Article Written by: Brianna Corley
Following her successful appearance Sept. 9 in the Miss America pageant, Holli Conway was honored at a reception Friday in the Hanchey Gallery. The Northwestern State University alumna was second runner up at the pageant, and she is the current Miss Louisiana. At the reception she received warm greetings from enthusiastic old friends.
“We’re glad to recognize Holli,” said First Lady Jennifer Maggio. “It is amazing to see an NSU graduate excel.”
“A lot of planning went into this event,” said student activities board director Reagan Escudé, “I’m very excited for it.”
In addition to remarks from NSU President Chris Maggio, the reception offered opportunities for students to have their picture taken with Conway. Refreshments included “H”-shaped cookies drizzled in purple icing.
Conway said NSU had influenced her life in various ways and that the university’s guidance was crucial to her growth.
“They have always supported me, but there was also a lot of failures at NSU that really shaped me into who I was,” Conway said. “There were times that I cried, times that I didn’t think I could do it, and my theater friends and my professors were there to push me forward.”
Asked about her message to people pursuing careers in the performing arts, Conway spoke of a “divine purpose” with which everyone is born.
“When I was young, sports were something I wanted to do, since my father was an athlete, but it never fulfilled me,” she said “That’s not why I’m here. Performing arts is why I’m here.”
“Everything we have is enough to change the world, she said.
“Whether it be a seamstress, a performer, or a doctor, you can make a difference.”