stone entrance sign with university seal and lit torchValparaiso University has secured a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. as part of its initiative, Charting the Future for Indiana’s Colleges and Universities. The grant will support establishing hybrid nursing and health care programs, adding to the ongoing success of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. It will also support strategic efforts to develop and enhance our online graduate programs, independent of which, if any, OPM the University might partner with.

“We are incredibly grateful to Lilly Endowment for supporting our students of promise as they prepare to lead lives of service and leadership with this generous grant,” said Valparaiso University Interim President-Elect Colette Irwin-Knott ’81. “This initiative will allow Valpo to continue providing students with path-seeking, career-defining education for which we are known.”

The Charting the Future initiative, announced by Lilly Endowment in late 2019, invited all of Indiana’s 38 accredited public and private colleges and universities to consider what it would take to improve their efforts to educate students and prepare them for successful futures while thoughtfully examining the long-term financial sustainability of their institutions.

“We are committed to providing cutting-edge academic programs that prepare graduates for meaningful lives in a world that needs them,” said Richard Alan Gillman, D.A., interim provost. “This grant from Lilly Endowment will help Valparaiso University build upon our excellent academic offerings, creating more opportunities to cultivate student success with innovative teaching and learning.”

The three-phase initiative began with planning grants, allowing institutions to prioritize challenges and research solutions to create proposed plans that addressed them. The second phase opened applications for implementation grants, represented in the 38 grants that total nearly $62 million. The grants will fund projects that intend to support the initiatives proposed in a variety of community-building areas. The third phase will allow schools to apply for proposals encouraging collaboration between institutions and organizations to have a large-scale impact at the colleges and universities and in Indiana. This will include grants totaling up to $40 million. The Endowment expects to make these grants available in 2021.

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.