Community Activity



Queen Alalah LXXVI


Having been raised in Arkansas City, Elisha Swope has taken part in numerous Arkalalah parades and has attended the event since she was a small child. However, this year she will be even more involved as she is one of the five finalists for Queen Alalah LXXVI.

Crowning will take place at 8 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Robert Brown Theatre on Cowley’s Arkansas City campus.

Swope never really hoped to be a finalist for Queen Alalah, wish would be a better word to describe it.

“This is because those five beautiful women on that float seemed like such a distant hope,” Swope said. “I never in the world imagined that I would one day be one of those girls. It was always a wish to be in their ‘heels’ one day, and I am so honored and excited that I have that opportunity.”

Swope, a 2006 graduate of Arkansas City High School, is the daughter of Russell Swope and Teressa Hatfield. Step-parents are, Jan Hatfield and Rhonda Swope.

The sophomore music major at Cowley has two brothers, Erik 21, and Brigg 17, and two sisters, Taylor Hatfield 15, and Bevin 14. Grandparents are, Jim and Pat Gardner of Arkansas City, and Donna and Frank Swope of Ponca City, Oklahoma.
At Cowley, Swope is involved in Choir, CC Singers, is a Student Ambassador and the Vice President of Service for Phi Theta Kappa. She also works as a teller at Union State Bank in Arkansas City.
Despite all of her responsibilities, she can’t wait to be a part of the Arkalalah festivities.
“I love being busy all the time and this is so wonderful that I get to be busy with four other great girls,” Swope said. “I am very excited for all of the Arkalalah festivities and being a Queen candidate will enhance my experience this year.”

Swope was raised around music and learned how to sing from her mother, Teressa, who used to sing in church.

“She passed her love of music to me and I thank her for that since music is such a big part of my life,” Swope said. “She has always encouraged me to make the right decisions and always put my full effort into anything I do. I know that she will always be there whenever I need her.”

Swope hopes to one day teach music theory in a classroom setting and considers Arkansas City High School music instructor Shannon Gackstatter as another key figure in her life.

“She has always had faith in me and pushed me to help reach my full potential,” Swope said. “She may not know it, but she has been a tremendous influence in my life and she will always be a part of my love for music.”

Swope is looking forward to her extended family coming home for the Arkalalah festivities.
“All of my family comes home and it’s just a great time,” Swope said. “Saturday is my favorite day with the parade and everything.

After spending the first year of her college career with her nose buried in the books, Swope still takes pride in her studies but has also tried to make time to enjoy the college “social” experience.

“This year has been great, I have been able to branch out and meet a lot of new people,” Swope said. “It has also opened a lot of doors for opportunity. Cowley has been wonderful.”