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McKenzie Gay named Miss Auburn University

<p>McKenzie Gay, junior in communications, was crowned Miss Auburn University on Oct. 22.&nbsp;</p>

McKenzie Gay, junior in communications, was crowned Miss Auburn University on Oct. 22. 

The Miss Auburn University crown was passed down on Saturday evening to McKenzie Gay, beginning her year-long reign.

Gay hails from Woodland, Alabama. She is a junior majoring in communications with a minor in agricultural leadership studies.

Miss Auburn University 2020 Collins McMurray, junior in chemical engineering, crowned Gay at the culmination of the pageant on Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. in the Student Activities Center. Now, Gay will begin her year as the titleholder of Miss Auburn University. 

“I feel like I’m going to wake up tomorrow and this is going to be a dream,” she said. “It’s so surreal.”

Gay competed against 14 other Auburn women for the crown. The pageant was judged by a panel of five judges.

The Miss Auburn University Scholarship Pageant is a preliminary to Miss Alabama in the Miss America system. Gay will go on to compete for Miss Alabama in 2022.

“I think I’m most excited to be able to represent the campus and all of the students and then of course to compete at Miss Alabama,” she said.

Miss Auburn University is part of the Miss America Organization, which is one of the largest scholarship resources for young women in the world, according to the Miss America website. The Miss Auburn University Scholarship Program provides scholarship opportunities for young women to assist in furthering their education. 

The pageant also provides the women competing with the opportunity to spread awareness about a social impact initiative of their choice. Gay’s social impact initiative is called “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

During her year as Miss Auburn University, Gay will work to spread awareness about issues faced by those with autism spectrum disorder and inclusion for all people with autism. One way she will do this is by spending hours on the concourse during her social impact initiative week, a Miss Auburn University tradition. 

“I’m excited to just go around and share my heart and my social impact initiative with Auburn and the Auburn-Opelika community,” Gay said.

The mission of the Miss America Organization is to use the Miss America platform to identify deserving candidates and award academic scholarships to young women throughout the United States.

As the recipient of the Miss Auburn University Scholarship, Gay will receive $5,913 a semester, the value of resident tuition for the 2021-2022 school year

Catherine Haynes | Opinions Editor

Catherine Haynes, junior in journalism, is the opinion editor for the Auburn Plainsman. 

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