Students Watch as Turner Makes Semis in Pageant

Housemates Say She Deserved Higher Finish

More than 200 Harvard students filled the Lowell House Junior Common Room Saturday night to watch one of their own take center stage in the 75th annual Miss America pageant.

And Miss Massachusetts Marcia M. Turner '97 did not disappoint. Turner, a Lowell resident, made it all the way to the round of 10 semi-finalists.

Still, some of Turner's fans said they thought she deserved a better ranking.

"I think she was robbed," said Jennifer A. Leed '96, who organized the Lowell House party. "I think she should have made the top five."

Leed, who like Turner is a member of the Radcliffe Pitches a capella group, said she was "really impressed" with the strong slow of support for Turner among her allege classmates.


"It was great Everybody was very supportive of Marcia," said Dana D. Dore '97, a Leverett House resident and Pitches member. "It was very loud. It was packed."

Leed said the party included Low ell House residents and members of a capella and other performance groups.

For Sofia I. Echegaray '97-'98, the highlight of the evening came when Turner "triumphantly" introduced herself as a Harvard student.

"We all started shouting 'Marcia," she said. "Everyone cheered."

At one point in the evening, three Lowell House residents ran into the party with their shirts off and "M-A-R-C-I-A" painted on their chests and backs, said Hilary K. Snow '97.

Turner's piano performance in the talent section of the competition impressed many of her fellow students. Turner was the only one of the 10 semifinalists not to sing.

"I think it was very good decision to play piano rather than sing." Snow said. "It was difficult to compare [the vocalists], which is one good reason that Marcis played the piano."

But Snow said she does not think Turner's appearance on national television will make her famous on campus.

"This isn't campus that tends to be taken in by celebrity types," she said.

The party broke up immediately after Turner fell from contention, Dore said.

"After they announced the top five, most people just left," she said. "You could say we were biased, but we were trying to be as fair as possible."

Despite her disappointment at the outcome of the competition, Dore said it was "incredible" to see her close friend on national television.

Turner is expected to return to Cambridge at some point today, said her roommate Raquel Cajiri '97.

Shawntel Smith, Miss Oklahoma, was crowned Miss America at the Atlantic City pageant