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ULM sends six contestants to 2016 Miss Louisiana Pageant

Published June 8, 2016

MONROE, La. — The University of Louisiana Monroe will send six contestants to the 53rd Annual Miss Louisiana Pageant to be held in Monroe on June 23-25 at the Monroe Civic Center’s W.L. Jack Howard Theater.

The six ULM contestants are:

  • Sarah Torregrossa
  • Samantha Vaughn
  • Jo’ Hilliard
  • J’lyn Henderson
  • Baylea Huffman
  • Christina Gray

ULM is no stranger to Miss Louisiana. For the last 12 years, the university has hosted the contestants for the Miss Louisiana Pageant. Providing housing accommodations, rehearsal space, dining options and a short commute to Monroe’s Jack Howard Theater, ULM has become the hub for all things Miss Louisiana.

On June 19, ULM will welcome all 32 contestants and the Miss Louisiana Organization to its campus.

Among the contestants representing ULM is Sarah Torregrossa, the 2016 Miss University of Louisiana Monroe. 

“Being crowned Miss ULM was a dream come true for me, but it was just the beginning,” said Torregrossa. “I have dedicated my entire adult life to becoming Miss Louisiana and have diligently prepared for the responsibilities that come with the crown. I am very much looking forward to this pageant.” 

The Miss ULM Pageant is a preliminary to the Miss Louisiana Pageant and is sponsored by ULM’s Campus Activities Board and Student Government Association. As the winner of the 2016 Miss ULM Pageant, Torregrossa is automatically qualified to compete in the 2016 Miss Louisiana Pageant. 

Miss ULM is a serious commitment, according to Laura Jennings, ULM’s Director of Student Life and Leadership. “We consider this to be a job. Miss ULM is the ambassador for the university. Sarah [Torregrossa] has already made 50 appearances throughout the year, and a lot of people don’t realize how much preparation actually goes into it.”

Jennings has seen all six ULM contestants compete over the years. “Just watching them grow and mature over time has been a wonderful experience,” she expressed.

ULM is a corporate (“diamond”) sponsor for the Miss Louisiana Pageant and it also hosts all the meetings leading up to the main event. “At these meetings, the contestants turn in all their paperwork for competition, submit ads for the program book, take headshots, and go through what pageant week is going to be like,” said Jennings.  

The winner of the state pageant is guaranteed a spot in the 2016 Miss America Pageant, to be held in Atlantic City, N.J. in early September. 

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Miss Louisiana Organization,” said Lisa Miller, ULM Assistant Vice President of Marketing, Recruitment and Communication. 

“This is an exciting time for these six young ladies and for our university, which they so proudly represent. We wish them all the best.”

About the Miss Louisiana Organization

The Miss America Organization is the world's largest competitive scholarship program for young women, and one of the nation's leading achievement programs. The Miss Louisiana Scholarship Organization is honored to be part of this program. This year, the Miss Louisiana Scholarship Organization and local pageants across our State made available over $634,000 in cash and tuition scholarships. Through this program, contestants receive thousands of dollars in scholarships and gain poise, confidence, and life skills that will benefit them, the State of Louisiana and our Country for the rest of their lives.

For more information about the 2016 Miss Louisiana Pageant, visit misslouisiana.org