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Elder is crowned Valentine Pageant Queen at Campbellsville University

From left are Regan Adams (first runner-up), Ashley Elder (Valentine Queen) and Makena Meeks (first runner-up). (Campbellsville University Photo by Alexandria D. Dalton)

By Simon Baker, student news writer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky, –Ashley Elder, a sophomore from Danville, Ky., majoring in pre-athletic training, was crowned Campbellsville University’s Valentine Pageant Queen during the annual Valentine’s Pageant Feb. 8 in Ransdell Chapel.

Elder also won Miss Congeniality and Best Poise and Appearance.

Elder represented the Department of Human Performance. She performed an American Sign Language interpretive movement to “My Story” by Big Daddy Weave.

Makena Meeks, a freshman from Russell Springs, Ky., was first runner-up and won Best Interview. Regan Adams, a junior from Raleigh, N.C., was second runner-up, and Anoushka Lazarus Harrypersad, a junior from Campbellsville, Ky., majoring in environmental science, won Best Talent.

Meeks is majoring in English and represented Omicron Delta Kappa. She sang “Let it Be” by the Beatles.

Adams is majoring in Social Work and represented the School of Social Work. She demonstrated how to plug a tire properly.

Harrypersad, a sophomore, is originally from India.

Harrypersad represented Sigma Zeta and recited two original poems, “This is Where I’m From” and “An Alternate World.”

The other two candidates who participated in the pageant were Alyssa Blackwell, a senior from Lebanon Junction, Ky., majoring in Marriage and Family, and Gabriella Harris, a freshman from Bardstown, Ky., majoring in Music Education.

Blackwell represented the School of Theology. Harris represented the School of Education.

Blackwell performed an original song titled “One Night,” accompanied on the piano by Shane Bradford, a junior from Louisville, Ky. Harris performed the piece “Autumn Leaves,” originally written by Joseph Kosma, on her flute.

Campbellsville University’s Student Government Association (SGA) hosted the pageant.

“We have six lovely ladies who have worked very hard, and all of them deserve to be crowned Campbellsville University Valentine Pageant Queen,” Shelby Bollinger, vice president of SGA, said.

The Campbellsville University Valentines Pageant is the longest tradition on this campus, Kate Cecil, president of SGA, said.

“For many years, ladies from all over Kentucky, the U.S. and even the world have been competing for the title of Valentine Queen,” Cecil said. “The Student Government Association was so happy to award Ms. Ashley Elder the title of Valentine Queen.”

“To the judges, Ms. Elder embodied the traits we look for in a representative of Campbellsville University. She is kind, caring and bold for Christ. From her interview to her talent, Ms. Elder impressed the judges with beauty, grace, and charisma.”

Ashley Elder reacts as she is crowned Campbellsville University’s Valentine Queen. (Campbellsville University Photo by Alexandria D. Dalton)

The SGA Council includes Cecil, a senior from Louisa, Ky.; Bollinger, a sophomore from Radcliff, Ky.; Brooke Anne Buckner, director of communications, a senior from Louisville, Ky.; Hannah Kendall, director of finance, a senior from Benton, Ky.; Ellie Keck, chief of staff, a senior from LaGrange, Ky.; Lilliana Gonzalez, director of diversity, a sophomore from Cuernavaca, Mexico.; Shayla Atherton, director of student affairs, a junior from Fredericksburg, Pa.

Dr. Jamie Lawrence, executive director of ministry and church outreach at Campbellsville University, was the master of ceremony for this year’s pageant.

Judges were Suzanne Hopkins, first lady of Campbellsville University; Megan Watkins, a member of the Alumni Board who is married to Rusty Watkins, dean of student services at Campbellsville University; and Bekah Mobley, a 2020 graduate of Campbellsville University.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university that offers over 100 programs including doctoral, master, bachelor, associate and certificate programs. The website for complete information is