Founded in 1981, the Miss Oklahoma City University Scholarship Organization is committed to young women earning scholarship monies and receiving a valuable education at Oklahoma City University through the Miss America organization.
The Miss OCU Competition was founded after Susan Powell, an OCU vocal performance major, won the title of Miss America. She was the second OCU student to win Miss America and the 11th OCU student to win Miss Oklahoma. During a visit with President Walker, Susan discovered a mutual desire for OCU to form its own pageant. Through the efforts of a group of community leaders, the Miss OCU Scholarship Competition was incorporated and continues its strong partnership with the University.
The remarkable reputation held by the Miss OCU Competition has always, in the general public eye, been solely to OCU; just because the name of the competition implies it and because the competition has been operated with such high standards. This publicity has been good for OCU and OCU has been seen as a great goodwill ambassador for furthering educational goals to young women through its involvement in the system. Even when OCU students (holding other local titles) win the title of MIss Oklahoma or Miss America, the public interprets that this student is a part of the Miss OCU system.
OCU has the best performing arts school in the nation. This is a draw in the pageant world for contestants to be able to get the best training for their chosen career. Kristin Chenoweth, Miss OCU 1991 and 2nd Runner-Up to Miss Oklahoma won a Tony for "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown"Lori Kelley, a vocal performance major and Miss OCU 1987 was 2nd Runner-Up to Miss America in 1988. OCU Faculty (Florence Birdwell, Vicky Kelly, Susan Peterson, Emogene Collins, etc.) has trained numerous pageant winners.
OCU has a rich and strong tradition with the Miss Oklahoma programs and the Miss America Organization. We feel a great sense of pride in these young women, who are talented, very personable and academically gifted. The University is honored to have three Miss America's. Our state tradition is rich not only in Oklahoma but also in other states. Eighteen students have held the Title of Miss Oklahoma, three titles for Miss Arkansas, two titles for Miss Colorado, one title for Miss Illinois, one title for Miss Kansas, one title for Miss Nebraska, and one title for Miss Minnesota. If any OCU student are state winners, OCU holds a homecoming event to bring them back "home". At that time official portraits of each contestant are presented and all official portraits are displayed in our Hall of Honor in the Margaret E. Petree School of Music and Performing Arts.
Over the past years, OCU has been very dedicated in helping young women earn scholarships through the system. No only providing local scholarships, OCU provides four scholarships each year to the Miss Oklahoma pageant. With such a rich and strong tradition, networking becomes a key ingredient in establishing strong pageants. The Miss OCU Pageant's goals include an outreach program designed to assist any interested OCU co-ed on the educational and career opportunities available through the Miss America system. This program has been invaluable in the preparation steps for many contestants.
Our competition works with not only Miss OCU but any other students competing in the Miss Oklahoma competition or another state competition. Because of our reputation, we are able to get and give the best possible preparation so that our contestants are ready to compete on the state and national levels.
All of the Miss OCU are involved in some type of mentoring with their platform for community service. One of our Miss OCU was a senior dance performance major who started a "Chance to Dance", which is dance therapy at St. Anthony's Hospital. A couple of our Miss OCU's have been involved in the Alzheimer's Association and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program. Again, with our reputation and community status, we are able to help young women establish a platform issue and become workers in our community.
Academics have a high standards at OCU. Almost all of our Miss OCU's have carried a 3.0 GPA or better even with their heavy class schedules and obligation to their platforms. Transcripts are required in the Miss America system.
Although winning a Miss America title positions a young woman as a success story, hundreds of successful and influential women have gained educational and growth opportunities because of their participation.