DECEMBER 12, 2022

Funding will help college students, faculty, and staff connect with their communities, discover their role as change-makers, and improve Indiana’s civic health.

INDIANAPOLIS – Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a two-year $675,000 grant to Community-Engaged Alliance (CEA), a partnership of Indiana’s institutions of higher education. This funding, which begins immediately, will create and support programs that prepare college students as the next generation of civic leaders and encourages faculty and staff to engage the local community in their teaching and research.

“Over the last three decades, our partnership with the Endowment has allowed Community-Engaged Alliance to support hundreds of thousands of Indiana students as they pursued their vision of the public good and engaged directly with the community. This funding will allow us to provide Indiana institutions of higher education with the most effective ways to improve community engagement practices, conduct research in and with their local community, educate civic-minded students, and bring community need to the forefront of the institution’s work,” said Elijah Howe, CEA’s Executive Director.

Indiana State University President and CEA Board Chair Deborah Curtis said, “We are sincerely grateful for the continued support from the Lilly Endowment to grow and develop the future leaders of our communities and our state. The work of Community-Engaged Alliance has had a significant impact on our ability to participate in programs and research focused on our state’s campuses of higher learning. This work fosters and promotes greater community service and engagement opportunities for our students. With this consequential assistance, the Lilly Endowment continues to be a beacon of support building Indiana’s supply of future leaders.”

For 29 years, CEA has convened all sectors of Indiana higher education—public, independent, and community college—in partnership, focused on community-campus collaborations that foster student growth and community-engaged research and teaching. By building bridges between students, faculty, staff, and local communities, CEA promotes enhanced student learning and faculty and staff development, and improved relationships between campuses and communities across Indiana.

“Hoosiers, Hoosier communities, and the country need meaningful connections following two years of pandemic-related isolation, social upheaval, racial reckoning, and political turmoil,” according to Howe. “As we emerge from the pandemic, CEA has a key role to play in helping mend the wounds of the past few years. Through our programming, campuses and communities can rediscover their connection and address our most pressing concerns, all while embracing our common humanity.”

About Community-Engaged Alliance

Community-Engaged Alliance is a partnership of Indiana’s public, private, and community college higher education institutions focused on advocating, implementing, and improving community engagement efforts so that students graduate as well-informed, engaged, and productive members of society who are fully enabled to provide leadership and service that advances the public good in their communities.  

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly and his two sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., with gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical company. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.