Chattanooga’s Stephanie Culberson Representing Tennessee At Miss USA

Thursday, April 1, 2004 - by Wendy King
Stephanie Culberson is at left. Click to enlarge.
Stephanie Culberson is at left. Click to enlarge.
- photo by Copyright 2004 Miss Universe LLP

Stephanie Culberson is in Los Angeles trying to get a job with a Donald Trump owned organization.

The 24-year-old Chattanooga resident isn’t a last minute candidate on the monster hit reality series “The Apprentice” starring the aforementioned Trump, but she is hoping to get hired over 50 other women for the job of Miss USA 2004.

The Lee University graduate who currently works as a healthcare representative for the local Pfizer office will attempt to become only the second Tennesseean to wear the Miss USA crown when the finals are televised from the Kodak Theatre on April 12th from 9-11pm on NBC (WRCB TV 3 locally). In 2000, Columbia’s Lynnette Cole was the first from the state to win the coveted title.

Culberson is no stranger to the national pageant spotlight. In 2001, just over a week after the events of September 11th, she was second runner-up at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City and won $36,000 in scholarships. Numerous pageant experts have already tabbed Culberson as one of the favorites to win USA due to her success in Atlantic City, which also included preliminary wins in swimsuit and poise, two of the major criteria in determining the new Miss USA.

Should Culberson emerge victorious in Los Angeles, she would represent the USA at May’s Miss Universe Pageant in Quito, Ecuador.

After relinquishing her Miss Tennessee (America) title in 2002, Culberson, who has had a 4.0 grade point average since third grade, graduated from Lee with degrees in Business and Piano Performance along with a cavalcade of honors. She was named the recipient of the prestigious F.J. Lee Award which is presented to the school’s most outstanding student, was awarded several scholarships and was the president of the Sigma Nu Sigma social service club and of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society.

She became the reigning Miss Tennessee USA in October in the annual pageant held in Clarksville succeeding Cleveland’s Beth Hood who in a strange twist also preceded Culberson as Miss Tennessee America. Hood finished at 4th runner-up at the 2003 Miss USA competition.

Culberson is the daughter of the Reverend Barry and Dottie Culberson of Knoxville.

A special Miss USA episode of the popular NBC series “Fear Factor” will air prior to the pageant telecast and although producers are trying to keep the identities of the contestants a secret, rumor has it that Culberson is one of the six ladies featured on the show.

Tune in on April 12th to find out.



New Hamilton County Marriage Licenses

Here are the new marriage licenses from the County Clerk's office: WILLIAM CLAYTON BATEY                             AMBER JILL WHITE 5000 ST ELMO AVENUE                               8621 HORSESHOE BEND LANE CHATTANOOGA, TN 37409 ... (click for more)

Tennessee National Guard Prepared If Need Arises During Eclipse

From Clarksville to Athens, Tennessee is at the epicenter of next week’s eclipse. With the eclipse comes thousands of visitors, and the Tennessee National Guard is well prepared. Guard Soldiers and Airmen will work with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency to support local and state authorities as needed.  "This is part of the Guard’s dual mission, we not only fight ... (click for more)

Coolidge Park Crowd Gets Twilight, Cricket Chirping As Solar Eclipse Arrives

A crowd at Coolidge Park and the nearby Walnut Street Bridge got twilight and cricket chirping as the heralded solar eclipse finally arrived at mid-afternoon Monday. As the moon moved across the sun around 2:30 p.m., birds quit chirping and began to roost. Crickets started going full force. Lights on the Market Street Bridge began to flicker on. The event, sponsored by Comcast, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Airport President Gets New Contract Amid Double-Digit Growth, Improvements

Chattanooga Airport President Terry Hart has been given a six-year extension on his contract amid double-digit passenger increases and a host of airport improvements. There is no increase in his $158,377 pay, but the board plans to put in annual performance reviews with some built-in bonuses. Jim Hall, vice chairman of the Airport Board, said it is also important that the ... (click for more)

Tom Decosimo: My Great-Great-Grandparents Are Buried At The Confederate Cemetery - And Response

To Mayor Berke, I cannot add any more to the very fine comments made in opposition to your empty jester to remove the city as a trustee of the Confederate Cemetery. I can, however, add some personal perspective as my great-great-grandparents are buried there. Penelope McDermott Cooke was a Daughter of the Confederacy and was concerned the remains of the Confederates who ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Writing From Bragg Avenue

Far and away, my favorite comment on destroying statues appeared on my Facebook page the other day and, believe it or not, it was the clear-minded Times Free Press Sports Editor Stephen Hargis who penned, “This statue offends me! It must be torn down!” Underneath his fiery words, the long-suffered UT football fan posted a picture of the bronze monument outside of Bryant-Denny stadium ... (click for more)