AU Receives $1 Million Lilly Endowment Grant

Anderson University has received $1 million under Lilly Endowment Inc. to establish the Center for Security Studies and Cyber Defense (CSSCD). Lilly Endowment made the grant through its initiative Charting the Future of Indiana Colleges and Universities.

Given dramatic social change and rapid developments in technology, commerce and health care, there is a growing demand for professionals trained in security practices and cyber defense. The CSSCD will provide AU students with opportunities for experiential learning and collaboration with local, regional, and national constituents. This on-campus center will allow students to engage more directly with Indiana employers as part of their undergraduate education so they can be better prepared for careers in their chosen fields. 

Dr. Michael Frank, AU professor of political science, recognizes how the CSSCD  will distinguish AU, “The CSSCD is designed to support the mission of the Anderson University Security Studies program, which is composed of two majors that are difficult or impossible to find at other universities in Indiana: a truly interdisciplinary cybersecurity major and a national security major.” 

According to Frank, the mission of AU’s security studies program is to “develop a pipeline of graduates with excellent technical foundations, strong Christian ethics, and a desire to serve on the front lines in defending the nation, our communities, and institutions from threats, foreign and domestic, in both the physical and cyber realms.” 

President of AU, John Pistole, has more than three decades of experience in cybersecurity and national security with the federal government. He believes that this grant will help AU establish a “distinctive, compelling, and relevant center in these rapidly expanding, cutting edge areas of higher education and careers.”

“All of us at AU are grateful to Lilly Endowment for its endorsement of our proposal,” Pistole added. 

The grant to Anderson University was approved under Lilly Endowment’s Charting the Future of Indiana’s Colleges and Universities initiative.   

Through the initiative, Lilly Endowment has invited Indiana’s 38 colleges and universities to apply for grants totaling up to $108.2 million. The grants will help the institutions develop and execute strategies to further their educational missions by addressing their key challenges and taking advantage of promising opportunities to enhance their effectiveness and long-term sustainability.

Lilly Endowment expects to make additional grants through the Charting the Future initiative later this year. Grant amounts vary and are based on the student enrollment of each college or university.

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, national security, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.

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