2019 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars and Guy D. Gundlach Memorial Scholars

Nine local students receive substantial scholarships.

The Lilly Endowment, Inc. and the Community Foundation of Elkhart County are proud to honor nine outstanding students in Elkhart County.

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 public or private nonprofit college or university in Indiana. The selected students are: Lisa Hochstetler, Northridge; Claire Mumaw, Fairfield; and Alexa Porter, Concord.

In addition, the Community Foundation is also proud to award the Guy David Gundlach Memorial Scholarship to the following six students: Danyelle Adams, Jimtown; Margot Cruz-Portillo, Elkhart Memorial; Melissa Daniels, Goshen; Claire Hershberger, Clinton Christian; Jaycee Rossi, Elkhart Central; Otto Schlatter, 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, 37 Elkhart County students have received this $20,000 award.

Commenting on the awards, Community Foundation Career Pathways Chair, Rob Cripe, noted that the Community Foundation administers over 100 scholarship funds. “In fiscal year 2018, the awards totaled more than $2.3 million benefiting hundreds of students from Elkhart County who are currently pursuing higher education. 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.”


Each of the eligible high schools in Elkhart County selects one nominee evaluated based on 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 Career Pathways Committee and staff,” Amanda Jamison, Community Foundation Senior Program Officer, 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 30 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.


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 22nd year, has awarded 85 LECS to students in Elkhart County and 4,626 state-wide, thus far providing more than $392 million dollars in tuition scholarships since inception.

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.


Community Foundation of Elkhart County partners with donors to leverage their philanthropy in ways that transform lives. Since 1989, the Community Foundation has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by providing scholarship opportunities to local students and making grants to nonprofit organizations working to improve Elkhart County.  It’s with strength and hope the Community Foundation seeds the local landscape, supporting plans, programs, and ideas that potentially stand the test of time.  The Community Foundation strives to be a local entity known for inspiring good and impacting success.

For more information regarding the Community Foundation, visit www.InspiringGood.org or call (574) 295-8761.