; junior Pia Jessup from White Oak, N.C., was second runner-up, winning a $300 scholarship; and junior Justina Carter from Red Springs, N.C., was third runner-up, winning a $200 scholarship. Tiffany Taylor was nominated by her competitors as Miss Congeniality.
Miss North Carolina and pageant Mistress of Ceremonies Jessica Jacobs (left) and Miss UNCP Jamee Hunt.
Deidra Locklear, a senior mass communications major from Pembroke, gave her final performance as Miss UNCP 2007, singing “All the World’s a Stage” and “It’s Time to Say Goodbye,” before her final walk and the crowning of the new Miss UNCP.
“It’s very bitter sweet,” Locklear said, who works at Children International, a clinical research company, in Wilmington. Locklear plans to attend graduate school in public administration.
“I’m truly going to miss Deidra, but I think Jamee’s going to be a good ambassador for UNCP,” said Robert Cooper, director of the Office of Student Life.
Earlier in the day, the contestants participated in a formal interview with the judges, which is 25 percent of the total score. During the competition, the answer to one question was worth five percent, health and fitness in the swimsuit category was worth 15 percent, talent was 35 percent, and confidence and personality in the evening gown category was 20 percent.
The audience gave a standing ovation to second runner-up Pia Jessup for her talent, an original monologue titled “Reflection,” which uplifted the perception of women.
Miss UNCP Jamee Hunt and her court from left: 1st runner-up Jessica Capps, Jamee Hunt, 3rd runner-up Justina Carter and 2nd runner-up Pia Jessup.
Jessup, the reigning Miss Ebony Pride, said she was encouraged to compete by fellow African American Student Organization members. She said she is glad she can now return to “normal” student activities.
Miss North Carolina performed a ballet routine to Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” She finished as fourth runner-up in the Miss America Pageant.
Outstanding Teen 2007 Alexis Locklear, a cousin of Deidra Locklear, sang “Fever” and “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from “Phantom of the Opera.”
Participating contestants included junior Alicia Colette Oxendine from Laurinburg, N.C.; junior Jessica Branning from Thomasville, N.C.; and freshman Jasmine Floyd from Wilmington, N.C.