Watson Chronicle


Student Opportunities and Student News

WCE Senior Crowned UNCW’s Miss Black and Gold

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Thomasina Fonville was crowned Miss Black and Gold 2015-16 in the pageant hosted annually by UNCW’s Omicron Theta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. The event was held in Kenan Auditorium on Oct. 17.

Miss Black and Gold is a national pageant system created by the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity to showcase the scholarship, talent and beauty of undergraduate women. Contestants are judged on their appearance and poise, their GPA and interviews with judges before the event.

Fonville, a Watson College senior majoring in special education with a minor in applied behavioral analysis, said she entered the competition “to push myself beyond my comfort zone.”

She said she has great respect for Alpha Phi Alpha’s mission and commitment to promoting academic excellence, leadership development and community service.

“The objectives of the fraternity, which include preparing individuals for the greatest usefulness in the causes of humanity, freedom and dignity of the individual, fit perfectly with my own everyday vision and goals for individuals with disabilities,” she said.

Originally from New Bern, North Carolina, Fonville earned an Associate of Arts degree from Craven Community College before transferring to UNCW in the spring of 2014. Her passion for advocating for children and adults with disabilities dates back to high school, when she chose to conduct research and assist students with autism as her senior project.

Fonville is a Watson Student Leader and vice president for the Student Council for Exceptional Children. She volunteers at many local community organizations including The Gathering Place, Miracle League and Special Olympics and chose as her platform for the Miss Black and Gold competition, “There’s a plan, purpose and value to every life, no matter the disability.”

Terri Collins, WCE assistant professor of special education, said Fonville is one of the top students in the SPED program. “Thomasina is dedicated and passionate about her work with children. She is an excellent representative of the Watson College, and I am pleased to have worked with her during her time here,” she said.

As UNCW’s Miss Black and Gold, Fonville raised $580 for the March of Dimes, the philanthropy of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. She represented UNCW at the regional Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant held at the Carolina Theatre in Durham on Oct. 31, where she won the highest fundraising award. 

“Thomasina is passionate, kind, and sincere, and she is a brilliant member of the Watson Student Leaders,” said Amy Rottmann, WCE director of Student Engagement and Recruitment. “I am so proud of her, not only for winning UNCW’s Miss Black and Gold, but for all the funds she raised to support the March of Dimes.”

Fonville said she enjoyed the pageant competition and would like to develop a talent show that gives individuals with disabilities an opportunity to showcase their gifts and abilities. “Participating in the Miss Black and Gold pageant gave me a stronger sense of self-confidence,” she said. “I think participating in events like this could help others grow too.”