Lilly Endowment awards nearly $62 million to Indiana colleges

Lilly Endowment awards nearly $62 million to Indiana colleges

The Lilly Endowment has announced grants totaling nearly $62 million to all thirty-eight accredited colleges and universities in Indiana in support of strategies aimed at better preparing students for the future and ensuring the institutions' long-term sustainability. 

The grants represent the second phase of the foundation's Charting the Future for Indiana's Colleges and Universities initiative, which it launched last year with a $108 million commitment that included first-phase planning grants totaling $6.2 million. The latest grants — which range from $1 million to $5 million, depending on a school's enrollment — will support efforts to expand digital learning options; improve degree offerings in the health sciences, K-12 teacher education, and technology fields; expand partnerships with K-12 schools; strengthen local community engagement by better serving commuter and non-traditional students and improving service-learning opportunities; build capacity to attract, retain, and better serve first-generation, African-American, and Latinx students; improve career-ready skills through partnerships with employers; and invest in mental health care for students.

Recipients of the grants include the Ball State University Foundation (Muncie, $2.5 million), DePauw University (Greencastle, $1 million), the Indiana State University Foundation (Terre Haute; $2.5 million), Indiana Wesleyan University ($2.5 million), the Purdue Research Foundation (West Lafayette, $5 million), and the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, $2.5 million).

"These are challenging times for colleges and universities, made more so because of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Ted Maple, the endowment's vice president for education. "Higher education leaders recognize that they have to adapt to the changing demographics of undergraduate students, the importance of technology in education, and the ever-growing need for students to be career-ready upon graduation. Leaders here in Indiana are responding to these and other challenges with thoughtful, strategic and collaborative approaches that we believe can improve the financial sustainability of the institutions and the educational experiences of their students."

(Photo credit: University of Notre Dame)