Anders crowned Mr. ULM 2022 at 4th annual pageant

After serving only seven months as Mr. ULM due to COVID, Ryan Peterson passed down his crown at the fourth annual Mister ULM pageant last Saturday. 

Jared Anders, a P3 doctor of pharmacy student from Central was crowned as the new Mr. ULM. Until last week, Anders had never competed in a pageant before. 

“Personally, competing in the Mr. ULM competition forced me to step out of my comfort zone and walk into the unknown,” Anders said. “I hope that my win inspires others to take that leap of faith toward becoming the best version of themselves.”

Anders competed alongside three other contestants—Hollis Walker, Phillip Vu and Tristan Sonnier. 

Contestant number two, Phillip Vu, has competed in the past three Mr. ULM pageants because he feels it’s a great way to express his love for the university and its students. 

“Although it’s unfortunate the results weren’t what I hoped for […] competing in Mr. ULM has really been a joy for me,” Vu said. 

Vu’s efforts paid off as he won first runner-up which comes with a $200 cash scholarship.    

Even though Vu did not win Mr. ULM, he plans to continue working on his social impact initiative, which is taking action on sexual assault. 

“I’m doing what I can to spread awareness and speak up for those who can’t,” Vu said. “I might try to do something on a smaller scale now if I can find a sponsor because in the end for me I just want to keep our university and community safe.”

Social impact is a major part of the Mr. ULM pageant because each candidate has an initiative that they wish to educate the university and community on during their time as Mr. ULM. 

Anders’ initiative is affordable medicine for all. As a future pharmacist, this is something near and dear to Anders’ heart. 

“The title of Mr. ULM gives me the resources and opportunities needed to raise awareness about the unfortunate reality of patients not being able to afford their medications,” Anders said. “The title provides a platform for me to share personal experiences […] educate our community about the health disparities in our state and raise awareness for charitable clinics.” 

On top of his social impact initiative, Anders has other goals he hopes to achieve during his year of service.  

One of Anders’ main goals is to bridge the gap between pharmacy students and the university. 

“I want to provide an inside look at the lives of pharmacy students so that we are no longer strangers,” Anders said. “[The College of Pharmacy] is an island and we need to be a peninsula.”

Anders has the needed support to accomplish his goals from current students, faculty, the community and former Mr. ULM, Ryan Peterson.  

Even though Peterson couldn’t be at the competition due to National Guard obligations, he knew whoever was crowned Mr. ULM would be a man of integrity, confidence and humbleness. 

Peterson had some words of advice for Anders as he comes into his position as Mr. ULM. 

First, he told Anders to be a man of impact, and second, he encouraged Anders to not let the position go to his head. 

“Elegant words are nice, bold actions are even better, but a combination of both lead to a memorable impact,” Peterson said. “This position elevates you above no one and if anything, lowers you before all. Mr. ULM is a symbol of service and not of arrogance.”