Passing on the Crown
Miss WCU 2017 discusses the annual pageant
On Saturday, February 3rd at 7:30pm at Emilie K. Asplundh Hall, reserve your seat for the 20th annual Miss West Chester University Scholarship Organization. This pageant consists of 15 contestants who will all be competing for the crown to be Miss WCU 2018 in the categories of talent, casual wear, and evening gowns. Over $3,000 in scholarships and prizes will be awarded. Erin McCarthy, Miss WCU 2017 will be crowning the university’s 20th titleholder.
“As Miss West Chester, you act as the school’s official ambassador,” Erin said. “So you participate in school and community outreach events based on a platform you choose for your year of service.”
Erin dedicated 2017 to suicide awareness and prevention. When she was a freshman in high school in Drexel Hill, she lost one of her friends to suicide, and had set her sights on Miss West Chester once she enrolled.
“I wanted to make people understand how, as a community, we can move on and recover from suicide, and I wanted to educate others about the importance of supporting each other,” she said. “I wanted to use my title to effect that kind of change.”
Erin ran for the title her sophomore year of college, but she placed third. It was disappointing, but her friends encouraged her to run again her junior year. Now, in her senior year at West Chester, Erin feels that her year of service has prepared her to tackle “the real world.”
“I feel a lot more confident meeting people of all ages and making connections,” she said. “I acted as a role model for young girls who thought I was a princess, but I’m still just a normal college student. You have to learn how to be relatable to everyone.”
Before the competition begins, there’s an interview process where the contestants are asked random questions about themselves and the sought-after title. But, Erin says, that’s the most stressful part — the fun can begin after that!
There are six judges on the panel this year instead of the customary five, including former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker, Carlos Bradley; recording artist and 6abc social media correspondent, Julie Rae; fashion blogger, Erin Whitcomb; former Miss WCU contestant Eliza McAllister; former Miss Delaware, Rachel Marlowe; and Broadway star, Scott Coulter.
Erin loves that every woman who competes and has won the title is extremely accomplished and that, as a group, they’re all supportive of each other.
“A few of them have become doctors,” she said. “Everyone continues to strive for their best and succeed.”
When you’re Miss WCU, Erin forewarns, get ready to take the wheel in your year! While you have faculty and staff support, the year is what you make it.
And though it’ll be tough to relinquish her crown, Erin knows the crown is more than just a tiara — it’s the responsibility and year of service she will always care with her.
“I love West Chester University for making me the woman that I am today,” she said. “I was honored to represent the school I care about and I know I’ll be coming back for the 40th anniversary!”
Tickets are $10 and can be ordered at the Box Office.