Nia Franklin, 2015 alumna, wins Miss America
Nia Franklin, a Winston-Salem native and East Carolina University music composition graduate, was crowned Miss America on Sunday night.
Franklin is the 92nd Miss America and the first winner to compete without the controversial swimsuit segment.
Representing New York, Franklin ran on a platform advocating for the arts and sang a selection from the opera “La Boheme” during the talent portion.
“For the Miss America Organization, I will bring my zeal for music and performance, and be a strong support for arts in education,” Franklin said in her contestant bio.
ECU music professor Ed Jacobs taught Franklin and said she was a joy to work with as well as smart, creative and talented.
“She was always helpful and encouraging with her colleagues, and eager to join forces with other composers and performers in pursuit of ambitious projects. Her senior recital was one such project, a very successful chamber opera which brought together voices and instruments in a wonderful production,” he said.
After ECU, she earned a master’s degree in music composition from UNC School of the Arts. As the crowned winner, Franklin will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and will be the new face of the Miss America Organization.
“I just want to thank God for this, it took a lot of perseverance to get here,” she told reporters shortly after winning. She also thanked her family and especially her father, who is a survivor of cancer.