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Two SBU students to be crowned Mr. and Miss Southwest

BOLIVAR, Mo. — Southwest Baptist University continues the tradition of honoring one male and one female student each year at the annual Mr. and Miss Southwest Pageant, which takes place this year at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 3, in Pike Auditorium on the SBU campus.

mr-miss-sw2017Eight candidates are nominated by SBU faculty and staff and voted upon by the student body to select a pair of standout students to represent the Bearcat family for the next year. The voting will take place by text message during the pageant, which will include opportunities to learn more about the candidates through everything from introductory videos to talent presentations and question-and-answer sessions.

This year’s candidates are Dustin Clarno of Clarkston, Mich.; Olivia Darst of Branson; Matt Gaskin of Lawrence, Kan.; Taylor Logue of Topeka, Kan.; Sylvia Ofori-Yeboah of Bolivar; Taylor Parrish of Blue Springs; Tony Savage of Sedalia; and Claire Van Doren of Columbia.

The beginnings of the “Miss Southwest” pageant date back to the 1930s, with “Mr. Southwest” being added in 1963. The pageant is part of Bearcat Days, the two-day visit event in which admitted students considering SBU attendance are hosted on campus.

Admission to the pageant is free and open to the public. For more information about Mr. and Miss Southwest, please contact student activities director Nathan Penland at (417) 328-1828 or


Cutline – The 2017 Mr. and Miss Southwest candidates are (left to right) Matt Gaskin, Claire Van Doren, Taylor Parrish, Olivia Darst, Dustin Clarno, Sylvia Ofori-Yeboah, Tony Savage and Taylor Logue.