Miss USA Gretchen Polhemus (1989)

Disclaimer: The following was transcribed from an article in the Capper Foundation Archives, published by the Topeka Capital-Journal. The choice of words used at the time this was written may not reflect current Capper Foundation inclusive language and views.

Miss USA Gretchen Polhemus (1989)

Miss USA Gretchen Polhemus will be in Topeka Saturday to sign autographs at JC Penny’s West Ridge Mall.

A city medallion will be presented by Topeka Mayor Doug Wright at 11 am Saturday at Penny’s and autograph sessions are planned at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm. A $1 donation will be requested for her photograph and autograph with all proceeds to go to the Capper Foundation for Crippled Children.

The new Miss USA is the fifth Texan in a row to win the crown. Polhemus will represent the United States in the 1989 Miss Universe Pageant in Cancun, Mexico, on May 23.

Polhemus plans to continue her work with children.

“As Miss Texas USA, I have had the opportunity to speak with young people in many parts of the country about societal issues, peer pressure, their goals and how to achieve them. As Miss USA 1989, I have an extraordinary opportunity to continue to reach young people all over the country,” she said.

What she hopes to bring to her reign is “To epitomize the ultimate contemporary business woman and act as a goodwill ambassador throughout the United States and the world.

“I’ve already learned so much and met the most interesting and kind people, and I know the coming year will be an invaluable and unforgettable experience for me.”

Polhemus is a graduate of the Real Estate Career College and is a former student of Texas Tech University where she studied mass communications.

Until winning the title, Polhemus worked as a horse and cattle broker and real estate agent in Fort Worth, where she also bred and sold cattle dogs.

After her reign as Miss USA ends, Polhemus plans to return to her brokerage and real estate career. She would like to combine her expertise in the livestock industry with her interest in the entertainment field to create a television program which would go behind the scenes and explore the lives of cowboys, cowgirls and cattle investors.

Polhemus also hopes to marry and raise a family. “My experience in the brokerage business has taught me the realities of the business world, but at the same time, I have learned to deeply appreciate the loving support of my family and to realize the importance of balancing one’s personal and professional lives.

Polhemus also competes in rodeos, particularly in the team roping, team penning and cutting horse events. She also enjoys scuba diving, snow skiing, hunting, fishing and wild game cooking.