Greene County student Christopher Royal has been named the 2022 Greene County Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.
Royal was surprised Wednesday at Bloomfield High School when he was called to the band room, where his parents, younger brother James, older brother Turner via Facetime from his college dorm and officials from Bloomfield High School and the Greene County Foundation awaited his arrival.
“Oh, my goodness,” Royal said, rather at a loss for words, “Thank you so much.”
Each Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides for full tuition, required fees and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university.
Royal, a senior at Bloomfield High School, is the son of John and Stella Royal.
He has been involved in student council, DECA, Beta Club, FCA, Student Athletic Council, Christian Service Club and 4-H and has participated in soccer, basketball and track.
Greene County Foundation’s Scholarship Committee, composed of volunteer members throughout the county, selected six finalists to interview from a total of 25 completed applications. Finalists were forwarded to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for the final selection of the recipient. ICI is a nonprofit corporation representing 29 regionally accredited, degree-granting, nonprofit independent colleges and universities in the state of Indiana and is also the statewide administrator of the program.
Lilly Endowment created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program for the 1998-1999 school year and has supported the program every year with tuition grants totaling in excess of $439 million. More than 5,000 Indiana students have received the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship since the program’s inception.
The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana, to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities and to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.
“Oh, my. We are so proud of Christopher,” said Royal’s dad, John, with a big smile. “This is really unbelievable. He has worked so hard for this. He’s our soft-hearted son, and I know he will continue to do great things. Just…Holy cow.” Royal said his son has committed to Wabash, where he will major in mathematics.
“It’s really hard to find the words to express how proud of Christopher we are and how thankful we are,” said Royal’s mother, Stella. “It’s pretty overwhelming. We are all so very thankful, and it’s going to be a very Merry Christmas.”
Christopher Royal added, “I’m extremely grateful to Lilly and to the Greene County Foundation. This is really awesome, thank you so much.”
The Greene County Foundation exists for charitable individuals to leave a lasting legacy to the community they love. Through the establishment of endowments, donors can forever support the local causes important to them. The Greene County Foundation has had a charitable impact in every school, library and community in Greene County. The Foundation annually awards over a quarter-million dollars in grants through fund payouts, competitive grants, and student scholarships. For more information, visit greenecountyfoundation.org or call (812) 659-3142.
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