Sunday night, Lauren Bradford, freshman in finance, was named the winner of the Miss Auburn University Scholarship Pageant.
Bradford is the second young woman to win the competition as a freshman, the first being Jenna Bryant in 2007.
Miss Auburn University is an Auburn Student Government Association-organized preliminary competition for the Miss America organization.
“I’m honestly in shock,” Bradford said. “This is my first Miss Alabama prelim.”
Bradford’s talent was playing “Orange Blossom Special,” a traditional bluegrass song made popular by a number of country and bluegrass artists, on the violin.
Bradford has been playing violin for the past 12 years. A few years ago, her grandfather offered her a deal.
“He said, ‘Lauren, I’ll pay you $100 to learn how to play ‘Orange Blossom Special’ on the violin.” Bradford said.
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She ended up loving the song, and she now considers it one of her favorites.
Bradford’s platform is The Digital Diet Plan, and it focuses on addressing the overuse of technology.
“Everyone who competed is so genuine and deserving,” Bradford said. “I’m so ready to represent Auburn and to get out there and do things for Auburn’s campus.”
Caroline Shea, director of Miss Auburn University Scholarship Pageant, said a great deal of work goes into organizing the pageant.
In the spring, Shea and assistant directors for the pageant helped prepare Karson Fair, 2018 Miss Auburn University winner, for Miss Alabama, the state preliminary for Miss America.
Fair ultimately placed second-runner-up in Miss Alabama 2018.
Shea said since then, she and the assistant directors have been preparing for tonight.
“It’s been a long time coming and we’re so excited it’s here,” Shea said. “We couldn’t be happier with how it went.”
Shea thinks each of the contestants is dedicated and qualified.
“They’re definitely an incredible group of women, and we are just blown away,” Shea said. “I think that we had a great group of contestants this year.”
Bradford will compete in the Miss Alabama pageant in June 2019.
- Lauren Bradford, freshman in finance: Miss Auburn University 2019, Street Family Achievement Award
- Stella Kontos, senior in chemical engineering: 1st Runner-Up, Mallory Hagan/Miss America 2013 Talent Award
- Sammy Rizzuto, senior in physics: 2nd Runner-Up, Lifestyle & Fitness in Swimsuit
- Taylor Hoff, junior in pre-elementary education: 3rd Runner-Up
- Annie Ozment, sophomore in biomedical sciences: 4th Runner-Up
- Anne Landau, junior in apparel merchandising, Miss Congeniality
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