Goshen College receives $1.2 million in grants from Lilly Endowment Inc. and Community Foundation of Elkhart County for community engaged learning

Goshen College has received a Phase Two Charting the Future grant worth $1 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to be used toward developing a new centralized Office for Community Engaged Learning to further strengthen our student experience and to reach a wider student base, including adult learners, in the community. The Community Foundation of Elkhart County has also contributed a $200,000 matching grant to support this project.

The Office for Community Engaged Learning will coordinate and enlarge Goshen College’s existing efforts to provide undergraduate students with excellence in real-world learning and to attract local students seeking preparation for meaningful careers or career transitions.

Lilly Endowment made the grant to Goshen College through Charting the Future for Indiana’s Colleges and Universities, a new initiative to help Indiana’s 38 higher education institutions further develop strategies to strengthen their effectiveness and long-term sustainability.

“We are so grateful to Lilly Endowment and the Community Foundation of Elkhart County for their generosity and vision toward educating more students and preparing them for successful futures,” Goshen College President Rebecca Stoltzfus said. “The demographic trends for traditional college enrollment create an imperative for enrolling new student markets, including highly career-focused adult students. Our traditional undergraduate students, too, increasingly seek career-relevant learning experiences. The economic impact from the current COVID-19 pandemic will only reinforce these realities.”

The new Office for Community Engaged Learning will bridge academics and student life, linking community engagement through all facets of the educational process including:

  • community outreach and recruitment of new students;
  • curriculum development and academic programs;
  • co-curricular activity and student support;
  • career preparation;
  • and adult programs that are responsive to the local economy.

“We define community engaged learning broadly to encompass faculty, staff and students partnering with local or global stakeholders to address real-world issues as part of rigorous education,” President Stoltzfus said. “This may happen in academic or co-curricular spaces. Community engaged learning prepares students to work and serve in their community, whether that is locally in Elkhart County, Indiana, the United States, or the world.”

President Stoltzfus brings vision to community engagement and experience in organizational structures that facilitate it within higher education. After earning her bachelor’s degree at GC, she spent her professional faculty career at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Cornell University leading community engaged research and education. Before becoming Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Cornell University, she served as the Provost’s Fellow for Public Engagement, working with senior leaders to conceive Engaged Cornell, a university-wide initiative to institutionalize community engaged learning in academic programs and co-curricular programs.

Charting the Future

Lilly Endowment launched Charting the Future in late 2019, making available more than $108 million. With the initiative, the Endowment 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.

Goshen College received the Phase One planning grant of $100,000 in November 2019, with a goal toward strengthening engagement with learners of all ages in Elkhart County.

This implementation grant to Goshen was awarded under the second phase of Lilly Endowment’s three-phase Charting the Future. In this phase, Lilly 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 educational missions.

A complete list of grants can be found here.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a 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. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment 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 development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.