Applications Open for 2020 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by Reis-Nichols

Applications Open for 2020 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by Reis-Nichols

Indiana’s College Women Looking for Leadership Development and Philanthropic Opportunities Encouraged to Apply

INDIANAPOLIS (September 16, 2020) – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events and program that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®, is accepting applications for the 2020 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by Reis-Nichols. Since 1959, the 500 Festival Princess Program has celebrated Indiana’s top college-aged leaders and philanthropists. The application is available at and the deadline to apply for the 2020 Princess Program is Sunday, January 5, 2020.


Each year, 33 of Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven young women are selected to serve as a 500 Festival Princess. Serving as a 500 Festival Princess provides young women with once-in-a-lifetime experiences and countless opportunities for leadership and professional development. As 500 Festival Princesses, these individuals will grow as leaders, push their comfort zone and impact the community. More than 2,000 Indiana women have served as 500 Festival Princesses since the program’s inception in 1959.


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 the state of Indiana. Key components of the program include:


  • Over 10 sessions and 20 hours of learning are available, led by business and community leaders, on topics including: goal setting, office etiquette, personal branding, budgeting, professionalism, time management, leadership, and community engagement
  • Professional development events with 500 Festival Princess Program alumnae, members of the 500 Festival board of directors, community and business leaders
  • Mentorship from 500 Festival Board of Directors


Each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship, made possible by the 500 Festival Foundation  and Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of The Sexton Companies. 500 Festival Princesses are also 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 Indianapolis 500.


“The 500 Festival Princess Program provides an unrivaled opportunity to broadcast your authenticity. It taught me everyone has a passion and though unique; each is as important as the next,” Olivia Johnson, 2019 500 Festival Queen Scholar and a senior at Purdue University studying Spanish. “Perhaps most rewarding is the Princess Program’s outreaches, where you build unique community programs that positively impact lives today and inspire the next generation’s devotion to a better tomorrow. I grew both personally and professionally because of the stronghold of the thirty-two women in the program with me who supported each other every step of the way. There is no other experience like it, and I cannot speak highly enough about the 500 Festival Princess Program!”


The application deadline for the 2020 500 Festival Princess Program is Jan. 5. The top 264 applicants will participate in interviews with an independent panel of community leaders on Saturday, Jan. 25 in Indianapolis. The top 66 applicants will be invited to participate in a second round of interviews on Saturday, Feb. 8. After the second round of interviews, 33 applicants will be selected to serve as 500 Festival Princesses. 500 Festival Princess Program selection is based on the following categories: communication skills, commitment to service, leadership, scholarship, and professionalism.


To be eligible to serve as a 2020 500 Festival Princess, applicants must:

  • Claim legal residence in Indiana
  • Currently be enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited college or university located in Indiana; taking a minimum of 12 academic hours for undergraduate studies or a minimum of nine academic hours for graduate studies
  • Maintain a cumulative college GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Be actively involved in at least one extra-curricular activity
  • Be the age of 18 by January 1, 2020, but no older than 23 by May 31, 2020


Click here to view the 2020 500 Festival Princess Program Eligibility Requirements.

Click here to view the 2020 500 Festival Princess Program Application.


To learn more about the 500 Festival Princess Program and its rules and regulations, please visit: Follow the 500 Festival Princess Program on social media via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or join the conversation using the hashtag #PrincessProgram.


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 500 Festival’s events and programs, please visit


About the 500 Festival

Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that producing life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500® and foster 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 or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.