Cait Light of Spring Hill, Arkansas, was crowned Miss Southern Arkansas University on March 2, 2019, and will compete in the 2019 Miss Arkansas Pageant June 8-16 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

While competing at the state level fulfills a lifelong dream of hers, Light said she will be proudest to represent SAU. Light, a sophomore Elementary Education major, said she always had SAU in mind as her college home. Her mother was also an Education major here.

“I love this campus,” Light said in a press release. “I’m a huge homebody, but as soon as I got here I felt welcomed by every single person, and I loved that. I joined Greek Life, became a President’s Ambassador, and it has opened so many doors for me.”

Her platform – “Let Your Imagination Soar, Read More” – is one that is very close to her heart. As Miss SAU, Light plans to emphasize the importance of reading.

“In my research, I learned that Arkansas ranks 41st in reading scores in the nation,” Light said. “We have the sixth highest poverty rate. There is one book in this state for every 300 children. Those statistics grabbed my attention and made me realize how much we need to be doing to help kids.”

In addition to reading, Light loves to sing. She performed “Unchained Melody” in the Miss SAU Pageant. The song received two unsolicited recommendations from her mother and her vocal coach. “It was so weird. I bought the movie Ghost because I’d never seen it, and my mom said she had just told my dad I should sing the most popular song from that movie because she’d heard it on ‘The Voice.’”

Light sang LeAnn Rimes’ version of the song. “She does a really high note, and I said, ‘I don’t know if that’s doable.’ But I tried it, and my vocal coach said, ‘That’s amazing.’ I kept working on it, and it became my favorite part of the song.”

She prepared for months in advance of the pageant. “I took vocal lessons every weekend, tried to eat healthier and exercise more. It was a lot of work, and it did not come easy,” she said.

Her passion for SAU Blue and Gold made it all worthwhile. “I love being here. I’ve had a wonderful experience. The faculty is so uplifting and kind. You’re not just another number to them, they really care, and that was the opposite of what I expected from my college experience.”

Cait Light Miss SAU 2019 - SAU

Light has earned the Top 10 Percent Scholarship, the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship, and the President’s Ambassador Scholarship. She will also receive a $5,000 scholarship as Miss SAU. Light also received the Lifestyle and Fitness Scholarship ($100) and the Service Above Self Scholarship ($200), for a total of $5,300 in pageant awards.

Winning the title of Miss SAU was an emotional experience. “I started shaking, I teared up. I realized that all the hard work was paying off, and I felt an overwhelming thankfulness and joy. I am still on Cloud Nine.”

She said friends, faculty and staff have been “so supportive. I’ve felt so loved by this entire community.”

Light looks forward to talking about the advantages of selecting SAU as a college home. “It’s a great option,” she said. “It’s a place where anybody can fit in. There is an organization for every single person, and I think anyone who comes here would agree.”