Miss Arkansas
Miss America
Key people
Jessie Ward Bennett (executive director)

The Miss Arkansas competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the state of Arkansas in the Miss America pageant. Arkansas has won the Miss America title three times (1964, 1982, 2017).

Whitney Williams of Fayetteville was crowned Miss Arkansas 2021 on June 19, 2021 at Robinson Center Auditorium in Little Rock, Arkansas. She will compete for the title of Miss America 2022 in December 2021.

Gallery of past titleholders

Results summary

The following is a visual summary of the past results of Miss Arkansas titleholders at the national Miss America pageants/competitions. The year in parentheses indicates the year of the national competition during which a placement and/or award was garnered, not the year attached to the contestant's state title.



Preliminary awards

Non-finalist awards

Other awards


Year Name Hometown Age Local Title Miss America Talent Placement at Miss America Special scholarships at Miss America Notes
2021 Whitney Williams[1] Fayetteville Miss University of Arkansas TBA TBA
2019–20[a] Darynne Dahlem[2][3] Greenwood 22 Miss Apple Blossom Vocal, "Somewhere" from West Side Story STEM Scholarship Award Finalist[4]
2018 Claudia Raffo[5] Jonesboro 22 Miss Historic Batesville Jazz Dance, "That's Life" Quality of Life Award[6]
2017 Maggie Benton[7] 22 Miss Greater Jonesboro Vocal, "The Music of the Night"
2016 Savannah Skidmore[8] Calico Rock 21 Miss University of Arkansas Vocal N/A 1st runner-up at Miss Arkansas 2016 pageant[9]

Assumed the title after Shields was named Miss America 2017[8][10]

Later Miss Arkansas USA 2019[11]
Top 5 at Miss USA 2019 pageant[12]
Savvy Shields[9] Fayetteville 21 Miss Heart of the Ozarks Jazz Dance, "They Just Keep Moving the Line" Winner[13][14] Preliminary Talent Award Previously Miss Arkansas' Outstanding Teen 2009[15]
2015 Loren McDaniel Van Buren 22 Miss Northwest Arkansas Vocal, "Bring Him Home" from Les Misérables Top 15
2014 Ashton Campbell[16] Hindsville 20 Miss Ouachita River Vocal, "Via Dolorosa" 2nd runner-up[17] Charles & Theresa Brown Scholarship[18] Previously Miss Arkansas' Outstanding Teen 2011[19]
2013 Amy Crain Hot Springs 23 Miss Diamond Lakes Contemporary Clogging, "Game Time" Top 15 4th runner-up at National Sweetheart 2010 pageant
2012 Sloane Roberts[20] Rison 19 Miss Heart of the Ozarks A cappella Tap Dance Miss Congeniality Previously Miss Arkansas' Outstanding Teen 2008[21]
2nd runner-up at Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2008 pageant[22]
2011 Kristen Glover Stuttgart 22 Miss Ouachita Baptist University Tap Dance, "Piano Sonata No. 11" Quality of Life Award Finalist
2010 Alyse Eady[23] Fort Smith 22 Miss South Central Arkansas Ventriloquism / Vocal, "I Want to be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" 1st runner-up[24] Previously Miss Teen Arkansas 2004[25]
2009 Sarah Slocum Sheridan 23 Miss Ouachita River Vocal, "The Prayer" Top 15 America's Choice
2008 Ashlen Batson Newark 21 Miss Spirit of Arkansas Flute, Medley from Carmen Top 12
2007 Katie Bailey Conway 25 Miss South Arkansas Vocal, "Feeling Good" Top 16
2006 Amber Bennett[26] Carlisle 23 Miss Central Arkansas Vocal, "Come Rain or Come Shine"
2005 Eudora Mosby Hazen 23 Miss Central Arkansas Vocal, "Dream In Color" Top 10
2004 Lacy Fleming Hampton 22 Miss Ouachita Baptist University Vocal, "Last Dance" 3rd runner-up
2003 Whitney Kirk Cabot 22 Miss Three Rivers Vocal / Dance, "All That Jazz" Non-finalist Interview Award Contestant at National Sweetheart 2000 pageant
2002 Lauren Davidson El Dorado 20 Miss White River Vocal, "It's Time" Preliminary Lifestyle & Fitness Award
2001 Jessie Ward Prescott 21 Miss Texarkana Tap Dance, Michael Jackson Medley Top 10 Current Executive Director of the Miss Arkansas organization[27]
2000 Sara Harris Forrest City 20 Miss Delta Vocal, "Unchained Melody"
1999 Brandy Rhodes Hot Springs 22 Miss Lake Dardanelle Original Tap Dance, "American Rhapsody" Top 10
1998 Erin Wheatley Little Rock 22 Miss White River Vocal / Tap Dance, "I Got Rhythm" Top 10
1997 Stacy Freeman Sheridan 22 Miss White River Tap Dance, "Sing, Sing, Sing" Previously Miss Arkansas Teen USA 1992
1996 Melonie McGarrah Rogers 22 Vocal, "I Will Always Love You"
1995 Paula Montgomery Cabot 22 Miss Greater Little Rock Vocal, "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" 2nd runner-up Previously Miss Arkansas Teen USA 1991

