Jan. 13, 2014. Louisville, KY. – The five women selected to serve as Princesses in the 2014 Kentucky Derby Festival’s Royal Court were introduced this morning at Macy’s at Oxmoor Center. The Derby Festival’s Royal Court Program is coordinated by The Fillies, Inc., a volunteer group that works closely with the Festival. Fillies President Suzann Thompson joined KDF President and CE Mike Berry, as well as 2014 Derby Festival Chair David Nett, in crowning the newly appointed court. They are:
Morgan Cooksey of Louisville, KY is a junior at the University of Louisville majoring in political science. Morgan serves as a Cardinal Ambassador, is a member of the Student Government Association and also is a Kentucky YMCA Leadership Training Conference facilitator.
Julia Springate of Louisville, KY is a senior at Centre College. Springate is majoring in biology and serves on the Centre Student Senate and volunteers for several organizations such as Salvation Army and Harvesting Hope Food Pantry.
Eriauna Stratton of Louisville, KY is a senior at the University of Kentucky majoring in elementary education. Stratton is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, an Academic Excellence Scholar and a Fulbright Scholar.
Grace Trimble of Winchester, KY is a junior at the University of Kentucky. Trimble is majoring in political science. She serves on the University of Kentucky Student Athlete Advisory Council and is a recipient of the United States Tennis Association Serves National Scholarship.
Grace Wainwright of Louisville, KY is a senior majoring in bioengineering at the University of Louisville. Wainwright is a fashion blogger at asoutherndrawl.com, a member of the Society of Women Engineers and a Dean’s Scholar.
Two alternates were also chosen – Janna Imel of Greenup, KY was chosen as the first alternate. Lori Johnson of Louisville, KY, was chosen as the second alternate. They will become Princesses if one of the other women is unable to serve.
These five young ladies will act as ambassadors for the 2014 Kentucky Derby Festival, attending nearly 70 events over a three-week period. 25 were selected as finalists out of the more than 100 original applicants for the five Princess positions, and all attended the final judging on Sunday, January 12. 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 11 at the Galt House. Each woman will receive a $2000 scholarship ($1000 from the Fillies and $1000 from the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation). Festival Princesses
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 Gail Gorski, the first female pilot ever hired by United Airlines.
The Derby 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 annually. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.
For more information:
Derby Festival Press Office (502) 584-FEST.