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Haleigh Akin crowned as Miss ETBU 2022

September 27, 2022

Haleigh Akin, a senior elementary education major from Tyler, Texas, was crowned as the 66th Miss ETBU on Saturday, September 24. Akin, who embodies the spirit of what it means to be a Christian servant leader on campus and in the community, was selected from 11 contestants during the annual pageant sponsored by ETBU’s Student Government Association. Senior English and Christian Ministry major Ashly Quintanilla was selected as first runner-up and Audience Favorite, sophomore ministry major Avery Abshier was voted Miss Congeniality, and senior music education major Hannah Stewart won Best Talent.

“I was blown away with the authenticity and intentionality of each of the participants,” ETBU Dean of Students Holly Edwards said. “I heard countless times of their desire to know the Lord and make Him known. They want to make Him known in how they serve in their current roles, but also with their future. I believe that all participants portrayed the value of embracing their faith and being empowered leaders.”

Throughout her time at ETBU, Akin has been busily involved on campus by being a member, Vice President, and now President of Student Foundation, where she is involved in the planning and volunteering of events on campus. Akin works as a Resident Assistant in Ornelas Hall, has been on Blue Crew, a small group leader, and team captain during Tiger Camp, and is a part of Leadership Fellows. Off-campus, she is actively involved at Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview, where she leads worship Sunday mornings for the college group.

“After hearing my name being called on that stage, there was an expression of shock written across my face,” Akin said. “I was so excitedly in disbelief that I was chosen to be Miss ETBU. This whole experience was such an incredible journey, from meeting new friends and feeling the support and encouragement of my fellow Tigers, to getting the opportunity to share my heart for community amongst believers and my passion for the Lord. I am immensely excited that the Lord has guided me through this experience, and I can't wait to take on this role as a representative of this institution for the glory of Christ.”

As Miss ETBU 2022, Akin receives a generous academic scholarship as well as the opportunity to represent the University throughout the community and region.

“During my year as Miss ETBU, I desire to make a lasting impact on my school and the city of Marshall,” Akin said. “I want to be a woman who embodies the attributes of Christ through kindness, gentleness, boldness, and a heart to serve. I want the ETBU community to know that I am continually in disbelief that I have been given this great opportunity, but I will work daily to strive to be more like Christ. I hope through prayer, dedication to this honorable position, and my heart for the individuals on this campus, I can be someone that this community is proud to have as their Miss ETBU for the 2022-2023 school year.

In a similar fashion to Miss ETBU pageants in the past, the University carried on the time-honored tradition with a few adjustments to the ceremony. Each contestant went through an interview and question-and-answer process, and faculty and staff participated in an online vote to select this year’s winner. During the pageant, contestants participated in a group dance, had the opportunity to showcase their talent, and the top five presented speeches about what they are passionate about.

“I am extremely honored to have been chosen to be in the pageant, let alone to win Runner-Up,” Quintanilla said. “If you know Haleigh Akin, you would know that she is so deserving of the title! She is an incredible human being and I am so glad we got to go through the entire process with her. Miss ETBU is an exemplary role here on campus. It is the opportunity to be not only the face of ETBU but also the hands and feet of Jesus. The pageant embodied this message by allowing such an amazing group of girls to put their character on display for the sake of such an honorable role.”

During the event, graduate student and Miss ETBU 2021 Kathryn Pedroza, had the opportunity to share about her experience as Miss ETBU before sharing her encouragement with the 2022 recipient.

“I hope Haleigh has an incredible experience as Miss ETBU,” Pedroza said. “I want to encourage her to be present and intentional with her time, it goes by quickly, and there are so many cool moments and opportunities. I hope she knows that her leadership is already felt across campus and this opportunity is definitely a blessing in several different ways. I have no doubt Haleigh is going to do an amazing job as Miss ETBU 2022.”