UW-Madison student represents state as Miss Wisconsin USA

October 8, 2014 By Jane Roberts

Photo: Haley Laundrie

UW-Madison junior Haley Laundrie (left) acknowledges the crowd at the Miss Wisconsin USA pageant in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Sept. 7. Laundrie will represent her state during the Miss USA competition this coming year.

Photo: Future Productions LLC

At first glance, UW–Madison junior Haley Laundrie may seem like your typical college student.

The 20-year-old from Lake Mills, Wisconsin, studies communication arts and legal studies; works with the Wisconsin Business World program, an initiative that familiarizes high school students with business practices; and volunteers for UW-Madison’s chapter of Best Buddies, which connects students with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Outside of the classroom, however, Laundrie represents the state as Miss Wisconsin USA.

“I was in utter disbelief,” says Laundrie about her win this September. “I was thrilled. My whole family was thrilled.”

Miss Wisconsin USA is the state qualifying pageant competition for Miss USA, in which Laundrie will participate this coming year. The winner of that pageant will go on to represent the United States in the Miss Universe Competition.

“I’m really excited to meet all of the titleholders of the other states because I know they’re all going to be just fantastic people,” says Laundrie. “I’m really excited to just share the experience with my family especially.”

“I think (pageants) teach so much more than just outer beauty, which can be a big stereotype.”

Haley Laundrie

Laundrie first began competing in pageants when she was a freshman in high school and says they’ve helped her become more confident and develop valuable skills, like public speaking and interviewing.

“I think they teach so much more than just outer beauty, which can be a big stereotype,” says Laundrie.

As a titleholder, Laundrie travels around the state making appearances at events like the Cranberry Festival in Warrens and the Autumn Festival in Jefferson. She will also appear in the UW-Madison Homecoming parade on Oct. 24.

“People can go onto the Miss Wisconsin USA website to request appearances,” says Laundrie. “I actually have one almost every week up until October something or another.”

While it’s a big time commitment, she says the key to success is balance.

After graduation, Laundrie hopes to pursue a career in public relations and eventually go to law school.