Belton, Texas – Miss Student Foundation, Mia Hanks, was named Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor 2024 on Saturday, November 4, in the annual Miss MHB Pageant held in W.W. Walton Chapel. Hanks is a 20-year-old junior Studio Art major from Nashville, Tennessee. She is the daughter of Shawn and Heather Hanks, both graduates of UMHB. Hanks is involved in the Baptist Student Ministry, Student Foundation, Welcome Week, and Crusader Knights. As a student worker in the UMHB Alumni office and museum, Hanks had the opportunity to wear the dress of alumna Betty Bass Hiles, who wore it in the 1955 Miss Bluebonnet Pageant, which was the precursor to the Miss MHB Pageant.
Hanks’ personal platform is “Creating Supportive Community for Siblings of those with Special Needs.” She said, “It is a very personal issue to me, being an older sister to a brother with special needs. I would love to foster a community or even a physical space for the siblings of special needs kids to gather together. That would be so meaningful to me.”
The reigning Miss MHB, Shayden Guenther, crowned Hanks at the end of the evening’s contest. Also recognized were the fourth runner-up, Greta Poole, Miss Burt Hall; the third runner-up, Avery Mercer, Miss Farris Hall; the second runner-up, Aynslee Barber, Miss Cru Outdoors; and the first runner-up, Kaitlin Powers, Miss Independence Village.
A few other awards were given out during Saturday’s event. Miss Healthy Minds, Zanthe Louther, was recognized as the evening’s Best Talent for her Tang Soo Do Martial Arts. Miss Gettys Hall, Kyelie Broumley, won Best Evening Gown. Miss Nursing Student Association, Courtney Benner was awarded Best Interview, and Miss Accounting Student Association, Paige Pfrommer, was recognized as Miss Congeniality.
This year’s pageant director was Molly Gilleland, a 20-year-old junior Social Work major with a minor in Criminal Justice from Nocona, Texas. Assistant Directors were Emily Huynh, a 21-year-old junior Marketing and Management major from Richardson, Texas, and Yanelle Licona, a 21-year-old senior Marketing and International Business major from Pflugerville, Texas.
The Miss MHB Pageant recognizes young women who demonstrate self-confidence, personality, and inner beauty. Each of the evening’s 19 competitors represented a campus organization or residence hall. All contestants participated in individual interviews, a group dance number, talent presentations, and an evening gown stroll. In addition, the women were called on to talk about their individual platforms, highlighting issues of particular concern to them.