Revitalize Richmond logo with tagline

Revitalize Richmond

An investment in our future

Richmond’s downtown, once a vibrant hub that united our beautiful city, is poised for a renaissance. With visions of a vibrant, active community at the forefront, Earlham College is proud to have received a $25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.’s College and Community Collaboration initiative. Supported by an additional $83 million from Earlham’s community partners, this represents an investment of more than $100 million in our hometown. Together, we’ll transform downtown into a destination where people will be compelled to live, learn — and enjoy life. A place that unites people eager to celebrate and renew our shared history of community pride and growth.

Richmond is a place we can proudly grow — together.

Areas of focus

Revitalize Richmond includes three areas of focus: Activate, Build, and Connect. The projects in these areas are mutually beneficial to Earlham and our neighbors in Wayne County and include the development of new urban housing in downtown Richmond, improved transit connecting Earlham’s campus to downtown, new outdoor recreation opportunities in the Whitewater Valley Gorge and other quality-of-place improvements to help Earlham and Richmond grow together.

Hazel Jordan


Through the renovation of historic downtown buildings and strategic new construction, we will upgrade commercial and residential spaces to add urban-style housing options.

Ford Twumasi lecturing at the Townsend Community Center


We will improve and add public transportation and cycling and pedestrian pathways to better connect our students and the rest of the west side of Richmond to the amenities of downtown.

Ford Twumasi lecturing at the Townsend Community Center


We will enliven downtown and the Whitewater River Gorge through investment in small business development, a makerspace, public art, events and recreation.

Revitalize Richmond by the Numbers


from Lilly Endowment, Inc.


in matching funds from community partners


total investment in Richmond

We know that the success of Earlham and Wayne County are inextricably linked — Earlham’s history is Richmond’s history.”

– Anne Houtman, president, Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion

The scope of the projects included in the ‘Revitalize Richmond’ initiative would typically take decades to effectively secure funding for. Now we can move confidently and quickly forward on key efforts that have been planned to secure a strong future for our community.”

– Valerie Shaffer, president, Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County

Richmond’s greatest asset is its ability to collaborate. When the opportunity presents itself, our community comes together. We can make it happen, and right now, the timing is perfect!”

– Monica Koechlein, Richmond Symphony Orchestra & Stamm Koechlein Family Foundation

Earlham College’s Rich Connection to Richmond

Earlham College and the city of Richmond, Indiana, have been deeply connected since the College’s founding, and the commitment to social justice that is shared by the city and the school has only strengthened over time. During the Great Migration of Quakers from the eastern United States in the first half of the nineteenth century, the peculiarly Quaker combination of idealism and practicality drew these migrants to Richmond. The Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends opened a boarding school “for the guarded religious education of the children of Friends,” which opened on June 6, 1847. In 1859, a collegiate department was added and the school became Earlham College, in honor of the home of the eminent English Quaker minister Joseph John Gurney, who had been an early supporter. Earlham was the second Quaker college in the world, and the first coeducational one.

Revitalize Richmond (white logo)
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.