Lissania Perez Diaz Announced as the 2024 500 Festival Queen Scholar 

Lissania Perez Diaz Announced as the 2024 500 Festival Queen Scholar 

INDIANAPOLIS (May 18, 2024) – The 500 Festival announced Lissania Perez Diaz of Indianapolis, Indiana as the 2024 500 Festival Queen Scholar. The announcement was made during the 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by Midwestern Engineers, Inc. event held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Lissania is a junior at Indianapolis University-Purdue University Indianapolis and pursuing degrees in chemistry and law. She is actively involved in Peer Led Team Learning, Undergraduate Women in Science, and the Latino Student Union Association. Throughout her roles in her various extracurricular activities, Lissania serves as a leader and mentor to those around her, stating, “every activity I do at IUPUI is based on the things I love in life; Science, Chemistry specifically, and my heritage. In each of these activities, I am a leader but also a learner. I take in what I learn from those around me and apply it to my everyday life to maximize my effect on communities.” 

Lissania is one of 33 Indiana college-aged women selected for the 2024 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by The National Bank of Indianapolis, in which they serve as ambassadors for the 500 Festival, their hometowns, and their colleges and universities. Serving as a 500 Festival Princess plays a vital role in fulfilling the 500 Festival’s mission to create a positive impact on Indianapolis and the state of Indiana. These Princesses have had the chance to experience the Month of May in a special way, by educating Hoosiers about the iconic history of the 500 Festival through the statewide outreach program, celebrating the spirit of the Indianapolis 500, and serving their communities. 

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. In addition, each 500 Festival Princess is gifted with a custom pendant, courtesy of Khamis Fine Jewelers. 

When asked about her community impact as a princess, Lissania stated, “Being able to instill confidence, impart wisdom, and kindness into [young girls] is an experience I am hopeful and eager to bring to life. As a 500 Festival Princess, I am blessed with the opportunity to be an example of a leader who looks like them and hopefully give them a glimpse into the beautiful women they are becoming,” she continued, “being able to step into a community that may often feel overlooked, ensuring they feel seen and know their value, is an experience that I do not take lightly. As excited as I am to give to this community, I am equally grateful for what I know these students will impart to me. I hope to be inspired, fulfilled, and to learn from them, as their stories are just as important as mine.” 

As the 500 Festival Queen Scholar, Lissania is the recipient of an additional $1,500 educational scholarship from the 500 Festival Foundation. She will wear the one-of-a-kind 500 Festival Queen Scholar’s crown at 500 Festival events and the Indianapolis 500 and participate in a variety of activities throughout the week, including the Indianapolis 500 pre-race and Victory Circle celebrations. She will continue to represent the 500 Festival at various functions throughout the year.  

The 2024 Princess class represents 18 Indiana colleges and universities and 23 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.74, this year’s 500 Festival Princesses were selected from hundreds of applicants based on leadership, academic stewardship, community involvement, and their embodiment of the Hoosier spirit.  

Support of the 500 Festival Princess Program is provided by: The National Bank of Indianapolis, Marlyne Sexton, Khamis Fine Jewelers, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the 500 Festival Foundation.  

To learn more about the 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by The National Bank of Indianapolis, please visit or search #PrincessProgram on social media.   


To download photos of Lissania and the Breakfast at the Brickyard event, click here.  

Individual and group photos of the 500 Festival Princesses 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 a 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 $500 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   

About The National Bank of Indianapolis | Founded in 1993, The National Bank of Indianapolis is privately owned by more than 600 shareholders, concentrated in greater Indianapolis. Central Indiana’s largest locally owned national bank serves the greater Indianapolis market from 13 locations. The rare combination of superior service, local decision-making and modern technology has propelled The National Bank of Indianapolis to become the 14th largest bank in the State of Indiana.   More information can be found at For more information or media inquiries, please contact Ann Merkel, Senior Vice President & Chief Market Development Officer, at or (317) 261-9737.