Kaylee Knight crowned Miss Jacksonville State University

Kaylee Knight was crowned Miss JSU at the 2022 competition. Photo courtesy of Matt Reynolds and Katie Alexander/JSU

Emily Ford, Correspondent

The Miss Jacksonville State University Competition is a tradition that has been celebrated since 1983 in which some of the university’s most brilliant young women face off to represent their school and community for the next year. 

Seven Miss JSU winners have gone on to win Miss Alabama, and Heather Whitestone McCallum, Miss JSU 1992, even went on to be crowned Miss America. This year’s pageant has been highly anticipated as it was the first time the pageant has been held since the pandemic caused the cancellation of the Miss Alabama pageant in 2020.

The competition was hosted by Lauren Bradford, Miss Alabama 2021 and first runner-up to Miss America 2021. Bradford is a graduate of Auburn University and plans to attend Vanderbilt University to pursue an advanced degree in finance after her reign as Miss Alabama.

JSU is proud to announce that Kaylee Knight was crowned Miss Jacksonville State University 2022 during JSU’s annual pageant on Jan. 21.

Kaylee is a 20-year-old junior from Monroeville, Alabama. She is majoring in criminal justice law enforcement and says she has ambitions to obtain her minor or double major in political science. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and earn her Juris Doctor degree in criminal prosecution.

As winner, Kaylee will receive the JSU tuition scholarship for both Fall 2022 and Spring 2023, courtesy of the university. She will also have the honor of going on to represent Jacksonville State in the Miss Alabama pageant in June.

Not only did Knight win Miss JSU, but also she was the first ever recipient of the Darby Angle Acts of Kindness Scholarship, a new scholarship established by Mr. and Mrs. Marc Angle, JSU alumni and parents of Darby Angle, who was crowned Miss JSU in 2019. The couple created the scholarship in honor of their daughter, and the winner was voted on by the 2022 Miss JSU contestants.

Knight said she is honored to be crowned Miss JSU.

“Jacksonville State has been so amazing to me just in the two semesters that I have been here, so it is an amazing honor to be able to give back to them and represent them and the state that I’m a part of,” Knight said.

She expressed her thanks to her family and to Alpha Omicron Pi for their continued support throughout her journey.

When asked if there were any social causes that were of particular importance to her as Miss JSU, she said mental health issues were important to her and that as Miss JSU she wants to help with this issue. 

“I just want to make an impact on campus, let people know that it’s okay to talk about their mental health issues and not to feel any shame about it, especially here on campus with counseling services,” Knight said.

Director of the competition, Cody Beck, is proud of all of the young women who have taken part in this year’s pageant. 

“These women come out with integrity. They are able and willing to work hard. They’re just incredible people. They really develop a sisterhood, so that idea of being the Friendliest Campus in the South shows through with all of our women that compete,” Beck said.

He also believes that Knight embodies all of the qualities he would want in someone who is going to represent the university.

“I think the winner of the competition also winning the Acts of Kindness Award says all you could imagine. […] I think she has a really bright future,” Beck said.

JSU also wants to congratulate the first runner-up of the competition, Morgan Carroll. Carroll received the JSU Tuition Scholarship of $1,300 for Fall 2022.

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