Alpha Phi Alpha hosts Miss Black and Gold

Jessica Scott, a junior psychology major, emerged as the 2005 Miss Black and Gold, for the Theta Epsilon chapter of the fraternity based at St. John’s University.

Talent, beauty and intelligence filled Marillac Auditorium last Thursday night as the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. hosted the second annual Miss Black and Gold scholarship pageant.

“I’m so surprised that I won,” said Scott, who dedicated the win to her friend Tommy, who died in a four-wheeling accident in April. “I thank God, my mother, and all my friends who came out. It was hard to do my talent but I just vented and let my emotions carry me through. I was really just trying not to cry.”

Scott will continue on and represent the chapter at a regional competition along with winners from other chapters of the fraternity, which was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York as the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African-Americans.

Scott, who was runner up in last year’s pageant, is a McNair scholar and hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

The pageant has been a tradition of the fraternity, which will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2006, and includes talent, bathing suit, evening gown and question and answer segments.

Other contestants showcased their singing, instrument-playing, and dance abilities, while others read poetry and performed in depth monologues such as “Black Queen,” and reflections on AIDS, slavery and the black community.

For the talent portion of the competition, Scott performed an emotional monologue in which she had an onstage conversation with God regarding the loss of her close friend Tommy.

“She embodies what Alpha tries to put forth,” said Steven Clarke, Alpha Phi Alpha’s education chair, of Scott.. “She has beauty, brains, talent and she is extremely versatile.”

Shawn Murray, president of Alpha Phi Alpha, added that the event raised over $1,000 and that Scott would receive between $600 and $650 for her first place finish.

“As long as the girls benefit from this it’s all worth it,” Murray said. “A lot of the girls that didn’t place thanked us for the opportunity to compete and to showcase the type of women that they are.”

Jessica Scott’s mother, Denise, drove all the way from New Jersey to watch her daughter compete and take the crown.

“I am just so proud of her,” Denise Scott said. “She’s just so special. She’s a very giving loving person and I can’t take credit for it, it’s primarily all Jessica.”

Scott’s roommate concurred.

“She’s just one phenomenal woman,” added Ryan Randall. “She really deserves this.”