7 (Southern) Things To Know About The New Miss America

1.  She’s a Southern gal!

Betty Cantrell, the new Miss America, is a native of Warner Robins, Georgia.  According to her bio, she grew up on 700 acres of land, managed for wildlife.  She’s described it as, “a small house out in the country with a television that doesn’t have cable.”


2. She’s not afraid to get dirty.

She was quoted in The Telegraph (Macon, GA) as saying her father taught her how to hunt: “I always went hunting with him when I was little, so I learned to skin a rabbit, clean a deer, all those great things that every girl should know.”


3. She is also a Bear… a Mercer Bear!

Betty is a student at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia- although she put her studies on hold to serve as Miss Georgia and now as Miss America. You may remember Mercer from their stunning basketball victory over Duke University in the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. And the following dance from Kevin Canevari:

4. She’s all about healthy kids.

Betty’s platform is “Healthy Children, Strong America.” We agree!  At an appearance as Miss Georgia this summer, she asked kids to eat well and do jumping jacks when they are watching television as part of her healthy living initiative.

5. She is only the second Miss America from Georgia.

The first was Neva Jane Langley Fickling, who won the title in 1953. Mrs. Fickling was also a Middle Georgia resident, having transferred to Wesleyan College in Macon as a college sophomore.  Mrs. Fickling played the piano for her talent and lived in Macon for her entire life.  In fact, the main concert hall in the McCorkle Music Building at Mercer University bears the name of Mrs. Fickling.  That’s a place where Betty has performed in her studies at Mercer as a vocal performance major.

6. She’s inspired by her aunt, Dodie Cantrell, the former general manager of a television station in Macon.

According to her state bio page, Betty says her aunt, “has a very successful career in broadcast journalism, as an author and anything else she sets her mind to.  She inspires me to work hard and never give up on my dreams, no matter how far fetched they may seem.”

7.  She’s an Andy Griffith aficionado.

Need we say anything else?



Featured image via @MissAmericaOrg Twitter account.


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