Brianna McClellan wins Miss IU 2012 title

First runner-up and interview award winner Jessica Linxwiler won $1250 in scholarships. Brianna McClellan, Miss IU 2012, won a $1500 scholarship. Second runner-up Kaitlin Karr won a $500 scholarship. Photo by Heather Lovett

Last night Brianna McClellan, a 21-year-old from Chesapeake, Va., was crowned as the new Miss Indiana University. Seven students competed in the IUSA-sponsored event at Alumni Hall in the Indiana Memorial Union.

Moments after being selected, McClellan shared her excitement about winning the Miss Indiana University title. “After I won, I was shocked, flattered, excited, and extremely humbled. I am beyond excited to represent Indiana University and get the word out about my platform, which is Safe Schools for Every Student,” McClellan said.

McClellan received a $1,500 scholarship courtesy of the IU Foundation plus a prize package that included a year of personal training from Hoosier Crossfit and a year of tanning services from Total Tan. McClellan also received the opportunity to compete for the title of Miss Indiana in Zionsville, Ind., on June 23. McClellan is a junior majoring in theater and drama. She said she hopes to pursue a career in becoming an equity actress on Broadway in New York City.

During her year as Miss Indiana University, McClellan will travel throughout the state advocating her platform issue. Safe Schools for Every Student is a cause started after her brother was bullied in high school for being gay. McClellan said she believes students should feel comfortable being who they are while in school. She plans to work various government representatives, business leaders, community groups and citizens-at-large, urging them to support the Children’s Miracle Network, Miss America’s national philanthropy.

Teresa White, director of the pageant, said of the new Miss Indiana University. “While I’m proud of all seven contestants, I expect Brianna to be a very successful titleholder,” said White. “She’s intelligent, charming, and talented, an excellent representative of the young women on campus. I look forward to helping her prepare for the state competition.”

A number of other contestants received awards during the final and preliminary competitions, including presentation bouquets from Mary M’s/Walnut House Flowers:  Jessica Linxwiler of Greenwood, Ind., as 1st runner-up and winner of the interview phase of competition, won  $1,250 in scholarships. Kaitlin Karr of Garrett, Ind.,  as 2nd runner-up, won a $500 scholarship;  and People’s Choice and winner of the Community Service Scholarship Catherine Gibson from Indianapolis won a $200 scholarship.

The Miss Indiana University Scholarship Organization provides opportunities for young women to achieve their personal and professional ambitions.  Contestants also participate in community service activities and develop leadership skills that help them excel in their chosen career and life goals.  Miss Indiana University is a not-for-profit affiliate of the Miss America Organization.