The Miss Southeastern life through Lily Gayle’s eyes


Chloe Williams

Gayle was crowned the 60th Miss Southeastern on Jan. 22, 2021.

Crowned as the 60th Miss Southeastern, Lily Gayle’s reign has taken her to new heights. 

From reading to SLU LAB school kids to competing for all the way in Monroe for the Miss Louisiana title, Gayle has made many accomplishments while carrying her title. Miss Southeastern has now begun to reflect on her reign now that the fall semester has arrived. 

Gayle, a senior communication major, was crowned with the title on Jan. 22, 2021, at the Columbia Theatre and from there has gained experience and useful real-world skills. 

“Since being crowned, I’ve gained connections, networking skills, marketing strategies and have been able to help others grow along with myself,” Gayle said. 

Gayle also recently reached her goal of making over 40 appearances in the last six months. She plans to continue making these appearances to ensure that Miss Southeastern is not only representing the campus but also the community of Hammond. 

Gayle has mentioned before that she would love to see Miss Southeastern become more immersed in the Hammond community. She said she loves the Hammond area and that she has not felt so passionately about a place since her time living in Peru.

“She is the queen of Hammond and the community needs to know that she will always be there for them. I want to see her take charge and make Miss Southeastern a household name because she is someone special. She always has been, is and will be,” Gayle continued.

Along with her achievements in the Hammond area, Gayle also went on to compete in the Miss Louisiana Competition in June at the Monroe Civic Center. 

Miss Southeastern, titled Miss Green and Gold for the competition, placed as a Top Ten finalist on the last night of competition, accomplishing something no Miss Southeastern has done since 2015. 

Hitting this type of mark in her career has shown Gayle the extent of her potential.  

“I had fun, but now I know the ropes, and I will go back to Miss Louisiana with hopes of gaining the crown next year. The Miss Louisiana Competition has shown me what type of person I am, but also what I can be,” Gayle said.

Gayle also added that her faith as a Christian truly helped her throughout the whole competition. On the night of the Top Ten finales she listened to the song “Who Am I” by Casting Crowns before the competition and was reminded that no matter what, she knows who she is because of who she is in God. 

This academic year, Miss Southeastern has future appearances planned with the Counseling Center in July as well as University Athletics. Gayle will also assist in recruiting for Miss SLU this fall. 

Along with her Miss Southeastern duties, Gayle plans to graduate this year.

“It’s time to go to the next chapter, and I was not ready last semester, but this time I am. I cannot wait to see what’s next,” Gayle added. 

Gayle said she understands that the title-holding life can be difficult, tiresome and even overwhelming. However, she also understands that this is simply the life of a public servant leader. 

Gayle continued, “This life is so worth it, it’s colorful, vibrant and beautiful. Not because of a crown and sash, but because of the little girls that want to be you. The young women who look up to you. The mothers that are grateful that their daughters are looking to you because they know that you are the princess their daughters have the potential to be. If I could redo it, I would do everything the exact same because the lives you touch and the smiles you are given. You will always remember the feeling of making an impact. That is what Miss Southeastern is about.”