Whitehurst is formally crowned Miss Alabama State University

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David Campbell/University Photographer

Gem Richardson, Staff Reporter/Writer

To officially crown Yasmine Whitehurst, the 81st Miss Alabama State University, the university hosted a formal crowning for the senior interdisciplinary studies major.  The coronation was invitation only and held in the John Garrick Hardy Center ballroom.  On Facebook Live, more than 200 people tuned in to witness the crowning of Whitehurst.

To ensure the proper protocols were taken to maintain a healthy and safe campus, all attendees were tested before entering the coronation.

The coronation opened with a poem referencing the “forgotten kingdom”, with African inspired music and a group of dancers.

Student Government Association President David Hammond and former ASU student Zaria Hall co-hosted the coronation. Charles Pruitt recited a poem to describe the beauty of the queen, “Her smile is like none other that I’ve seen this far, she’s our Nubian queen. Her beauty is rare, her beauty is raw, her beauty is natural. She is our Nubian queen,” Pruitt said.

Prior to the introduction of Whitehurst, the student organization queens and the 2020-2021 royal court were escorted onto the stage. The 80th Miss Alabama State University, Jhianne Cooper, gave a farewell message and gave Whitehurst some important advice to Whitehurst. “Don’t let anyone dim your light,” Cooper said.

Whitehurst has dedicated her time to multiple organizations on campus such as The Mighty Marching Hornets, Beta Phi Alpha, Radiant Souls, Delta Theta, and the Beta Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.

Whitehurst wore a one-shoulder white gown, dressed in crystals. President Quinton T. Ross, Ed.D took Whitehurst’s hand in the presidential waltz and offered the Oath of Affirmation. Whitehurst was crowned by Cooper, given a round of applause and offered a message of confirmation.

“God does not call the qualified, God qualifies the called,” Whitehurst said.  “It is by no mistake that I stand in front of you with the crown and the official title of the 81st Miss ASU. My journey to and through ASU has been the most life-changing and unforgettable experience. Many would think of my situation as a setback, serving in the midst of a pandemic, having many traditions taken away. But, I look at it as a blessing. I am blessed to still have the opportunity to serve my student body and my university … I am walking proof that with God, all things are possible … My goal has always been elevation … I stand strongly on the platform of “Elevate the Culture”, where I aim to restore the love, pride, and passion for our illustrious institution.”

Whitehurst thanked her family, friends, advisors, team, and fellow student leaders for the help and support provided. The ladies of Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity gifted Whitehurst with a prayer song of empowerment wishing protection over her reign.

With both in-person and virtual guests, Whitehurst received a plethora of encouraging words and congratulations via Facebook Live chat room. ASU Alumni chapters from Lowndes County, Ala. and Miami, Fla. sent their congratulations.

As a virtual attendee, Keith Hayes, a senior biomedical engineering major, said, “The coronation was beautiful. Everything from the theme to the dance performances was glorious!”

“The 2020 Coronation was nothing short of amazing. Congratulations to the court and the newly crowned Miss Alabama State University. Continue to wear the black and gold like royalty and go forth to serve with honor in the name of Oh Mother Dear,” said Jenny Thelwell, ASU-Miami Alumnae Chapter.

The Beta Eta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. serenaded Whitehurst with their Sweetheart song to show appreciation and love. The royal court advisors gifted Whitehurst and the royal court with a token of appreciation. Both Hammond and Hall also provided words of endearment. In closing, Whitehurst was presented with an abundance of gifts from friends, family, and colleagues.

“The coronation was elegant. Everyone looked great. I am glad that she considered the students and alumni when deciding how to celebrate this momentous occasion of her getting crowned as Miss ASU. The staff who recorded the coronation did a great job as well,” said Jennifer York, graduate class of 2008, Miss Junior 2005-2006, SGA Treasurer 2006-2007, and Delta Sigma Theta Inc. soror of Whitehurst.

“As I take my throne, I would like you to know that this moment is not just for me,” said Whitehurst.  “It is for everyone who got me to this point. I want to encourage everyone to be yourself and follow your dreams. Keep God at the head of everything you do and you will always be successful.”