The Miss Ohio Scholarship Program (aka the Miss Ohio pageant) selects the representative for the U.S. state of Ohio to compete for the title of Miss America. The pageant is held annually, during the "Miss Ohio Festival" week, at the historic 1,600 seat Renaissance Theatre (originally named the Ohio Theatre) in Mansfield.
Ohio representatives have won the Miss America pageant six times, joining California and Oklahoma as the only states with six crowns. Ohio is the only state to have a contestant who won the Miss America title twice:1922 Mary Katherine Campbell, Columbus
1923 Mary Katherine Campbell, Columbus
1938 Marilyn Meseke, Marion
1963 Jacquelyn Mayer, Sandusky
1972 Laurie Lea Schaefer, Bexley
1978 Susan Perkins, Middletown
When city representatives were common at the national pageant, Mary Katherine Campbell competed in Miss America Pageants as "Miss Columbus Ohio".
The Miss Ohio pageant played a significant role in the saving of the Ohio Theatre and its renovation into the Renaissance Theatre. Mansfield originally hosted the Miss Ohio Pageant at the old Ohio Theatre from 1959 through 1962. After Sandusky's Jacquelyn Mayer, Miss Ohio 1963, was crowned Miss America 1963, the Miss Ohio pageant was relocated to the Ballroom Pavilion at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky. In 1975, the pageant returned to Mansfield, first to Malabar High School Auditorium from 1975 through 1978, then to the Madison Theatre in 1979. In 1980, it was decided to televise the pageant. Because of inadequate stage depth and backstage space at the Madison Theatre, then pageant producer Denny Keller and pageant set designer Paul Gilger persuaded the Miss Ohio Board of Directors to move the pageant back to Mansfield's Ohio Theatre, reopening the facility and sprucing it up for the pageant's first televised broadcast. The pageant's return to the old Ohio Theatre was the initial event that eventually led to the total renovation of the theatre and its reincarnation into the Renaissance Theatre, the history of which can be read here. The Miss Ohio Scholarship Program has been held at the theatre continuously since 1980, for 35 years.