Since 1926, Miss Oklahoma has tied with both Miss Ohio and Miss California for the record of most Miss America wins.
The first Miss Oklahoma to win the Miss America crown in 1926 was Norma Smallwood of Tulsa, Oklahoma who first earned the Miss Tulsa title and then graduated from high school at age 16. She was a student at the Oklahoma College for Women when she competed for Miss America.
The next Miss Oklahoma to win the Miss America crown in 1967 was Jane Anne Jayroe of Laverne, Oklahoma who worked as an anchor in television news in both the Oklahoma City and Dallas-Fort Worth broadcast media markets for 16 years.
The next Miss Oklahoma to win the Miss America crown in 1981 was Susan Powell of Elk City, Oklahoma who is an American actress, singer, and television personality who has performed in musical theater and on opera stages around the world.
The next Miss Oklahoma to win the Miss America crown in 1996 was Shawntel Smith of Muldrow, Oklahoma.
The next Miss Oklahoma to win the Miss America crown in 2006 was Jennifer Berry of Tulsa, Oklahoma who graduated from Jenks High School in 2001, and attended the University of Oklahoma with a major in elementary education.
Finally, the most recent Miss Oklahoma to win the Miss America crown in 2007 was Lauren Nelson of Lawton, Oklahoma who graduated from MacArthur High School and studied at the University of Central Oklahoma.
For more information about the Miss Oklahoma pageant click here.
For more information about the Miss America pageant click here.
OSU’s Brass Band helped mark the end of what is known as “New Orleans’ biggest party of the year,” also known simply as Mardi Gras.
Along with playing the iconic jazz style, the band was also joined by OSU’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions to take part in the annual Second Line Parade.
“It’s the history behind the second line parade was based on jazz funerals – most notably held in New Orleans,” OSU Director of Admissions Christine Crenshaw said.
Funerals where celebrating one’s life was encouraged by dancing in the streets to cheerful up-tempo music rather than mourning the passing of the deceased.
“The music’s so joyful that people along the street would dance along with it and they became known as the second line,” Crenshaw said.
The OSU’s Second Line Parade procession ran throughout the Student Union with those in the parade trying their hardest to get others to join in the fun.
“The second line is for everybody, and so, we celebrate it here because it has great cultural significance as a country, but also because it’s an opportunity for community and rejoicing and music,” Crenshaw said.
Even OSU First Lady Ann Hargis joined in the festivities wearing her best Mardi Gras attire and showing O-S-U students just how to celebrate on Fat Tuesday.
“I thought it was such a fabulous idea just to celebrate community, celebrate being together – movement, and also just to kind of promote america’s healthiest campus,” Hargis said.
A campus where it’s okay to indulge in a few cupcakes and some New Orleans King cake during the last day of Mardi Gras.
When asked why OSU president Burns Hargis couldn’t attend the Mardi Gras celebration, Mrs. Hargis responded with a somewhat heartfelt explanation.
“That fat boy on fat tuesday has meetings set up, so I’ll bet he’ll be with us next year cause he loves New Orleans, he loves jazz, and he loves the students,” Hargis said.
With Fat Tuesday officially marking the end of Mardi Gras, the OSU Office of Admissions is hoping to make the Second Line Parade an annual Cowboy tradition.
“It was absolutely great. Yeah, I highly recommend it, and I hope it just grows and grows,” Hargis said.
To learn more about the Mardi Gras celebration, where it originated, how long it lasts, and some fun facts, click here.
It’s that time of year again. With less than two weeks before Valentine’s Day, couples are running out of time to pick up that special something for their sweetheart. Flower shops and candy stores across the country are gearing up for what is sure to bring in a massive surge in profits.
“Valentine’s Day is by far and away our biggest day of the year,” Flourishes owner Bonnie Hammond said. “It’s like any seasonal business. You have a few big holidays that are a few big selling times.”
Valentine’s Day also proves to be an especially busy time of year for those in the chocolate industry.
“Well of course Valentine’s Day is our most busy day of the year at a chocolate factory,” Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory head cook Jay Bunnorat said. “So, our sales increase probably about 20 times for a regular day.”
According to a Time magazine survey, the average American male spent roughly $126 buying a Valentine’s Day gift last year alone.
“Well, I’d say our typical customer on Valentine’s Day is our men, and it’s across the board,” Hammond said. “It’s all walks of life. All socio-economic stations. Young, old, they all come in to get something for their sweetie.”
In 2012, nearly $17 billion was spent on candy, balloons, and cards as well as numerous other tokens of love. When asked what is one of the essential Valentine’s Day gifts, flowers seem to be a timeless favorite on that list.
“A dozen red roses,” Hammond said. “It’s classic, and it speaks of love.”
Popular flower web sites such as FTD.com are even offering specials to help consumers personalize their Valentine’s Day gifts.
Links to both Flourishes Flower Decor & More and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory are below: