July 24, 2016 – Mary Elizabeth Stringer donned a crown and Miss Hospitality sash as she held a bouquet of flowers and waved to the crowd at the Saenger Theater in downtown Hattiesburg.
Stringer of Starkville won the title during the 67th annual pageant, which wrapped up Saturday night.
“I’m so excited to represent the state of Mississippi this year,” she told the Hattiesburg American. “Mississippi is so special to me, and I know I’m going to have such an amazing year representing and visiting the state from the tip top to the Gulf Coast.”
Stringer is a senior at Mississippi State University, where she is studying kinesiology. She plans to become a physician’s assistant specializing in pediatrics. She has served on the executive council of her sorority, Phi Mu, and is involved in the Student Association. She is currently serving her second term as a College of Education ambassador.
First runner-up was Lydia Myers of Laurel. This year’s top 10 also included:
- Mary Margaret Hyer of Hattiesburg
- Taylor Tucker of Jackson
- Lindsay Wallace of Lauderdale County
- Hanna Lester of Magee
- Libby Li of Neshoba County
- Isabella Moak of Oxford
- Emily Cockrell of Panola County
- Mollie Pitts of Petal.
Twenty-seven contestants from around the state spent the week in Hattiesburg, taking to the Saenger stage Friday and Saturday for competition.
After Friday night’s preliminary round, the judges on Saturday narrowed the field to 10 and then to the final five.
Miss Hospitality represents the state through the Mississippi Development Authority and makes appearances throughout the state during her reign.
This year marks the 19th year the pageant has called Hattiesburg home, after beginning in 1949 on the Gulf Coast, then moving to Starkville for 12 years.
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