January 11, 2016. Louisville, KY. – A sign of spring in Kentuckiana – new Derby Festival Royalty was named this morning. The five women selected to serve as Princesses in the 2016 Kentucky Derby Festival Royal Court were introduced in a ceremony at Macy’s at Oxmoor Center. The Royal Court Program is coordinated by The Fillies, Inc., a volunteer group that works closely with the Festival. Fillies President Linda Miller joined KDF President and CEO Mike Berry, as well as 2016 Derby Festival Chair Wes Rutledge, in crowning the newly appointed court. They are:
Millicent Ashley Cahoon of Louisville, KY – Millicent is a junior at the University of Kentucky majoring in Psychology. She is a member of the Psi Chi Honor Society, has been on the Dean’s List for four semesters, is conducting her own Social Psychology Experiment and is pursuing a non-profit certification. Millicent volunteers with Helping Hands.
Loandria “Andi” Julia Dahmer of Fisherville, KY – Andi is a Freshman at Western Kentucky University majoring in Economics, International Affairs and Spanish, as well as Asian Religions and Cultures. She is a Cherry Presidential Scholar, Chinese Language Flagship Program participant and Student Government Association Senator. Andi also volunteers for the Humane Society.
Stephanie Dooper of Owensboro, KY – Stephanie is a Senior at the University of Louisville majoring in Political Science and Liberal Studies. She is the Founder of The Roosevelt Institute Campus Chapter, a Cardinal Host and Recipient of the University of Louisville Outstanding Community Engagement Award. She also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.
Madison Kristine Orman of Prospect, KY – Madison is a Junior at the University of Louisville majoring in Business Finance. She is a Trustee’s Scholar, has been on the Dean’s List for 5 semesters, is a Cardinal Host and a Pointe & Contemporary Dancer. She also volunteers for Neighborhood House and the American Red Cross.
Adrienne Georgann Poole of Brandenburg, KY – Adrienne is a Freshman at the University of Kentucky majoring in Marketing. She is Co President of UK Phi Beta Lambda, Member of Student Government Leadership Development Program and News reporter for Meade County Messenger. She is also an intern with the Goodwill Industries of Kentucky.
Two alternates were also chosen –
Gabriella Torres of Louisville, KY was chosen as the first alternate.
Brooke Elizabeth Hasl of Prospect, KY was chosen as the second alternate. Both are students at the University of Kentucky. They will become Princesses if one of the other women is unable to serve.
These five young ladies will act as ambassadors for the 2016 Kentucky Derby Festival, attending nearly 70 events over a two-week period. 28 were selected as finalists out of the more than 100 original applicants for the five Princess positions, and all attended the final judging on Saturday, January 10. None of them knew in advance who had been selected.
One of the five will be crowned the Derby Festival Queen by a spin-of-the-wheel at the annual Fillies Derby Ball on April 16 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. Each woman will receive a $2000 scholarship ($1000 from the Fillies and $1000 from the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation).
Candidates for the Princess Program must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade-point average and are selected by a panel of three out-of-state judges. Criteria for selection includes knowledge of the Derby Festival, poise, intelligence, personality and campus and community involvement. The first Derby Festival Princess was crowned in 1957, the second year of the Festival. Previous Princesses have included former Kentucky Governor Martha Layne Collins and the late Gail Gorski, the first female pilot ever hired by United Airlines.
Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. It entertains more than 1.5 million people in a two- week period and has a local economic impact of more than $127 million. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.