Thursday night, interdisciplinary studies senior Chandler Berryhill was crowned this year’s Miss Sam Houston. The night was filled with smiles, cheers, and even some tears as former Miss Sam Houston, Jizyah Short, crowned Berryhill.
“When they called my name, I was just overwhelmed with emotion,” Berryhill said. “I was ecstatic that I was able to do the best I could. For the judges and everyone else to nominate me to represent our university means the world.”
Berryhill represented the sorority Alpha Chi Omega during the pageant.
“Being on stage and being able to represent the girls that are my backbone was the most amazing feeling,” Berryhill said. “It absolutely meant the world; every single sister I have supported me more than I could have ever imagined.”
As Miss Sam Houston, Berryhill received a $1,000 education award, a meal plan courtesy of Aramark, and will be representing SHSU in the 2017 Miss Texas Scholarship Pageant. Alpha Chi Omega, her sponsoring organization, also received a $500 award.
“I’m excited for the adventure and the journey,” Berryhill said. “I love new experiences, so I’m glad this door opened and get to experience new ones.”
Program Council, Student Activities, and the contestants have been working hard since November to bring the Miss
Sam Houston Pageant to the LSC Ballroom. The pageant included an opening number, spirit wear, swimsuit, talent, evening wear, and a question and answer category.
This was Berryhill’s first pageant and according to her she has grown and learned from this experience.
“Just to put on my high heels and walk out in front of the university and be confident, stand on stage, and answer questions, that was more than I could ever imagine,” Berryhill said.
Crowned last year, Jizyah Short was full of excitement and anticipation to crown the new winner.
“Leading up to this week, I thought I’d be sad because I was giving away my crown, but honestly I was just so excited,” Short said. “I didn’t care who I was giving my crown to because they have all worked so, so hard and I’m so proud of them. They all did phenomenal tonight.”
Short has been working with the girls since November. She choregraphed the opening number and taught them how to walk.
Shorts said being Miss Sam Houston has the ability to change the winner’s life and open it with many opportunities.
“This opportunity is only going to be what she makes it,” Short said. “If she takes every ounce that it offers, she will go far. I know from experience. Being Miss Sam Houston has opened so many doors for me, and hopefully Chandler will have thousands more doors open for her. As long as she is willing to take it, they’ll be hers.”
Kelly Kercher won the title of Miss Piney Woods and Briana McCall received Miss Congeniality.