The President's Post
were there and, yes it was exciting, despite
Hurricane Floyd and the hotel employee strike.
ShereJ and I wanted to be in Atlantic City to support Brandy Rhodes,
our Miss Arkansas, during the 79th annual Miss America Pageant. We carried
as many of the "good luck" messages from all of you that we
could possibly manage, and Brandy and her parents appreciated the campus
encouragement. Brandy is proud to be a graduate of this University,
and she represents us well. And, my goodness, wasn't it great to have
the University of the Ozarks mentioned several times on nationwide television?
ShereJ and I attended as many of the events as possible
during our three-day, whirlwind trip. We went to the preliminary competitions
on Thursday; the raucous and extraordinarily outlandish boardwalk parade
on Friday; and the not-soon-to-be-forgotten Miss America finals on Saturday.
(ShereJ says that Donnie remains "remarkably cute," while
I think Marie is holding up OK.) We also had backstage passes that gave
us the opportunity to see Brandy, her family, friends, and the other
The Saturday night televised finals were great fun
with a lot of audience participation. Several times, during commercial
breaks, we got Brandy's on stage attention by shouting, "Good luck,
Brandy." I am not ashamed to say that some of the loud screams
and cheers you heard on TV came from us. Actually, ShereJ was louder,
but she will never admit it.
If you have any questions about the pageant, ShereJ
and I will be glad to fill you in on the details. Such as, did you know
that the Miss America Pageant is the largest single source of scholarship
money for women? It provides $30 million annually in scholarships. I
have a program, pictures, and other memorabilia from the pageant in
my office. Please stop by to see them. And, by the way, none of the
other semifinalists had any more elegance, grace, composure, class,
or talent than Brandy. In fact, she was the best. And she provided this
campus with the thrill of a lifetime.
Dr. Rick Niece