Lilly Endowment Inc. Awards $900,000 to Indiana Campus Compact

Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a three-year $900,000 grant to Indiana Campus Compact, a partnership of 34 institutions of higher education representing 60 campuses throughout the state committed to preparing college students to advance the public good in their communities. This funding will begin in July and enable Indiana Campus Compact to create and support programs that offer community engagement opportunities to Indiana college students, deepen students’ commitment to community service, and provide them with valuable job-related skills.

Indiana Campus Compact is the only organization in the state that brings together public and independent two-and four-year institutions of higher education to work in unison with community partners to advance the public good. The generous grant will enable Indiana Campus Compact to invest in its partner campuses in a variety of ways, including strengthening assessment of community engagement initiatives.  In addition, funds will support training, technical assistance and project-based mini grants. A professional network will be developed for administrators, faculty, staff, students, and nonprofit and business partners that will enhance infrastructures to support community-campus engagement.

Through this three-year initiative, Indiana campuses and community agencies will be able to have a positive impact on tens of thousands of community members while preparing current college students for a life of service in all aspects of their professional and personal lives.

“Funding from the Endowment will allow Indiana Campus Compact to support campuses as they build their collective impact on the work with their communities and create good homes for service learning and community engagement,” said J.R. Jamison, Indiana Campus Compact’s executive director.

“Students who are engaged in their communities through Indiana Campus Compact-supported programs will go on to be the next leaders of nonprofits and businesses, and in the government sector,” Jamison said. “It’s gratifying to know these leaders will steer with a sense of social responsibility.”

“In working with its member schools, Indiana Campus Compact has learned that understanding the impact of community engagement opportunities is an important part of helping colleges and universities value these programs for students,” said Sara B. Cobb, vice president for education at the Endowment.  “This grant will help Indiana Campus Compact align even better community engagement  opportunities to benefit students, the colleges and universities and the communities that they serve,” Cobb said.

Dr. Mary Jane Eisenhauer, Purdue University North Central Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education and a Senior Fellow with Indiana Campus Compact, has seen a positive change in her students as a result of Indiana Campus Compact support.

“Community engagement has empowered my students to make a connection between the classroom and real life. It gives me great hope for our future to see them take on issues of social justice and address important community needs.”