By Angelic Hernandez
Following a number of cancellations and postponements in the past two years as the university has dealt with the pandemic, student life continues to return back to normal. One tradition to make its return is the Miss Gardner Webb pageant. The pageant will take place Sunday, March 27, at 3 p.m. in Dover Theater.
The Miss Gardner Webb pageant represents women empowerment, even aligning with Women’s History Month in March. The pageant is open for all female traditional undergraduate students. Each year nine to 12 girls compete for the title of Miss. Gardner Webb. The competition consists of multiple sections: opening number, evening gown, fun fashion, business attire, and a talent section. Each section helps learn about each contestant.
In the spirit of women’s history month, competitors will honor a significant woman in their life during the evening gown portion. The competition showcases their personality and includes a photoshoot and an interview.
Both the interview and photoshoot occur before the actual competition and are presented during the pageant to allow the competitors to remain confident in every aspect of the pageant.
The winners are selected based on personality, character and who represents Miss Gardner Webb.
“This smaller group of girls has something to say, not prove, not show, they have something to say and they are using this to say that, to show something about themselves and I just love them,” said Jessika Raduly, the Associate Director of Student Engagement. The winner and first and second runner up are awarded a small monetary prize. Miss Congeniality, Miss Photogenic, and Best Talent will also be awarded by the female GWU judges.
According to Raduly, this pageant allows women from all over campus to come together and support one another, both behind the scenes and on the stage.
“It’s women empowerment,” Raduly said. “It’s females here that have so much to offer our students and to offer these ladies who are competing.”
Female students and faculty assist in putting the pageant together and supporting Raduly. Competitors even empower and support one another.
“Someone has offered to sew,” Raduly said. “That just makes my heart soar, that they are all just coming together even though they are competing against each other. My [tip for the girls] is to shine.”
“My motto is you don’t need glitter to shine and I just want them to be themselves. I know these girls and they are super cool and I just want that to be there and they just need to enjoy it and have fun with it.”
To see photos and highlights from prior Miss Gardner Webb pageants, check out the Photo Staff Gallery, at photos.gardner-webb.edu