Miss Alcorn reflects on title, memories made

From scholar athlete to university royalty, Vicksburg native Cortni Cooper has taken a nontraditional route to the crown.

When Cooper started at Alcorn State University in 2011, the former basketball player said she had no intentions of becoming Miss Alcorn State University.

“It’s not something I wanted to do initially, but it’s something I believe was ordained to do,” she said. “I know I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without God, and I feel like this was my purpose.”

Cooper said she is a people person, which helps her succeed in her current capacity.

“To be Miss Alcorn you have to carry that trait, and that’s something that I actually have naturally,” she said. “That made the transition from the basketball court to the royal court easier.”

Being Miss Alcorn State University is all about encouraging people, Cooper said.

“I want to see my peers and my superiors succeed,” she said. “Just to serve my peers and my student body is an honor in itself.”

Cooper said as Miss Alcorn State University she is a representative for the university.

“I’m the bridge between the faculty and staff and the students, and I serve as a voice for the students,” she said. “It’s a great honor to be a voice for not only the student body but for the university.”

Cooper said her favorite memory of being Miss Alcorn State University was at the My Life Matters event at Vicksburg High School.

The event was about reconnecting the community and empowering the youth, Cooper said.

“We were able to pour into the youth,” she said. “The youth are our future.”

Cooper said her motto and platform as Miss Alcorn State University comes from a Bible verse.

“I believe through faith, love and unity anything is possible,” she said. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Love, God is love, which keeps us together in unity. Where there is unity, there is power and strength. There is unity in family.”

Cooper’s mother, Dr. Arlen Cooper, said her daughter has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

“It’s an honor and privilege for her to be honored with that title,” she said. “She has worked very hard and taken the title very seriously. She’s got a heart for Alcorn and the students.”

Dr. Cooper said her daughter has put a focus on giving back to the community she came from, including donating money to a women’s shelter in Vicksburg.

“She has been an ideal daughter,” she said. “She’s very spiritual and very strong in her faith.”

Cooper moved from Vicksburg to Clinton her junior year of high school, and she graduated from Clinton High School in 2011.

Cooper is currently a member of the chemistry fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma; Mortar Board Honor’s Society; Golden Key International Honour Society; Pre Professional Program; Alcorn State University’s Honor Society; Presidential Scholars; and Chosen Generation Ministry.

Cooper will graduate from Alcorn State University in May with a Bachelor of Science in biology, and she will begin the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Arkansas State University this fall.

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