Contact: Mary Ellen Hamer,
Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc.,
“Realizing the Dream”: Celebrating First-Generation College Students
INDIANAPOLIS, November 2, 2016 – Realizing a dream takes commitment, hard work, and, most often, a helping hand from family and others. And that’s exactly what 31 students from Indiana’s independent colleges and universities are being celebrated for this Saturday evening, November 5, at the 27th annual “Realizing the Dream” banquet.
Now sophomores, they 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 towards completing their bachelor’s degrees.
Made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, the event recognizes first-generation students attending ICI campuses, along with their inspirational teachers and families. The event is being held at the Sheraton Indianapolis at Keystone Crossing, with a reception at 6:00 p.m. and an awards dinner at 7:00 p.m.
Each honored 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. One out of every three students on ICI campuses is first-generation. Generous financial aid provided by the campuses themselves, combined with state and federal grants, makes a private college education a possibility for all students in Indiana.
This year’s keynote speaker is Bart Caylor, president and owner of Caylor Solutions. Caylor graduated magna cum laude from Anderson University and is a first-generation student himself, who was honored at the first Realizing the Dream banquet in 1989. Caylor has worked with global brands such as AT&T, IAMs Pet Food, Motorola, RCA, and GE. With nearly 30 years in design and marketing, he has spent 20 years in web design and digital marketing and 15 years working with education clients including Anderson University, Franklin College, Marian University and Taylor University.
“We are so grateful to Lilly Endowment Inc. for making this inspirational program possible,” says Richard L. Ludwick, ICI president & CEO. “We are proud, too, that because of the higher graduation rates of our ICI colleges and universities, these students are twice as likely to realize the dream of completing their degrees in four years.”
Independent Colleges of Indiana serves as the collective voice for the state’s 31 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. ICI member institutions enroll almost 100,000 students (approximately 17 percent of all students statewide) and annually produce 32 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in Indiana. Information about ICI is available at www.icindiana.org.