50 at 500: IUPUI continues 50th-anniversary celebration at IPL 500 Festival Parade

Description of the following video:

[Music: Uptempo electronic music]

[Title appears: IUPUI presents]

[Video: shots of Corvette pace cars lined up on Vermont Street near the Campus Center]

[Video: shots of IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar posing in front of a Corvette]

[Video: long shots of the cars leaving campus]

[Title appears: IUPUI, Fulfilling the promise, iupui.edu]

As part of his role on the 500 Festival Board of Directors, IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar welcomed 25 Indy 500 pace cars to campus. This is how we do May in Indy.

IUPUI's 50th Anniversary celebration does not stop after commencement. Keep those engines running for the IPL 500 Festival Parade.

The celebration of the "greatest spectacle in racing" will be ushered in with IUPUI's new 45-foot-long Jaguar balloon, which will be floating above the May 25 downtown Indianapolis parade. The balloon will be handled by at least 20 student volunteers wearing IUPUI 50th T-shirts.

"It's an iconic symbol of Jaguar pride in our community," explained Christine Fitzpatrick, chief of staff to IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar. "We think it's fitting for this occasion, and it will be utilized beyond the parade."

Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar will also participate in the parade, escorting an Indy 500 driver to be named. Paydar will be behind the wheel of a ceremonial Long Beach Red Metallic 2019 Corvette Grand Sport that he has had the pleasure of driving around town for the month of May.

Showcasing facets of the university's diversity, IUPUI's Department of World Languages and Cultures will also be a part of the festivities, which will feature a Peppa Pig balloon in honor of the Chinese Year of the Pig. Also in the parade will be the five IUPUI students who are among this year's 500 Festival Princesses. Before the parade, the women will be honored at the May 18 Breakfast at the Brickyard event, which will feature Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, retired driver Sam Schmidt and the announcement of the 500 Festival Queen Scholar.

Fitzpatrick said the university's long-standing relationship with Indy 500 events and the actual race is a cherished tradition, and in IUPUI's 50th year, that community partnership and visibility have ballooned -- literally.

"We plan on using the balloon not just to celebrate the 50th anniversary but to celebrate IUPUI going forward," she said. "We want it to be a new tradition of pride and spirit on campus."

As it is every year, IUPUI will be represented at the big race, set for 12:45 p.m. May 26, by students and alumni from the Department of Motorsports Engineering. Almost every Indy 500 team will have an IUPUI graduate, student or staffer crunching data and inspecting the cars to produce the fastest times.

Terri Talbert-Hatch, associate dean for recruitment, retention and student services for the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, said there are three student interns working on teams: Lauren Turnbull, Alex Turner and Jacob Lowell. These undergraduates will be interpreting analyzing crashes, downloading data from the race cars, capturing video of the cars' practice laps and many other duties designed to give them one-of-a-kind work experience.

"They're right in the mix," said Talbert-Hatch, who will be attending her 52nd Indy 500. "They'll be representing the only motorsports engineering program in the United States while receiving valuable work experience and networking opportunities."

Extra laps

  • The 2019 IPL 500 Festival Parade will start at 11:45 a.m. May 25 in downtown Indianapolis. The route will include a turn around the Monument Circle. All 33 drivers will be in the parade.
  • The parade will begin at North and Pennsylvania streets, heading south to Washington Street. Then it will go west to Meridian Street, turn north and continue to 10th Street.
  • If you can't attend, the parade will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network and WTHR, Channel 13.
  • The theme for the 2019 parade is "Your Tradition Is Waiting in Our Own Brickyard."
  • You can purchase parade tickets online.