USF awarded $1 million Lilly Endowment grant

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – The University of Saint Francis has received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. as part of its Charting the Future for Indiana’s Colleges and Universities initiative.

This grant will support expansion of the USF Crown Point site and enable USF to accelerate plans to expand the site’s nursing program and offer associate degrees in surgical technology and radiologic technology.

Through Charting the Future, Lilly Endowment invited 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.

Grants range from $1 million to $5 million and are based on the size of student enrollment for each school. A total of $62 million in implementation grants were announced by Lilly Endowment, an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation.

“The University of Saint Francis is honored and grateful to be awarded this grant from Lilly Endowment,” USF President Rev. Dr. Eric Albert Zimmer said. “We appreciate Lilly Endowment’s support of higher education, and the university looks forward to utilizing this grant for the benefit of our students.”

The grant is part of Phase 2 (implementation phase) of Lilly Endowment’s three-phase initiative. USF received a $100,000 grant in the Phase 1 planning phase in 2019. 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. Lilly Endowment has allocated up to $108.2 million for the three phases.

“These are challenging times for colleges and universities, made more so because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Higher education leaders recognize that they have to adapt to the changing demographics of undergraduate students, the importance of technology in education and the ever-growing need for students to be career-ready upon graduation,” said Ted Maple, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for education. “Leaders here in Indiana are responding to these and other challenges with thoughtful, strategic and collaborative approaches that we believe can improve the financial sustainability of the institutions and the educational experiences of their students.”