2022 500 Festival Princesses

The 2022 500 Festival Princesses represented 15 Indiana colleges and universities and 22 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.62, this class was selected from hundreds of applicants based on communication skills, academic performance, community involvement, commitment to service, and leadership.

  • Melissa Aceves

    Columbus, a graduate of Columbus North High School, and a senior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in community health 

  • Cieara Anderson

    Greentown, graduate of Eastern High School, and a sophomore at Purdue University majoring in visual arts and design education

  • Gabbie Black

    Brownsburg, a graduate of Brownsburg High School, and a freshman at Indiana University majoring in exercise science

  • Emily Bultinck

    Indianapolis, a graduate of Heritage Christian High School, and a junior at Purdue University majoring in biomedical engineering

  • Maia Campbell

    Kokomo, a graduate of Western High School, and a senior at Ball State University majoring in biology

  • Maria De Leon

    Indianapolis, a graduate of Crispus Attucks High School, and a senior at Butler University majoring in political science, critical communications, and media studies

  • Emily Deldar

    Carmel, a graduate of Carmel High School, and a sophomore at Purdue University majoring in speech, language, and hearing sciences & psychological sciences 

  • Jayden Emenhiser

    Lafayette, a graduate of Rossville Jr/Sr High School, and a freshman at Indiana University Kokomo majoring in biology

  • Lexi Giddens

    Whiteland, a graduate of Whiteland Community High School, and a junior at Franklin College majoring in biology

  • Claire Goodwin

    Pendleton, a graduate of Pendleton Heights High School, and a senior at Indiana Wesleyan University majoring in nursing

  • Katherine Grabowski

    Terre Haute, a graduate of Terre Haute South Vigo High School, and a senior at Marian University majoring in political science and communication

  • Caroline Gretencord

    Fishers, a graduate of Hamilton Southeastern High School, and a senior at Indiana University majoring in Spanish and speech, language, and hearing sciences 

  • Juliana Hand

    Carmel, a graduate of Carmel High School, and a sophomore at Indiana University majoring in game design

  • Madeline Heath

    Carmel, a graduate of Carmel High School, and a sophomore at Indiana University majoring in marketing  

  • Kamryn Kikta

    Brazil, a graduate of Northview High School, and a senior at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College majoring in nursing

  • Jourdan Klemann

    Vincennes, a graduate of South Knox High School, and a junior at Indiana State University majoring in business administration 

  • Lexi Leisure

    Noblesville, a graduate of Noblesville High School, and a junior at Ball State University majoring in elementary education

  • Elainy McCoy

    Covington, a graduate of Covington Community High School and a senior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in nursing 

  • Risha Mehta

    Yorktown, a graduate of Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities, and a junior at Indiana University majoring in psychology and neuroscience 

  • Kristina Mikhailova

    Originally from Saint Petersburg, Russia, and current Greencastle resident, a graduate of Lyceum 64, and a senior at DePauw University majoring in physics and mathematics 

  • Unnathi Nayak

    Originally from Dubai, UAE, and current Indianapolis resident, a graduate of Indian High School, and a junior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in management, marketing, and international studies 

  • Jullianna Niebbia

    Warsaw, a graduate of Warsaw Community High School, and a senior at Purdue University majoring in English with a concentration in English education 

  • Yuki Oshima

    Originally from Utsnomiya, Japan, and current Indianapolis resident, a graduate of Utsunomiya-Minami High School, and a senior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in global and international studies

  • Blanca Osorio-Ortega

    Greenwood, a graduate of Greenwood Community High School, and a junior at the University of Indianapolis majoring in political science and international relations 

  • Maddy Phipps

    Danville, a graduate of Danville Community High School, and a junior at the University of Indianapolis majoring in marketing and pursuing a master of business administration 

  • Lauren Pilkington

    McCordsville, a graduate of Mt. Vernon High School, and a senior at the University of Southern Indiana majoring in radio and television 

  • Meghan Reddy

    Fishers, a graduate of Hamilton Southeastern High School, and a senior at Indiana University majoring in finance and international business

  • Leigh Anne Roth

    Carmel, a graduate of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, and a junior at Indiana University majoring in pre-optometry

  • Delaney Tejcek

    Carmel, a graduate of Carmel High School, and a senior at Purdue University majoring in law and society

  • Mary-Matalyn Tom

    Carmel, a graduate of Carmel High School, and a senior at Indiana University Kokomo majoring in biochemistry

  • Mary Tragesser-Tina

    Atlanta, a graduate of Tipton High School, and a junior at Ball State University majoring in biology, pre-med

  • Mia Wagner

    Carmel, a graduate of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, and a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame majoring in psychology 

  • Madeline Worcester

    Westfield, a graduate of St. Theodore Guerin High School, and a junior at Marian University majoring in marketing

2022 Marlyne Sexton 500 Festival Queen Scholar Award Recipient

Melissa aceves

Hometown: Columbus, IN

High School: Columbus North High School

University: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Major: community health 

“More than three times a week, I get the opportunity to watch the sky rise or set coming from a Princess Program event,” said Aceves. “As I gaze at the sunset/sunrise, the many colors fill my heart with warmth, happiness, and grief. The day of orientation was my dad’s 3rd anniversary since his death, but there wasn’t anywhere else I wanted to be. I felt like I honored my dad by spending the day learning about the opportunities to make an impact on the lives of our community.” “As a 500 Festival Princess, I had the courage to tell my story at Brookes Place with teenagers and children who lost their parents, siblings, or grandparents. I promised a 5-year-old girl who lost her parents, who hugged me and told me she never wanted to let go. I promised a 14-year-old boy who spoke about his loved one for the first time and expressed that his mom loved cars. I promised the children at Brookes Place that I would apply to be the Marlyne Sexton 500 Festival Queen Scholar. A key message I have learned and will take to my life is that although being vulnerable is difficult, that is how we can connect and transform our pain into hope and love for our community.” 


Marlyne Sexton 500 Festival Queen Scholar Award

In 2015, the 500 Festival added a $1,000 scholarship for each of the 33 500 Festival Princess selected to the program, made possible by the 500 Festival Foundation and Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of the Sexton Companies. Prior to 2015, only the woman selected as the 500 Festival Queen Scholar received a scholarship. In 2019, Marlyne Sexton made a generous commitment to the 500 Festival Foundation to establish a fund enduring that scholarships for all 33 500 Festival Princess will be covered in perpetuity. To thank Marlyne for her generosity and support of the Princess Program, the 500 Festival Queen Scholar award was named in her honor.

Past 500 Festival Queen Scholars

 

FULL LIST OF PAST QUEENS