Mother of Miss Arkansas' Outstanding Teen 2017, Aubrey Reed[28]
1994 Beth Anne Rankin Magnolia 23 Miss Diamond Lakes Piano Non-finalist Talent Award
1993 Nicole Bethmann Rogers 24 Miss Diamond Lakes Vocal, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" Top 10
1992 Shannon Boy Alma 21 Miss Diamond Lakes Flute, Theme from Star Wars
1991 Heather Hunnicutt Fayetteville 22 Miss Northwest Arkansas Vocal, "Born To Be Blue" Daughter of Claudette Smith, Miss Arkansas 1960
1990 Karissa Rushing Benton 24 Miss White River Vocal, "With a Song In My Heart"
1989 Marci Lewallen Dardanelle 22 Miss Arkansas Valley Vocal / Banjo, "Boogie Woogie Banjo Blues"
1988 Patti Thorn Hot Springs 23 Miss Diamond Lakes Vocal, "Love Is Where You Find It" Non-finalist Talent Award
1987 Carole Lawson Paragould 21 Miss University of Arkansas Flute / Piccolo, Medley from Carmen Previously National Sweetheart 1986
1986 Julie Russell Fort Smith 22 Miss Lake Dardanelle Classical Piano with Narration Top 10
1985 Christi Taunton Camden 20 Miss Camden Popular Vocal, "Remembering" Dr. David B. Allman Medical Scholarship
1984 Lisa Stevens Arkadelphia 22 Miss Ouachita Baptist University Flute, "Sabre Dance" Non-finalist Talent Award
1983 Regina Hopper Springdale 24 Miss Northwest Arkansas Popular Vocal, "You're Gonna Hear From Me" Non-finalist Talent Award Elected to the Miss America Board of Directors[citation needed]
1982 Mary Stuart Little Rock 20 Miss White River Vocal / Broadway Jazz Dance, "The Birth of the Blues" Top 10 Later cast as Frannie Hughes on As the World Turns from 1990 to 1993[citation needed]
1981 Micki Petrus Hazen Miss University of Central Arkansas N/A 2nd runner-up at Miss Arkansas 1981 pageant
Assumed the title after Ward became Miss America 1982
Grace Elizabeth Ward Russellville 20 Miss White River Vocal, "After You've Gone" Winner[29] Preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness Award Previously National Sweetheart 1980[29]

Infamously had short-lived affair with President Bill Clinton in 1998[30][31]
1980 Lencola Sullivan Morrilton 22 Miss White River Blues Vocal, "St. Louis Blues" 4th runner-up Preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness Award First African-American contestant to place as a runner-up at a Miss America pageant[citation needed]
1979 Janet Holman North Little Rock 22 Miss University of Arkansas Vocal, "Somewhere"
1978 Naylene Vuurens Searcy 20 Miss Diamond Lakes Piano, "Etude in G Minor"
1977 Bunnie Holbert Stuttgart 20 Miss White River Vocal, "Feelings" Non-finalist Talent Award

Preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness Award
1976 Joyce McCormack Little Rock 21 Ballet en Pointe, "Polonaise" Non-finalist Talent Award
1975 Paula Roach Jonesboro 20 Miss Jonesboro Piano, Theme from Summer of '42 Preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness Award
1974 Rhonda Pope Hot Springs 21 Miss Hot Springs Vocal Medley, "Friends" & "With a Little Help from My Friends" Miss Congeniality (tie)
1973 Becky Hume Jonesboro 23 Miss Osceola Free Floor Exercise & Balance Beam Routine
1972 Debbye Hazelwood Magnolia 20 Miss Southern State College Piano, Warsaw Concerto
1971 Marilyn Morgan Clarksville 20 Miss Clarksville Popular Vocal, "Something" Non-finalist Talent Award
1970 Donna Connelly Hope 19 Miss State College of Arkansas Vocal Medley, "Who Will Buy" from Oliver! & "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" Top 10
1969 Marilyn Allen North Little Rock 20 Miss North Little Rock Acrobatic Ballet, Theme from Exodus
1968 Helen Gennings Batesville 20 Miss Ouachita Baptist University Popular Vocal, "What the World Needs Now Is Love" & "Love Makes the World Go Round"
1967 Sharon Evans North Little Rock 20 Miss Ouachita Baptist University Vocal / Dance, "Mame" from Mame Miss Congeniality (tie)

Preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness Award
1966 Mary Craig Batesville 18 Miss Batesville Vocal / Dancing
1965 Nita Vanhook Newport 20 Miss Newport N/A Finished 2nd Runner-Up at Miss Arkansas 1965. She assumed title after Oglesby resigned
Rhonda Oglesby Pine Bluff 19 Miss University of Arkansas Popular Vocal Resigned after holding the title for three months[32][33]
1964 Karen Carlson Fayetteville 20 Miss University of Arkansas Vocal, "As Long As He Needs Me" from Oliver! 1st runner-up Ex-wife of David Soul[citation needed]
1963 Pam Jackson North Little Rock Miss North Little Rock N/A Assumed the title after Axum became Miss America 1964
Donna Axum El Dorado 21 Miss El Dorado Vocal Medley, "Quando me'n vo'" & "I Love Paris" Winner[34] Preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness Award
1962 Edye Addington Texarkana 19 Miss Arkansas State Teachers' College Vocal Medley, "When I Fall In Love" & "This Can't Be Love"
1961 Frances Anderson Pine Bluff 19 Miss Pine Bluff Vocal, "I Enjoy Being a Girl" 1st runner-up Preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness Award
1960 Claudette Smith Star City 18 Miss Pine Bluff Vocal Mother of Heather Hunnicut, Miss Arkansas 1991
1959 Suzanne Jackson North Little Rock 19 Miss University of Arkansas Vocal Medley from The King and I
1958 Sally Miller Pine Bluff Miss Pine Bluff Classical Vocal, "Caro Nome" from Rigoletto Top 10
1957 Suzanne Scudder Hot Springs Miss University of Arkansas Vocal
1956 Barbara Banks Little Rock Interpretive Ballet, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue Preliminary Talent Award
1955 Charlene Bowers Helena Vocal, "I Want To Be Evil"
1954 Sarah Martin Little Rock Classical Vocal
1953 Helen Reed Fayetteville Tap Dance
1952 Bonnie Nicksic Hot Springs Vocal / Dance, "Life Upon the Wicked Stage" from Show Boat
1951 Charlotte Simmen Little Rock Vocal & Art Exhibition 3rd runner-up Preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness Award
1950 Mary Jennings Hot Springs Classical Vocal, "Un Bel Di" from Madame Butterfly 3rd runner-up Preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness Award Was a featured soprano with the New York City Opera

Judged the Miss America 1989 and 1991 pageants[citation needed]
1949 Barbara Brothers Little Rock Painting Display & Poetry Recitation, "Old Black Joe" & "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy" Top 15
1948 Van Louis McDaniel Forrest City Monologue, "Spartan Parents"
1947 Pam Camp Little Rock Sketching
1946 Rebecca McCall Blytheville Vocal, "Put the Blame on Mame" 1st runner-up Preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness Award
1945 Leslie Hampton Lake Village Vocal, "My Man"
1944 Mineola Graham Brinkley
1943 Dorris Love Jonesboro Dramatic Reading, "Letter to a Soldier" Top 10
No Arkansas representative at Miss America pageant[35]
1941 Ferol Amelia Dumas Magnolia
1940 Betty Benson Forrest City
1939 Jean Thompson Helena
1938 Lorene Bailey Jonesboro Piano, "Dinah"
No Arkansas representative at Miss America pageant[36][37][38]
No national pageant was held[39]
1933 Vivian Ferguson 20 N/A Disqualified for being married
1932 Nina Ruth Hudson Harrison 14 No national pageant was held[39]
No national pageants were held[39]
No Arkansas representative at Miss America pageant[40][41][42][43][44][45][46]
  1. ^ Titleholder extended to a second full year in 2020 after state and national pageants postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic


