Current LFP Update

LFP Update 15.3

September 2020

Welcome to the LFP Update, an e-publication from the Lilly Fellows Program to keep LFP representatives and others informed about the activities of 1) Lilly Network institutions, 2) present and former Lilly Fellows and, 3) the LFP office at Valparaiso University.

In this Issue:


The 2020 Virtual LFP Annual National Conference: Tranquillitas Ordinis: Liberal Arts Education and the Common Good, Online, October 9, 2020

Due to Covid-19, our the 30th National ConferenceTranquillitas Ordinis: Liberal Arts Education and the Common Good, sponsored by St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, will take place online this year on October 9, 2020.

Speakers, Panelists, and Presenters include:

  • Jeremy D. Wilkins, Boston College
  • James Greenaway, St. Mary’s University
  • David Grenardo, St. Mary’s University
  • Terri Boggess, St. Mary’s University
  • Verónica Contreras-Shannon, St. Mary’s University
  • Stephanie G. Ward, St. Mary’s University
  • Alicia Cordoba Tait, St. Mary’s University
  • Nathan Cornelius, Johns Hopkins University
  • Joel Scott Davis, Samford University
  • Daniel Gee, University of Southern California Thornton School of Music

The theme of this year’s conference, The Tranquility of Order, suggests how we should think about, and engage in, Christian higher education as we continue to read the “signs of the times” (Gaudium et Spes, para. 44). The theme indicates to us, as educators, that we have a responsibility to the tranquility of order, which we recognize can be mirrored in the souls of students, through the process of education, and for the sake of the common good that flows from education.

The conference will focus on the crucial role played by liberal arts education in this emergence of a personal and social tranquillitas ordinis, insofar as it is within the liberal arts that, first, serving the common good becomes an explicit goal and value; that second, it is clearly recognized what it means to belong to a regional, a national, and a global community; and third, that the discovery is made by students that they know, and are obligated by, genuine truths and values which guide them toward affirming the dignity of persons, and protecting the rights of others; in particular, the most vulnerable among us in our communities today. Our theme suggests that much is at stake in a properly liberal education.

The conference will be online on Friday, October 9, 2020, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Time. There will be three plenary sessions and two breakout discussion sessions, all on Zoom. In addition, in keeping with National Conference tradition, there will be an optional “night on the town” immediately after the final session. More details on that to come. Click Here for a complete schedule.

In addition, there will be a webinar version of the conference for those who wish only to stream the plenary addresses.

Registration is now open. For more information on schedules, speakers, participation, and the webinar version, Click Here.

To Register, Click Here. Registration Closes on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

Download a Conference Flyer here

The Registration deadline is Tuesday, September 15, 2020


The 2020 Consultation for Senior Administrators: Navigating the Moral and Ethical Terrain of Covid-19

Immediately preceding the National Conference the Lilly Fellows Program will host senior administrators at Lilly Network Schools for a 90-minute virtual consultation on the topic: Navigating the Moral and Ethical Terrain of Covid-19. This Consultation will take place on Thursday, October 8, 2020, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm Central Time. Registration for this event is now open.

These are indeed unprecedented times in higher education. As Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, CM, President of the Association of Catholic Colleges and University has reminded us in his recent newsletter, “What’s important is that we not miss the opportunity to speak to one another about the implications of this moment for our noble work.” This consultation will provide such an opportunity for senior administrators of Lilly Network Schools to meet together virtually in small groups to address the question: How do we navigate the moral and ethical terrain of Covid-19 decision making as leaders of church-related colleges and universities? What have we learned about ourselves and our institutions? Specifically, we will address such questions as:

  • How have we navigated the competing goods of safety, fiscal responsibility, and educational mission with faculty and employees most at risk? How have we communicated these decisions with honesty and charity? How have we weighed our promises and obligations to our students and their families in these decisions?
  • With the financial burdens and shortfall presented by Covid-19, many of us will likely need to ask our faculty and staff to make sacrifices or carry extra duties. How do we ensure the most equity in the distribution of those sacrifices and that workload?
  • What resources—intellectual, spiritual, relational—have been most important over the past six months?
  • How have we managed the emotional and spiritual exhaustion that arises from these decisions?

Participation in and registration for this consultation is offered only to senior administrators at Lilly Network member institutions. Each institution is eligible to register one senior administrator (president, vice president, academic dean, provost, or equivalent).  Additional participants from member schools will be waitlisted until September 23, 2020 and will be added as slots become available. We anticipate that this consultation will fill to capacity before the registration deadline.

Registration is Now Open. To Register, Click Here or visit or call 219-464-5317.

The Registration Deadline is September 23, 2020.

Please note, the 2020 annual Lilly Fellows Program Workshop for Senior Administrators on the topic, Mapping Institutional Mission: Where Does Mission Live on Your Campus and Why Does It Matter?, will be postponed until October 2021, when we meet together at Boston College.


Note on COVID-19 and the LFP Activities

Given the impact of Covid-19 on colleges and universities across the country as well as at Valparaiso University, the institutional home of the Lilly Fellows Program, we will do our best to communicate with you regularly about how our programs might be impacted. For now, we know the following.

