Samantha Casey crowned Miss Virginia USA

Samantha Casey, a senior majoring in marketing at William & Mary, was crowned Miss Virginia USA 2010 this weekend, according to the pageant's Web site.

A native of Jeffersonton, Va., Casey will compete in the Miss USA pageant on May 16, 2010. The competition will be broadcast live on NBC.

Samantha Casey"I am so excited and happy, and I feel so honored to be representing the State of Virginia," said Casey. "I worked really hard to be both mentally and physically prepared and am very much looking forward to competing and representing Virginia on NBC April 18th at Miss USA."

During her year as Miss Virginia USA, Casey will travel around Virginia and the United States to promote the Miss Virginia USA pageant and her platform, Love146, which is an organization to prevent child sex trafficking. The cause is something that Casey is "very passionate about," she said.

Casey took the current semester off to prepare for the Miss Virginia USA pageant. Now that she has been awarded the crown, she plans on taking the next semester off, as well, to train and prepare for the Miss USA pageant. Casey said she hopes to return to William & Mary next fall.

Though she was away from campus this semester, Casey said that the William & Mary community was very supportive as she prepared to compete in the Miss Virginia USA pageant.

"William & Mary has been incredible throughout my preparations to compete," she said. "The support that the community has shown me has truly been remarkable and I am so touched by it. Even professors have been Facebooking and e-mailing me!"

Casey said she'd like to thank everyone at the College for their role in helping her earn the title of Miss Virginia USA.

"Thank you all so much for the incredible support and kindness you have shown me," she said. "Your words of encouragement have been inspiring, and I hope I make all of you at William & Mary proud at Miss USA."