Mr. and Miss Bowie State University Pageant 2011
By Brittany Summers
Smooth Criminal, the theme for the 2011 Mr. and Miss Bowie State University Pageant was definitely showcased throughout the night. The Center for Learning and Technology was over capacity as this exciting night began. Matthew Riley III, Michelle McCleary, and Avery Bishop opened the show with a dance number to remember. Moving to Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" the Mr. and Miss Bowie State candidates graced the stage with excitement and enthusiasm that got the crowd out of their seats. Joining them on the stage were the candidates for class queens including Shealea Steals and Desiree Sealey, both candidates for Miss Senior 2011-2012. Following this excellent performance was a dynamic performance from Lauren Bell.
Each candidate for Mr. and Miss Bowie State was asked to compose a speech on the following topic: HBCUs Meeting the Challenges and Fulfilling the Promises. The three candidates graced the stage showcasing their business attire and answering the question in its entirety. Following this portion of the pageant was the introduction of the candidates for the class kings and queens. Candidates for Mr. and Miss Sophomore were Darius Gwynn and Morgan Gayles. Candidates for Mr. and Miss Junior were Jeremiah Bines and Jerrica Delaney, Ebony Paige, and Shaneace Virgil. The Miss Senior candidates were Shealea Steals and Desiree Sealey. The candidates were given the opportunity to present their platform to the audience as well as showcase their talent.
Next up was the talent portion for the Mr. and Miss Bowie State University candidates. Both Avery Bishop and Michelle McCleary performed dance pieces. Avery performed to India Arie, while Michelle danced to a PowerPoint that she made showcasing African Americans and some of their struggles. After Michelle completed her dance, she gave a brief speech on the problems being faced in the African American community and how her platform "Umoja" would help to bring unity in the community and on the campus of Bowie State University. Matthew performed a poem that touched the audience deeply. He then did a small sermon on how his life changed when he found God. His talent piece brought members of the audience to their feet and even brought tears to their eyes.
Every pageant has a question and answer portion that allows each contestant to answer questions based on the position. The Formal wear and question and answer portions of this pageant were combined into one. The first candidate to the stage was Avery Bishop, wearing a black and silver sequence gown. After modeling her gown to the audience, Avery picked her question from a basket and answered it to the best of her ability. Next, Michelle McCleary graced the stage in a silver sequence gown, very fitting for the "Smooth Criminal" theme. After showcasing her gown, she too picked her question from the basket and gave her answer. Finally, Matthew came to the stage showcasing his three piece suit with a matching tie and pocket square. With the crowd cheering, he chose his question from the basket and graciously answered. All three candidates were called back to the stage for their final walk of the evening. In closing, the entire audience came to their feet to sing Bowie State University's Alma Mater.