1. Our Annual National Conference will be virtual this year on Friday, October 9, 2020. 

2. Our annual Workshop for Senior Administrators on the topic, Mapping Institutional Mission: Where Does Mission Live on Your Campus and Why Does It Matter?, has been postponed until October 2021.

3. Of the three currently scheduled LFP Regional Conferences, one, “Religion, State, and Nationalism: Problems and Possibilities,” at Valparaiso University has been postponed; a new date will be in the 2021/2022 academic year. The other two Regional Conferences have moved online. “Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Challenges and Opportunities for the Catholic University in the 21st Century,” at Sacred Heart University, will take place online on October 29-31, 2020. Click here for more information. “Communication and Religion in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election." at Seton Hall University will take place online on October 21-23, 2020. Click here for more information. We will update the website as Regional Conferences slated for Spring 2021 decide how to run.

3. The recruitment of the next cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows is moving forward.

4. The recruitment of the next cohort of Lilly Faculty Fellows is moving forward.

5. We will still receive applications for Mentoring Program, Small Grant, Regional Collaboration and Conference Grants, and Network Exchange Grants as usual by September 15, 2020.

Finally, a big thank you to those of you who submitted descriptions this past spring of how your schools are drawing on their missions to approach Covid-19. We have taken what you reported to heart as we have put together programing and plans for this fall. We are trying to determine the best way to disseminate these ideas.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.


Call for Applications for the Second Cohort of Lilly Faculty Fellows

The Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities is happy to announce the 2021-2023 cohort of The Lilly Faculty Fellows Program for mid-career faculty leaders across the disciplines to engage the intersections of Christian thought and practice with the academic vocation. This initiative will: (1) refresh and enliven a sense of calling for participants as people of faith, as teachers, and scholars; (2) provide a space for creative exploration of how Christian thought and practice intersect the academic vocation; and (3) provide funds for Fellows to develop and pilot Faculty Fellow programs on their own campuses. Although the Lilly Network has in the past emphasized faculty programs in humanities and the arts, this project especially seeks applicants from STEM, social science, and professional fields.

The Lilly Network will select 6-7 teams of two Fellows each, from different Network Schools. Teams will participate in a two-year program that includes four conferences in Indianapolis and Chicago. We will provide start-up funds of $8,000 to each participating team to inaugurate a Lilly Faculty Fellows Program on its own campus, and individual Fellows will be awarded a $4,000 honorarium for participation, for a total award of $16,000. Travel, meals, and lodging for all four conferences will be provided as well as all necessary books and materials.

The program will commence in June 2021 and conclude in June 2023.

Click here for Dates and Schedule, Eligibility, and Application Information.

Application Deadline is November 15, 2020.

Applicants will be notified of their status by February 15, 2021.


Call to Apply for Lilly Network Grants

We are very happy to announce that the Lilly Network received a five-year grant of $2.5 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. in 2018 to support activities on Network campuses that connect Christianity and church-related mission to the academic vocation. We invite Lilly Network member schools to submit grant proposals in order to take advantage of these newly available funds by September 15, 2020. Please note that for those who apply for these grants to engage issues related to Covid-19 or racial injustice, anti-racism, or equality, we can make those funds available in late October of the current academic year 2020/2021. Proposals can be submitted for the following:


Upcoming Virtual Regional Conference at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ: Communication and Religion in the 2020 US Presidential Election

On October 21-23, 2020, in anticipation of the upcoming U.S. Presidential Election, the Institute for Communication and Religion (ICR) within the College of Communication and the Arts at Seton Hall University will host a virtual Regional Conference, “Communication and Religion in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.” Seeking to bring faith into the public sphere and promote civic dialogue, a full day of expert keynotes and panel discussions will explore the intersection of communication and religion in our current presidential race.

Featured Speakers:

Ronald C. Arnett Yoder/Wolfe Endowed Chair of Communication Ethics, Duquesne University

Peter Beinart Professor of Journalism and Political Science, CUNY

Heidi Campbell Professor of Communication, Texas A&M University

Special Guest:

Jaroslav Franc Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology, Palacký University, Czech Republic

For more information and to Register to attend, Click Here


Upcoming Regional Conference at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Challenges and Opportunities for the Catholic University in the 21st Century

On October 29-31, 2020, Sacred Heart University, in partnership with the Lilly Fellows Program, will host a virtual Regional Conference titled The Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Challenges and Opportunities for the Catholic University in the 21st Century. Speakers include: Gregory Kalscheur, Boston College; Carolyn Woo, Purdue University; Michael Higgins, Sacred Heart University; and Gerald. J. Beyer, Villanova University.

The Core of a Catholic University is its intellectual and faith life. However, Catholic colleges and universities, today, face vexing challenges: a growing secularism and careerism among students, an increasing number of students who identify as “nones,” a “hyper-specialization” among faculty and an epistemology of relativism within disciplinary thought, and a diminishing focus on Mission and Catholic Identity. Faced with these challenges, Catholic colleges and universities wrestle with the question of how to maintain a robust and distinct Catholic identity that will prevail across the institution. This Conference affirms that the compass that can serve as a creative guide for transforming Catholic higher education is the Catholic Intellectual Tradition which, characterized by rigorous intellectual inquiry and with rich roots in the past, animates an ongoing conversation in the present that looks to the future.

