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June 20, 2008

Four ULM students to compete in Miss Louisiana Pageant June 21; current Miss Louisiana to study at ULM this summer

Four University of Louisiana at Monroe students will compete in the 45th Miss Louisiana Pageant Saturday, June 21 at the Monroe Civic Center at 8 p.m.

Erica Durr, Miss University of Louisiana at Monroe; Michelle Mayer, Miss Lafayette; Hope Anderson, Miss Crescent City New Orleans; and Katherine Putnam, Miss Bossier City, will participate in interview, talent and onstage question sessions, as well as swimsuit and evening wear proceedings, June 19 – 20.

Durr, a senior toxicology major from Marthaville, will perform an operatic aria as her talent – "Chi il Bel Sogno di Doretta.” Her platform is “The Children of Domestic Violence.” She is the daughter of David and Tommie Durr. “I’m so excited to be representing my university at the Miss Louisiana Pageant, and I hope to make ULM proud!” Durr said.

Mayer, who is pursing her doctorate of pharmacy and is from Baton Rouge, will perform ballet as her talent – “You Raise Me Up.” Her platform is “Type 2 Diabetes Awareness and Prevention,” and she is the daughter of Jerry and Cathy Mayer. “I’m excited to be in the Miss Louisiana Pageant,” Mayer said. “It’s always a really fun week, and it’ll be a great show.”

Anderson, a mass communications junior from Monroe, will perform ballet en pointe as her talent – “It’s About That Walk.” Her platform is “Love the Skin You’re In,” and she is the daughter of Onna and Alan Gallagher and of Mike and Brenda Anderson. “This scholarship program is an excellent forum to express yourself in many areas,” Anderson said. “Not many young women have the privilege of competing with the best of the best across our state, and I am extremely honored to be here as Miss Crescent City of New Orleans!”

Putnam, a senior piano performance major from Covington, will play/sing “Go the Distance” in the talent section. Her platform is “The Miracle of Music,” and she is the daughter of Byron and Heather Putnam. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for personal growth,” Putnam said. “Being awarded for hard work is a special honor. I want to represent my family well. They have instilled in me the things I need to achieve in every area of my life, and I hope to pass on their legacy of excellence!”

The current Miss Louisiana, Amanda Joseph, also has a strong ULM connection. Joseph is the daughter of Mike and Lisa Joseph, both ULM alumni. She opted to take a finance and marketing class during ULM’s second summer session after learning about the opportunity from Assistant Dean of Student Life and Leadership Amy Weems. This will allow her to be on track for her graduation in August.

Joseph, a public relations major from Pineville attending LSU, said she is strongly considering ULM for her master’s degree, impressed that ULM offers four free semesters of tuition to Miss Louisiana. “I’m really excited about experiencing the educational aspect of ULM. Everyone has been so accommodating and welcoming to the pageant.”

ULM is providing housing for all of the Miss Louisiana Pageant contestants as they vie for the crown in this preliminary competition to the Miss America Pageant.

There will be a live Webcast all three nights at, with the statewide television broadcast Saturday night, June 21.

Internet users will have the ability to select their own favorite contestant this year. Voting begins at 7:45 p.m. Thursday, June 19, and will remain open until just minutes before the announcement of Miss Louisiana 2008.

For tickets, call the Monroe Civic Center Box Office at (318) 329-0001. For more information about the Miss Louisiana Organization, visit the website at

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