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Lilly Endowment Grant Will Enhance Opportunities for DePauw Students and Local Communities

December 9, 2003

December 9, 2003, Greencastle, Ind. - Lilly Endowment is awarding DePauw University a grant totaling $750,000 to fund a series of initiatives -- including the creation of a new Putnam County Economic Development Partnership Fund -- which are designed to create new economic opportunities and encourage DePauw graduates to remain in the state following graduation. The Endowment is providing grants totaling $38.9 million to Indiana's seven public universities and 31 private colleges in hopes of reducing the so-called "brain drain" -- the net loss of graduates that's been experienced by the State of Indiana in recent years. "The ultimate goal is to produce people who can find good jobs in Indiana, encourage them to explore local opportunities, and help them be aware of what's available in the state," says the Endowment's Gretchen Wolfram.

While Indiana ranks near the bottom in the number of adults with college degrees, it is a major producer of college graduates. A 1999 study by the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute's 1999 reported that 36 percent of Indiana's college graduates seek employment outside of the state. The statistic climbs to 68 percent when looking specifically at graduates with technology-related degrees.

“This grant will enable DePauw and its neighboring communities to forge new alliances that will enhance opportunities for students on this campus and for citizens throughout Putnam County,” says DePauw President Robert G. Bottoms. “As it has for many years, Lilly Endowment is again providing the means to improve the quality of education and of life in the State of Indiana, and we are forever grateful for their vision and confidence.”

Lilly Endowment put out a call for creative solutions to the “brain drain.” DePauw's successful proposal will create a number of new and enhanced initiatives which will benefit students, the community and state, and K-12 educators, including:

  • Putnam County Economic Development Partnership Fund: DePauw will provide matching seed funds of up to $20,000 per year, as well as in-kind services and support, to facilitate various economic development projects in Greencastle that connect to internship and educational opportunities for DePauw students. A group comprised of community leaders and area businesses will work with DePauw officials to coordinate the solicitation and vetting of proposals. Area leaders will work to provide additional funding and in-kind resources to support ideas funded under the venture fund. In evaluating successful proposals, the PCEDPF will look for sustainable business ideas that hold strong promise to create new businesses, jobs, or economic growth in Putnam County.
  • Internship Stipends: DePauw will provide up to twenty matching stipends at a rate of $750 per month to support students in summer, semester, Winter Term, and combined term internships at Indiana start-up, small-, and mid-sized firms in the five sectors targeted by the state for leading economic development: 1) life sciences and bio-tech; 2) advanced logistics; 3) advanced manufacturing; 4) information technology; and 5) capital development. Internship hosts will be expected to provide matching stipends of at least $250 per month and to offer students a rich internship experience equivalent to the opportunity that an entry-level employee would experience.
  • Post-Graduate Internships: providing up to six matching stipends of $8,000 to $12,000 plus tuition and fees covering one course per semester for two years to support DePauw graduates working at Indiana start-up, small-, and mid-sized firms in the five sectors targeted by the state for leading economic development: 1) life sciences and bio-tech, 2) advanced logistics; 3) advanced manufacturing; 4) information technology; and 5) capital development. We will expect our business partners to provide matching funds of $8,000 in the first year and $10,000 in the second year, so as to guarantee a salary of $16,000 plus benefits for the first year and $22,000 plus benefits for the second year.
  • START Coordinator Intern: to enable DePauw to build on the strengths of 361°, the University will hire a graduate intern enrolled in an area Masters program who will work thirty hours per week coordinating our START program, while completing a relevant Masters degree at a nearby university. We will provide an annual stipend, tuition for the graduate program, and benefits.

Video Link [DOWNLOAD VIDEO: "DePauw's Uniqueness" 1300KB] “DePauw looked at this opportunity, stepped back and asked, ‘What are the unique and special things about DePauw University that we might build on to help the Endowment in its goal of increasing state economic development,'” says Dennis A. Trinkle, director of 361° initiatives, coordinator of information services and technology, and Tenzer University Professor in Instructional Technology at DePauw. “We thought about our long track record of marrying liberal arts education with hands-on, real world experience and decided that internships would be a valuable opportunity point where we could put an emphasis.”

  • Information Technology Graduate Interns: DePauw will hire two additional IT graduate interns from area masters degree programs who will work thirty hours per week, while completing a relevant masters degree at an area university. DePauw will provide an annual stipend, tuition coverage at area graduate program, and benefits and will partner with programs at Indiana University, Ball State University, and Purdue University.
  • Winter Term Course on Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship: which will provide DePauw students valuable opportunities to learn from successful local experts and entrepreneurs about how one starts and grows a venture.In the new course, DePauw will partner with our alumni entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, Rose Hulman Ventures, the Ball State Center for Entrepreneurship, and area incubators.
  • IndianaLink Partnership: working with the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), two Indianapolis-based organizations, DirectEmployers Association and careersINsite, and Indiana colleges and universities, DePauw will collaborate to help create and implement the first-ever web-based, single-source, statewide employment network connecting students, alumni and employers through Indiana's college and university career centers. IndianaLink will provide an Internet-based, statewide, single-source employment system for all Indiana colleges, universities, students, alumni, and employers (including out-of-state employers who have operations in Indiana) that is first of its kind and second to none in the country, and will allow Indiana college students to find jobs and internships in their fields of study in Indiana, and allow Indiana employers to search for job candidates at campuses statewide.
  • 361° K-12 Bridge Program: providing summer workshops for Indiana instructors in grades kindergarten through 12, to give them skills to enrich and improve teaching and learning through use of technology.

“I'm confident that these initiatives and others will, among other things, increase DePauw student and alumni awareness of employment opportunities in Indiana, stimulate economic investment and entrepreneurship in Putnam County, enhance talent retention in the local community and state, and provide even more opportunities for DePauw students and our partners in Putnam County to acquire entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills,” Dr. Trinkle says. “We thank Lilly Endowment for its confidence in our vision, and confident that these programs will make a very visible and positive difference.”

"The Putnam County Economic Development Partnership Fund will further enhance the relationships between local business and DePauw students by encouraging awareness of the vast local career opportunities within Putnam County,” asserts Greencastle Mayor Nancy Michael. “Not only will students find increased opportunities but local partners will have access to highly skilled and talented interns and potential future employees. This program could also benefit Greencastle local students by increasing awareness of career and educational opportunities within their own community through such initiatives as IndianaLink. I applaud this announcement, which carries with it great potential for future collaboration between communities, businesses, and colleges and universities."

Putnam County business owner Ken Eitel states, “This partnership offers the opportunity for the community and DePauw to cooperate in new ways to benefit the local, regional and state economies. When IBM left town twenty years ago, DePauw helped as we rebuilt our economic base. The times we're in call for renewed efforts to develop jobs and opportunity for the decades to come.”

The new initiatives create, Audio Link[DOWNLOAD AUDIO: "Bettering Indiana" 171KB] “across the board, a lot of opportunities for the community and for our students, hopefully all with the target of bettering Indiana and growing the economy,” adds Dr. Trinkle.

In March 2001, DePauw was the recipient of a $20 million Lilly Endowment grant, which created the 361° Initiatives. 361° was recently awarded a 2003 EDUCAUSE Award for Systemic Progress in Teaching and Learning. One of six EDUCAUSE Awards for leadership and innovative use of technology in higher education, which has never before been presented to a university or college that is not a doctoral/research institution. The prestigious honor recognizes campus-wide programs and practices that use information technologies to support student-centered teaching and learning in ways that are transformative, sustainable, and replicable. Read more by clicking here.

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