Nana Meriwether was originally the first runner-up in Donald Trump’s Miss USA pageant, but when the winner, Olivia Culpo, went on to capture Miss Universe in December – Meriwether suddenly found herself with the Miss USA crown.
On Wednesday, Trump made it official in a press conference and photo op held in New York City.
The mogul, who owns the Miss Universe organization, gushed to E! News about Meriwether (Miss Maryland) and the other women in the competition.
“They’re brilliant, they’re really into charity and the world of charity, and they’re phenomenal people,” he said. “They’re very solid. In many cases, they went to the best colleges. In the case of Nana, she was a great athlete—a volleyball player [at UCLA].”
Meriwether was also a pre-med student whose taken the MCAT and the LSAT. She told E! News last December she “almost went to law school, and [I’m probably gonna pursue a career in medicine at some point. ” She’s also in charge of a nonprofit, The Meriwether Foundation, which supports AIDS/HIV orphanages, clinics and schools in five African countries.
“I’m just so blessed,” Nana said Wednesday.