The Community Foundation of Morgan County (CFMC) is pleased to announce the recipient(s) of the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for Morgan County – Marissa Rodriguez of Monrovia High School and Katherine Wymer of Mooresville High School. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are known for their community involvement, academic achievement, character, and leadership.

“Marissa and Katherine are very deserving of this award. Not only do they excel in academics, but they are charitable and partake in extracurricular activities for their school systems. Yet their interview presentations are what set them apart from the others. The interview committee was impressed with their presentation’s quality and their passion for their topic. It is a pleasure awarding two very deserving students”, says President, Brittani Bentley of CFMC.

Each Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides for full tuition, required fees, and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years. The scholarship is for undergraduate students studying on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars may also participate in the Lilly Scholars Network (LSN), which connects both current scholars and alumni with resources and opportunities to be active leaders on their campuses and in their communities. Both the scholarship program and LSN are supported by grants from Lilly Endowment to Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) and Indiana Humanities.

“Thank you to the Community Foundation of Morgan County for validating the effort I have put into my high school career and placing your trust and support in my future. Being selected as a recipient of this scholarship will allow me to pursue my education and career goals while affording me the opportunity to continue giving back to the community,” said Marissa Rodriguez (Lilly Endowment Community Scholar).

In determining Morgan County’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholars’ nominees, consideration was given to interview preparedness, professional demeanor, and presentation and interview skills by the LECSP Nominating Committee. After the field of applicants was narrowed down, nominees were submitted to ICI, the statewide administrator of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program, which approves the final selection of scholarship recipients.

“CFMC received 163 applications for the 2023 Lilly Endowment Scholarship. Students reported their GPA and two essays explaining the change they would like to make in the world and how this scholarship would affect their families. Reading those inspiring essays helped the evaluation committee select the best of the best as finalists for the scholarship”, says President Bentley.

Lilly Endowment created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program for the 1998-99 school year and has supported the program every year since with grants totaling in excess of $486 million. More than 5,000 Indiana students have received the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship 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.

About the Community Foundation of Morgan County: CFMC connects donors and their charitable giving with our evolving community needs in order to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations through impact grant making. They are philanthropic leaders and catalysts who maximize available resources in the county. Home to over 180 funds and 60 scholarships, the foundation strives to make Morgan County a better place.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based 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. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it 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. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Since 1997, Independent Colleges of Indiana has administered the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program statewide with funding provided by Lilly Endowment. Founded in 1948, ICI serves as the collective voice for the state’s 29 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. ICI institutions employ over 22,000 Hoosiers and generate a total local economic impact of over $5 billion annually. Students at ICI colleges have Indiana’s highest four-year, on-time graduation rates, and ICI institutions produce 30 percent of Indiana’s bachelor’s degrees while enrolling 20 percent of its undergraduates.