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Last modified: Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lilly Endowment awards IU $2.75 million for internships, economic partnerships, entrepreneurship

Nov. 20, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie announced today that Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded the university $2.75 million to support initiatives that provide internships and job placement, promote economic development and encourage a culture of entrepreneurship.

The five-year Initiative to Promote Opportunities through Educational Collaborations will fund new and continued activities at seven IU campuses aimed at reversing "brain drain" and increasing the number of college graduates who stay and work in Indiana. IU will demonstrate its commitment by providing dollar-for-dollar matching funds from the campuses.

Michael McRobbie

Michael McRobbie

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"Indiana's economic well-being depends on our ability to produce a highly educated work force, engage students and graduates in meaningful work, and foster innovation and entrepreneurship," McRobbie said. "This grant will give us new resources to help our students transition into good jobs in Indiana. Once again, Indiana University is deeply grateful to Lilly Endowment for its generous and strategic investment in the future of our state."

The funding builds on the success of a 2003 Lilly Endowment grant of $5.5 million, which was used to establish internship, service learning, job development and entrepreneurship programs. It will support an increased emphasis on entrepreneurship at IU Bloomington, further strengthen community partnerships at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and expand initiatives at IU regional campuses.

At IU Bloomington, the grant will continue efforts led by the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Kelley School of Business to establish satellite offices and certificate of entrepreneurship programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Informatics, the Jacobs School of Music and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. The campus will develop tandem internships that match students from various disciplines with those from the Kelley School, and it will provide space at the new Bloomington Incubator for student-developed business.


An IU Herron School of Art and Design student works with Indianapolis students in an internship coordinated by the Solution Center at IUPUI.

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IUPUI will use the funding to support the work of its Solution Center, which connects campus resources to the Indianapolis business and nonprofit community. It will continue and expand the Community Venture Fund, which provides matching support to small businesses and nonprofits to seed internship programs, and establish an endowment to support new internships. Internships and service learning opportunities expand students' skill sets, help them build professional networks, and often result in job offers that encourage new graduates to plant roots in Indiana.

Regional campuses also will participate fully in the initiative:

  • IU East will hire a project coordinator for its Business Development Opportunities Program, which develops internships for students and assists businesses in east-central Indiana.
  • IU Kokomo will establish new internships, develop additional activities that support student readiness for the job market and add support staff for its newly established Leadership Academy.
  • IU Northwest will fund new student internships and faculty research fellowships in support of its Center for Regional Excellence, which addresses a range of issues in northwestern Indiana, including economic development, P-20 education, race and culture and environmental sustainability.
  • IU Southeast will expand the activities of its Regional Economic Development Resource Center and support a developing partnership with the Purdue Technology Center in New Albany.
  • IU South Bend will sustain and enhance internship and job placement activities and community and economic development partnerships and will develop software to track internships and alumni career outcomes.

IU far exceeded the goals that it set for the 2003 Lilly Endowment "brain drain" grant -- in many cases by 400 percent and others by as much as 2,600 percent. It created 4,240 internships, added 17,350 service learning opportunities, and initiated 4,547 new contacts with community partners. Also, each campus developed long-lasting infrastructure changes to support and sustain enhanced civic engagement and economic development.