Harley Strickland wins title of Miss Georgia Southern 2016
Georgia Southern junior Harley Strickland was crowned Miss Georgia Southern University on Saturday evening during the 68th annual scholarship pageant hosted by the University Programming Board at the Performing Arts Center.
Strickland was chosen by the five judges out of 18 contestants who graced the stage as they competed in categories including talent, swimwear, evening wear and onstage question. The contestants also competed in a private interview prior to the pageant.
A journalism major from Claxton, Georgia, Strickland will go on to represent the University at the Miss Georgia Pageant in June. In addition to being crowned Miss Georgia Southern, Strickland will receive a $2,000 scholarship, which includes a Miss Georgia Southern travel stipend, 25% off at Frills by Scott during her reign and a complimentary photo shoot courtesy of Lori Grice Photography.
Additionally, Katherine “Kacey” Reid of Loganville, Georgia, was selected as second runner up, while McCaulea Read of Savannah, Georgia, was selected as first runner up. Reid also won the title of Miss Photogenic, which was chosen based on the number of likes the contestants’ photos received on the UPB’s Facebook and Instagram pages prior to the event.
Judges selected Hawkinsville, Georgia, native Tara Smith the winner of the best evening wear award, while Teyaijah Givens of Soperton, Georgia, was selected by her fellow contestants as Miss Congeniality. Whitney Thornton of Albany, Georgia, won People’s Choice Award, which was chosen by donations from the audience. The proceeds from People’s Choice Award goes to Eagles For Eagles organization on campus, which gives awards to Georgia Southern students in extreme financial hardship.
Judges for the evening were the 2015 Mr. Georgia Southern University Wesley Guy, Shelli Akins, Marc “Bo” Galvin, former Miss Georgia Southern University Cyndi Rogers and Miss America Organization representative Tavares Jones.
The annual Miss Georgia Southern scholarship pageant is the longest-running preliminary pageant for the Miss Georgia Pageant, which is affiliated with the Miss America Organization. The event is hosted by UPB each year.