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Hughes crowned queen at Campbellsville University’s 77th annual Valentine Pageant

By Ariel Emberton, student news writer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. –      Sara Jean Hughes, a junior of Lebanon, Ky., was crowned Campbellsville University’s Valentine Queen at the 77th annual Valentine Pageant on Feb. 8. The pageant, consisting of nine young women, was in CU’s Ransdell chapel and organized by the Student Government Association (SGA).

Hughes represented Sigma Zeta and for the talent portion sang “Have I Told You Lately” by Rod Stewart. Her sister, Elizabeth Hughes, accompanied her on stage to play the guitar. She will go on to represent Campbellsville University in the annual Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival in Pineville, Ky. on May 25.

First runner-up was Katy Carmichael, a junior of Lawrenceburg, Ky. She represented the School of Nursing and performed Celine Dion’s “The Prayer” for her talent portion.

Sarah Harris, a freshman of Russellville, Ky., was named second runner-up. Harris represented Social Science and performed Ludovico Einaudi’s “Nuvole Biache” on piano. She also received the award for Best Poise and Appearance.

Olivia Montgomery, a junior from Louisville, Ky., represented Baptist Campus Ministry and was awarded Best Interview.

Lydia Manley, a junior of Russellville, Ky., represented Church Outreach and received the award for Best Talent. She performed “She Used to Be Mine” from the musical Waitress. Ms. Congeniality was received by Morgan Mounts, a sophomore of Elizabethtown, Ky., representing the Honors Program.

Candidates took part in an interview with the judges on Monday that was recorded and played at the beginning of the pageant. This interview was scored out of a certain amount of points and went toward the selection of the queen.

The second stage of the selection process came in the form of a talent performance. A wide array of talents was shown beginning with contestant one, Alexus Calhoun. Calhoun represented the Black Student Association and demonstrated speed painting as her talent. She produced a painting of flowers in a matter of minutes.

Rebecca Hager, a senior of Louisville Ky., represented the School of Education. She performed “Let It Go” in American Sign Language. Montgomery sang “Here Again” by Elevation Worship.

Mounts’ talent consisted of using a variety of spray paint colors on a blank canvas to produce an image of planets in space. The last contestant, Elise Shainfeld, a senior of Lexington, Ky., demonstrated a jump rope routine while lip singing “Whipped into Shape” from the musical Legally Blonde.

The final portion of the pageant was the poise and appearance section. Each candidate was escorted onto the stage by their escort and gave one final walk in front of the judges before answering a random question on the spot.

Jake Richardson, a freshman of Louisville, Ky., escorted Calhoun. David Kiger, a senior of Elizabethtown, Ky., escorted Carmichael. Hager was escorted by her younger brother, Dontee Hager. Jacob Hixenbaugh, a junior of Morgantown, Ky., escorted Harris.

Levi Crossley, a senior of Campbellsville, Ky., escorted Hughes. Manley was escorted by her brother, Seth Manley. Lester Simmons, a freshman of Louisville, Ky., escorted Montgomery. Issiah Jones, a junior of Burnside, Ky., escorted Mounts, and Jake Logsdon, a senior of Munfordville, Ky., escorted Shainfeld.

Tanner Wilson, a senior of Glasgow Ky., and Jessica Johnson, a senior of Clarkson, Ky., returned to the stage this year to host the pageant.

Rebecca Lawless of Mt. Sterling, Ky.; Renee Dobson of Campbellsville, and Elizabeth Wiggington of Campbellsville, were this years’ judges.


Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 13,000 students offering more than 90 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has off-campus centers in Kentucky cities Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with Kentucky instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. The university also has a full complement of online programs. The website for complete information is


Hughes crowned queen at Campbellsville University’s 77th annual Valentine Pageant
The 77th annual Campbellsville University Valentine Pageant winners are from left: Katy Carmichael, first runner-up; Sara Jean Hughes, Valentine Queen; and Sarah Harris, second runner-up. (CU Photo by Ariel C. Emberton)