Lilly Endowment awards grant to Huntington

Huntington, Ind.—Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a $375,000 grant to Huntington University to sustain the university’s Enterprise Resource Center and expand career development diagnostics and techniques to assist students to focus on their major.

“We are grateful for Lilly Endowment’s support of experiential learning opportunities for Huntington University students,” said Kay Schwob, director of the Enterprise Resource Center. “The ERC allows us to focus energy and attention on experiential learning. Without Lilly Endowment funding, the university couldn’t offer as many experiential learning opportunities as it does. We’re touching students at their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years.”

The Huntington University Enterprise Resource Center identifies, implements and evaluates experiential learning opportunities in the area community. The ERC acts as a “connector” between the university and area businesses, not-for-profit organizations, social service agencies, churches and local governments to provide meaningful, “real-world” experiences for Huntington University students with a wide range of majors and interests while helping these community entities to grow and prosper.

Schwob and Ron Coffey, vice president for student development, wrote the grant proposal to the endowment. The proposal included plans for new ERC programs, including Career Peers, a group of students who have completed an internship and who will be hired to promote experiential learning on campus. The ERC also will provide more opportunities for students in their freshman and sophomore years, including training in résumé writing, job search techniques and interviewing skills.

One stipulation of the grant is that the university also will invest in the program the grant will support. Huntington will establish the Enterprise Resource Endowment with $75,000 from the endowment’s $375,000 grant.

“The institution is truly committed to providing experiential learning opportunities for our students and is putting funds toward the ERC as well,” Schwob said.

The Enterprise Resource Center, launched in 2004, was established with a $750,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment. Since then, the ERC has worked with more than 400 different companies, including more than 300 in Indiana. During the 2007-2008 academic year, 84 new companies established a relationship with the ERC, 53 of those in Indiana. The ERC has served approximately 800 students who have completed some type of experiential learning.

“One of our goals is to provide students with a better understanding of employment opportunities in Indiana,” Schwob said. “Hopefully, many will obtain a position in Indiana after graduation and stay.”

In the last three years, 486 traditional undergraduate students have graduated from Huntington University. Of those graduates, 451 have reported their post-college employment status. Of the 451 graduates who have reported their status, 204 were employed in Indiana. Of the 204 graduates employed in Indiana, 105 completed some type of experiential learning during their college career at Huntington.

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  


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