Get to know Miss UNA 2019: Keely Templeton

Get to know Miss UNA 2019: Keely Templeton

Keely Templeton stood on stage surrounded by nine other women when her name was called and the audience inside Norton Auditorium erupted. She had just been crowned Miss UNA 2019.

Templeton is a Junior at UNA from Danville, Alabama. This was her second year competing in Miss UNA after taking a year off in 2018 while she was Miss Birmingham. It has been three months since the Miss UNA pageant and although Templeton is still getting used to the title, she says it is something she has been ready for.

“I worked really hard,” Templeton said. “But I also got to know all the other contestants because we’re together all week and I knew they could all represent UNA really well. When I won both talent and swimsuit it was really exciting. But when it was time for Miss UNA and I heard my name being called it was just a blur. I was so excited.”

Templeton’s journey to get here has involved years of training, a speech impediment and learning to get out of her comfort zone.

“I grew up doing gymnastics so I was in a gym all the time,” Templeton said. “But I was so shy growing up that I couldn’t even order my own food at restaurants. I think it started because I had a childhood speech impediment so people couldn’t really understand me. I took four years of speech but even then I was super shy. That was the main reason my mom wanted me to do pageants. You can’t be shy trying to do interviews and talking in front of people.”

Templeton said being put in pageant programs is what really helped her get out of her comfort zone and talk to people. She said it has been useful in other areas, like coming to UNA.

“Being in pageants helped me so much,” Templeton said. Even when I got to college I don’t think I would have been as involved on campus because I probably would have been too nervous to apply and interview for things.”

Templeton’s experiences helped her get involved at UNA as she has been part of the Roar dance team, Freshman Forum, University Program Council, Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and Lagrange Society. She was also just recently named a recruitment counselor for fall 2019 and is a nursing student.

When she is not in clinicals or giving university tours, Templeton takes time out of her week to complete office hours as Miss UNA.

“Each week I spend a few hours in Student Engagement working on things for Miss Alabama or planning events. It is helpful because I think if I didn’t have that set time on campus it would be hard for me to find the moments to really sit down and plan my Miss UNA things.”

Some of Templeton’s plans include her philanthropy work. Templeton’s own platform is Soles4Souls, an organization collecting new and gently used shoes and clothing for the purpose of distributing them to areas in need. She also does work for the Miss Alabama platform, Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

Every year Miss UNA competes in the Miss Alabama pageant to represent the university. As Miss Birmingham 2018, this will not be Templeton’s first time at the pageant.

“Miss Alabama is always so exciting,” Templeton said. “Since I went last year, I made a lot of friends during the week and that’s honestly one of the best parts, the friendships you create. Being able to reconnect with them and girls from all over the state is going to be so fun.”

Templeton said being Miss UNA has already meant so much to her. So far she has been part of events including Step Sing, Light the Fountain, Little Miss Trojan in Muscle Shoals and more. She is also excited to return to UNA during the summer months to meet new students at Soar sessions.

Templeton is working on more Miss UNA plans for summer and the fall semesters. Until then she is enjoying all her opportunities as well as being able to meet and connect with students, professors and others in the community.

“My ultimate goal was always to be Miss UNA because I feel like there’s no bigger honor than being able to represent your University. Now that I am Miss UNA my goal is to let people know that you have to step out of your comfort zone sometimes because if you have a dream you really can accomplish it.”