UD Student-Athlete Goes Off-Court to Earn ‘Miss Texas’ Crown
Former Miss Beaumont California Finds Bigger Stars in Texas
Date Published: Sept. 11, 2017
Huddled backstage in the Hilton Houston Post Oak Ballroom in early August, roughly
50 contestants dressed in formal evening gowns anxiously awaited the judges’ decision
in the 2017 Miss Texas pageant.
“We all had nerves; we were biting our nails off,” said Shelby Waldron, BA ’18, winner
of the 2017 National Elite Miss Texas. “This was one of my first pageants since Miss
Beaumont in 2013 and only my second Texas pageant.”
As a student-athlete at the University of Dallas, Waldron is no stranger to her position
of glamour at center stage. She entered her first Little Miss Beaumont pageant in
her California hometown at six years old; in 2012, she was named one of three princesses,
and the following year she won the title. “I entered the Miss Beaumont pageant because
it was an easy route for getting involved in my community and volunteering around
my town,” said Waldron. “These pageants are much more natural; there aren’t fake teeth
or hair extensions like you see on Toddlers & Tiaras. It’s not as glitzy.”
As Miss Beaumont, Waldron committed herself to completing thousands of volunteer hours
and appearing at local events around town with her fellow pageant queens. She also
started the nonprofit Shelby’s Locker, collecting gently used sports equipment and
re-distributing the equipment to area youth sports teams. “Eventually, I would like
to raise enough funds to sponsor high school senior athletes looking to go to college,”
An avid sports junkie, Waldron earned nine varsity letters at Beaumont High School
— in golf, basketball, softball and track, just to name a few. Following her Miss
Beaumont crowning, Waldron went on to represent both California and the United States,
earning a spot on the USA Basketball Team and competing at the United World Games
In 2014, Waldron shelved her dream of going on to win Miss California as she readied
herself for a cross-country move to Texas to begin studying psychology at the University
of Dallas, where she plays as a guard on the basketball team and also runs track.
Now in her senior year, Waldron hopes to find a happy medium between psychology and
her love of sports, one day becoming a sports psychologist.
After running alongside her track and field teammates last spring in the Hardin-Simmons
Invitational in Abilene, Texas, Waldron packed up her athletics gear to drive down
Interstate Highway 35 East and compete in the Miss Waco Pageant.
“My whole UD basketball team started texting and congratulating me after I’d won the
qualifier in Waco,” said Waldron. “Next summer, I’ll be back in Houston to compete
for the National Title!!”
Before competing for Miss Texas this past August, Waldron spent the summer with her
family back in California, preparing herself for another pageant, including how to
answer the judge's questions during the personal interview.
“Talking on stage is typically one of the scariest parts of the entire pageant,” she
added. “During Miss Texas, I was much less nervous, because I had from April to July
to get back in the pageant routine. I went in level-headed and with confidence,” she
The morning of the Miss Texas pageant, the judges grilled each contestant with a handful
of questions, including, “If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?”
Waldron simply responded: “Put some in savings, pay off my student loans and donate
the rest to charities.”
“UD has helped teach me how to think rather than what to think,” continued Waldron. “I’ve learned how to be more
confident in front of others presenting in class and participating in group discussions.”
Later that afternoon, as the judges announced this year’s Miss Texas queen, Waldron’s
phone started blowing up with social media alerts, text messages and phone calls from
friends and family. “My family back home and all my UD teammates were watching on
Facebook Live; they knew I’d won before I could even make an announcement.”
In early October, Waldron will ride alongside her fellow pageant queens and princesses
at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas as the 2017 National Elite Miss Texas. She plans
on sporting her Miss Texas crown at any opportunity she can, including at campus events.
“It was a long summer, but most importantly, I’m excited to be back at UD, finishing
my senior year of college. This is my Texas,” she said.