Realizing the Dream is a program that acknowledges first-generation college students for outstanding achievement in their freshman year and are now in their sophomore year. It has been funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. since 1989. The program was conceived and developed by three individuals who had themselves been first-generation college students -- Dr. William C. Bonifield, then Vice-President for Education, Lilly Endowment, and now retired Director of McDermond Center for Management and Entrepreneurship, Depauw University; Mr. William DuBois Jr., then President of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Indiana, and now retired Executive Assistant for Public Relations, Ivy Tech Community College; and Dr. Louis C. Gatto, then the retiring President of Marian College (University), and the former Executive Director of the Indiana Educational Facilities Authority.
ICI Realizing the Dream 2014 from Independent Colleges of Indiana on Vimeo.
Each selected student receives a $2,500 scholarship and they are asked to name a secondary teacher that most influenced their decision to attend college. The nominated teacher receives a $1,000 Professional Development Grant. Each fall there is an banquet held in Indianapolis to honor the student and their selected teacher. Additional family members are encouraged to attend.