Lilly Endowment Community & Gundlach Memorial Scholars

Press Release Photo

Photo: Community Foundation annually honors nine high school students in Elkhart County who have received either the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship or Guy David Gundlach Memorial Scholarship. The nine outstanding students were recognized for their achievements at a scholarship banquet hosted by the Community Foundation on Friday, April 22 at The Lerner Theatre: Crystal Ballroom, in Elkhart. Pictured (from left, first row) are: Elise Sharkey, Fairfield; Taylor Freedline, Eklhart Memorial; Hannah Miller, Northridge; Bethany Mullet, Clinton Christian. Pictured (from left, second row) are: Hannah Hartzell, Elkhart Central; Jacquelyne Fernandez, Goshen; Jocelyn Chupp, Concord; Kelly Brooks, Jimtown; Tyler Thornton, NorthWood.


Three students from Elkhart County will receive Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships (LECS) entitling them to full tuition, fees and $900 a year for required books and equipment to any accredited Indiana college or university of their choice. The selected students are: Jocelyn Chupp, Concord; Bethany Mullet, Clinton Christian; and Elise Sharkey, Fairfield.

The Community Foundation is also proud to award the Guy David Gundlach Memorial Scholarship to the following six students: Kelly Brooks, Jimtown; Jacquelyne Fernandez, Goshen; Taylor Freedline, Elkhart Memorial; Hannah Hartzell, Elkhart Central; Hannah Miller, Northridge; and Tyler Thornton, NorthWood. Each of these students will receive $5,000 per year for four years to any accredited Indiana college or university. This memorial scholarship is only one of the many positive initiatives established due to Mr. Gundlach’s gift in 2011. Since the inception of the scholarship, eighteen Elkhart County students have received this $20,000 award.  Over the next decade, it is anticipated that over sixty students in our community will be presented the Guy David Gundlach Memorial Scholarship.

According to Community Foundation program officer, Amanda Jamison, each eligible high school in Elkhart County selects one nominee evaluated on the basis of academic performance (including grades and course load), extra-curricular and civic involvement, work experience, career goals, unusual circumstances, interview and an essay.

“After the Community Foundation scholarship committee received the nominee applications, names were removed from the application and the applications were scored (excluding the essays) by the Community Foundation Scholarship Committee,” Jamison explains. “The ‘blind’ essays were then scored by Goshen College professors, the scores tallied and the field narrowed to the top five nominees. The finalists’ names were submitted to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for final review and selection of the final three recipients.” ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

Commenting on the awards, Community Foundation Scholarship Chair, Gordon Moore, noted that the Community Foundation administers 84 separate scholarship funds.

“In 2016, the awards totaled more than $900,000 benefiting hundreds of students from Elkhart County who are currently pursuing higher education. Consequently, these scholarships make a considerable impact, not only in the lives of these students and their families, but also on the educational and economic future of our county.”

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education. Indiana ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a Bachelor’s degree. The program, now in its 19th year, has awarded 76 LECS to students in Elkhart County and 4,198 state-wide, thus far providing more than $18.5 million dollars in scholarships.