2021 is the year of the Jasper Newton Foundation. Join us in Celebrating 30 Years of Service, Community and Collaboration. We are taking a glimpse into the years that built us, if you have missed our previous posts be sure to check them out to relive the memories of our beginnings.

Speaking of beginnings, 1998 was the first year for Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship (LECS) program. The scholarship program was designed to raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana and increase awareness of the potential of Indiana’s community foundations to improve the quality of life of the state’s residents. Recipients were provided with a four-year-full-tuition college scholarship to a higher education program in the state of Indiana. Both Foundations began administering and awarding scholarships made possible by the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. Pictured below are some notable quotes from the recipients who have benefitted from Lilly scholarships since the fruition in 1998.

The quote above from 2018 Newton County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipient, Austin Berenda shows how this scholarship continues to drive change & growth in our communities.

Every small town, every big city – from the private-sector businesses to the public institutions that govern us – everywhere you turn there is a person, a Hoosier, working diligently to do great things. This scholarship built on my passion for the Hoosier state, a passion that pushes me to serve communities across our state in every way I can.” 

We hope that his words are a motivator for our community in giving back & recognizing the resources we have through Lilly Endowment to support our local community. 

Since the inception of this scholarship program – the JNF has awarded 80+ local students with 100% tuition covered at any Indiana college or university.  The LECS program has supported local communities in keeping talented young people at our fine higher education institutions in Indiana in the hopes that they will choose to live and raise a family in Indiana after college.  Our county scholarship committees involve local professionals in the selection of the scholarship recipients each year.  This program is a great way to bring the community together around the importance of education.

Both Foundations participated in Lilly Endowment GIFT IV to boost growth of resources and meet future needs of the communities. Lilly Endowment announced GIFT V matching challenge. Area educators worked with the Jasper Foundation on finding the area’s most compelling needs in education with the CAPE grant. Both foundations participated in “Taking Stock”, a self-assessment process offered by the Lilly Endowment and aimed at identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges in our communities. These initiatives were provided by the GIFT arm of Lilly Endowment. GIFT stands for “Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow”. The Taking Stock initiative helped the foundations remain grounded in the communities they served and learned new ways to problem solve for the needs of Jasper and Newton Counties. 

Carnegie Center was deeded over by the Historic Landmark Foundation of Indiana to President John Egan at the rededication ceremony in 1999. The Carnegie Center, previously a library, became the cultural center for Jasper County.  The Prairie Arts Council and Ralph & Lilian Arts Gallery were located in the Carnegie Center where arts, education classes, and public gallery are still located today. The Carnegie Center is our home today, too. We have board meeting spaces and offices located in the basement of the building where our day to day operations commence. You will often find us out and about with others in the community, but the Carnegie Center has and always will be special to the Jasper Newton Foundation. 


A note below from John Egan about the Carnegie Center: 

Of course, while all these projects were going on the Jasper and Newton Foundations were still out in our communities educating others on the importance of philanthropy and investing in the community in addition to funding community projects. These projects had a larger impact because of our partnership with Lilly Endowment and people’s dollars went further because of Lilly’s matching programs. Businesses and organizations began knowing that a match could make an even bigger impact in the community. We started seeing more and more projects happening where we lived. 

What were your early memories at the Carnegie Center or when the first Lilly grants were available to our communities? We’d love to hear your memories from the last 30 years and capture even more of our organizational history. 

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