$7.5M Gift to Launch Funded Internships and Research Experiences for All Students | Earlham College
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Powered by a $7.5 million leadership gift from Alan ’74 and Peg Kral Scantland ’74, Earlham College is launching The EPIC Advantage, a new commitment to fund student-faculty research projects and internships for all of its students.

$7.5M Gift to Launch Funded Internships and Research Experiences for All Students

April 10, 2017

Earlham College is launching The EPIC Advantage, a new commitment to fund student-faculty research projects and internships for all of its students. With the launch of this initiative, Earlham becomes one of very few schools in the U.S. to fund collaborative learning experiences for all students.

Powered by a $7.5 million leadership gift from Alan ’74 and Peg Kral Scantland ’74, the College will fund 75 research and internship experiences this summer and then fully implement the initiative in fall 2017. The College will help ensure that every student has the opportunity and financial support necessary to take full advantage of these opportunities. This will become a permanent feature of the Earlham experience.

“Essentially, we are removing the financial constraints related to internships and research opportunities, says Avis Stewart ’74, vice president for institutional advancement and community relations.  “We are saying to students, ‘we believe in you, we are inspired by your passions and ambitions, and we challenge you to take this funding and do amazing things in the world.’”

The Scantland gift is the largest alumni gift in the College’s history, and the largest single gift Earlham has received since Eli Lilly’s “Magnificent Gift” of $25 million in 1973.

“We are extremely grateful to the Scantlands for their generosity and vision for the future of Earlham,” says President David Dawson. “This gift funds life-changing opportunities for current and future students, and supports the work of our faculty. Earlham is committed to making these experiences possible for all students.”

This initiative is an outgrowth of the Earlham Plan for Integrative Collaboration (or EPIC), which was implemented in the fall of 2016. EPIC provides each student with a team of academic and pre-professional advisers, courses that link academics with possible career paths, and centers devoted to entrepreneurship and innovation, global education, global health, social justice, and career and community engagement. Drawing on the best of the traditional liberal arts and Earlham’s particular strength in multi-disciplinary education, EPIC enables students to look at problems from multiple angles and seek solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

The EPIC Advantage will expand Earlham’s efforts to prepare students to lead and thrive in a rapidly changing world by:

  • Funding travel and living expenses while students work with high-growth companies around the world;
  • Rewarding students with funding to support self-designed and innovative internship proposals at other locations around the globe, working with arts organizations, non-governmental organizations, social service agencies, and more; and
  • Offering funding for summertime collaborative research efforts, transformative laboratory experiences and field work, like reconstructing paleo-landscapes and growing nanoparticles.

This new funding will guarantee that all students, regardless of financial need, can benefit from these enrichment experiences, which will generally take place during junior or senior year. The EPIC Advantage will serve as a defining educational experience, one that all students can anticipate, and begin planning for, from day one.

Funding for approved EPIC Advantage internships and research projects will be applied to travel and other associated costs, allowing students to take full advantage of these experiential learning opportunities. The College is committed to providing students a choice of opportunities on campus, across the United States, and in other countries. Earlham will also provide expert advising to help students secure appropriate placements related to the students’ academic interests and career aspirations.

“For a long time, Earlham has been a place where many students have had opportunities to conduct high level research with professors, to immerse themselves in other cultures and to gain practical experience that helps them transition to successful and meaningful lives and careers after graduation,” says Jay Roberts, associate vice president of academic affairs and a scholar of experiential education. “We know that internships and research experiences make a powerful difference in students’ lives. We have seen that play out for our top students for many years. But with The EPIC Advantage, we can say that these experiences are available to everyone. That’s a monumental change in what we offer to students and their families.”

The Scantlands were motivated to make their leadership gift in part by their own experiences as Earlham students.

“Like a lot of alumni, Peggy and I have benefitted tremendously from our Earlham education,” Alan Scantland says. “We have supported research in the past and believe that Earlhamites are doing an incredible amount of good in the world. I was a biology major at Earlham right until the end when I combined those experiences with economics. One of my big projects was focused on fish behavior research in the frozen Mad River. That project has stayed with me for my entire life. We are happy to support Earlham in its efforts to provide similar experiences to future students.”

— EC —

Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and zimmebr@earlham.edu.


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