W&M student to compete for Miss America crown

  • There she is ...
    There she is ...
    Rosemary Willis, a William & Mary student and the current Miss Virginia, will compete in the Miss America pageant on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • A visit from Miss Virginia
    A visit from Miss Virginia
    Rosemary Willis (center, standing), a William & Mary student and the current Miss Virginia, talks to some students on campus during her visit here in August 2012.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

A William & Mary student will compete for the Miss America crown on Saturday, Jan. 12.

Rosemary Willis in a W&M ad that appears in the Miss America Competition MagazineRosemary Willis will represent the Commonwealth in the competition as Miss Virginia. The event, which will take place at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, will air live on ABC at 9 p.m. EST.

On Friday morning, the Washington Post reported that "there's good buzz from pageant pundits about Miss Virginia Rosemary Willis, a William & Mary junior from Chesapeake."

A native of Chesapeake, Va., Willis was crowned Miss Virginia in July 2012. Her platform, "Get Moving Today for a Healthier Tomorrow," promotes exercise and physical activity as a way to improve one’s overall quality of life.

Willis, who is majoring in government and minoring in kinesiology, has taken the year off from her studies to fulfill her duties as Miss Virginia, travelling across the Commonwealth. However, she visited the campus in August 2012 to talk to students and tour groups and promote healthy living.

As a student at the College, Willis has taught exercise classes at the Student Recreation Center and performed as a member of The Accidentals, an a capella group.

Two years ago, another William & Mary student participated in a national pageant. Samatha Casey, a native of Jeffersonton, Va., competed in the 2010 Miss USA pageant after being crowned as Miss Virginia USA in 2009.

Also in 2009, William & Mary alumna Anna Perry '07, M.B.A. '11 competed in the Miss America competition as Miss South Carolina.