University student crowned 2004 Ms. Black and Gold, advances to regionals

The competition was sponsored by the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha, the first all-black greek chapter on campus.

by Molly Moker

Five area students strutted their stuff to the likes of Justin Timberlake, Mya and Snoop Dogg in hopes of being crowned 2004 Ms. Black and Gold on Saturday night.

Felicia Gyasi, a University elementary education senior, took home the title.

“I’m so grateful for this experience,” Gyasi said. “I had so much fun and all the girls were absolutely fantastic.”

Gyasi was Miss Teen Minneapolis in 1997 and advanced to the national competition in Las Vegas.

The pageant – held at the Radisson Hotel Metrodome – was sponsored by the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha, the first black greek organization on campus. The University chapter currently has 14 active members.

Kentale Morris, an Alpha Phi Alpha member, said he and his fraternity brothers have been working on this event since fall 2003. He said the contest was open to any undergraduate female student who is attending an accredited four-year university. The finalists were whittled down to five based on grade point average and community involvement.

Contestants were judged on grades, poise, fitness, evening wear, talent, involvement on and around campus and all-around excellence.

Four of the five contestants were University students and the fifth was from the University of St. Thomas.

Profits from the event will go toward establishing a high school scholarship.

Gyasi will represent Minnesota at the Midwestern Regional Convention in Toledo, Ohio, on April 15. If she wins, she will advance to the national competition in Philadelphia, Pa., in August.

The pageant’s first runner-up was University sophomore Maja Torrence, a social sciences student.

Contestants put in approximately 40 hours preparing for the pageant, but said it was well worth it.

“This has been a great opportunity,” Torrence said. “These are great girls here and we’ve all become true friends.”