Annual beard and mustache face-off at UAA

Participants line up to be judged at last year’s Beard and ‘Stache Competition. (Photos by Crystal Garrison)

Since the dawn of humanity, facial hair has adorned powerful leaders and intellectuals. To celebrate this heritage, the Student Union is holding the 3rd annual Beard and ‘Stache competition next month.

“You can expect a lot of beards. … Uaually they’re a grizzly beard,” said SU Student Manager Elyse Bowler.

The grizzly beard category is the most popu- lar out of seven classifications which also include

chops, mustache, partial beard, freestyle, baby beard and ladies’ fake beard and mustache.

The competition was first held in 2010. The showcase gained popularity the following year, and as many as nine beardsmen took part in any given category.

Noting a lack of facial hair showcases at the university, UAA alumna Sarena Hackenmiller orga- nized the first event.

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“She knows all the people from the Southcentral Beard and Mustache Club,” said Bowler.

The club was founded in 2003 to extend the Mr. Fur Face competition at the Miner’s and Trapper’s Ball into a year-round exhibition. The club currently has 56 members.

One member of the club, Doug Renfro, took home 1st place in last year’s competition. He will serve as a judge at next month’s event.

Many hopeful competitors meander around the campus. One such hopeful is computer science sophomore Buster Newsham.

“I’m too lazy to shave it off,” says Newsham, who has a chin curtain beard dressing his face.

“But I prefer a small beard,” he said.

Why have a Beard and ‘Stache competition at all?

“It was one of (Hackenmiller’s) passions. … It was already in Anchorage, but she brought it to UAA,” said Bowler. She hopes for up to nine competitors in any given category this year.

“I’m hoping it will get bigger and better,” said Bowler.

The 3rd annual Beard and ‘Stache competition is free for student competitors and $10 for non-students. The event is Feb. 27 in the Student Union. Competitors arrive at 6 p.m and the event begins at 7 p.m. Register to compete at the Student Union Information Desk or online at http://www.