Belmont University alumna and Miss USA 2007, Rachel Smith, came back to Belmont today for the first time since winning the Miss USA crown last month. Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher proclaimed today “Rachel Smith Day” in recognition of her service to the Belmont community as a student and for all her successes since graduating last December.
Smith answered questions from Harry Chapman, director of development for major gifts at Belmont, and students in the audience and reconnected with friends and former professors during a reception following the program. She spoke about the Miss USA pageant experience, her time at Belmont and her plans for the future, including the upcoming Miss Universe pageant May 28 in Mexico City.
While a Belmont student, Smith served as managing editor of The Belmont Vision, Belmont’s student newspaper, interned for “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for eight months and traveled to South Africa to work with students at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy.
Smith was an Ingram Scholar while a student at Belmont, a scholarship supported by Orrin Ingram and the Ingram family. Students named Ingram Scholars receive a scholarship to attend Belmont; in return, each student must perform a set number of volunteer hours at the Boys and Girls Club each month, although many Ingram Scholars (including Smith) spend much more time volunteering than required. This unique service-learning scholarship allows Belmont to give a quality education to well-deserving students while they give back to the greater community. Smith was one of the first Ingram Scholars to graduate from Belmont.