Mississippi State University fans may have heard a familiar last name during the halftime ceremony this past Saturday at the school’s yearly homecoming football game.
Anne Elise Parks, 21, of New Albany, was crowned the university’s 2010 homecoming queen during the Bulldogs’ defeat of University of Alabama-Birmingham Saturday – four years after her older sister, Sara Beth, received the same honor in 2006.
“She and I just sat there laughing and saying what a cool thing this is for us to share,” Anne Elise said of the phone call she made to her sister after receiving word that she was this year’s queen.
Anne Elise, a broadcast meteorology major, was nominated to the court earlier this fall by her sorority, Delta Gamma. She said that she was sitting in a car with a friend of hers outside the student union when they first heard the announcement.
“I honestly didn’t think I heard it at first,” she said. “But a friend told me what I heard was correct. We just sat there laughing and I was humbled by the whole thing.”
Sara Beth said she felt tremendous pride for her sister.
“She was just beautiful [on Saturday],” Sara Beth Parks said. “She’s had a great experience there all four years. She’s gotten to be involved in several organizations and has represented them well.”
Anne Elise said she received very good advice from her sister on how to handle the entire homecoming court selection process – just be yourself.
“I mostly asked her what’s the best way to go through the process and not get caught up in it,” Anne Elise said. “My big concern was to just be myself and just knowing that, regardless of how it turned out, this doesn’t define me.
Sara Beth concurred.
“The main advice I gave her was just to be herself and show her character the whole time,” she said. “I told her to just enjoy the race and just enjoy the nomination. And obviously to enjoy the day.”
Anne Elise also said she was humbled by the large turnout of New Albany residents, coming to see her coronation.
“There were even some rabid Ole Miss supporters who came to cheer me on,” she said. “I’m just so thankful for the support.”
Anne Elise and Sara Beth are the daughters of Bill and Beth Parks of New Albany.