Erin McCarthy crowned Miss WCU 2017
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The 19th annual Miss WCU was held Saturday, Feb. 4. The pageant, held at the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, featured 14 women from West Chester University. These women competed for over $3,000 in scholarships and prizes through a variety of interview questions, displays of talent and runway walks. WCU alum Michael Hartman helped orchestrate the tradition at WCU as head of the Miss WCU production team.
Alyssa Hazel, Gabrielle Fishel, Erin McCarthy, Hannah Sternback, Nicole Boylan, Olivia Kimber, Kelsey Reider, Alyssa Thomas, Kyleigh Bleacher, Siani Vargas, Alexandria Oliver, Alaina Marie Paoloca, Marke V. Mayo and Sunny Morgan all competed for the title of Miss WCU 2017.
Miss WCU began with the national anthem, sung by West Chester a cappella group High Street Harmonix. Following this, the girls began their opening number, lead by Miss WCU 2016 Ashley Lyles. This year’s opening number song was “Me Too” by Meghan Trainor.
Before the judges were introduced, the girls were introduced via pre-recorded video, discussing their platforms, which ranged from American Diabetes Association to LGBTQA equality.
The talent portion held a variety of performances as well. Vargas performed a ukulele solo. Hazel performed a color guard routine to a song from Disney’s “Moana.” Morgan sang performance of “I Know Where I’ve Been” from the musical “Hairspray.”
Following the talent competition was a brief intermission, followed by the evening gown and question competition. Each woman was asked a question related to life at WCU of their own life or platform, before displaying their gowns.
Boylan, for instance, was asked what she believed was her biggest accomplishment. She answered that it was her new position of the search committee for the dean of the College of Business and Public Management.
The WCU Dance Team then performed, showing more of West Chester’s talent groups. Lyles took center stage to say farewell. She was thanked with a standing ovation from the audience and a key to the borough from former West Chester Mayor and State Representative Carolyn Comitta. She tearily accepted both, along with a bouquet of flowers.
The announcement of the top five was met with cheers. Bleacher, Boylan, Mayo, McCarthy and Reider all moved on to the final round. The girls were asked questions by staff and professors from WCU relating to the potential work they might do as Miss WCU. High Street Harmonics then sang a medley.
Following the walk of former Miss WCUs, the time had come to announce awards. There were 20 separate awards handed out, including the Spirit Award, the Poise and Presence Award and the People’s Choice Award. Following these award, the final five held hands as the host announced the fourth runner up through second runner up until it was between McCarthy and Reider.
McCarthy was chosen to be crowned Miss WCU 2017. McCarthy won a $500 award, trophy, crown pin, sash, a $600 wardrobe allowance, exclusive and complimentary hair service provided by Salon Moxi during her year as Miss WCU, official Miss WCU crown, an Iron Hill gift card, an engraved crown case, a portrait and headshot package and flowers from Kati Mac Floral. In addition, a portion of the ticket proceeds go to her platform, which is suicide prevention.
McCarthy will continue the legacy of title holders this coming year as she participates in service projects, parades, the President’s Gala and other events on campus and in the community.
Elizabeth Gibson is a second-year student majoring in political science. She can be reached at [email protected]