Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2002-11-19

Leslie Cooper of Birmingham was crowned Miss Samford University Friday evening (NOV. 15). A junior journalism/mass communication major, she is the daughter of John and Rhonda Cooper and a graduate of Vestavia Hills High School. Her pageant platform was BackPACK-Promoting Awareness and Compassion in Kids. She performed ballet en pointe in the talent competition.

Finalists were: Rachel Mitchell of Bowling Green, Ky., first runner up; Jennifer Murdock of Birmingham, second runner up; and Amanda Robinson of Foley, third runner up.

In preliminary competitions, Cooper won the lifestyle, fitness and swimsuit category. Robinson won the talent category.

Cooper will compete as Miss Samford in the Miss Alabama pageant in June.

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.