MC

Mississippi College

Freshman Callie Shirley Wins 2014 Miss Mississippi College Pageant

January 31, 2014

Callie Shirley dreams of becoming a pediatric nurse because she loves helping people.

For the next 12 months, the 18-year-old Madison resident will also live out her dreams as the 2014 Miss Mississippi College.

“I’m excited to have this opportunity to represent the freshman class and Mississippi College as a whole,” says Callie, a Madison Central High graduate. “I’m pumped because it’s always been one of my goals to compete in the Miss Mississippi Pageant.”

At Swor Auditorium on January 30, Callie wowed the pageant judges as she showed off her talent playing the piano. She calmly fielded questions as she competed with nine other contestants. Winning the pageant Thursday evening gives the freshman a $2,500 scholarship for her MC education.

As the successor to 2013 Miss MC Courtney Parella of Grenada, Callie will promote her platform of utilizing music therapy to benefit nursing home patients and others suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia issues.

After consulting families, Callie downloads songs on used ipods, with the music bringing back special memories for Mississippi nursing home patients. The MC student also delivers the ipods to nursing homes. “I’ve had fun doing it.”

Sponsored by the Laguna social tribe, Callie Shirley is an active member of the Mississippi College community. She’s the secretary of the Christian university’s freshman class and remains on track to join the Scouts, a group that recruits prospective students.

Callie’s father, Barri Shirley, is the associate executive director of business services with the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board in Jackson. Her mother, Tammy Shirley, works as a receptionist at Madison Upper Elementary School.

Less than 24 hours after being crowned Miss Mississippi College, the nursing major looks back on her newest triumph with amazement.

“I was a little overwhelmed, but I loved the experience. It was exciting,” Callie Shirley said on the Clinton campus Friday. “I’m very blessed.”

Callie, who’s attended Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison, has fared well in previous pageants in recent years. She was the Miss Southland Outstanding Teen in 2012. Now her sights are set on the 2014 Miss Mississippi Pageant in Vicksburg in July.

Her successful pageant run caused some buzz on the Clinton campus, but especially at the MC School of Nursing.

“All nursing students are beautiful inside and out,” said nursing professor Deborah Bolian. “They do make us proud.”

MC nursing student Shelby Osbourn of Bay St. Louis was impressed with the talented freshman, but felt all ten contestants did a remarkable job. “They all looked so beautiful and did so well,” she said. “It was awesome.”

The MC Department of Student Life produced the three-hour pageant that took a great deal of work in recent weeks, and many rehearsals.

Jim Turcotte, the vice president for enrollment services and dean of students, applauded all the contestants, but believes Callie was a solid choice. “Callie will represent Mississippi College well and we are very proud of her performance.”

Other pageant contestants included: Billie Colbert of Lake, Ramanda Dace of Terry, Allison Myers of Pascagoula, Janyl Igadna of Memphis, Lindi-Lane Smith of Tylertown, and Meredith Harrison of Gautier. Also competing: Alexandra Hendry of Ellisville, Sarah Delee of Collinsville and Mary McRae of Tishomingo.

Photo: 2014 Miss Mississippi College Callie Shirley,18, of Madison. A nursing major, Callie is a freshman.