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Lissa Diaz

Bethel University is the recipient of a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its initiative, Charting the Future for Indiana’s Colleges and Universities. The statewide initiative is designed to help colleges and universities improve their efforts to prepare students for successful futures while thoughtfully examining the long-term financial sustainability of their institutions.

Bethel will use its grant to provide resources and support for six different areas and projects that are already in place at the university. In addition to supporting efforts to strengthen diversity and inclusion, mental health services and career preparedness, the grant will also support the Field Scholar program, the Bethel Extension Studies (BU-X) program and improved classroom technology.

“We are grateful for Lilly Endowment’s generosity, which will allow us to invest significant resources in these programs,” says President Gregg Chenoweth, Ph.D. “We are already invested in these areas, and now we can accelerate and expand our vision, providing greater immediate impact for our students.”

This implementation grant was awarded under the second phase of Lilly Endowment’s three-phase Charting the Future initiative. In this phase, the Endowment invited proposals that present promising strategies that will result in economies of scale and other cost efficiencies to enhance the viability and financial condition of the institutions and prepare graduates for rewarding employment and to live engaged and meaningful lives, especially in Indiana. Grants under a third phase, which is competitive, will be awarded in 2021. Those grants will support collaborative efforts that seek to have large-scale impact on the ability of higher education institutions in Indiana to fulfill their educational missions.

Vice President for Institutional Advancement Matt Lentsch says some examples of how the grant will be used are funding professional development, providing technology and sponsoring a speaker series. It will also fund special events, such as a “Pivot to the Future” career preparation event and a weeklong Civil Rights immersion trip in the Deep South for student leaders.

“There are a number of enhancements that we can make to current initiatives as a result of this grant,” says Lentsch. “In the current COVID-19 reality, it is a breath of fresh air to be able to put this level of resources towards these foundational areas.”

The grant period is September 2020 through December 2023.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr., and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr., through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community developmenteducation and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

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