University of Evansville student Maggie Phelps of Alexandria, Indiana, was one of 30 students from Indiana’s private, non-profit colleges and universities honored recently at the 28th annual Realizing the Dream Banquet. The event recognizes first-generation students attending Independent Colleges of Indiana campuses, along with their inspirational teachers and families. Realizing the Dream is made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to the ICI.
The students honored at the event have realized the dream of being the first in their families to go to college, have been selected by their colleges for outstanding achievement in the freshman year, and are successfully advancing toward completing their bachelor’s degrees. Each student will receive a $2,500 check to help with college costs, and each student’s selected “most influential” teacher/mentor will receive a $1,000 professional development grant. Phelps’s most influential teacher is Deborah Selke, an instructor at Alexandria-Monroe High School in Alexandria.
“We are honored that Maggie has chosen to attend the University of Evansville,” said Angie Dawson, UE director of student retention. “Maggie, now a sophomore, completed her freshman year at UE in our rigorous athletic training program with a GPA of 3.467. She is active in several campus clubs, works part-time on campus, and is a resident assistant. We are grateful to ICI for this scholarship, which rewards and recognizes hard-working students like Maggie.”
One out of every three students on ICI campuses is first-generation. Generous financial aid provided by the institutions, combined with state and federal grants, makes a private college education possible for all students in Indiana.
“We are grateful to the Lilly Endowment for making this inspirational program possible,” says David W. Wantz, ICI president and CEO. “We are proud, too, that because of the higher graduation rates of our ICI colleges and universities, these students are significantly more likely to realize the dream of completing their degrees in four years.”