$2.4 Million Lilly Grant Allowing Wabash to Address State-Wide Problems in Higher Education
by Rob Herzog
n November of 1996, Lilly Endowment awarded Wabash $2.4 million as part of its Special Initiative on Private Higher Education in Indiana to implement College-designed programs to address several state-wide educational problems. One surprising statistic Lilly noted in its invitation to Wabash to create a grant was that Indiana ranks 47th out of 50 states in the percentage of residents over 25 years old with baccalaureate degrees. The Special Initiative also seeks to address the fact that Hoosiers who do attend college drop out in large numbers, while students who do graduate from Indiana schools frequently leave the state for employment, creating an educational "brain drain."
The $2.4 million award, which will fund the College programs for five years, capped a year of planning by a grant development team at Wabash headed by President Andy Ford and Nancy Doemel, the current associate director of development. The three programs developed by the team are:
Several changes are taking place on campus as a result of the award. Stan Walker '66, director of alumni affairs, has been tapped to oversee the administration of the grant.
"Through the grant from Lilly," Walker explains, "our endeavor is to enable Indiana to be ranked first among the 50 states when it comes to the number of citizens with four year college degrees, and have those graduates work and live in Indiana."
To cover Walker's alumni duties, new alumni affairs positions have been filled by Eugene Anderson '83 and Roy Sexton '95. Michael Cunningham '91 has been hired to head up the internship program as the associate director of career services.