Registration Remains Open. To Register and for More Information, Click Here.


Selection Information for the Twelfth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows

It is time to continue the process of selecting the Twelfth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows who will be entering graduate school in the fall 2021. Each network school can nominate up to three students for the Lilly Graduate Fellowships. Students are eligible for the Lilly Graduate Fellowship who plan to enter PhD or comparable programs in fall 2021, and received a bachelor’s degree from your institution after April 2016.  For additional eligibility requirements, click hereThe deadline for nominations is November 10, 2020.

Last year, with the Eleventh Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, we began a new era of self-sustainability for the program by inaugurating a new group of Fellows every two years, rather than every year, while nevertheless continuing to select finalists every year. Thus, we will continue to ask for nominations each year, so that deserving students will not miss their chance to apply for this fellowship. Finalists chosen this academic year (2020-21) will be interviewed along with finalists from the previous year to be appointed to the Lilly Graduate Fellowship in fall 2021.

LFP Representatives are responsible for nominating applicants, and we are in the process of emailing promotional materials to you. The time is now to begin preparation for nominating students from your school. For more information, please click here or contact us here.


Update on the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program

We are happy to report that the Tenth Cohort, mentored by Lisa DeBoer of Westmont College and John Ware of Xavier University of Louisiana, has completed its three-year program, and you will have the opportunity to meet this cohort at the 2021 annual National Conference at Boston College. Typically, Cohort 10 would end its program with a conference at St. John’s Abbey Guesthouse, but that conference has been postponed until summer, 2021. Also in 2021, you will be able to meet the Ninth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, who have postponed their participation in the annual National Conference until 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Eleventh Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, who are mentored by Mark Ruff at Saint Louis University and Jane Kelley Rodeheffer of Pepperdine University, completed the first of their three-year program. They have postponed their annual summer conference, which would have convened at Saint Louis University in August, until summer 2021. In its stead, the cohort met twice virtually this summer.


Second Edition of Leading Lives That Matter by Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass

We are happy to announce the Second Edition of Leading Lives that Matter: What Should We Do and Who Should We Be, edited by Founding LFP Director Mark Schwehn and LFP Senior Fellow Dorothy Bass. Over the years, Leading Lives that Matter has been a foundational collection of readings used by our Lilly Postdoctoral, Faculty, and Graduate Fellowships as well as numerous mentoring and faculty development programs. In their second edition, Schwehn and Bass compile a wide range of texts—from ancient and contemporary literature, social commentary, and philosophy—related to questions of vital interest for those who are trying to decide what to do with their lives and what kind of human beings they hope to become. Leading Lives That Matter draws upon both religious and secular wisdom from writers like Toni Morrison, Kazuo Ishiguro, Denise Levertov, Malcolm Gladwell, Julia Alvarez, Alice Walker, Martin Luther King Jr., Pope Francis, and Chung Tzu, bringing these sources into conversation with one another.


Deadlines for Grants

The next series of programs that will receive funding are: Mentoring ProgramsSmall GrantsNetwork Exchanges, and Regional Collaboration and Conferences. Proposals for the programs are due September 15, 2020

Applications for the Lilly Faculty Fellowship are due November 15, 2020.

The deadline for submitting up to three nominees for the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program is November 10, 2020.

For more information, visit the LFP website

Facebook and Twitter

As always, the LFP can be followed on Facebook and Twitter at @LFProgram and @Exilesfromeden.


Noteworthy News

May LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for May 2020 is now available. Click here.

2021-2023 Postdoctoral Fellowship now accepting applications

The Lilly Fellows Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship in the Humanities and the Arts is accepting applications. For more information and to apply, click here.

Announcing the winner of the 2020 Arlin G. Meyer Prize

We are pleased to announce that Stephen Heyde of Baylor University has won the 2020 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in the Performing Arts for Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 2. For more information and to hear the piece performed, please see our official announcement.

New edition of Leading Lives that Matter released

In their second edition of Leading Lives That Matter, editors Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass compile a wide range of texts—from ancient and contemporary literature, social commentary, and philosophy—related to questions of vital interest for those who are trying to decide what to do with their lives and what kind of human beings they hope to become. Leading Lives that Matter has been an important text in many of our fellowship and grant programs, and it contains excellent resources. Click here for more information and an excerpt.

Rescheduled: Catholic Intellectual Tradition Conference at Sacred Heart University

The “Catholic Intellectual Tradition Conference: Challenges and Opportunities for the Catholic University in the 21st Century,” at Sacred Heart University has been rescheduled to October 29-31, 2020 as an online conference. Click here for more information and to register. 

Seton Hall conference on Communication and Religion in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election 10/21-10/23

Seton Hall University will host an conference on “Communication and Religion in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election,” on October 21-23. This conference is free to attend and will be broadcast live for those who cannot attend. Register now at

Lilly Network of Church- Related Colleges and Universities

If you are interested in learning more about membership in the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities, please contact us here.