Student to compete in Miss USA pageant

Samantha Casey, a student majoring in marketing at William & Mary, will compete in the 2010 Miss USA pageant this weekend. The competition will be broadcast live on NBC at 7 p.m. EST May 16.

A native of Jeffersonton, Va., Casey was crowned Miss Virginia USA 2010 in November 2009.

Samantha Casey"I am so excited and happy, and I feel so honored to be representing the State of Virginia," Casey said after her win last year. "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 is travelling 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 and a semester off to train and prepare for the Miss USA pageant. Casey said she hopes to return to William & Mary in fall 2010.

Though she was away from campus last 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 thanked 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."