Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. has approved grants totaling $145.8 million to six colleges and universities in Indiana to support community development projects aimed at improving quality of life, the endowment announced Thursday.
The five-year implementation grants range from $5.8 million to $35 million each, with Ball State University in Muncie landing the largest grant.
The grants were offered through the endowment’s College and Community Collaboration initiative —a competitive initiative “designed to encourage Indiana’s colleges and universities to work closely with community stakeholders to envision and jointly undertake significant community development efforts to create more vibrant places in which to live, learn, work and play.”
Here are the recipients and their projects:
Ball State University, Muncie, $35 million
Ball State will use the grant to partially fund its collaborative efforts to revitalize The Village, a commercial district adjacent to campus. The revitalization efforts include a performing arts center; owner-occupied residences; new market-rate apartments; a hotel; restaurants and other retail outlets
Earlham College, Richmond, $25 million
Earlham will use the grant to support an initiative to revitalize downtown Richmond and better connect it with the Earlham campus. The grant will provide partial support to restore historic buildings for commercial and residential uses; develop a multimodal pathway to connect downtown Richmond and the campus; and make improvements to Whitewater Gorge Park.
Indiana State University, Terre Haute, $5.8 million
Indiana State University will use the grant to support early childhood education and child care in six counties in west central Indiana. The grant will partially fund the redevelopment and expansion of the university’s existing child care center; provide wraparound services for families; and help college students prepare for careers in early childhood education and child care.
Purdue University, West Lafayette, $25 million
Purdue plans to use the grant to improve early childhood education and child care as well as transportation access in a seven-county region. The grant will partially fund investments in five local child care centers to provide services to an additional 500 children in the region while deploying resources from the university’s county extension offices to support regional child care providers as they improve their services. The funds will help expand a rideshare program; make improvements to the White River trail; and expand and enhance Purdue University Airport.
Taylor University, Upland, $30 million
Taylor will use the grant to partially support a comprehensive strategy to build or improve assets along a one-mile corridor connecting the campus to downtown Upland. Efforts will include the development of a campus inn; residential properties adjacent to campus and mixed-use retail spaces; renovations to the Upland Public Library; and development of an entrepreneurship program that will enable university staff to support emerging entrepreneurs and small-and medium-sized businesses in Upland.
Wabash College, Crawfordsville, $25 million
Wabash’s grant will support strategic engagement with not-for-profit organizations in Montgomery County and capital projects including the development of a new campus and community center; a new Latino community center; and a new early learning center that will provide 124 child care seats for infants and children up to age five.
“In designing their proposed projects, it was evident that these colleges and universities engaged a wide-ranging group of community stakeholders to imagine and develop creative solutions to pressing campus and community needs,” said Jennett M. Hill, president of Lilly Endowment. in written comments. “The institutions submitted proposals that revealed robust collaborative efforts reflective of the institutions’ willingness to learn from not only campus colleagues but from local residents and businesses to help shape projects with promising potential to enhance the quality of life on their campuses and in their local communities.”