Giving from the Lilly Endowment in higher education fell off incrementally during the 2000s. In 2002, they gave almost $600 million in the area, but that number had dropped to less than $100 million in 2011. Judging solely on Lilly's recent giving to Indiana University, however, you'd have no idea. The school has received well over $50 million from Lilly this year alone.
They started loud and early. Lilly put $33 million into Kelley, IU's Bloomington-based undergraduate school of business, in January of 2011. (See Lilly Endowment: Grants for Business Schools). The money went into floor-by-floor building renovations over the course of three years. It will also contribute technology upgrades, 20 new classrooms, a new research center, and a simulated "trading room" to the already prestigious, high-ranking school.
IU's Public Policy Institute (PPI) cashed a $6.6 million check from Lily that same month. Housed in Indianapolis at the Indiana University School of Environmental Affairs, PPI director John Krauss said they planned to launch "a fundraising campaign to sustain PPI for years to come" on the Lilly Endowment's money.
Lilly's interest in Indiana's public policy projects dates back to the early 1990s, when they paid to found IU's Center for Urban Policy and the Environment. (Read vice president of education Sara Cobb's IP profile).
That fall, Lilly gave $2.5 million to the Academic Model Providing Healthcare (AMPATH) initiative in Kenya. Run by IU's Center for Global Health, the Nobel Prize nominated AMPATH program collaborates with Moi University School of Medicine and an affiliated hospital located in Eldoret, Kenya. In addition to "offering significant humanitarian relief for [Kenyan] people in abject need," AMPATH also provides something like an exchange program for stateside med-school students, with "outstanding educational and research opportunities," according to Lilly Endowment President N. Clay Robbins.