2018 Lilly Scholars

Kate Cowger and Samantha Davis, two Madison County high school seniors have been chosen to receive a full tuition scholarship to any public or private 4-year institution in the State of Indiana and a $900 annual stipend for required books and equipment as the Madison County Community Foundation and South Madison County Community Foundation 2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars.

Kate Cowger, Lilly Endowment Scholar 2017Kate Cowger, a senior at Pendleton Heights High School is the daughter of Patrick and Sally Cowger. She intends to study neuroscience with the hopes of becoming a neurosurgeon and practicing medicine as a missionary doctor in communities of undeveloped countries. Kate is a member of National Honor Society, BETA Club, SADD, Best Buddies and an active member of her church. She was named Academic All-State for both soccer and track. She was also selected as a Rising Star of Indiana for academic achievement by the Indiana Association of School Principals. Kate has also been an EMT rookie and hospital volunteer.

Samantha DavisSamantha Davis a Pendleton Heights High School senior is the daughter of James and Jackie Davis. Samantha intends to study Civil Engineering with a minor in Spanish through an ROTC program she hopes to design or build houses for Habitat for Humanity through the Jimmy Carter Foundation. She is a member of National Honor Society, BETA Club, and has participated in the Bishop Leadership Academy. Samantha is an active member of the marching band and concert band as the Clarinet section leader. She has received several medals at ISSMA Solo and Ensemble contests; she has also played Clarinet in the All District Honor Band, Fort Wayne Honor Concert Band, and the Indy 500 Marching Band. She is involved in her church youth group, inner-city mission work, Feed My Starving Children Food Pack.

Cowger and Davis competed with more than 50 of other highly qualified applicants for the two prestigious awards. Applicants for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship were judged on academic performance, demonstrated community leadership, work ethic, a written essay, and financial need. Eligible applicants must have achieved an SAT score of 1300 or above or an ACT Score of 24 or above and who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.90 or above on a 4.0 scale.

Five other students who competed were awarded $1000 each as finalists. Madison County Community Foundation and South Madison Community Foundation each contribute $500 for 2017-18 college tuition assistance to Catherine Cox (Anderson Preparatory Academy), Joseph Conrad (Lapel High School), Andrew Dalton (Alexandria High School) and Sarah Dudley (Pendleton Heights High School) and Holly Sallee (Elwood High School).

After the Community Foundations’ scholarship nominating committee narrowed the field, those candidates were submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for the official selection of recipients. ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education. Indiana ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree.