Pageant winner believes title is another open door

PLAINVIEW - Ashley Applewhite has always believed in divine intervention, but her belief is even stronger these days.

Applewhite was crowned Miss Wayland 2004 on Saturday evening, Nov. 8, in her third attempt at the title since coming to the university four years ago. The irony is that Applewhite almost didn't even enter the pageant.

"I really wasn't sure if that was the direction that God had for me this year, and I'm in a lot of upper-level courses that are more in-depth, so I was concerned about my time," she said. "I was encouraged to run again by Joe Provence (director of alumni services) and the alumni services office. I really did it because they asked me to and because it gave me another chance to perform and share my talents, which I love."

Applewhite said she really didn't expect to win this year and did not know she had won until she heard Penny Greer named first runner-up.

"Honestly, my first thought was, 'why do I deserve this more than anyone else,' because there were so many outstanding girls in the pageant. It was completely a shock," she said.

Knowing the responsibilities that lay ahead for Miss Wayland can be daunting to any young woman. But Applewhite is excited about the possibilities for service.

"I'm glad to be out in the community and helping with the smaller pageant events. It'll be exciting to serve Wayland in another way and a good opportunity to be involved in other areas."

Applewhite believes she brings a different viewpoint to the title because of her classification as senior and her years of experience at Wayland. A music education major minoring in management and marketing, Applewhite hopes to pursue a master's degree in music business after graduating from Wayland in May 2005. She wants to someday own a business advocating fine arts in public education.

"I just have a passion for this because of what I've seen music do in my family's life. I've so many professors who have done a great job of exposing me to books and materials on this subject as well," she said. "I don't think people realize how much influence fine arts has around them every day."

Ashley is the daughter of Marc and Glenna Applewhite of Olney. She is president of the Texas Music Educator's Association's collegiate division, president of the Wayland band, treasurer of Te Deum music organization and a member of the flag corps.