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Olivia Culpo: Boston University student competes in Miss Universe contest tonight

Olivia Culpo is a BU student who won the Miss USA competition earlier this year.

A Boston University student could be crowned Miss Universe tonight.

Olivia Culpo is a Rhode Island native who is a Boston University student and finished her sophomore year just before she won the Miss USA title in June.

Tonight she will compete against women from 89 other nations in the Miss Universe pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Culpo spent part of her time last night individually thanking people who had tweeted their support to her.

This morning she sent out another message.

"It's show time! Today is the big day. Watch me tonight competing for #MissUniverse2012 on NBC. Who will win the @DiamondNexus crown????" she tweeted.

The 20-year-old told Metro in an interview just days after she was crowned Miss USA that she planned to take a year off from school to fulfill her responsibilities.

Many felt she won the national title in part because of her answer to a final pageant question that asked if she believed transgendered people should be able to participate in the competition. She said she supported that. But her win was not without controversy.

Among some interesting facts to know about Culpo, her win in the Miss Rhode Island competition last year was her first pageant ever.

The Miss Universe competition airs live tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC.

In 1997 Brook Lee won Miss Universe, which was the last time a woman from the USA won the title.

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