Congratulations to Miss America Katie Stam!

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University of Indianapolis senior Katie Stam was crowned Miss America 2009 on Saturday. She is the first Hoosier to claim the title in the pageant’s 88-year history.

Stam, 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.

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.”

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 Saturday night on TLC. The judges announced the other 11 finalists during the live event at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. As Miss America, she claims a $50,000 scholarship and will spend the next year traveling and making public appearances.