Campus News

‘UK at the Half’: Miss USA, UK Alum Elle Smith Thankful for Wildcat Community

Elle Smith
Elle Smith

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2022) — For this “UK at the Half,” University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information alumna Elle Smith discusses how thankful she is for her UK experience and connections that will undoubtedly help her successfully fulfill her role as Miss USA

Before being crowned Miss USA in November, Smith was a television news reporter in Louisville. Smith contributes much of her personal and professional success to her undergraduate experience at UK.

“I will always be proud to rep the University of Kentucky. I will be a Wildcat until the day I die,” Smith said. “The alumni group, the students I went to school with, the professors, everyone. We love our campus, and we love our community.”

The title of Miss USA comes with many responsibilities, but there is one in particular that Smith holds close to her heart. She will spend her year of reign advocating for education about cervical cancer prevention in honor of her beloved grandmother, who passed away from cervical cancer in 2015. Smith will work with the National Cervical Cancer Coalition for programming and is seeking advice from UK Markey Cancer Center experts about how best to use her title to raise awareness.

“UK at the Half” airs during halftime of each UK football and basketball game broadcast on radio and is hosted by UK Public Relations and Marketing. To hear the “UK at the Half” interview, click on the play button above. 

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.