Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA students prepare for Miss America pageant


By Caroline Smith | Contributing Writer 

Whether freshman or senior, alumnus or fan, almost everyone who calls or has called UA home can get behind a chance to root for the Crimson Tide. However, rather than yelling for crimson-clad football players in Bryant-Denny Stadium or waving shakers for towering athletes in Coleman Coliseum, next Sunday all eyes will turn to Atlantic City, New Jersey as two students grace the Miss America stage.

Two UA students have made it all the way to the most prestigious pageant in the nation. Jessica Procter, Miss Alabama, and Briana Kinsey, Miss District of Columbia, aspire to bring a different kind of national title to our already long list. Procter and Kinsey will compete for the Miss America crown live on ABC next Sunday, Sept. 10, at 8 p.m.

Procter encourages students to support the contestants from Tuscaloosa. 

“You can take ownership of it!” Procter said. “You can feel like you have a piece of the pie because you’re rooting for someone you know.” 

Procter is a senior studying communications and music and Kinsey has already graduated with a B.S. in Biology. 

The Miss America organization promotes service and supplies countless women in America with scholarship money. The competition is split into five components: an interview, on-stage question, talent, evening gown and swimsuit. 

Procter also encouraged students to tune into Miss America in the hopes of tearing down the many superficial stereotypes that accompany pageants.

“It’s not really about the looks and the glittering dresses; it’s about your heart – your heart for service,” Procter said.

Though many students may not know the UA contestants personally, they may be familiar with the impact the women have made around campus or in the community through their service initiatives. Kinsey and Procter have both left their marks.

Braidyn Lazenby, Miss Birmingham and a junior studying communication studies, came to know Procter very well at the Miss Tuscaloosa and Miss Alabama pageants this past year. Lazenby said Procter has a chance at the crown because of her passion for service.

“I think the special thing about Jessica is what she’s done with her platform,” Lazenby said. “A lot of people don’t know, but she started ‘Fifth Quarter’ here at UA where they collect food at sporting events all across the campus. She does amazing work with the West Alabama Food Bank, and she puts her heart and soul into that project. You can really see that when she talks about it. And that’s really what [the Miss America] organization is all about: service.” 

Kinsey has philanthropic passions of her own. She is the founder of the non-profit organization Dare to Defeat Diabetes. She hopes to educate people about diabetes and raise significant funds in order to help those afflicted with the disease. 

Another friend of both contestants is Callie Walker, Miss University of Alabama and a junior studying musical theater, who met both women during her pageant career. She, too, speaks highly of both women and believes Procter and Kinsey have great chances of winning the title. 

“They are just such well-rounded people that I think either of them are perfect for the title of Miss America,” said Walker. “I think either of them could be Miss America this weekend. I’m so excited to go and cheer them on.” 

Walker and Lazenby especially expressed their excitement to see the talent portion of the show, explaining that both contestants are impressive singers.

“It’s so empowering,” said Walker. “That’s the whole premise of the Miss America organization: To empower women to be confident in who they are. And I think that’s something we really need to focus on in this day and age in our country. I encourage everyone to watch Miss America. It’s just a fun night to watch.”

You can show your support for the contestants by going online to and voting for them. Or, just post to social media with Procter’s and Kinsey’s hashtags, #sayyestothejess and #bkformissa, respectively.

More to Discover