INDIANAPOLIS (May 18, 2019) – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®, announced today that Olivia Johnson of Zionsville has been named the 2019 500 Festival Queen Scholar. The announcement was made at the 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by Midwestern Engineers, Inc., held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Johnson is a junior at Purdue University majoring in Spanish. She is an interpreter at the Indianapolis Zoo, a member of the Crazy Monkeys Improv group at Purdue University, and a longtime participant in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. Johnson is a graduate of Zionsville Community High School and is the daughter of Ed and Joyce Johnson.
Olivia is one of 33 young women who were selected for the 2019 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by Reis-Nichols where they serve as ambassadors for the 500 Festival. The 500 Festival Queen Scholar and Princesses are involved with the 500 Festival’s statewide community outreach programs, volunteer at 500 Festival events and participate in various Indianapolis Motor Speedway functions, including the pre-race ceremonies and Victory Circle celebration for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500. In addition, each 500 Festival Princess receives a $1,000 scholarship, made possible by Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of The Sexton Companies, and the 500 Festival Foundation.
“Out of all the activities and experiences that I could be a part of, I believe the 500 Festival Princess Program is unparalleled because it gives Indiana college women a remarkable platform to proudly seek opportunities for leadership and transform passions into reality within the Hoosier community, locally and state-wide,” said Johnson.
As 500 Festival Queen Scholar, Johnson is the recipient of an additional $1,500 educational scholarship from Fifth Third Bank. In addition, she will wear the one-of-a-kind 500 Festival Queen Scholar’s crown at 500 Festival events and the Indianapolis 500. She will participate in a variety of appearances throughout the week and participate in the Indianapolis 500 pre-race and Victory Circle celebrations. She will continue to represent the 500 Festival at various functions throughout the year.
The 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by Reis-Nichols, has a long history of celebrating Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven college-aged women. Serving as a 500 Festival Princess provides young women with countless opportunities for leadership, networking and professional development. The 500 Festival Princesses will participate in the 500 Festival Leadership Development Program, presented by BKD, which empowers participants to make a profound impact within their community and Indiana.
The 2019 500 Festival Princesses represent 13 Indiana colleges and universities and 20 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.65, this year’s 500 Festival Princesses were selected from hundreds of applicants based on communication skills, academic performance and community involvement.
Support of the 500 Festival Princess Program is provided by: Reis-Nichols, BKD, Nicole Bryan Salon, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Vera Bradley, and the 500 Festival Foundation. To learn more about the 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by Reis-Nichols Jewelers, please visit 500festival.com/princessprogram or search #PrincessProgram on social media.
NOTE: To download photos of Olivia Johnson, click here.
Individual and group photos can be downloaded here.
About the 500 Festival
Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $400 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.