ORU grad takes
Miss Oklahoma title; vies for
By Sarah Dash
One of ORU's own students,
Miss Oklahoma 2002 Casey Preslar, headed for Atlantic City, Sept.
6 with the goal of winning the annual Miss America Pageant, which
will be broadcast Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. on NBC.
"I want to win the crown…I want to do the job," Preslar said. As
Miss America, Preslar would "create an awareness that music is very
important for young children. I could see where I would easily tap
into that avenue of opportunity and really make a difference."
This summer, in addition to preparing for Atlantic City, Preslar
traveled in New York as a part of VH1's Save the Music Foundation
and will be a spokesperson for the Foundation at the Miss America
Preslar chose to represent the Foundation because "music is just
a part of me. I've been involved in music all my life." This summer
Preslar sang the national anthem at a TU/OU game. Preslar has been
employed as a commercial jingle vocalist and actress. Also, she
has produced a "Building Your Baby's Brain" CD and a classical music
CD. Involved in music at an early age, Preslar and her two sisters
have sung on the Lawrence Welk show as a trio.
"I've discovered that music helps prepare a child to learn. You
learn skills very important to a foundation of self-learning," Preslar
Since the other 49 contestants at the Miss America Pageant have
a great impact on who the winner is, Preslar's tactic to win them
over is to be a real person, which she believes is what today's
society is looking for.
Casey described her job of being Miss Oklahoma as an "incredible
opportunity." She will speak at 350 schools to 50,000 children.
"I get to speak about goal awareness, goal setting and really about
becoming a whole person and what it takes to be a success in life
and society," Preslar said. The job of Miss Oklahoma is "taking
one step at a time, making a difference in [the children's] lives
and really showing them that they can be everything they want to
be if they never give up on their dreams."
The scholarship money the pageant offered, as well as the opportunity
to make a difference in children's lives, originally persuaded Preslar
to enter the competition. She has won $91,000 in scholarship from
the pageants. "The first year I competed, I won a four-year college
scholarship," Preslar said. She used this scholarship to attend
ORU has assisted her in developing the comfortable, professional
and entertaining personality that she has on stage. Preslar has
been very involved in the ORU music ministries department. For two
years she sang for Richard and Lindsay Roberts' live TV show "Something
Good Tonight: The Hour of Healing," which is broadcast on over 200
stations nationwide. Preslar said ORU helped her fine-tune her talent,
so when she is in situations like those in pageants, she is composed.
"I know that I can answer anything because I know that I have the
presence of God inside of me. And every time they would ask me a
question on stage, the first thing that came to my mind is 'I have
the mind of Christ,'" Preslar said.
Preslar competed for five years before she won Miss Oklahoma. She
was not expecting to win. "It was more of a shocker for me. I actually,
finally won! I was very, very excited," she said. With her experience
of competing for five years, Preslar said, "I've been doing this
for so long, that you could say I'm a natural on the Atlantic City
The job of Miss Oklahoma has been busier than Preslar had expected.
"You never fully understand what something is until you actually
live through it....There's never really any down time," she said.
She has been very busy preparing for Atlantic City. "I am ready
to represent Oklahoma," Preslar said.
In looking ahead to the Miss America Pageant, she said, "I look
at it as I've got the job that I want. If I get a promotion in September,
it's just icing on the cake."
As Preslar is at the Miss America Pageant, she remembers, "ORU instilled
that confidence inside of me that I know God is in control. And
I'm not the author of my book. God is the author of my book. As
I realize that, I can fully just trust Him and know that He has
the best plan for my life."