The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization committed to enriching the quality of life for Indiana residents and visitors, recently announced that Indiana Wesleyan University junior nursing major, Morgan Lee, has been selected as one of 33 college-aged women to be named 2016 500 Festival Princesses.

“I am honored and extremely humbled to have been selected as a 500 Festival Princess for 2016,” said Lee, a Greenwood native. “This program is more than a tiara and sash, for I will be serving as an ambassador for the 500 Festival and all events leading up to the 100th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500. I am so excited for the opportunity to serve all those I will encounter during my community outreach events and all 500 Festival events!”

The 500 Festival Princess Program 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 program’s personal and professional development initiative, which empowers participants to make a profound impact within their community and Indiana.

Each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship, made possible in part by the 500 Festival Foundation. Princesses are also provided with once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including involvement in various Indianapolis Motor Speedway functions, such as the pre-race ceremonies and Victory Circle celebration for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

“For more than 50 years, the 500 Festival Princess Program has recognized Indiana’s up-and-coming college leaders,” said Sabrina List, 500 Festival vice president of marketing and communication. “Through professional networking, the scholarships, and countless learning opportunities, the 500 Festival Princess Program is an excellent resource for Indiana’s college women and this year’s group of Princesses will be equipped to make a profound impact within their community, and the state of Indiana, upon graduation.”

The 2016 500 Festival Princesses represent 13 Indiana colleges and universities and 21 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.5, this year’s 500 Festival Princesses were selected from hundreds of applicants based upon their communication skills, commitment to service, leadership, scholarship and professionalism.

One of the 33 Princesses will be selected as the 2016 500 Festival Queen and will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship. The queen will be crowned May 21 during the 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by Midwestern Engineers, Inc.

Learn more about the 500 Festival.