Miss Mississippi honored by city, downtown

Published 9:37 am Monday, November 2, 2015

Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts, center, talks with supporters Sunday afternoon during an event held in her honor at The Bluffs of Vicksburg. During the event, Roberts shared her experiences from the recent Miss America pageant, where she was named first runner-up. (Terri Cowart Frazier/The Vicksburg Post)

Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts, center, talks with supporters Sunday afternoon during an event held in her honor at The Bluffs of Vicksburg. During the event, Roberts shared her experiences from the recent Miss America pageant, where she was named first runner-up. (Terri Cowart Frazier/The Vicksburg Post)

Making it to the talent phase of the competition and having the chance to play her violin on a national stage was the personal goal 2015 Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts said she had set for herself at the Miss America Pageant, but Roberts exceeded her dream and was named first runner-up to Miss America.

On Sunday, to honor Robert’s achievements the City of Vicksburg along with downtown businesses hosted Backstage with Hannah Roberts at The Bluff of Vicksburg on Washington Street.

Robert’s was presented with a plaque from Mayor George Flaggs, in recognition of her accomplishments at the Miss America Pageant, which was followed by the state titleholder sharing her experiences while participating in the events leading up to and during the national competition.

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“One of the things I was most nervous about was just meeting and getting along with the 51 other women for two weeks. That’s a pretty big thing to think about. Are these Girls going to be nice or are they not going to be nice, because everyone at Miss Mississippi is nice,” Roberts said.

Fortunately, all of the women were kind, and Roberts said she even made some lasting friendships with some of the other contestants.

While there was time for Roberts to make new friends at the Miss America Pageant, sleeping was another story.

“The week and a half before Miss America got started was a very exhausting time. It was a lot of fun, and I got to do so many fun things, but we were usually going to bed at two in the morning and getting up at about four or five. I averaged about three and a half to four and half hours of sleep a night. It is not a lot to run on, so I was running on coffee and Flintstone vitamins,” Roberts laughed.

Two of Roberts’ highlights during her time at the Miss America Pageant she said included an appearance on the “Good Morning America” TV show and traveling to Philadelphia and participating in a private tour of the Liberty Bell.

“This was an awesome awesome experience. It was a very neat opportunity to be able to be that close to the bell and take pictures and meet the mayor of Philadelphia,” Roberts said.

She added that it was also a neat experience to see contestant’s reactions to the east coast.

“There were several girls who had never seen a beach before who were landlocked from the Midwest. Those girls had never seen the ocean, so that was very nice to get to watch their reactions. We take that for granted since we have our very own coastline in Mississippi,” she said.

Roberts confessed as the competition phase of the Miss America Pageant began she was nervous.

“On Monday afternoon I had the most important and most difficult interview of my entire life. I stood in front of six judges and answered 31 questions in about 9 and half minutes with questions ranging from your favorite color to your favorite song to what should we do about ISIS,” Roberts said.

Roberts said the arduous interview definitely prepared her for her medical school interview.

The final night of the competition was a surreal moment that Roberts said she scarcely remembers.

“I really don’t remember a whole lot of Sunday night, which is odd to say. I think it was a huge blur of emotions combined with adrenaline combined with being very very nervous,” she said.

Roberts said she does however remember seeing her mother waving to her from the audience before she performed in the talent phase of the competition.

“During the talent competition out on the left side of the stage these big waving hands catch my eye. It’s my mother going absolutely berserk during a commercial break,” Roberts said.

Roberts was the ninth contestant out of 10 to be called to perform their talent at the Miss America Pageant and with her goal reached everything else during the competition was “icing on the cake” she said.

“That is what I wanted to do. I wanted to play the violin on that stage,” she said.

Roberts is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, where she majored in biochemistry.

She has deferred her first year of medical school at the University of Mississippi to fulfill her obligations as the reigning Miss Mississippi.

Along with being named first runner-up to Miss America, Roberts was also named as a Quality of Life finalist and a STEM winner and was awarded $30,500 in scholarships, which will pay for her medical school education.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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