(Oakland City, IN – Monday, September 19, 2022) –Oakland City University has received $750,000 from Lilly Endowment, Inc. to establish and run several technology-based summer camps for high school students in the southwest Indiana region.

OCU President Dr. Ron Dempsey stated, “Lilly Endowment’s Indiana Youth Programs on Campus initiative sought to energize interest in higher education among young people in our region by encouraging us to promote student learning on the university’s campus.” Dempsey added, “Research conducted by OCU at school corporations in our region revealed the lack of student understanding of technology, computer science, and coding, which are vital to the southwest Indiana region’s current and future labor markets.”

Lilly Endowment’s grant will enable OCU to offer three summer camps: 1) A beginning coding camp, 2) an advanced Game Design camp, and 3) a two-week intensive college-level computer science course for which students can receive college credit. The beginners camp will start in the summer of 2023, with the following two camps beginning in 2024 and 2025, respectively.

The grant funds will assist with technology infrastructure, camp instructors, camp activity personnel, licensing agreements, and recruitment materials.

Brooksie Smith, Oakland City University’s Director for Calling and Career Center, added, “We are enormously grateful to Lilly Endowment for supporting our vision of connecting innovation, collaborative team-oriented experiences, and human-centered design to students on our campus. Ultimately, these experiential learning experiences will culminate and prepare students as they bridge education and industry.