2020 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Recipients Announced

Wabash Valley Community Foundation Announces Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Recipients 

Two students from Vigo County, and one each from Clay and Sullivan counties, will receive four-year, full-tuition scholarships to an accredited public or private nonprofit college or university of their choice in Indiana as the 2020 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars for their respective counties. In addition to full tuition, each scholar will receive an annual stipend of up to $900 for required books and equipment. Funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., this scholarship program is administered locally by the Wabash Valley Community Foundation and its affiliates, the Clay County Community Foundation and the Sullivan County Community Foundation.

The following two students have been selected as Vigo County Lilly Endowment Community Scholars: South Vigo seniors Lanee Dillion, daughter of Scott Dillion of Terre Haute, and Marek Gibson, grandson of Mark and Cristie Major, of Terre Haute.

The Sullivan County student receiving the award is Sullivan High School senior Bailey Flath. Bailey is the daughter of Steven and Crystal Flath of Sullivan.

Representing Clay City High School as the 2020 Clay County Lilly Endowment Community Scholar is Ethan Rogers. Ethan is the son of Melvin and Jamie Rogers of Cory.

The Community Foundation received nearly 400 applications from students in the three-county area. Each county had its own selection committee comprised of citizens from throughout the county. The selection process was “blind” in that all identifying material was concealed prior to application review by the committees to make this as fair a process as possible. Any Indiana resident planning to attend an Indiana college or university for the first time in the fall of 2020 who resided in or attended school in Clay, Sullivan, or Vigo counties and will have graduated from an accredited Indiana high school by the end of June 2020, was eligible to apply.

It is important to note that in Clay, Sullivan and Vigo counties, this scholarship seeks to select well-rounded individuals and does not lean solely on academic achievement. Selection criteria for the three-county area is weighted as follows: 20% financial need; 20% academic achievement; 50% activities outside the academic setting, such as extracurricular activities, service to the greater community and/or part-time employment; and a final 10% for extenuating circumstances, such as a significant trauma or hardship endured by the student and/or student’s immediate family.

The scholarship committees in each county conducted interviews and narrowed the field to one nominee/two alternates in Clay and Sullivan counties and two nominees/three alternates in Vigo County, all served by the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, Inc. The nominees’ applications were then submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI), statewide administer of the scholarship program, for the final selection of the recipients. ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 30 regionally accredited degree- granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

First offered in 1998, these scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education.  Indiana ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree. Including this 23rd cohort, 4,769 full-tuition scholars have been awarded and over $405M in scholarship tuition has been provided through the LECSP since the program’s inception.

The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.