The 44th annual Unity Week came to a close on Sunday evening with the crowning of a new Miss Unity.
The university’s Black Student Association (BSA) hosted the 56th annual Unity Pageant at Pruis Hall, with the theme running throughout the show of “A Night in New Orleans.”
The spirit of New Orleans was shown in the opening dance number, which had jazz as the background music.
Six women contested for Miss Unity, who presented their talents, community dedication and experience in front of a vocal crowd.
Niecy Caldwell, a third-year dance major, was honored as Miss Unity. Gizelle Smedley, a fourth-year biology and pre-dentistry major, was the first runner-up; and Akailah Shepherd, a fourth-year elementary education major, was the second runner-up.
Two other awards were given out: highest advertising sales and audience’s choice. Both awards were won by Taylor Johnson, a second-year marketing major.
The other contestants were: Sierra Ivy, a fourth-year archeticure major and Nasjae Wells, a first-year phsychology major.
The contestants were evaluated by five judges, with the members of the audience also being able to vote via QR code after the competition portion.
The contestants spoke on donating to their home church and participating in a homeless drive, while also taking part in dance routines and presenting paintings.
Caldwell, a non-traditional student, said her win as Miss Unity was the confirmation she needed that she was doing the right thing by recommitting to college.
“This is just another chance to say I’m on the right track,” she said.
Similar sentiments were shared by Smedley, who applauded the work the five other women did.
“Everyone really put their best foot forward, and it’ll be a great representation of Ball State,” Smedley said.
The crowning of Miss Unity closed out another successful Unity Week at the university.
Contact Grayson Joslin with comments at Grayson.email@example.com or on X @GraysonMJoslin.