Alpha Sigma Tau hosts Miss Duquesne Pageant

Courtesy of Emma Patton | The 13 participants at Friday's 19th-annual Miss Duquesne Pageant, along with co-chairs Juliana Tangretti and Peri Dimitriou (both dressed in blue and holding flowers) celebrate following the event.

Isabella Abbott | Features Editor

Nov. 17, 2022

Songs were sung, batons were twirled and donations were made Friday night as Duquesne’s Alpha Sigma Tau hosted their 19th-annual Miss Duquesne Pageant.

During the night, 13 women representing different organizations on campus were able to compete against each other to try and win the title of Miss Duquesne. The women could also win the People’s Choice Award, Miss Congeniality or Top Fundraiser titles.

All the donations were put toward Make-A-Wish, an organization that helps fulfill the wishes of children with critical illnesses. While some children decide to go to places like Disney World, they’re able to pick between a wish to go, a wish to be, a wish to have, a wish to meet or a wish to give. This event typically helps grant four of these wishes.

A co-chair of Miss Duquesne, Peri Dimitriou, emphasized the importance of these wishes to the AST members.

“The opportunity to change these children’s lives and make a difference in the community and unite us all together for one very special night to grant all these wishes is truly a magical thing,” Dimitriou said.

The night began with speeches from AST President Olivia Price, as well as co-chairs Dimitriou and Juliana Tangretti, who opened by explaining the connection to Make-A-Wish. Judges were announced, and guest speakers Jake Seavy and Aidan Mack addressed the crowd after.

The judges for the night included: Anthony Kane (Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs), Ashley Kane (Assistant Director for Student Programming and Freshman Development), Linda Donovan (Campus Minister and Campus Spiritual Advisor for multiple Duquesne student organizations) and Victoria Piekut-Bobak (Miss Pennsylvania 2020, as well as the CEO and co-founder of Wight Elephant Boutique).

During the guest speaker portion, Seavy talked about the different types of wishes, and how each one benefits children going through an illness. Mack shared his own story about dealing with cancer and the wish he asked for, in which he will soon be going on a week-long beach trip with family and friends to Delaware.

Mack said that these wishes are a turning point for children during treatment, and that just the act of wishing gives people hope.

Price said that she was excited about the very-anticipated event.

“Make-A-Wish holds a really special place in all our hearts,” Price said. “I know every single one of us is so excited to be able to hold a philanthropy event that means so much and can change the lives of some of the wish kids in our local area.”

As students walked into the Union Ballroom, they were greeted by an abundance of light-blue -and-white decorations adorning the walls and tables, while also seeing AST members dressed in all-black formal attire.

After the opening remarks and judge introductions, the contestants put on a choreographed opening dance act before portraying their talents.

The contestants for the night representing their sororities were: Nellie Fallon (Alpha Gamma Delta), Paige Ladowitz (Alpha Omicron Pi), Jenna Salvatore (Delta Sigma Pi), Kayla Laird (Delta Zeta), Sarah Fiorna (Sigma Kappa) and Sky Miller (Zeta Tau Alpha).

Contestants representing student organizations included: Megan Carnahan (Ballroom Association), Maya Louttit (Christians in Action), Annamarie Kosslow (Commuter Affairs), Cassie Wiles (Delight), Valarie McMullen (Duq-A-Thon), Melanie Schultz (Physical Therapy Association) and Molly Brennan (Duquesne swim & dive team).

The night’s talents included many dances, singing and even a winning baton-twirling act.

After a round of questions from the judges and a walkout in colorful gowns, Wiles — also known as Miss Delight — was announced as Miss Duquesne 2022. She said that she was “honored and very grateful to be part of an amazing event.”

“It was such a terrific experience overall,” Wiles said. “Everyone was so supportive of each other, and our goal was to raise money while also having fun.”

Throughout the event, attendees could donate to Make-A-Wish through a bake sale, a raffle and votes for the People’s Choice Award that night.

Each contestant also raised money for the event and Carnahan (Miss Ballroom Association), the woman with the highest amount donated, received the top fundraiser prize.

Fiorna (Miss Sigma Kappa) received the Miss Congeniality award for her lip-sync performance of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocketful of Sunshine.”

Maya Louttit (Miss Christians in Action) won the People’s Choice Award. She said that winning made her feel loved and supported, even by those competing against her.

“I am thankful that I was able to get to know the girls,” Louttit said. “They all have beautiful personalities, and I am always looking for opportunities to meet more people on campus.”

The bake sale was a hit for students, parents and officers. Every baked good imaginable lined the blue table for the small fee of either $1 or $2. Some of these desserts, like the frosted-pink pretzels, Oreo balls and pumpkin cookies, nearly sold out.

The raffle table also received a lot of attention. At the table, attendees were able to purchase a ticket to try and win baskets filled to the brim with goodies. Some noteworthy baskets for the night included a Lululemon-themed basket, a finals week basket and a bucket full of necessary car supplies.

At the end of the event, Price announced the amount raised for Make-A-Wish as $18,815, which eventually became a grand total of $19,339.71 following later donations.