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Anna McDaniel crowned Miss WCU 2017

Anna McDaniel was crowned Miss William Carey University on Jan. 20. McDaniel is a freshman from Toomsuba and is the daughter of Brad McDaniel and Lisa McDaniel. She is majoring in mass communication with a minor in public relations. She is a member of Carey Chorale and Carey Company and works at Common Grounds, the coffee shop on campus. McDaniel said she enjoys singing at events, especially for the Jimmy Rodgers Foundation in Meridian. 
 
Her platform for the Miss WCU pageant was Lovebags for Foster Kids, which helps foster children transition into their new home or location. Each child receives a duffel bag filled with needed items such as a toothbrush and hairbrush and comfort items such as a stuffed animal, a Bible, and a journal. “It is definitely a growing need that I see, and I am very passionate about addressing this need and helping these children,” she said.
 
McDaniel said she has made many new friends by participating in the Miss WCU pageant and encourages other students to participate next year. 
 
“I feel extremely honored to have received the privilege of being crowned Miss WCU 2017 and am looking forward to what this year holds.” McDaniel will go on to compete in the Miss Mississippi pageant on June 21 in Vicksburg.
 
McDaniel was crowned the night before an EF3 tornado tore through the William Carey campus in the early morning hours of Jan. 21. She had returned home following the pageant, so she was not in her dorm when the storm hit. She said early that morning she began getting texts from friends about the damage to the campus.
 
“I am absolutely heartbroken that our beautiful campus was so wounded by the tornado, but I am also extremely thankful that no one was fatally injured,” she said. “I love seeing how we are all pulling together in the recovery effort and have all become even closer as fellow Crusaders. I know that God has a sovereign plan and has already positively impacted the world through this showing of His greatness. We have all been given a massive opportunity to show how we Crusaders shine for Christ even through times of trouble. To God be the glory!”
 
Following the tornado, McDaniel’s new platform is Carey Cares as she assists with tornado recovery efforts. She has spoken in churches and raised more than $1,600. 
 
Emma Rogers of Pensacola, Florida, was selected as first alternate in the Miss WCU pageant, and Hattie Zukas of Phoenix, Arizona, was second alternate.
 
Rita Maria Griffis of Hattiesburg received the Amy E. Allen award for the highest GPA.
 
Emma Rogers received the Virginia Scott Spirit Award. The pageant contestants select this recipient of this award, which is named in memory of Virginia Scott who directed the Miss Carey Pageant from 1972 until 1985.
 
Kennedi Sanders of Columbus received the evening gown award; Katelyn Perry of Gulfport received the talent award; and Mary Margaret Hyer of Hattiesburg received the interview award.
 
Other pageant winners crowned that evening were Miss Southern Magnolia, Mary Margaret Hyer of Hattiesburg; Miss Pearl River Valley, Katelyn Perry of Gulfport; and Miss Pine Belt, Lizzy Wicks of Ocean Springs.
 
Posted Feb. 22, 2017
Caption: 
Anna McDaniel (center) was crowned Miss William Carey University on Jan. 20. Pictured with her are Emma Rogers, first alternate (left) and Hattie Zukas, second alternate.