Katie Stam
Katie Stam's involvement with UIndy campus TV, scholarship and focus on community service helped her achieve the 2009 Miss America pageant title.

INDIANAPOLIS (UIndy) - University of Indianapolis senior Katie Stam was crowned Miss America 2009 on Jan.24 in Las Vegas. She is the first Hoosier to claim the title in the pageant's 88-year history.

Stam, a Missouri Synod Lutheran, daughter of Keith and Tracy Stam of Seymour, is a senior communication major and an honor roll student at UIndy. She battled illness during the week but still drew applause for her vocal rendition of "Via Dolorosa" during the evening's talent competition.

"That's the Katie Stam we know," said UIndy TV General Manager Scott Uecker, in an interview with WTHR Channel 13. "She's always - on stage and on camera - been one that brings her 'A game' and she certainly showed that last night.

Her pageant platform issue is community service, reflecting her work as a volunteer and a leader of campus service projects. UIndy's motto is "Education for Service."

"She's very deserving," Uecker said. "We're just looking forward to what great things she'll do as Miss America."

Stam was among four pageant contestants who were voted into the finals by viewers of "Miss America: Countdown to the Crown," a cable TV miniseries that led up to the live finals broadcast Jan. 24 on TLC. As Miss America, she claims a $50,000 scholarship and will spend the next year traveling and making public appearances.