Every November, the coronation of a new Lander queen occurs and a new reign begins. This year, Monica Louise Cleland was crowned Miss Lander University 2017.
“I am very excited! It took me about two days before it set in that I won, but I am thrilled to do my part in the community and represent Lander to my fullest,” exclaimed Cleland.
A Long Island, NY native and Greenville, SC local, Cleland is the daughter of Marshall and Barbara Cleland. She is also the sister of John Cleland and mother of two dogs, Bella and Pylet.
Cleland is a 21 year old, Spartanburg Methodist College graduate. Currently at Lander, She is a Senior, Mass Communications major/Public Relations minor and is set to graduate in Fall 2017. She possessed a 4.0GPA and has earned the following academic achievements: Fall 2015 Dean’s List, Spring 2016 President’s List, Transfer Student Leadership Award and Alpha Chi membership. Cleland is also a Presidential Ambassador, member of Bearcat Nation, Lander Club Baseball Treasurer and Technical Crew Member.
Cleland enjoys an active lifestyle. Her pastimes include: working out, hiking, camping, quality time with her friends and dogs, binge-watching Netflix shows, rock climbing, volunteering at Spartanburg Methodist College, filling out her bucket list and wedding videography.
“You cannot let a fear of failure, comparison or judgment stop you from doing what’s going to make you great.” -MLC
Cleland enjoys doing things that require her to leave her comfort zone as well as filling her bucket list with new additions. She noted that the entrance of the Miss Lander pageant was to add a beauty pageant to her list. “ I was not expecting to win, maybe win talent since I did static trapeze,” voiced Cleland. She went on to win much more than the talent category; she took home the crown. Cleland joins the ranks of first-time pageant participants turned Lander queens. She is the fourth.
“You don’t have to be fearless, just do not let fear stop you.” –MLC
Cleland deems her greatest accomplishment to be the acceptance of her learning disabilities and triumph over adversity. In second grade, she was diagnosed with auditory processing, reading comprehension and testing anxiety. Cleland and her parents believed standards needed not be lowered in order to achieve and attain success. Perseverance proved to be key along with help and encouragement. She strives to do whatever she puts her mind to and knows that she has made her parents proud.
During her reign as Miss Lander, Cleland seeks to leave her mark. “ I am hoping to create a greater legacy with the Miss Lander title,” she expressed. She would like to be in attendance of a large percentage of major campus events and different school functions. As she is new to the crown, Cleland admits that for now, she is still learning and will find more ways to leave her mark on Lander and cultivate a lasting legacy.
Winning the Miss Lander title qualifies Cleland to compete for the Miss South Carolina crown. She views pageantry as self-confidence building and aids in personal conduct from a young age. Cleland plans to invite a little girl to be her princess for the Miss South Carolina pageant and introduce her to the pageant world.
“I am honored to be representing Lander University and plan to help the community and volunteer in various ways as Miss Lander University,” proclaimed Cleland.
For serious inquiries please contact Monica L Cleland via email or through one of the various organizations in which she is a member.