Beauty and Brains: Cambridge Goes Glitz

This past weekend Miss Boston 2011 was crowned. MIT senior Dianna Leilani Cowern competed, though she lost out to Sara Carlisle.  The coveted crown was placed on Ms. Carlisle’s head by the reigning Miss Massachusetts 2010, Loren Galler Rabinowitz, who also graduated from Harvard in 2010.
Ms. Galler Rabinowitz was second runner-up in last year’s Miss Boston pageant (the first runner-up also had a Cambridge connection, as she is a student at Harvard’s Divinity School).  But she went on to win a different preliminary pageant, Miss Collegiate Area, and then the Miss Massachusetts title. So Ms. Cowern still has a chance to help Cambridge sustain its presence in the Miss America program this year.
Over the past decade Cambridge, but Harvard in particular, has emerged as a site of beauty pageant winners. Who would have thought? But with the scholarships available through the Miss America Pageant, and the rising cost of higher education, pairing brains and beauty has never made more sense.
I’ve been able to identify the following Harvard-MIT Miss America contestants (only those who have made it to the national pageant in Atlantic City/Las Vegas). Do you know of others?
  • 1995- Marcia Turner, Harvard, Miss Massachusetts
  • 1998- Elizabeth Emerson Hancock, Harvard, Miss Massachusetts
  • 2002- Laura Lawless, Harvard, Miss Arizona
  • 2002- Carrie Ann Haberstroh, Harvard, Miss North Dakota
  • 2003- Laurie Gray, Harvard, Miss Rhode Island (Top 10)
  • 2003- Nancy Redd, Harvard, Miss Virginia (and Top 10)
  • 2003- Erika Harold, Harvard Law School, Miss Illinois and Miss America (Erika had already been admitted to HLS when she won, so she deferred her entrance and graduated in 2007)
  • 2004- Allison Porter, Harvard, Miss Washington
  • 2004- Erika Ebbel, MIT, Miss Massachusetts
  • 2006- Allison Rogers, Harvard, Miss Rhode Island
  • 2009- Anne Michael Langguth, Harvard, Miss Iowa
  • 2010- Loren Galler Rabinowitz, Harvard, Miss Massachusetts