UofL students Nancy Ngo (far left) and Jimi Porter (far right) have been named to the 2022 Kentucky Derby Festival Royal Court.
UofL students Nancy Ngo (far left) and Jimi Porter (far right) have been named to the 2022 Kentucky Derby Festival Royal Court.

UofL students Nancy Ngo and Jimi Porter have been named to the Kentucky Derby Festival’s 2022 Royal Court.

Louisville-native Ngo is a second-year graduate student studying Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy. She is the current director of Professional Development in the Graduate Student Council, a Trustee’s Scholar, and has earned departmental honors in the Psychology Department for successful defense of her thesis.

Louisville-native Porter is a senior majoring in both Computer Information Systems and Marketing. She is a Woodford R. Porter Scholar, a student worker in the Admissions Office, President’s Office, and Campus Housing Department at UofL, and is heavily involved in extracurriculars such as the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. 

They join Northern Kentucky University students Sarah Rhodes and Haven Wolfe, and University of Kentucky student Molly Sullivan on the five-person court. 

Additionally, Olivia Andrews, a UofL senior from New Albany, Indiana, is a second alternate should one of the princesses be unable to serve. UK junior Lauren Carter is first alternative. 

The Royal Court was selected after attending final judging with 25 other finalist candidates. There were nearly 80 original applicants for the program, representing different colleges and universities from around Kentucky and the region. All the applicants went through preliminary judging in November.

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 9 at The Galt House. Each woman will receive a $2,000 scholarship ($1,000 from the Fillies and $1,000 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.

Alicia Kelso
Alicia Kelso is the director of social media and digital content. She joined UofL in 2015 as director of communications at the Brandeis School of Law. She also serves as a senior contributor at Forbes.com, writing about the restaurant industry, which she has covered since 2010. Her work has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Bloomberg, The Seattle Times, Good Morning America and Franchise Asia Magazine.