May 15, 2017

Purdue Military Family Research Institute receives $4.8 million grant from Lilly Endowment

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A $4.8 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. will help support the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University as it works to improve the lives of members of the military, veterans and their families.

“Thousands of service members remain in harm’s way around the world, and MFRI works every day to produce knowledge and innovations to improve support for their families,” said Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, executive director of MFRI. “We are honored to continue making a difference for families who serve, and we are grateful to Lilly Endowment for its continued support of these efforts.”

MFRI works to expand opportunities for military members, veterans and their families by providing research to help mental health providers, public policymakers, employers and leaders in higher education better understand the issues affecting the military community. This includes helping civilian leaders see the value of bringing military and veteran families into community leadership roles.

"MFRI is a nationally respected thought leader that provides education and guidance to congressional leaders, White House officials and other policymakers,” said Christine M. Ladisch, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. “It is known as a collaborative organization that is skilled at bringing together high-level agencies in pursuit of a common goal. We are grateful that the Lilly Endowment has chosen to continue its support of MFRI.”

A portion of the grant  - $1 million - is available to the extent it is matched with donations made for the program through September 2019.

“The matching fund made possible by Lilly Endowment’s grant presents an exciting opportunity to build MFRI's future,” Wadsworth said. “We hope that supporters of military families everywhere will consider making gifts during the match period so they can double their impact.”

The grant will be used to fund numerous programs that fall within five strategic objectives MFRI has developed to help veterans and their families:

* Supporting military communities that serve military and veteran families through training and referral programs and an ongoing partnership among the Indiana National Guard, MFRI, and national and state departments of veterans’ affairs.

* Strengthening the motivation and capacity of civilian communities to support military and veteran families.

* Generating and sharing research about military and veteran families, including research about the effects of military service on families.

* Influencing programs, policies and practices affecting military and veteran families through online resources for military personnel, veterans and their families and efforts to inform policymakers, educators, healthcare professionals, business leaders and other community leaders.

* Creating and sustaining vibrant learning organizations that include Hire a Hoosier Hero Veteran Job Fair, Student Veterans of America and the Focus Forward Fellowship.

Individuals or businesses interested in having their donation for MFRI matched by Lilly Endowment can contact Judy Schumaker, director of advancement for Purdue’s College of Health and Human Sciences, at 800-535-7303,

About the Military Family Research Institute

The Military Family Research Institute was founded in 2000. It is the leading university-based organization in the nation that conducts research about, with and for military-connected families. MFRI is part of the Center for Families in Purdue's Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and College of Health and Human Sciences.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family - J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli - through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Co. In keeping with the founders' wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. 

Contact: Brian Peloza, 

Source: Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, 765-494-3403,

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