HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi welcomed new Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts to the Hattiesburg campus Saturday. Roberts knows it well because she just graduated from USM in May.
Roberts, who is also the reigning Miss University of Southern Mississippi, won the Miss Mississippi Pageant just two weeks ago.
She is the first Miss USM to be crowned Miss Mississippi since 1974.
Roberts, 22 of Mount Olive, signed autographs and posed for photos as the guest of honor at a reception at the Trent Lott Center.
In September, she will reprersent the state in the Miss America Pageant.
"It's kind of odd for me to think I'm going to be at Miss America after watching it on TV for years and years and so, to know there are so many at home and even in other parts of the state that are supporting me and sending good thoughts and prayers my direction is something that's so uplifting," Roberts said.
"She will continue to be a fine ambassador for USM and I hope that she'll continue to inspire young people across the state and across the region, not just little girls, but really, little girls and little boys to go after their dreams (and) to dream big," said Rodney Bennett, USM president.
The Miss America Pageant will be held the week of Sept. 13 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.