The reigning Miss USA 2012, Nana Meriwether, simply glowed at last night’s Miss USA Pageant where she passed on the crown to her successor, Erin Brady, Miss Connecticut USA, of Hartford, Connecticut. The statuesque beauty appeared to take her final walk wearing a stunning mermaid-style red gown with a plunging neckline.
Before taking her final walk, Nana chatted with pageant co-host Giuliana Rancic, who serves as co-anchor of “E! News” when she is not officiating royal events. She was asked to elaborate upon her rather high-end family heritage, which includes her mother who is a doctor, and her father who was the first African-America to attend Duke University. He also appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1971 for his athletic prowess.
Nana attended the high brow Sidwell Friends School … yes the Alma mater of countless Presidential children, from the Roosevelt and Nixon offspring, to Chelsea Clinton, Al Gore’s son, Malia and Sasha Obama, and Vice President Biden’s grandchildren.
She also discussed the Meriwether Foundation, which she founded support charitable outreach around the world after watching her parents’ nearly decade of volunteer medical service in Southern Africa. Her foundation sponsors outreach to communities in five African countries – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique – focusing on AIDS/HIV orphanages, education, and rural medical clinics.
Meriwether had placed as first runner-up at last year’s Miss USA pageant, where she competed as Miss Maryland in a close run for the crown. She was edged out for that coveted title by Miss Rhode Island USA, Olivia Culpo, who won the Miss USA crown, but went on to be named Miss Universe 2013 later in the summer. When Culpo assumed the duties of Miss Universe, Meriwether was crowned Miss USA 2012 and completed the responsibilities of the title for the remainder of the year. After transferring to UCLA, she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in political science with a focus on international relations.