A $10 million Lilly Endowment Inc. grant will support a new center focusing on addressing opportunities and needs of 11 counties in the southwest central region of the state. Indiana University’s Center for Rural Engagement is an outgrowth of an Indiana University Foundation feasibility study launched in 2015. IU Provost Lauren Robel led the center’s development and says it demonstrates the university’s commitment to partner with "neighbors and friends in the state" to take on community challenges.
"We are grateful to Lilly Endowment for its support of our collaborative vision, and to the many community partners who have already helped shape the center’s early initiatives. We look forward to the many opportunities ahead for our faculty, staff and students to strengthen these partnerships, forge new ones and promote IU as a force for good in the lives of our fellow Hoosiers," Robel said.
Local residents, community and organization leaders and over 200 IU faculty, administrators and staff members participated in discussions that shaped the vision of the center. It will work to address issues in Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen and Washington counties through efforts ranging from faculty-led classes to multidisciplinary research projects.
Former IU Director of Sustainability Bill Brown will be executive director of the Center for Rural Engagement.
The announcement was made Monday at the West Baden Springs Hotel. You can connect to more about the new center by clicking here.