Miss Collegiate Indy Is More Than a Beauty Pageant

Held every winter, the Miss Collegiate Indy competition is part of the expansion for the Miss Indiana pageant. Miss Collegiate North and Miss Collegiate South were also part of this expansion. Miss Collegiate Indy serves as a “preliminary competition to Miss Indiana which is part of the Miss America system.”

Anthony Williams and Dr. Amy Hayes were approached by the Miss Indiana organization to direct Miss Collegiate Indy in 2010. Williams has been directing and volunteering with the Miss America organization since 2002, and Dr. Hayes competed for the Miss Virginia title through the Miss America Organization.

The competition receives its funds from ticket sales and donations from businesses and individuals. They had many sponsors and donors this year from the salon Bang to Gina Miller Photography and Simply Skin Medspa as well as others. These donations fund the program itself and a scholarship for the winner and first runner up.

This year’s winner is Marisa Beaty. She shares the same platform as the Miss America Organization: supporting the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. She will spend the next year using her Miss Collegiate Indy title “to address community service organizations, business and civic leaders, the media and others about her platform.” She will also spend the next few months preparing for Miss Indiana 2013. The state competition will be held in Zionsville, Indiana, from June 19 –22, 2013.

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Miss Collegiate Indy is a closed pageant, which means it is only open to women attending a college or university in Marion (Indianapolis) county or its immediate surrounding counties. Because Miss Collegiate Indy is part of the Miss America system, contestants should also meet Miss America’s qualifications. Contestants must be between 17 and 24 years old, be a U.S. citizen and meet residency requirements in their town and state, “meet character criteria as set forth by the Miss America Organization,” be in good health, and “be able to meet the time commitment and job responsibilities as set forth by the local program in which you compete.”

As you can see from the qualifications, beauty is not the focus for these pageants. These women need to have more than good looks. They must be completing their education at a college or university, as well as be passionate about a cause that helps their community and country. That is why the winners receive scholarships instead of blank checks. As “the largest scholarship provider for women in the entire world,” the Miss America Organization and its smaller preliminary pageants such as Miss Collegiate Indy, provide a valuable service to women across the country.