By Denise Ringo and Hazel Scott
Alabama State University’s long-awaited glitzy affair finally arrived when Brooklyn, New York native Kayla Edwards was officially crowned the 84th Miss Alabama State University on Tuesday, October 3, at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome. The coronation was the second major event to kick off Homecoming 2023.
Applause welcomed Edwards, who was escorted by Nicholas Moseley, as she strolled onto the stage in a flowing white gown. Excitement built as the 83rd Miss Alabama University, Aleah Robinson, formally crowned Edwards. During waves and a broad smile, her train with intricate embroidery was placed on her shoulders by Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Malinda Swoope.
ASU President, Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr., administered the Miss Alabama State University Oath of Office, before leading the newly crowned queen in the traditional coronation waltz. She completed the dance with her father, who displayed fatherly pride.
The elegant coronation not only honored Miss ASU, but her Royal Court as well. The outgoing queen, Aleah Robinson, and more than two dozen queens of each campus organization were also acknowledged.
In keeping with the evening’s theme, “A Golden Moment In Time,” there were a variety of musical and dance performances.
The Alabama State University choir, directed by Dr. Kristopher Sanchack and led by soloist, Faith Blackwell, performed “Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo. A violin tribute was performed by Alexus Turner, and Deseray Thomas sang a tribute to the new Miss ASU.
A praise dance ministry performance opened the glitzy event with “Heaven” and “P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care),” both songs by John Legend. Their final performance featured Vickie Winans’ song “Already Been to the Water.” The praise dance ministry twirled, spun, and flipped throughout the air, prompting thunderous cheers from the captivated audience.
Students in the audience agreed that the event was elegant.
“I loved the event,” said sophomore Talia Stark, who also attended last year’s coronation. “Just seeing my friend, Miss Gamma Beta, in her element and also seeing Kayla being crowned as Miss 84th was refreshing because I saw her as Miss Junior.”
To Caleb Walker, a junior, the praise dance ministry was one of the most impressive parts of the coronation. “It was second to the presentation of the queen. They really threw together a great dance,” Walker said. “And I really enjoyed it.”
Junior Sanai Elston also thought the event was exquisite. “All the campus queens were so beautiful,” she said, “and it was a great way for the campus to see what we do at Alabama State University.”
Senior Daryn Hill, who performed with the praise dance ministry, said despite the difficult preparation, he still found the event to be wonderful and inspiring. “There were times where we had to practice outside on the field just because we had nowhere to practice,” Hill said. “But we knew how important this evening was to Kayla, so we knew we had to get it done.”
Edwards’ 2023-24 Royal Court includes:
--Miss Senior, Dreayna Morgan, escorted by Zachariah Bailey
--Miss Junior, Ferrin Lewis, escorted by Brandon Kidd
--Miss Sophomore, Aaliyah Thomas, escorted by Thomas Bryant
--Miss Freshman, Carrington Wilder-Holsey, escorted by Tyrin Moorer