KOKOMO, Ind. — Allie Ault continues a five-year winning streak for Indiana University Kokomo, earning distinction as one of the state’s top collegiate women.
Ault, from Russiaville, is one of among the 33 selected to be a 500 Festival Princess, representing 14 Indiana colleges and universities, and 21 cities and towns statewide. With a cumulative GPA of 3.72, the young women were selected from hundreds of applicants, based on communication skills, academic performance, and community involvement.
She’s proud to be the sixth 500 Festival princess from IU Kokomo in five years, following in the footsteps of Kayla Meeks, 2017; Bailey Troutman, 2016; Alexis Nash, 2015; and Danika Smith and Brittany Royer, 2014. Prior to that, IU Kokomo was represented by Annie Downey in 2008 and Kathleen Beck in 2006.
“It’s not just about wearing a crown and sash as a princess, it’s about being a leader in our community,” she said. “I’m learning to be a good leader and make a positive impact in my community. I’m proud to be from Howard County and Russiaville. Using this platform has allowed me to grow already so much in our community.”
Ault hopes to build connections to her dream job in sports through the program.
“I’m grateful for the platform the Festival allow me to have, to network with people who could be influential as I begin my career,” she said. “There are so many former princesses who are working with the 500 Festival, or the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, or in other sports-related fields. You never know how they got their roles, but it could have started with this program.”
As a 500 Festival princess, she participates in leadership training seminars, as well as community outreach opportunities to promote the 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500. So far, she’s spoken to a Rotary club, read and created black-and-white-checkered bookmarks at Northwestern Elementary, and made appearances at events for Bona Vista and the Literacy Coalition of Howard County.
She also will help with pre-race events, including the 500 Festival Mini Marathon and kid’s day events, ride on a float in the parade, and participate in pre-race ceremonies and Victory Circle celebration for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27.
Each princess receives a $1,000 scholarship, and the 500 Festival queen, who will be selected from among the princesses and announced during the Breakfast at the Brickyard Saturday, May 19, will receive additional scholarship money.
Troutman, a fellow communication arts major, convinced her to apply for the program, and Meeks advised her on wardrobe for her first meeting, and came to the meeting to present her with her festival gear — the handbags, clothing, and other items that are perks of the program.
“Bailey told me about the outreach, volunteer, and leadership opportunities, and all the other wonderful things the program entails. That made me determined to be among the 33 princesses,” Ault said. “It’s nice to have Bailey and Kayla on campus as a resource. Having Kayla at that first meeting was just a cool experience. Most of the other girls didn’t have anyone there they knew. It was nice to hand down the baton from one IU Kokomo princess to another.
“IU Kokomo’s young women have represented the campus well in this program,” said Ault, a junior from Russiaville. “Many of the princesses are from the bigger schools, with not as many from smaller campuses. I’m proud to represent my school and my community.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.