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Born to wear the crown

Posted on 02.04.2009

 

UIndy senior communication major Katie Stam was crowned Miss America on Jan. 24.

UIndy senior communication major Katie Stam was crowned Miss America on Jan. 24.

By Adrian Kendrick | Managing Editor

Everyone has to start somewhere, and according to mother Tracy Stam, her daughter’s journey towards Miss America all began with a dream. 

“It started when she was three years old. Katie [Stam] and her cousin would go to the basement, make crowns out of cereal boxes and dress up in our formal prom gowns and would play pageants,” Tracy Stam said. 

These days, Katie Stam no longer has to play pageants; she lives them.

“I cried tears of joy and happiness, because I knew she’d worked very hard. They [the contestants] were all smart, beautiful and well-spoken, and for her to win was such a blessing,” Tracy Stam said.

University of Indianapolis senior communication major Katie Stam was crowned Miss America 2009 on Jan. 24 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Stam started her journey to the crown with an early victory on TLC’s reality series  “Miss America: Countdown to the Crown.” She was one of four contestants who was voted into the Top 15 finalists by viewers on the cable television reality series that led up to the pageant’s final show. 

The series provided physical and mental competitions for all 52 contestants. Four Miss America hopefuls were awarded with a golden sash and a chance to be included in the pageant’s Top 15.  Stam was the first golden sash winner, and she was followed by Miss Georgia Chastity Hardman, Miss South Dakota Alexandra Hoffman, and Miss Alabama Amanda Tapley.

Stam’s academic adviser, General Manager of WICR-FM and Instructor of Communication Scott Uecker, said that Stam’s genuine personality came through throughout the series. 

“What we saw in the reality show is what we have seen in the last three-and-a -half years. She didn’t try to be someone else or impress someone; it was just Katie [Stam],” Uecker said. “There was nothing she did that surprised me.”

 

Katie Stam competes in the bikini challenge as part of the "Miss America: Countdown to the Crown" reality series on TLC. Stam won the Lifestyle & Fitness (swimsuit) award.

Katie Stam competes in the bikini challenge as part of the "Miss America: Countdown to the Crown" reality series on TLC. Stam won the Lifestyle & Fitness (swimsuit) award.

Stam won a $50,000 scholarship and the Miss America crown. She was also awarded a $1,000 scholarship for being the Lifestyle & Fitness winner and was a finalist for the Quality of Life Award for community service.

 

She will travel across America promoting her platform of Passion for Service: Promoting Community Service and Involvement and acting as the official national spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Stam is the first Hoosier to claim the title of Miss America in the pageant’s 88 year history.

Keith Stam, Katie’s father, said that she will always be his little Katie.

“She’s worked so hard towards this, it was so much joy for us to see her dream actually come true for her,” he said. “It’s just like the Cinderella story.”

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