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Catawba College Receives Renewal Grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc.

June 7, 2006

Category: Academics, Students

Catawba College has received a $500,000 renewal grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. under its "Sustaining the Theological Exploration of Vocation"program. This sustainability grant will augment a five-year, $1,999,503 grant that Catawba received in 2003 from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for implementation of its on-campus program, You Can Make a Difference! A Lilly Program for the Theological Exploration of Vocation. The new grant will allow Catawba, along with 30 other institutions receiving similar funding, to build upon and extend what they have already accomplished through their respective programs.

The original grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. allowed Catawba to establish its Lilly Center for Vocation and Values and to offer programs through that Center for students, faculty, staff, and the larger college community. The focus of these programs has been to help participants, especially students, discover and use their gifts in ways that serve others. A special focus has been to encourage students to consider seriously how they can make a real difference in today's world through the Christian ministry. Lilly Endowment officials acknowledge being thrilled by the impact that the programs at Catawba and other recipient schools has made on campus cultures across the nation. Students are approaching decisions about their life's work and service from a new perspective that employs a value system predicated upon service and responding to meaningful engagement and working for the greater good.

According to the Lilly Endowment, Inc. the renewal or sustainability grants are being awarded at a time "when campus program are flourishing but also at a point when the original grant funds are being depleted."The new grants will make it possible for the programs of the Lilly Center to continue while the College seeks contributions to endow these critical programs and assure their continuance beyond the grant period.

Dr. Ken ClappAt Catawba, according to Chaplain and Senior Vice President Dr. Ken Clapp, a 1970 alumnus who directs the Lilly Center on campus, the idea is to secure long-term funding for the Center and its programs. "We've made some phenomenal strides in the three years since we received the original grant from the Lilly Endowment,"Clapp said. "We have been able to involve a broad cross-section of the college community in our program offerings, including retreats, fora and colloquia. Students often point to experiences made possible by the Lilly Center as having been among their most important college experiences. We want to continue and grow that involvement.

"Additionally, four of our students have been able to attend seminary and pursue a ministerial vocation thanks to funding for scholarships that our Lilly Endowment grant has made possible. Four others have gone directly after graduation into service ministries, and at least six current students are on track for ministry vocations"

Catawba is one of 30 institutions receiving a renewal grant at this time and one of 88 colleges and universities in the country participating in the Lilly Endowment's Programs for Theological Exploration of Vocation. Other institutions receiving renewal grants include Asbury College, Augustana College, Bluffton University, Butler University, Cardinal Stritch University, Creighton University, Dillard University, Dordt College,  Duke University, Elmhurst College, Evangel University, Geneva College, Gordon College, Hamline University, Hastings College, Hellenic College, Hope College, Lee University, Marian College, Milligan College, Northwestern College, Our Lady of the Lake University, Pacific Lutheran University, St. Bonaventure University, St. Olaf College, Santa Clara College, Simpson College, Spelman College, and Wartburg College. 

Founded in 1937, the Endowment is an Indianapolis-based private foundation that supports its founders' wishes by supporting the causes of religion, community development and education.

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