UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP/WKRG) — The contestant from Alaska was crowned Miss America at an event Thursday marking the competition’s 100th anniversary.
What began as a 1921 Atlantic City beauty pageant has evolved away from the emphasis on looks alone — contestants are no longer judged on physical appearance — with a new focus on leadership, talent and communication skills.
Emma Broyles from Alaska claimed the centennial crown and a $100,000 college scholarship. She emerged as the winner out of 51 contestants representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia at the competition at a Connecticut casino.
Miss Alabama, Lauren Bradford, was named as the first runner-up in the Miss America Pageant.
Lauren Bradford, 21, is a Gulf Shores native and is a current resident of Birmingham. Bradford is a graduate of Auburn University and Vanderbilt University where she majored in Finance, according to the Miss America Organization.
Bradford has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Finance and her career goals are to work in strategic and management consulting and to open a global consulting firm.
With her social impact initiative “UNPLUG: The Digital Diet Plan,” Bradford hopes to educate people about the overuse and negative use of technology.
Bradford won a $25,000 scholarship to help pay for her school.
The finale that historically has been featured in a primetime television broadcast was available only to stream this year via NBC’s Peacock service.