On May 19, the Indianapolis 500 crowned Natalie Murdock as the 2018 500 Festival Queen Scholar.
The native of Fishers was one of 33 women from throughout the state to compete for the title of 500 Festival Queen Scholar and is the third African-American woman to win the title. Black women were named queen in 2002 and 2012.
“Being the third Black queen scholar is a whole ‘nother level of honor. Look at what God did,” she said.
Murdock is a sophomore at Purdue University, majoring in public health with a concentration in social and behavioral sciences and a certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation.
During the program, Murdock utilized a system in which she called the “princess equation.” This system consisted of hard work, dedication and good character. She uses this in her personal endeavors and to encourage every young girl she encounters.
Her mother, Latrece Murdock said their family is very grateful and proud of her accomplishment.
“We believe that it is only by the grace of God and his favor that she was chosen for such a platform,” she said.
The 500 Festival Princess Program is not a pageant, however, it focuses on building young college-aged women into leaders. The princesses volunteer in their local communities and serve as ambassadors to many of the 500 Festival activities. At the end of the program, each Festival Princess receives a $1,000 scholarship.
Sabrina List, vice president of marketing and communications for the Indianapolis 500, says the Indianapolis 500 focuses on hosting activities that appeal to all demographics.
“We have been laser focused on really being thoughtful and mindful about diversity,” she said.
The title of Queen Scholar is held for one year. Although Murdock will attend several ceremonies and events surrounding the 500 Festival, she hopes to use her title as queen to create programs for youth and use her voice to continuously uplift young women.
“You know what people see in the media,” Murdock said. “Being able to uphold the standards of my faith and show that we [Black women] are professional women is huge to me.”
Contact staff writer Loren Dent at firstname.lastname@example.org
2018 500 Festival Queen Scholar, Natalie Murdock.