Miss America honors milestone for Vicksburg

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On Saturday night, before the crowning of the 2017 Miss Mississippi, an award was presented to the Miss Mississippi Corp.

Miss America CEO, Sam Haskell III, along with Miss America Savvy Shield, presented an award showing appreciation of Vicksburg’s 60th anniversary of hosting the pageant.

“It means a lot to me to be here in Vicksburg for this big anniversary,” Haskell said.

In an interview prior to the presentation, Haskell, who is an Amory native and former executive vice president and worldwide head of the venerable William Morris Agency, said he remembered being in Vicksburg and attending the Miss Mississippi Pageant when his wife, the former Mary Donnelly, was crowned Miss Mississippi.

“Mary was crowned Miss Mississippi when we were dating at Ole Miss, so I remember all of us being here 40 years ago to support her,” he said.

Hakskell first became involved in the pageant world, he said, when he volunteered to sing in the chorus when the Miss Mississippi Pageant still had a live orchestra.

“I loved every bit about what the Miss Mississippi Pageant represented,” Haskell said, which eventually led him to becoming the local director of the Miss University Pageant.

It was during his tenure as the director of the Miss University Pageant that Donnelly was crowned the winner, and then went on to win the state title.

“All of this then found us at the Miss America Pageant,” Haskell said, which inevitably helped prepare him for the job with the Miss America Organization, he said.

It was after a long and storied career in Los Angeles with the William Morris Agency, Haskell said, that he was asked to take on the leadership role of the Miss America Pageant.

“I said I would do it one year and now that one year has become 12,” he said.

Under Haskell’s leadership, the Miss America Organization has been rebranded in an effort to gain the position the organization holds, which includes being the number one provider of scholarships for women in the world.

“We give almost $6 million away at the local, state and national level. This is something unprecedented and something I am proud of,” Haskell said, adding he is proud his home state is one of the best programs in the system.

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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