RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — Lauren Murphy of Vilonia is one of 23 students who has registered as a contestant in the 59th annual Miss Arkansas Tech University Scholarship Pageant.

Miss Murphy is the daughter of Gretchen Jaco and James Murphy. She will twirl baton to the tune of "Smooth Criminal" during the talent portion of the competition. Lauren’s critical issue is "The Ultimate Gift of Life: Organ and Tissue Donation." She is sponsored by Tech Sweethearts and Alpha Sigma Tau.

The pageant will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, at Witherspoon Auditorium on the Arkansas Tech campus. Admission will be $8 for adults, $5 for minors and free with a current and valid Arkansas Tech identification card.

Miss Arkansas 2013 Amy Crain of Hot Springs will provide entertainment and Miss Tech 2013 Kristen Hayes of Ozark will crown her successor.

The event is sponsored by the ladies of Delta Zeta. Dr. Jim Collins, professor of horticulture at Arkansas Tech, serves as pageant executive director and master of ceremonies.

The Miss Tech Pageant is an official preliminary to the Miss America Pageant, and the winner will compete in the 2014 Miss Arkansas Pageant.

Contestants in the Miss Arkansas Tech University Scholarship Pageant must be full-time female Tech students between the ages of 17 and 24.

The new Miss Tech will receive a two-semester tuition scholarship at Arkansas Tech. In all, more than $25,000 in gifts and scholarships will be awarded during the pageant.

Also scheduled to perform at the 2014 Miss Tech Pageant are Q Street Jazz, an ensemble from the Arkansas Tech Department of Music; and Claire Hodgson of Russellville, Miss Tech 2012 and a three-time qualifier for Miss Arkansas.