Viki Muench | Staff Reporter
October 22, 2014; 1:00 p.m.
Next month LU will be hosting the Miss Missouri Pageant again, which will have a special appearance by alumna and Miss Missouri 2014, Erica Sturdefant.
The search for both the new Miss Missouri USA and Miss Missouri Teen USA will be on the weekend of Nov. 7 – 9 at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts.
Being an LU graduate, Sturdefant is especially excited about returning for this event. “I love that the pageant is at Lindenwood, the facilities are perfect for it. It is so neat that LU is such a huge sponsor of the pageant. I was crowned here last year so it will be cool to crown my successor on the same stage.”
Sturdefant graduated from LU in December of 2013 with a degree in psychology, and said that she has always had an interest in modeling, but it was not until her senior year when she started to give pageants a try.
“I grew up playing competitive sports but always wanted to model. During my senior year, I placed first runner up in the Miss Missouri Teen USA pageant and came back the next year to win the crown. However, even with winning Teen in 2010, I always wanted to compete at Miss USA. It was a childhood dream.”
The 23 year old said that it is not about material things that will help a girl to be successful in a pageant, but more about her personality.
“Dedication, hard work and sacrifice are what it takes to have a shot. You don’t have to have a pageant coach, super expensive gowns, or even pageant or modeling experience. It is all about showcasing the best version of yourself.”
With finally winning Miss Missouri USA last year, Sturdefant has been able to work all over the country and support charity events like “USO Operation: That’s My Dress!” in New York City, and visiting sick children at St. Jude Children’s hospital in Springfield, Missouri, her hometown, according to Street Escape Magazine.
“This past year has been incredible. I got to do so many amazing appearances across the state and country. With the title of Miss Missouri USA, you get a lot more opportunities.”
Sturdefant’s year of being Miss Missouri is coming to an end when she has to hand over her crown to the newly elected Miss Missouri in November, but she already has big plans for the future.
“I am currently modeling and acting. I am moving to L.A. early next year to expand my career even further. It is always bittersweet passing on the crown, but I am excited I had an amazing year and I am ready to move on to accomplish other dreams.”
Tickets for the pageant are on sale right now and can be purchased online or at the box office inside the J. Scheiddegger Center.