It’s normal to see Mallory Gilliland on the field during halftime at Auburn games with the rest of the Auburn University Danceline, but at Homecoming on Nov. 3, she’ll be on the field for a different reason.
Gilliland, a senior in Hotel and Restaurant Management and captain of the Auburn University Danceline, is one of the top five nominees for the 2012 Miss Homecoming.
The Concordia, Kan., native was nominated by the Diamond Dolls and went through two rounds of interviews to become a Miss Homecoming candidate.
“A couple of my friends approached me and asked if I’d be interested and I said that I would,” said Gilliland. “There were 40 candidates originally and I went through the interviews with all of them and made it through to the top 20. Then I had another interview with five faculty members and the SGA president and they selected their top five.”
Each candidate has a platform that they help raise awareness for throughout their campaign, and Gilliland is especially passionate about the one she has chosen.
“I chose Multiple Sclerosis because my mom was diagnosed with it when I was in 5th grade, so it’s had a huge impact on my life and it’s something I feel like not a lot of people know about,” said Gilliland. “There’s no cure right now, you can only get worse once you’re diagnosed, so it’s something I’m really passionate about.”
Gilliland is also an active member of the Auburn campus community, and participates in many organizations on campus, both within and outside of her major.
“My main organization that I spend most of my time with is the Danceline with the Auburn University Marching Band,” said Gilliland. “I’m also involved in several different honor societies.”
The Hospitality Honor Society counts Gilliland as a member, as well as the Hotel and Restaurant Management Student Advisory Board. The Board works with faculty within the major to help improve the curriculum for the program.
The 2009 Kansas Junior Miss winner was able to come to Auburn on a four-year full tuition scholarship and started out in Radio, Television and Film.
“I thought I wanted to be a TV anchor someday…but I decided that wasn’t really for me,” said Gilliland. “I did a lot of different personality tests and decided that I kind of wanted to go toward event planning. Hotel and Restaurant Management was one of the majors listed.”
Gilliland is honored to be one of the top five and is looking forward to Nov. 3.
“We’re planning a campaign and doing all of that and it’ll be up to the students to decide who wins.”