Manchester University Applying for Grant Through Lilly Endowment’s College & Community Collaboration Initiative

Manchester University Applying for Grant Through Lilly Endowment’s College & Community Collaboration Initiative Main Photo

4 Mar 2024

Manchester University plans to submit a proposal to receive important funding from Lilly Endowment’s College & Community Collaboration Initiative. The program is offering interested Indiana colleges and universities the chance to apply for grants to help them create and carry out collaborative projects with community stakeholders that will ultimately strengthen the quality of life in their surrounding communities.

“Manchester University is thrilled for this transformational opportunity through the Lilly Endowment’s College & Community Collaboration Initiative to submit an application for projects that benefit the University and the surrounding community,” said Dr. Stacy Young, President of Manchester University.

Manchester University is applying in hopes to build off the strong foundation of Imagine One 85, a collaborative effort that the University has been working on with the Community since the plan was adopted in 2022. Alex Downard, Director of the Imagine One 85 initiative, is involved in the application process for Manchester University. Downard—who serves on the President’s Leadership Council at Manchester University and is also the Secretary of the Alumni Association Board of Directors—leads the implementation efforts of the Imagine One 85 initiative in Wabash County. The initiative launched in 2020 to address and put an end to Wabash County’s population decline by following strategic plans involving housing, workforce development, early childhood schooling, rural broadband, and more.

All governing bodies in the county adopted the Imagine One 85 Countywide Comprehensive Plan in 2022 with the objective of continued growth and prosperity throughout Wabash County’s future. Manchester University, as one of Wabash County's anchor institutions, was at the table from the planning process' inception in 2020.

“This chance to build off the strong foundation from the recent planning efforts of Imagine One 85 and the University’s strategic plan has prepared us for this generational opportunity. The Town of North Manchester and Manchester University mutually benefit when we are each successful,” Dr. Young said. “This grant opportunity has allowed us to strengthen that spirit of collaboration and our relationship even further.”

What is Lilly Endowment’s College & Community Collaboration Initiative?

Lilly Endowment Inc. launched the College & Community Collaboration Initiative, with the recognition that colleges and universities play a significant role in the long-term wellbeing of individuals and communities. In an effort to  help these institutions collaborate with stakeholders to enhance their communities, the Endowment is allocating up to $300 million for this initiative. 

Who is Eligible to Apply for Funding?

There are 35 Indiana colleges and universities that offer four-year degree programs and have physical campuses within Indiana. Any of these institutions are eligible to apply for grants through this competitive, five-year initiative. 

What Does the Application Process Involve?

Lilly Endowment’s College & Community Collaboration Initiative consists of two phases. Phase 1 was non-competitive. Eligible colleges and universities submitted proposals for planning grants of up to $250,000.

The competitive Phase 2 is now in progress. Eligible colleges and universities may now submit implementation proposals for up to $25 million each that may be used for up to a five-year period.

Dr. Young continued, “We have worked tirelessly to prepare projects that support the University and Community’s ability to attract and retain talent and are eager to submit our proposal in the coming weeks.”

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