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Officials at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) announced that Mrs. Melissa Dill-Behnke will be formally inducted into the NEO Fine Arts Hall of Fame on Friday, March 4, at 5:30 p.m. in the Charles Banks Wilson Art and Cultural Education Center in Kah-Ne Hall. All alumni and friends of the college are invited to attend. Dill-Behnke will join three other honorees: Ted Watts, Michael J. Barnes, and Susan Wright Mogilka.

After graduating from NEO, Dill-Behnke attended Oklahoma City University on theatrical and Miss America Pageant scholarships. While dancing on stage in a musical in Las Vegas, she was discovered by an international talent agent. In Dill-Behnke’s first international experience, she was one of four Americans chosen to perform in Tokyo’s The Crystal Room in Akasaka Mitsuke Prefecture. From there, she was selected to perform in the largest show in Asia and was invited to perform in the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Seoul World Olympics.

Dill-Behnke returned to America where she began her professional TV and film-acting career in Hollywood. She began work with Paramount Studios and worked on various films, as well as a dancing and acting in numerous TV commercials, sitcoms, and movies. Later she returned to Las Vegas and began singing at Treasure Island, dancing in Les Follies Bergere at the Tropicana Resort, and working as the featured actress, singer, and dancer in Copy Cats at the Sahara Hotel. Dill-Behnke also had the honor of working in an elite group of performers in New York and Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Today, Dill-Behnke is a much sought-after beauty pageant coach and judge throughout Italy, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and the United States. She has earned titles in the Miss America and Miss USA Organizations, as well as being a Mrs. Pageant winner herself at the state, national, and international levels. She is the CEO of her own global “Total Wellness” enterprise, partnered with Nikken. As a “Life Extension Specialist,” she creates international businesses and teaches others how to live abundant and healthy lives naturally and according to God’s plan. “I had the privilege of working with her in the voice studio and in the musicals Annie and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” said Mary Susan Whaley, NEO choir director. “There were great memories generated in those shows.”

To RSVP for the ceremony, please contact Jordan Adams, coordinator of public information and marketing at Jordan.m.adams@neo.edu or 918-540-6211. Following the ceremony, the NEO Fine Arts Department will perform “Legally Blonde: The Musical” at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and free with a valid NEO I.D.

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