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. 

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.