For the second year in a row, the winner of the Miss Quincy (Ill.) title has a Monmouth College connection.
Emma Hildebrand ’20 of Mendon, Ill., was crowned Miss Quincy at the city’s 72nd annual pageant on Jan. 4. Her title came a year after Monmouth graduate Jessica Fox ’17 received the honor.
Like Fox, Hildebrand was a multiple winner at the pageant, taking, as Fox did, the Platform Promise award for showing the most passion about her platform, which is focused on promoting civic knowledge and engagement throughout the community.
“With the help of the political science department at Monmouth College, I’ve been able to host pre-election informational events as well as start political groups on campus,” said Hildebrand, who has organized Monmouth’s Young Republicans group, as well as a non-partisan political discussion group. “My endeavors in Quincy and Adams County will be inspired by this great experience I’ve gained. I am partnering with State Sen. Jil Tracy to advocate for my initiative, host events and speak to groups around Quincy about the importance of a quality civic education.”
As part of her initiative, the political science major hopes to hold voter registration drives, help brief area residents on ballot content, and talk at schools to children of all ages.
“We are coming into an era when political polarization is at its height,” said Hildebrand, who spent the past summer in Washington, D.C., as an intern at the White House, working in the Office of Political Affairs. “Education has the power to bond people together and to bring our nation back to common ground.”
At the pageant, Hildebrand also wowed judges with her rendition of “For Good” from the Broadway musical Wicked.
“Nothing makes me happier than being able to serve my community, and I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to do so this year as Miss Quincy,” she said.
Fox was present at the pageant to hand over the crown.
“I want my successor to focus on impacting, influencing or informing the people they’re around,” Fox told Quincy television station WGEM. “People think the Miss Quincy scholarship pageant is all about beauty but, in reality, you get a $3,000 scholarship and thousands of dollars from community sponsors.”
In June, Hildebrand will compete against around 20 other titleholders at the Miss Illinois pageant in Marion, Ill. The winner of the Miss Illinois pageant will go on to compete for the title of Miss America.