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Baylor Crowned Miss Lander University

Ivory Baylor, of Greenwood, is the new Miss Lander University. Posing at the conclusion of this year’s pageant, held in the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium, were, from left, Sophia Rebecca Reyes, of Greenwood, first runner-up; Baylor; second runner-up Autumn Nicole Lockhart, of Chesnee; and Miss Lander University 2022-2023 Shelley Nevins, of Columbia. Photo by Laura Wood

Junior media and communications major Ivory Baylor, of Greenwood, emerged from a large field of contestants on Monday, Nov. 13, to claim the title of Miss Lander University 2023-2024.

Baylor, sponsored by Minorities on the Move, was also named the winner of the talent portion of the competition, performing a dramatic reading of the Sydney Park poem, “Sit Like a Lady.”

First runner-up was Sophia Rebecca Reyes, of Greenwood, a freshman double-majoring in criminology and forensic chemistry. Reyes, sponsored by Elam Jayne Boutique, was also named Miss Congeniality.

Second-runner up was Autumn Nicole Lockhart, of Chesnee. Lockhart, an early childhood education and Spanish double-major, was sponsored by Palmetto State Teachers Association.

This year’s People’s Choice Award went to Isamarie Cardona, a junior music education major from Bluffton sponsored by Lander University Singers.

Other contestants competing in this year’s pageant were: Emily Grace Montgomery, a sophomore human services major, Emily Anne Beiers, a junior business administration major and Melannie Lynn Bolin, a sophomore exercise science major, all from Lexington; Madeline Strawn, a senior early childhood education major from McCormick; Kayden Danielle Douglas, a senior exercise science major from Pageland; Jessica Rose Palmer, a senior music performance major from Sumter; Addison Elizabeth Davis, a sophomore exercise science major from Greenwood; Nancy Lopez-Reyes, a junior criminology major from Aiken; Emma Grace Avant, a sophomore graphic design major from Greenville; and Olivia Shuler, a junior instrumental music performance major from Barnwell.

Crowning Baylor was Miss Lander 2022-2023 Shelley Nevins, a business administration major from Columbia.

Serving as judges for this year’s pageant, an annual fundraiser for the Lander chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), were Lander Marketing and Brand Strategist Madison Herig; Lander University Relations and Publications Writer Karen Petit; and music educator, Lander alumna and former Miss Lander Jenny Bradley.

Emcee for this year’s event was Mr. Lander University, Jonathan Walker, a junior business administration major from Mountville.

Walker congratulated the contestants for making the pageant a success.

“You were all perfect examples of poise, beauty and excellence,” he said.