By Hannah Simpson
Deidra Locklear, a senior mass communications major from Pembroke, was crowned at the 2007 Miss UNCP Scholarship Pageant at The University of North Carolina on January 25.
Nine contestants displayed their talents and ambitions to over 1,200 students, faculty and guests at the 55th annual Miss UNCP pageant, held at the Givens Performing Arts Center.
Locklear won a $1,000 scholarship along with a $1,000 wardrobe allowance and free room and board for one academic year.
“I wanted the opportunity to represent the school and the community,” Locklear said. “I put a lot of hard work in (the pageant) and dedication.”
Locklear, whose platform was fitness education, said that she will continue “educating youth about the importance of physical activities” during her reign as Miss UNCP.
Locklear said that she would also begin preparing for the Miss North Carolina pageant on Monday.
Miss UNCP 2006 Jorgiana Leigh Martin said she was confident in Locklear’s abilities to serve as the new Miss UNCP.
Amber Nalls, a freshman from Lumber Bridge, N.C., was the recipient of the Jessica Reed and Family Community Service Award along with $100.
Miss Congeniality and first runner-up was awarded to junior Jamee Hunt of Rowland, N.C., along with a $500 scholarship.
Senior Colleen Fink of Laurinburg, N.C., placed second runner-up with a $300 scholarship and junior Karen Tew, also of Laurinburg, was awarded the $100 third place runner-up scholarship.
Deidra Locklear is crowned by Jorgiana Martin
Other contestants included freshmen Patricia Lugo of Hope Mills, N.C., Sabrina Leshore of Charlotte, N.C., and Rhonda Curry of Fort Washington, Md., and sophomore Angeleen Leonard of Franklinton, N.C.
“It’s good to see young people trying to better their community by bettering themselves,’ said Rusty Ray, master of ceremonies and WBTW News 13 anchor.
The students competed in four “phases” consisting of swimsuit, talent, evening wear and a question and answer session with the judges. The students were judged on fitness, artistic expression, presence, poise and extemporaneous response.
The pageant started early afternoon for the contestants, Ray said, with a private meeting with a mock interview committee. It would begin for the audience with a video presentation introducing each of the contestants.
The contestants expressed a variety of talents including singing, instrumental, dance and sign language interpretation.
For her talent, Locklear performed an aria titled “Time to Say Goodbye.” She said that this performance was particularly difficult because she was sick with laryngitis.
Performances by guest pageant winners included a dance by Miss Outstanding Teen Ciara Newman and several songs by Mr. Lumbee Vee Oxendine.
During Martin’s final walk as the reigning queen, a slide show displayed pictures of her work throughout the year as UNCP ambassador and advocate for her platform “Promoting Literacy in Youth.”
“Cherish every moment you have as Miss UNCP 2007 with an open mind and a humble heart,” said Martin in her farewell speech. “The year will pass all too quickly.”
The audience included several former Miss UNCPs and reigning queens of pageants from the surrounding areas dressed in formal gowns and crowns. After the performance, the pageant winners gathered onstage to bid farewell to Martin and welcome Locklear as the new UNCP ambassador.
The pageant was directed by UNCP social work Professor Frederick Stephens; Teresa Bryant was the coordinator and business manager; and Zavery McDougald was the choreographer.
Hannah Simpson is a freshman Mass Communications major at UNCP.