Taylor Alice Mays was crowned Most Beautiful 2015, Wednesday night at the annual Parade of Beauties pageant. Mays, a nursing major, was nominated by Delta Gamma sorority to compete in the event.
The Parade of Beauties pageant has been hosted since 1951. This year it was hosted by Ole Miss Student Union and the Student Activities Association with Director Bradley Baker.
The pageant began with a total of 97 women. Each contestant was privately interviewed before the pageant and walked in an evening gown segment where she was escorted by an Army ROTC member.
The scores were based 90 percent on the contestants’ evening gowns and 10 percent on their interviews. Judges Amanda Harmon, Blake McCollum, Kim Greenwood and Jan Reid-Bunch judged the evening gown portions based on the beauty, poise, grace and stage presence of each girl.
Mr. and Miss Ole Miss, Rob Barber and Emily Wikle emceed the pageant. Special guests Miss University 2015 France Beard and Miss Mississippi USA 2015 Courtney Byrd presented the Top 10 Beauties and Most Beautiful 2015.
Wikle participated in the parade last year, but was eager to participate in a different way by emceeing this year.
“I loved being on the other side and announcing all of the beautiful women,” Wikle said.
Barber said emceeing the pageant was amazing because the event emphasized more than just who can wear the prettiest dress.
“It gave me the chance to once again see firsthand how the women of Ole Miss excel in every area of life from the service to the hobbies to Rebel spirit,” Barber said.
Mays was crowned by Most Beautiful 2014 Reade Heredia.
“I don’t have much to say,” Mays said. “I’m truly humbled.”