When 2018 Miss Southeastern Alyssa Larose accepted the crown almost a year ago, she began to carve her lion mark by furthering the influence and extent of the pageant.
“I cannot believe that the 2019 pageant is just around the corner,” said Larose, a junior elementary education and special education major. “This year has gone by so fast, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I am so blessed for all the support I have been given from the university this year. I could have never imagined all the opportunities I have gotten from being Miss Southeastern.”
Since starting her reign, Larose aimed to help the Campus Activities Board build up the pageant.
“We had a huge increase in contestant interest this year, and I’m ecstatic to say the 2019 pageant is the largest pageant in years with 13 beautiful contestants,” said Larose. “I made sure I was in attendance at every event my schedule could allow, not just the ones Miss Southeastern is expected to be at. I think by being so active, it made people aware of the title. I’m looking forward to seeing how many people attend the pageant as well.”
Larose feels sad to give up the crown but is excited about the future of the pageant. She discussed her work for the pageant.
“Besides working with CAB for an impressive production, I’ve been contacting local businesses to gain sponsorship for the pageant and Miss Southeastern 2019,” said Larose. “I believe the relationships I have made with Southeastern administration, university sponsors and the community will benefit future Miss Southeasterns. We currently have three sponsors for Miss Southeastern 2019 who are eager to work with her. This is just the beginning of what I want to do for the pageant.”
Larose hopes to award scholarships to all contestants in future pageants. To achieve this, she first started researching other universities in the Miss Louisiana organization with Coordinator of CAB Nick Elliott.
“I took that information to Southeastern administration,” said Larose. “Everything that takes place within a university takes time, but we are already moving toward that goal by awarding scholarships to our Miss Congeniality this year. I hope to see more scholarships awarded to our runners-up and Miss Southeastern soon as well.”
Though leaving the position, Larose plans to stay connected to the crown.
“I plan to help future Miss Southeasterns throughout their year to ensure they look and feel their best always,” said Larose. “I’ll help them continue the relationships I have made and create new ones and also prepare for Miss Louisiana. I have had a wonderful year and want nothing more than the women who come after me to enjoy this experience just as much, if not more.”
As Miss Southeastern, Larose attended multiple events like “Chefs Evening,” “Champagne Bingo” and “Summer at the Square.” Life as Miss Southeastern, however, did not limit itself to predetermined appearances with the crown.
“I had a celebrity moment recently when studying in the library,” said Larose. “A student worker asked me, ‘Are you Miss Southeastern, or do you just look like her?’ I kind of laughed and said, ‘I’m her,’ and she turned to her coworkers across the room and screamed, ‘It’s really her.’”
Larose shared her thoughts on the incident.
“It made me realize how much of an impact I’ve made on campus this year,” said Larose. “I’m glad students know who Miss Southeastern is. That was possibly my favorite memory from this year. Besides those funny moments, I’ll never forget competing at Miss Louisiana. Multiple times throughout the week, Southeastern fans in Monroe would come up to me to wish me luck. In those moments, I realized how incredible it is to wear this crown.”
According to Larose, her love for the university has grown over the past year as Miss Southeastern. She described the crown as her ticket to many opportunities.
“Being Miss Southeastern is more than wearing a crown,” said Larose. “It’s about sharing lion pride while gaining more at the same time. It’s about taking chances that lead you to amazing opportunities. It means you are the most prominent ambassador for the university and want to represent Southeastern all the time. It’s about making a difference. I think most importantly, being Miss Southeastern means you are passionate about the legacy started over 70 years ago.”