Merritt Callahan named Lawrence County Community Foundation’s 2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar

BEDFORD – Merritt Callahan, a senior at Bedford North Lawrence High School has been named the Lawrence County Community Foundation’s 2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.

She is the daughter of Jeff and Paige Callahan and plans to pursue a degree to become a pharmacist. She plans to attend Butler University in the fall.

“I feel extremely honored and thankful to be selected as the 2022 Lawrence County Lilly Endowment Community Scholar,” said Merritt. “There are many deserving candidates in my graduating class and I feel very fortunate to have been selected. I want to take this opportunity to thank the North Lawrence Community School teachers and staff for their hard work and pushing me to be the best student and person possible.” 

Her strengths include organizational skills and a strong work ethic. 

Her academic goal is to complete high school with a 4.0 or higher GPA and to finish in the top 3 of her class. 

Merritt will receive a full-tuition scholarship to a four-year accredited public or private nonprofit college or university in Indiana, with an annual $900 stipend for required books.

Since the Lilly Endowment Scholarship Program’s inception in the 1997-1998 school year, more than $424 million in scholarship tuition has been provided. Administered statewide by Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. with local support from Indiana community foundations, 4,912 Indiana high school students have been awarded the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are:

  1. To help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana;
  2. To increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and
  3. To encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location.

In keeping with the founder’s wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Since 1997, Independent Colleges of Indiana has administered the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program statewide with funding provided by Lilly Endowment. Founded in 1948, ICI serves as the collective voice for the state’s 29 private, nonprofit colleges and universities.

ICI institutions employ over 22,000 Hoosiers and generate a total local economic impact of over $5 billion annually. Students at ICI colleges have Indiana’s highest four-year, on-time graduation rates, and ICI institutions produce 30 percent of Indiana’s bachelor’s degrees while enrolling 20% of its undergraduates.

Lilly Endowment Community Scholars may also participate in the Lilly Scholars Network (LSN), which connects scholars with resources and opportunities to continue to be active leaders on their campuses and in their communities. Both the scholarship program and LSN are supported by grants from Lilly Endowment to Independent Colleges of Indiana.