It’s not every day royalty can be found on the campus of Fairmont State University. But since the fall semester began, Fairmont State has been home to its very own queen, Miss West Virginia United States, Katelyn Hollar.
Hollar began competing in pageants during her junior year of high school. A Clarksburg native, Hollar liked that this event benefited Toys for Tots. She entered and was crowned Miss Snowflake. At that point the pageant bug bit her and she began competing in many different pageants.
After years of competing, Hollar found herself in an emotionally abusive relationship that gutted her and left her seeking her authentic self. “I was at my lowest and I was determined to find what I had lost, which was myself. I decided that picking up my pageant heels was the way forward. During my preparation for Miss West Virginia United States, I became a better and healthier person overall. I had a goal I was working toward and I wasn’t going to let anything step in the way. I started working out regularly, watching my diet, staying informed on current events and building my confidence.”
Having not competed since 2014, Hollar had some fears to overcome and training to do. But she knew that she had what it took to win the Miss West Virginia United State title and that is what she set her mind on.
Hollar accomplished her goal and on March 18 she was crowned 2017 Miss West Virginia United States. “When I heard my name called all I could think about was how blessed and excited I was to be given this opportunity. As I was being crowned it was like every piece of me I thought I had lost or couldn’t find, finally made its way back and I was whole and finally myself again. A crown will not complete you but it gives you a sense of accomplishment.”
With her crown in place, Hollar quickly began her work as Miss West Virginia. She traveled around the state, helped mentor younger pageant participants, and helped spread awareness for her charity, Cancer R&R, which focuses on reducing and recognizing all types of cancer.
“Some of my favorite things about being a state titleholder are being able to travel those country roads, promoting the Miss West Virginia United States organization, the United States National Pageants and all that this organization has to offer for women.”
After Hollar competed in the national pageant this summer in Orlando, FL, she finally had a moment to focus on what her fall plans were and those included Fairmont State. “My journey to Fairmont State actually started directly after my senior year in high school in 2012. I enrolled as a pre-dentistry major and quickly found out that wasn't my cup of tea.”
After taking a few years off, Hollar was ready to return to the Falcon family. “Going back to school was a great decision and enrolling in the school of business was an even better one. I thrive in my business classes and truly feel 100% supported by the faculty and staff.”
On the campus where she now calls home, Hollar will spend her last day as Miss West Virginia United States this Saturday, as she prepares to crown her successor. “Being crowned Miss WV United States meant more to me than some shiny new hat. What was very important to me was being able to travel across the state and give back to our people. Every new face I met during my travels across the state welcomed me with open arms and treated me as true royalty. I will forever be thankful for this amazing opportunity and this will be a year I will never forget.”
The Miss West Virginia United States 2018 pageant is being held 6:00 p.m. March 31st in the Fairmont State University Falcon Center.