It’s been over a year since Augusta University alum Morgan Mitchell was crowned the 2019 Miss Augusta University. She will soon pass the crown to another AU student at the fourth annual Miss Augusta Scholarship Pageant at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at the Maxwell Theatre.
As a student, Mitchell served in several different student organizations, such as She Blossoms, Psychology Club, Black and Blooming and as a student ambassador for the College of Science and Mathematics.
“It felt really great that my professors recommended me to be an ambassador. I don’t consider myself to be at the forefront of things,” she said. “Being with others to share my ideas and pour into new students really helped me grow and become more educated about the field.”
She was also an accomplished AU student athlete, running track for the university for four years. During her senior year, Mitchell won the 4×400 relay at the Adidas Trojan Challenge with a time of 4:11.12.
“When I was in high school, I did not want to come out of my shell. AU really helped me get out of my shell,” Mitchell said. “I’m a die-hard Jag! I’ve met so many people, so many friendly faces. The community is so welcoming.”
Delayed but not denied
“The closest I’ve come to being in a pageant was watching Toddlers and Tiaras on TV,” Mitchell joked. “I did not expect to win at all.”
Mitchell competed in the pageant the prior year and received third place. While she thought her pageant career was over, she eventually signed up again after being encouraged by an AU staff member.
She remembers her emotions when she heard her name being announced as the 2019 winner.
“My mouth dropped. I felt like I was on Cloud 9,” she said. “God had a different plan for me. I was delayed, but not denied.”
Her platform for the competition was to raise awareness for Kawasaki’s disease.
Kawasaki’s disease is a rare autoimmune disease that affects young children 5 years old and younger. Symptoms can look similar to those of childhood viral and bacterial infections, but not getting the proper treatment can cause serious complications that affect the heart.
“There’s been a snowball of autoimmune issues I’ve dealt with since being diagnosed when I was a child,” she said. “I want to tell all children battling this that it will get better. It will not stay forever.”
Mitchell has been very active since getting the crown. One of the major highlights of her tenure as Miss AU was meeting with students from A. Brian Merry Elementary School to impress the value of going to college.
“I felt it was very powerful,” she said. “It was important for them to see young, educated people who looked like them.”
Her passion for younger students didn’t stop there. She also spent time visiting pediatric patients while competing at the Miss Georgia Scholarship Competition this summer.
“Going to see the children at the Piedmont Hospital was another highlight,” she said. “That’s what the Miss Georgia organization is all about. I can’t wait to volunteer at our Children’s Hospital.”
Passing the crown
“I’m going to pass the crown the same way I got it — crying,” Mitchell said.
She is cohosting this year’s pageant and helping finalize some of the event’s logistics.
“Seeing it from the other side is different, but relatable. I’ve been there. I know exactly what the girls are feeling,” she said. “It’s going to be fierce.”
“These girls working so hard,” she added. “They have been on their toes since day one. They are all so deserving to win. I’m excited for you all to see the end result.”
The 2020 Miss Augusta University Scholarship Pageant will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at the Maxwell Theatre.
The event is free for students, faculty and staff with a valid JagCard. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
For more information about this year’s pageant, contact the pageant director JaNae Marzell with questions.
Learn more about the Jaguar Production Crew.