Published on January 9, 2013 by Philip Poole  
Anna Laura Bryan

 Anna Laura Bryan, a 2012 Samford graduate, is competing this week in the Miss America 2013 pageant in Las Vegas. Bryan was selected as Miss Alabama last June.

This year’s pageant airs Saturday, Jan. 12, at 9 p.m. ET on the ABC television network.

One newer aspect of the pageant is online voting to help select the finalists. Viewers can vote through Thursday, Jan. 10, for their favorite contestant. Bryan’s video is the first listed on the video contest site.

It was announced earlier this week that Bryan is a finalist for the pageant’s Quality of Life award, which is presented to the contestant who demonstrated the strongest community service. The winner will be announced during Saturday night’s pageant.

Bryan is the latest in a long series of Samford alumnae who have served as Miss Alabama. Deidre Downs Gunn, a 2002 Samford graduate, was Miss America 2005.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.