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U of M Home to Two National Beauties

June 20, 2011

Erin Hatley
Erin Hatley was crowned Miss Tennessee.
A U of M student narrowly missed being crowned Miss USA last night, finishing as first runner-up to Miss California.  Ashley Elizabeth Durham, a senior journalism major, competed as Miss Tennessee USA. 

Also over the weekend, another U of M student was crowned Miss Tennessee and will compete in the Miss America pageant in January. Erin Hatley, a senior majoring in hospitality and resort management, is a classmate and sorority sister of Durham’s in Alpha Gamma Delta.

“Not only is this a tremendous honor for these two young women, but it is priceless advertising for the university,” said Linda Bonnin, associate vice president for marketing and communications at the U of M.

Several times during last night’s nationally televised pageant on NBC it was mentioned that Durham is a student at the University of Memphis.  She also gave a huge “Go Tigers” shout out during live questioning from the judges on stage.

While final numbers are not in yet, the Miss USA pageant is traditionally viewed by millions of people.

“We congratulate these two beautiful young women who are such outstanding representatives of our university and our state,” said Bonnin.

Ashley Elizabeth Durham
U of M student Ashley Elizabeth Durham competed as Miss Tennessee USA
in the Miss USA pageant last night.

Durham, who is from Adamsville, TN, was also Miss Teen Tennessee USA in 2006. 

Hatley competed in the statewide competition as Miss Collierville and won the talent competition. 

While the U of M has never had a Miss USA before, two students have been crowned Miss America: Barbara Jo Walker Hummel (BS ’48) in 1947 and Kellye Cash in 1987. Claire Ford (BA '81) was also crowned Miss Black America in 1977.

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