Dreaming of her Day: UK senior competes for title of Miss America


Jenna Day during the first night of the Miss Kentucky Pageant at the Singletary Center for the Arts in Lexington, Ky., on Thursday, June 27, 2013. Photo by Tessa Lighty

By Anyssa Roberts

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On TV, Miss Kentucky Jenna Day stands poised, speaks articulately and sings with passion.

But close friends of Day said this is not an act for the camera — Day shows these “Miss America” qualities every day.

Friends and fellow Alpha Delta Pi sisters will travel to Atlantic City, N.J. to see Day, a Louisville native and UK senior, compete as Miss Kentucky in the 2013 annual Miss America Pageant broadcast live on ABC.

There has only been one Miss America from Kentucky: Heather Renee French Henry of Maysville who won the title of Miss America in 2000. Day was crowned Miss Kentucky 2013 this summer, which qualified her for competition in the Miss America.

Day, who is a political science and vocal performance senior, has been an officer in ADPi and is known throughout the sorority for her high spirit and good first impressions, said Brenna Murphy, ADPi president and Day’s roommate. Pageantry is something Day grew up around as her mother, aunt and sister all competed for the title of Miss Kentucky within the Miss America pageant circuit, Murphy said.

Day had the goal of becoming Miss Kentucky since she was young, said Micah Dean, Day’s ADPi sister.

Dean said the chances of Day winning are “amazingly high.”

“She is the full package and everyone is really proud of her,” she said.

Dean, who has competed in the same pageant circuit, said many people dismiss the Miss America pageant, but Jenna upholds the four points of Miss America: service, style, scholarship and success. Her friends described her as someone warm, energetic, eloquent and very busy.

Since being crowned Miss Kentucky, Day has taken on the full-time job as spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, while continuing her platform of “improving the lives of special needs children.”

“This experience has opened the flood gates for her to give back to the community,” said Tori Wolfe, ADPi sister and friend of Day.

Wolfe said Day has the slogan “just Jenna,” which means that no matter where she goes she is going to remain “just Jenna” and true to her values.

Despite her professional manner, friends said she is silly, and one of their favorite things to do together is to “veg out,” Wolfe said.

Students can watch Jenna Day compete in the Miss America pageant at 9 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15 on ABC.