INDIANAPOLIS — The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®, announced that Hannah McGee, a Milroy native and graduate of Rushville Consolidated High School, has been selected to serve as a 2021 500 Festival Princess.
McGee is a senior at Butler University majoring in strategic communication.
The 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by The National Bank of Indianapolis, has a long history of celebrating Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven young women. Serving as a 500 Festival Princess provides young women with countless opportunities for leadership and professional development. The 2021 500 Festival Princesses represent 16 Indiana colleges and universities and 21 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 communication skills, academic performance, community involvement, commitment to service, and leadership.
The 500 Festival Princesses will virtually participate in the 500 Festival Leadership Development Program, presented by BKD, empowering participants to make a profound impact within their community and Indiana. In addition, each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship, made possible by Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of The Sexton Companies, and the 500 Festival Foundation. Since the program’s launch, more than 2,000 Indiana women have experienced the honor of serving as a 500 Festival Princess.
The 500 Festival is honored with the support and partnership of The National Bank of Indianapolis as the new presenting partner of the 500 Festival Princess Program. Throughout its history, The National Bank of Indianapolis has supported organizations and programming that strengthen communities.
“We are pleased for the opportunity to support these outstanding young women as they further develop their leadership skills,” Ann Merkel, The National Bank of Indianapolis chief market development officer, said. “We trust that their experiences in this program will also deepen their personal commitment to serving their own communities.”
The 2021 500 Festival Princesses were selected through a competitive process consisting of a written application and virtual interviews. This year’s 500 Festival Princesses represent a diverse group of women with an eclectic array of studies ranging from civil engineering to arts administration to cybersecurity to international relations.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide the 2021 500 Festival Princesses with the experience to serve the mission of the 500 Festival in a way that meets the needs of our current climate and prioritizes the health and safety of our community,” Bob Bryant, 500 Festival president and CEO, said. “In a time when giving back is so important, we are proud of the transition we have made to continue to provide these opportunities. The National Bank of Indianapolis shares our commitment to enhancing the lives of our community through service and leadership development and we’re excited to further our partnership with them.”
As representatives of the 500 Festival, Princesses play a crucial role in the execution of the 500 Festival’s mission to produce life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and foster a positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana.