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Miss Howard Becomes Miss HBCU

Staff Writer

Published: Monday, September 28, 2009

Updated: Monday, September 28, 2009 09:09

The crowd erupted with excitement and cried tears of joy as Miss Howard University 2008-2010, Kendall Isadore, was crowned and inducted into the Miss National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame 2009-2010. The National Black College Alumni Association (NBCA) Hall Of Fame Foundation, Inc. Competition of Black College Queens Pageant hosted 24 HBCU queens and took place Saturday, Sept. 26 in Atlanta, Ga.

The Queens Competition started off with a bang as the Black College Queens took the stage and performed an uplifting song and dance number to a gospel piece prepared by Neisha Folkes, a renowned choreographer and alumni of Julliard and Alvin Ailey. Howard students stood out among the crowd during a solo performance of "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" with their fists raised toward the sky, representing the Howard tradition.

The Mistress of Ceremonies, daytime television Judge Glenda Hatchett of "The Judge Hatchett Show" kept the crowd entertained with her personal stories about the NBCA, class, and positive energy.

"Judge Hatchett was great. She kept the pageant moving without any dull moments and kept us on our toes, I really enjoyed her, " said Mr. Bowie State University 2008- 2009 Bryant M. Stewart

This competition was a first for Isadore and Howard University. The pageant, along with a host of other weekend events was sponsored by the National Black College Alumni Association Hall of Fame entitled, "HBCU's…Still Relevant, Still Needed."

The preliminaries for the competition began on Wednesday, Sept. 23 with all 24 Black College Queens from across the country, presenting their speeches as apart of the Oratory portion of the competition, worth 35 points, the most out of all segments within the overall score.

The following night, Thursday, Sept. 24 was the Talent Showcase, where audience members were able to view the talents of all 24 participants prior to pageant day. The Induction ceremony took place on Friday, Sept. 25 where the ‘Class of 2009' participants were inducted into the NBCA Hall of Fame.

Some notable attendees were the Rev. Bobby Jones, Emmanuel Lewis, and Ms. Donna Richardson-Jordan.

The competition was a tight race as the first 10 queens were picked to move on to the semifinals. The audience sat on the edge of their seats, patiently waiting on their queens to be called. Miss Howard University received a thundering round of applause, being the first name announced to the crowd. Local colleges/universities, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Bowie State advanced to the Semifinals and were well represented.

The competition continued with the first round, the Oratory portion. Each contestant stood before the audience to deliver a powerful speech to answer the theme of the overall conference weekend, "HBCU's Still Relevant...Still Needed". Each queen presented the audience with inspiring views as to what their school has done in their lives and what they will continue to do for future generations. Miss Howard University delivered a riveting speech dealing with the spirit of HBCU's and how hope is what guides each of its students to new heights.

After the oral presentation, the audience braced themselves for the announcement of the finalists that will move onto the final round. Miss LeMoyne-Owens College, Miss North Carolina A&T University, Miss Winston-Salem University and Miss Lincoln University of Pennsylvania were all announced first, leaving the audience with butterflies and anxiety as the last queen, Miss Howard University, took her place with the rest of the queens in the finals.

After the three-part final round that contained talent, poise/projection, and presentation/image, the crowd once again patiently waited, as the judges prepared scores and delivered the envelope to the Mistress of Ceremonies.

The scores were in, placing Miss Lincoln University of Pennsylvania as second runner up, Miss North Carolina A&T as first runner up, and Miss Howard University winning the grand honor of Miss NCBA. The crowd rose to their feet as Howard students rushed to the front of the room to greet their newly crowned queen.

Associate Director of Student Activities, Lisa Reeves was overjoyed with emotion shouting,

"We did it" to the Howard family.

Isadore stood humbled by all of the support that she has received, in conjunction with the new crown she has been given.

"I plan to fulfill every capacity of the duties that come with being Miss NCBA Hall Of Fame and look forward to the upcoming year, " she said. "You know, we always talk about how much of a family HU really is, and just to look out and see all of them in the audience rooting for me, and praying for me, it was just such a memorable moment."

All participants and attendees praised the NBCA for their well-orchestrated program, and congratulated Miss Howard University for her historical win.

LaDerrick Murphy, Mr. Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, looks forward to the Mr. HBCU pageant that will take place at Lincoln next year. "This pageant was beautifully put together. I am definitely thinking of new ideas to utilize for the future pageants," he said.

"All of the queens did significantly well, but Miss Howard University definitely did a magnificent job, and deserved her crown."


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