Cara Mund won the 2018 Miss America pageant, making her not only the first contestant from North Dakota to win the title, but also the first Ivy League alumna to win the contest in the last 64 years. Mund, who began participating in pageantry as a child, has also been a philanthropist since her early teens, and is actively involved with the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In high school, Mund served as her school's National Honor Society president and graduated as one of her class' valedictorians. In 2011, her charitable endeavors were officially recognized by President Barack Obama. In 2016, the beauty pageant titleholder from Bismarck, North Dakota interned for Republican Senator John Hoeven in Washington D.C., and she currently attends Harvard Law School.
After completing high school, Mund enrolled at Brown University and became heavily involved in a number of activities and social groups. She was a campus tour guide for over three years, a teaching assistant and research assistant at the Engineering department, president of her Kappa Delta Sorority for over a year, and active in campus dance teams and club cheerleading. Mund capped off her stellar Brown career by completing a thesis on the Miss America Organization, which earned her a Bachelor of Arts in business, entrepreneurship, and organizations (BEO) in 2016.
The strength of Mund's connection with her alma mater cannot be denied. During her year-long reign as Miss America, Mund returned to the Brown campus, showing that she was just as determined as ever to make a difference. During an event hosted by the Maddock Alumni Center as part of its “Life After Brown” series, Mund sat down with Professor of Education Hilary Levey Friedman, a sociologist with expertise on beauty pageants. The public event focused on issues such as swimwear, feminism, and the ability to make real positive change in the community. “I’m constantly focused, from the day I was crowned, on leaving this legacy," said Mund. "The crown only lasts a year, but the impact lasts a lifetime."