Miss South Carolina has been wearing the crown for 80 years. We are the largest provider of scholarships to young women in the State of South Carolina. Although the Miss South Carolina Scholarship Organization was established in 2010, the roots of the organization go back to 1937.
The Miss America Pageant was organized in 1921 by a group of Atlantic City merchants and civic leaders. The first Miss America Pageant was a spectacular two-day festival, culminating with a beachfront parade called the “Bather’s Revue.” The festival was to be a special event designed to extend the summer season by one week.
Today, Miss America and its 1,500 Local and State Pageants comprise the largest single source of scholarship funds available to young women in the world. An estimated 300,000 volunteers donate more than 6 million hours each year to local, state and national competitions. This unique organization provides scholarships at every level of competition.
South Carolina joined the Miss America pageant family in 1937, when a state franchise was awarded. The first Miss South Carolina to be crowned Miss America was Marian McKnight of Manning in 1957. Kim Aiken of Columbia was the second Miss South Carolina to win the national crown being named Miss America 1994.
In the early years, Myrtle Beach, a resort-oriented community similar to Atlantic City, conducted the Miss South Carolina competition at the Pavilion building near the Atlantic Ocean. In 1958, the Miss South Carolina organization elected to move the pageant from Myrtle Beach to Greenville. In the early 90’s, the pageant again relocated to Spartanburg.
The 80th Anniversary Pageant was held in the City of Columbia, the state capital. In 2011, over $200,000 in cash scholarships and millions in tuition scholarships were made available.
The Miss South Carolina Scholarship Organization operates within the guidelines of the Miss America Organization while stressing individuality, personal development, communication skills and physical fitness.