2023 Lilly Scholar Finalists Announced

Megan Arnold
Alaina Chew
Carson Hall
Ava Watson
Dunkin York

The Putnam County Community Foundation is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for Putnam County. This year marks the 26th year of this program, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. The Lilly Endowment Community Scholar will be awarded a full-tuition scholarship, including a $900 book stipend per year, for four years to any accredited school in Indiana. The winner of this prestigious award will be announced in mid-December.


The five finalists are Megan Arnold of South Putnam High School, daughter of Andrew and Nancy Arnold;  Alaina Chew of North Putnam High School, daughter of Jason and Alyssa Chew; Carson Hall of Cloverdale High School, son of Larry and Sheryl Hall; Ava Watson of South Putnam High School, daughter of Neal and Nikki Watson; and Dunkin York of South Putnam High School, son of Christina York and the late Eric York.


These seniors were selected as finalists following an extensive review process by the Lilly Selection Committee of the Putnam County Community Foundation. The committee comprises eight voting members, two of whom reside in each of our four area school districts. The process included a blind review for the first two phases, followed by a dinner reception in which the selection committee met with eight semi-finalists. It concluded with an individual interview with each of the five finalists. The review process is based on scholastic abilities and intellectual pursuits, capacity to lead and motivate fellow students, social commitment and extracurricular involvement, and the ability to articulate career plans that demonstrate motivation and initiative. 


The Community Foundation’s nomination for the award is submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for approval of the recipient. ICI is a nonprofit corporation representing 30 regionally accredited degree-granting, nonprofit, private colleges, and universities in the state. Nearly 5,000 Indiana high school students have been awarded a Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship since the program was started by the Lilly Endowment in 1998 including over 40 in Putnam County. 

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  1. Awesome. Congratulations to all of the applicants and to the finalists. Also, a special thank you to all who participated in the selection process. We are sure it was not an easy task.

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