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Leah Gibson of Starkville Wins Miss University Pageant

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Leah Gibson of Starkville won the title of 2016 Miss University for The University of Mississippi tonight at The Ford Center.

Gibson will represent Ole Miss this next year, promoting her platform I Choose: Highway Safety Awareness.

Gibson wowed the judges, winning both the interview and talent portions of the evening. She floated across the stage in a sparkling champagne evening gown in the evening wear portion and strutted her stuff for the lifestyle portion, as well.

Gibson was preceded by first alternate, Charley Ann Nix of Batesville, and second alternate, Asya Branch of Booneville.

Gibson hails from a theatrical family, and for her talent, she performed her rendition of “I Who Have Nothing.” She studies broadcast journalism and manages the Ole Miss Radio station, 92.1.

The evening was hosted by Reigning Miss Mississippi, Laura Lee Lewis, and former Miss University, Carol Coker. Both hosts performed special entertainment in addition to the contestants. Other entertainment included a dance number by the Hip Hop Rebs, musical talents by Sam Mooney and a pre-show performance by “Landon: The Intern.”

Each of the seven contestants competed in four categories: evening wear, fitness and lifestyle, talent and interview. Contestants were judged by a selected panel based on their performances in each category.

A very emotional, now former Miss University, Coker expressed her excitement and confidence in the next Miss University.

NOTE: Check back with HottyToddy.com on Thursday for more about the Miss University pageant.

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Mary Cloud Taylor is an intern for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at mctaylo1@go.olemiss.edu.

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