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E-REP News

USI awarded nearly $250,000 planning grant from Lilly Endowment

College and Community Collaboration initiative

The University of Southern Indiana has been awarded a nearly $250,000 planning grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its initiative, College and Community Collaboration. The purpose of the initiative is to challenge universities to “envision and undertake collaborative projects with community stakeholders that enhance the quality of life and place in their surrounding communities.”  

USI Photography and Multimedia

The planning grant was a collaboration between USI’s College of Liberal Arts, Romain College of Business and Outreach and Engagement. Known for its record of committing to the economic advancement and cultural betterment of southwest Indiana, USI has been recognized as a “community-engaged” institution by the Carnegie Foundation since 2008.  

“We’re grateful that Lilly Endowment has presented us with another occasion to improve the quality of place in the community we serve—an ambition that has always been part of our mission at USI,” said Dr. Del Doughty, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and one of the grant’s three co-principal investigators along with Dr. Sudesh Mujumdar, Dean of the Romain College of Business, and Dawn Stoneking, Executive Director of Outreach and Engagement.   

In the next phase, USI will work with the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership (E-REP) to conduct a needs assessment and develop a proposal for an implementation grant that would fund up to $25 million over five years for the project. The deadline for the proposal is March 1, 2024. 

E-REP is the region’s leading economic development engine, coordinating the efforts of over 70 businesses, 20-plus non-profit organizations, and 20 government entities and schools. One of E-REP’s signature initiatives, Talent EVV, aims to establish the Evansville region as a “talent and economic region of choice in the Midwest.” 

“The College and Community Collaboration initiative enabled through the Lilly Endowment presents another opportunity for E-REP and USI to deepen our partnership, and our ability to serve and positively impact the Evansville Region,” said Tara Barney, E-REP CEO. “The partnership between USI and E-REP represents how the Evansville Region is intentionally aligning assets, connecting key initiatives and facilitating public/private partnerships to advance the Quality of Place for current and future residents.” 

About Lilly Endowment Inc. 

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli 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.