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Class to Host Miss America Contestants at Journalism School Homecoming Tailgate

By Anna Grace Usery

Homecoming festivities commence this week as the University of Mississippi welcomes alumni and fans Oct. 6 to see the Rebels take on the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. For those making a stop by the School of Journalism and New Media tailgate, a special perk will be meeting alumna Christine Williamson and current student Asya Branch who both recently competed in the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Miss Tennessee, Christine Williamson, is an alumna of the School of Journalism and New Media. Photo via Instagram.
Miss Mississippi, Asya Branch, is a current student in the School of Journalism and New Media. Photo via Instagram.









The tailgate, hosted by the events planning class in the school’s integrated marketing communication program, is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Miss Tennessee Christine Williamson and Miss Mississippi Asya Branch are scheduled to be at the tent at noon.

“We are excited about our event planning class in the School of Journalism and New Media,” instructional assistant professor Debbie Hall said. “This is the first semester that we have offered this class and the fall tailgates at Farley Hall are a perfect way to give our students a “hands-on” experience.” Students are responsible for everything from planning, setup, promotion, decorations and hosting to the actual clean up.

Dakin Reed, a student in the events planning class, is a sophomore from Tupelo. She said this project has been a fun and informative experience because she wants this to be her career.

“I want to work as an event planner working with national and international charities at their corporate and sponsored events,” she said. 

She said the class is broken up into teams with each person possessing a different role—one group member is handling the stickers and banner and others have ordered food and secured pickup times. Reed said the class ordered food for 25-30 people. 

“We wanted to support their platforms and show our support for them,” Reed said.

The class also participated in the Student Activities Association’s Miss America watch party in the Grove Sept. 9 by soliciting donations to the platforms of both contestants.

Students from the events planning class raised funds for Williamson and Branch’s respective platforms Sunday, Sept. 9 at the Miss America watch party hosted on campus. Photo courtesy of Debbie Hall.

They raised funds to support the Alzheimer’s Association—Williamson’s platform—and Love Letters, which is part of Branch’s program to empower children of incarcerated parents. An announcement of the donations will be made at Saturday’s tailgate, Hall said. 

Both alumni and students of the School of Journalism and New Media are encouraged to attend.

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