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Approximately 34 individuals, including family, friends, members of the Advancement and Development Division and President-elect Dr. Leslie Pollard, attended the coronation of Miss UNCF on December 5, 2010 in the McKee Business and Technology Complex. At a small event that has been called "elegant and classy," Imani Penn was crowned as Oakwood University's Miss UNCF 2011-12. Congratulations, Imani!
As the reigning Miss UNCF, Ms. Penn will serve as a member of the Pre-Alumni Advisory Board, will attend UNCF fundraising events in Birmingham and Huntsville, and will make local media appearances as allowed by her schedule. Miss UNCF also represents Oakwood University at the annual conference organized by the National Alumni and National Pre-Alumni Council of the UNCF.
The 2010-2011 school year began with five contestants in competition for the Miss UNCF crown. Contestants must be active members of the Pre-Alumni Council, and must raise a minimum of $1000 which is sent directly to the UNCF for scholarships. As the final days of the fundraising campaign approached, two contestants remained: Ms. Diane Douglas and Ms. Imani Penn. In the weeks preceding the coronation event, contestants need to be in regular contact with the Pre-Alumni Sponsor, Ms. Barbara Stovall. The individual who raises the most money is crowned Oakwood's Miss UNCF, and joins the queens of the other UNCF member institutions at the annual conference organized by the National Alumni and National Pre-Alumni Council of the UNCF. This year's Pre-Alumni Conference will take place in Birmingham, Alabama, February 2-6, 2011.
Ms. Stovall, who is also the director of Alumni Relations at Oakwood, coordinates the annual pageant. Notification is sent to the student body, looking for dedicated female students who are willing to fundraise for the UNCF and be a positive representative of Oakwood. Remarks were made that this year's coronation by Mrs. Cheri Wilson, the UNCF Campaign Manager; Ms. Kristina Rucker, OU Pre-Alumni Council President; and Ms. Keisha Sanders, the National Pre-Alumni Council Vice President. The two contestants were announced by Mrs. Marcia Burnette, Assistant Vice President for Advancement and Development. Contestants Diane Douglas (and her escort Mr. Michael Dyson), and Imani Penn (and her escort Mr. Kevin Mitchell), were interviewed by Ms. Stovall. Before the announcing the first runner-up and Miss Oakwood University UNCF, Dr. Pollard expressed the appreciation for the "elegance and class" of the event. His also expressed appreciation to the Advancement and Development team for their hard work. Dr. Pollard announced the presentation of 1st Runner-Up Ms. Diane Douglas, who had raised over $2,500. She was crowned and presented a bouquet of roses. Dr. Pollard then announced Miss UNCF 2010-2011, Ms. Imani Penn, who had raised close to $3,000 for scholarships.
As the event come to a close Dr. Timothy McDonald recognized Ms. Stovall and the contestants for making this a memorable event. Ms. Stovall acknowledged the support of family and friends who were present, as well as the OU Pre-Alumni Council members. Special thanks was also given to Sodexo; In Bloom; Gigi's Cupcakes; Party Plus; Shannan Moore Malone (event planning assistance); Mariana Stovall (photography); the OU Advancement & Development team; Drs. Leslie and Prudence Pollard , for their participation, presence and support; and everyone who helped make this evening possible. Applications are now being accepted for the 2011-2012 school year. The next coronation event is scheduled for Sunday, December 4, 2011. ~ Barbara Stovall
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