By Samantha Cotten | Editor-in-Chief
In a moment, three University of Indianapolis students lives changed forever.
On Jan. 24, senior communication major Katie Stam battled laryngitis, a viral throat infection and 51 other young women to be crowned Miss America, the first Indiana woman to win the title in the organizations 88-year history.
Every time I call back home and talk to the media or friends and family, it just seems that the entire state is in an uproar right now, said Stam. Hopefully, well start a great legacy for the state.
Since becoming Miss America, Stam has been whisked to New York City to find an apartment for the next year, and to participate on a media tour that included Regis and Kelly, the Today Show ,Fox and Friends and the Super Bowl. Stam will immediately begin work as official spokesperson for the Childrens Miracle Network.
Then, on Jan. 26, former Miss Central Indiana and UIndy occupational therapy graduate Megan Meadors received a phone call informing her that she has become the new Miss Indiana, filling Stams role for the rest of the year.
I am so honored to be named Miss Indiana, Meadors said. It is a dream I have worked toward for six years, and I am blessed I have a great friend like Katie [Stam] who helped it come true.
Meadors said that she plans on continuing Stams mission of service as Miss Indiana by volunteering for her personal platforms, Alzheimers Awareness and the Childrens Miracle Network.
On the same day, junior psychology and marketing major Bethany Clemens learned that she would be taking Meadors title as Miss Central Indiana.
Its pretty ironic that Katie [Stam] is a UIndy student, and so are Megan [Meadors] and I, Clemens said. While participating in the Miss Central Indiana pageant, Megan jokingly said, Man, us UIndy gals sure are pretty! It looks like she was on the right path!
Clemens will have the opportunity to compete for the title of Miss Indiana in June.
Taking the title of Miss Central Indiana puts me one step closer to the ultimate goal [Miss America], so why pass it up? Clemens said. I have wanted this job for years, and I plan on doing my very best to represent the organization at Miss Indiana.
Meadors had the opportunity to attend the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas and is one of the few people who was able to speak with Stam after she won the crown. Meadors said that Stam was the buzz in Las Vegas, and on the top of many peoples prediction list.
Being in Las Vegas and seeing Katie win the Miss America title for the first time in Indiana history was one of the highlights of my life, she said. After the pageant, we didnt get to talk to her [Stam] because she had security all around her an indication of how her life changed in one moment. My flight was delayed the next day, and I texted her and found her in the airport to give her a big hug and tell her how proud Indiana was! That was the best part of my week.
Clemens watched the pageant with friends at the Campus Program Board Miss America For A Night event in the Schwitzer Student Center. Clemens said she thought it was cool to see Stam achieve her dream.
Katie is a nice, intelligent woman, and she genuinely cares about the Miss America Organization and its causes, Clemens said. I think thats why she will make such a great Miss America. She is a real woman, and shes one of the best role-models America could ask for.