FORT SMITH, Ark. — The University of Arkansas held its Miss UAFS 2021 competition Saturday at the Breedlove Performing Arts Center at the UAFS campus (March 13). The event was streamed live through the Miss UAFS Facebook page. The competition awarded more than $20,000 in scholarships and prizes among 8 candidates.
Jayson Toney, a media communication major, was crowned Miss UAFS 2021. She is the daughter of Charles Toney and Quade Basham of Fort Smith.
Toney's performed a jazz dance as her talent. Her platform was You Are Enough. She also secured the artistic expression non-vocal award, earning an additional $250 scholarship.
“Miss UAFS is so important to me because I grew up watching this pageant. It was always a big event for my family to come to the Miss UAFS pageant every year, so when I was at the age to compete, I knew it was the right choice for me, and I am just so ecstatic that I get to represent UAFS.”
“I went to Northside right here in Fort Smith, and when I toured UAFS, I knew right away it was the place to me. It is so welcoming and inviting, and I hope that next year during my reign, I get to be a part of that and share that spirit.”
Here is the list of the other winners:
- First runner-up: MacKenzie Copeland, 20, of Fort Smith.
- Second runner-up: Alexandria Thompson, 19, of Greenwood, who also earned the artistic expression, vocal award.
- Third runner-up: Chloe Ezell, 19, of Cabot.
- Academic Excellence: Caroline Mikel, 21, of North Little Rock.
- Sprit of Miss UAFS: Abby Cagle, 20, of Greenwood.
Judges determined the winner and runners-up of the Miss UAFS competition based on four areas of criteria: talent, private interview, eveningwear/social impact, and the candidate’s response to an on-stage question.
Chloe Ezell won the Crowd Favorite Award winner through MobileCause, UAFS' online fundraising campaign. Ezell won a $3080 scholarship. The scholarship was contributed by 137 donors over the course of the event.
The pageant awarded more than $11,000 in institutional scholarships in addition to private scholarships, cash awards, and prizes.
Toney received a two-year scholarship to UAFS valuing $7,000, a cash scholarship valuing $1,600, and a necklace from The Jewelry Store worth an estimated $2,500.
First runner up Copeland and second runner up Thompson both earned a 1-year scholarship to UAFS worth $2,000 and $550 and $450 cash scholarships, respectively.
Toney will represent UAFS at the Miss Arkansas Competition this summer in Little Rock.