  1. ^ "Miss U of A Whitney Williams crowned Miss Arkansas 2021". KATV. June 19, 2021. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "Miss Arkansas 2020 postponed". 5 News Online. May 8, 2020.
  3. ^ "Miss Apple Blossom Darynne Dahlem crowned Miss Arkansas 2019". KATV News. June 15, 2019.
  4. ^ Brunetti, Michelle (December 14, 2019). "Miss America scholarships finalists to be interviewed in public at Mohegan Sun". Press of Atlantic City.
  5. ^ Wilson, Kristen (June 16, 2018). "Miss Historic Batesville Claudia Raffo crowned Miss Arkansas 2018". KATV News.
  6. ^ "Claudia Raffo competes in Miss America". KAIT 8 News. September 9, 2018.
  7. ^ "Miss Greater Jonesboro, Maggie Benton, crowned Miss Arkansas 2017". KTHV 11. June 17, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "New Miss Arkansas named after Shields wins Miss America". Arkansas Online. 12 September 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Savvy Shields of Fayetteville crowned Miss Arkansas 2016". Washington Times. 10 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Calico Rock graduate reigning Miss Arkansas".
  11. ^ Christman, Jennifer (November 25, 2018). "PAPER TRAILS: Former Miss Arkansas wins Miss Arkansas USA crown". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
  12. ^ Liles, Scott (May 3, 2019). "Skidmore one of five Miss USA finalists". Baxter Bulletin.
  13. ^ "Savvy Shields from Arkansas Crowned Miss America 2017". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Miss America 2017 is: Miss Arkansas Savvy Shields". USATODAY. September 11, 2016.
  15. ^ "Shields crowned Miss Arkansas' Outstanding Teen". Log Cabin Democrat. 29 June 2009.
  16. ^ "Ashton Campbell of Hindsville Miss Arkansas for 2014". Magnolia Reporter. June 22, 2014.
  17. ^ "A threepeat: Miss New York Kira Kazantsev crowned Miss America". CNN. September 15, 2014.
  18. ^ "2015 Miss America Pageant Scholarship Winners". Miss America. Archived from the original on August 18, 2015.
  19. ^ "Miss Arkansas – Ashton Campbell". September 14, 2014. Ashton served as Miss Arkansas' Outstanding Teen 2011...
  20. ^ Buffalo, Rose Mary (July 16, 2012). "Sloane Roberts wins the title of Miss Arkansas 2012".
  21. ^ Franco, Cheree (July 18, 2012). "Musing over Miss Arkansas". Arkansas Times.
  22. ^ "Next in Line for Greatness". Pageantry Magazine. August 20, 2008.
  23. ^ "Alyse Eady selected as new Miss Arkansas". Magnolia Reporter. July 17, 2010.
  24. ^ "She's just 17! Nebraskan wins Miss America pageant". TODAY. Archived from the original on 2011-01-19.
  25. ^ Henderson, Trennis. "2010 Ouachita grad Alyse Eady named 1st runner-up to Miss America". Ouachita Baptist University News.
  26. ^ Buffalo, Rose Mary (July 1, 2006). "Carlisle's Amber Bennett named Miss Arkansas".
  27. ^ "Contact". Retrieved May 2, 2011.
  28. ^ Rolf, Carol (June 22, 2017). "Russellville teen wins state pageant". Arkansas Online.
  29. ^ a b "Miss Arkansas Named Miss America of 1982". The New York Times. September 13, 1981.
  30. ^ Kennedy, Helen (February 8, 2000). "She hitched her star to a wagon for the love of Bill, Hillary put her goals on hold and move to Ark. stick". New York Daily News.[permanent dead link]
  31. ^ Cleary, Tom (December 13, 2016). "Bill Clinton Sex Allegations: 17 Claims of Rape & Affairs". Heavy.com.
  32. ^ Ware, Hames (July 13, 2009). "Rhonda Lee Oglesby Coullet (1945–)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved July 23, 2010.
  33. ^ "RTheater : Playhouse offers "Runaway" hit". The Martha's Vineyard Times.
  34. ^ "Arkansas' first Miss America, Donna Axum Whitworth, passes away". Magnolia Reporter. November 5, 2018.
  35. ^ "1942 Candidates". Miss America.
  36. ^ "1937 Candidates". Miss America.
  37. ^ "1936 Candidates". Miss America.
  38. ^ "1935 Candidates". Miss America.
  39. ^ a b c "Miss America Timeline: 1901–1950". PBS.
  40. ^ "1927 Candidates". Miss America.
  41. ^ "1926 Candidates". Miss America.
  42. ^ "1925 Candidates". Miss America.
  43. ^ "1924 Candidates". Miss America.
  44. ^ "1923 Candidates". Miss America.
  45. ^ "1922 Candidates". Miss America.
  46. ^ "1921 Candidates". Miss America.