Simpson to receive $2 million grant

by Erin Haller, Editor-in-Chief

College officials received word recently that Simpson was one of 39 four-year church affiliated schools to receive a $2 million grant from the Lilly Endowment – one of the largest in school history.

The college is now working to turn that landmark into an opportunity to further guide students toward the future.

“This is to help Simpson develop programs that will help students think about their vocations in life,” said Michael Adams, assistant vice president of public relations and marketing. “This will help engage students in direct experiences that will allow them to better understand vocations.”

The program also has a special inclusion concerning ministerial work that is in accordance with the goals of the Lilly Endowment. Adams said that the college hopes the program will also identify and encourage students who might have a personal call to the ministry.

There were three other Iowa schools who received the grant – Wartburg, Northwestern and Dordt. All were in the $2 million range.

“It’s a very big deal to Simpson to get this funding,” said Adams. “A lot of work went into the development of the grant proposal with a great deal of commitment on the part of faculty and administration.”

Simpson was invited to apply for a planning grant one year ago. The Lilly Endowment sends this request to 300-400 colleges and universities. Simpson chose to apply and received a $49,000 planning grant to prepare an application for the larger grant.

Simpson put together a planning committee of approximately 16 individuals. For the final grant there were faculty and administrators who participated in the development of the final application that was submitted in July.

The committee consisted of Dean of Students Jim Thorius, Academic Dean Bruce Haddox, Chaplain Chris Waddle, Lois Schultz from Counseling and Career Services, Owen Duncan, professor of history, Pat Singer, professor of biology, and Nancy St. Clair, professor of English.

Thorius said the application for the final grant required a detailed budget for the program if Simpson received the grant. A significant portion will go toward hiring a staff of three people – a director, assistant director and secretary – intended to oversee the program. A portion will also go to operating expenses.

The remainder of the money will be spread across several programs around campus which include new-student orientation and first-year Liberal Arts Seminars, May Term courses, Cornerstone Studies, the Simpson Forum, Senior Colloquium, Counseling and Career Services programs, the chaplain’s office programs, volunteer service programs and student advising program.

“One of the beauties of this grant is that it wasn’t focused on one initiative,” said Thorius. “This has the potential to provide a lasting impact.”