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Lilly Endowment Community Scholar – Fountain County Named

Shaelyn Meador has been named the recipient of the 2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship in Fountain County. She is the daughter of Reannon Meador and Robert Burlington, and the 41st Fountain County recipient of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

Each Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides for full tuition, required fees and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars may also participate in the Lilly Scholars Network (LSN), which connects scholars with resources and opportunities to be active leaders on their campuses and in their communities. Both the scholarship program and LSN are supported by grants from Lilly Endowment to Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI).

Ms. Meador, of Attica High School, has plans to attend Purdue or Butler University and obtain a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies.  Shaelyn ranks 5th in her graduating class with a 3.967 GPA.

Shaelyn has been involved in numerous clubs, organizations and sporting activities as she pursued her high school education including; volleyball, wrestling, softball, National Honor Society, Future Farmer’s of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Drama Club and others.

One of Ms. Meador’s references wrote, “Shaelyn shows tremendous interest and involvement in her studies. Students in my classes learned about different societies and civilizations all over the globe from all different eras, and Shaelyn continuously demonstrated a genuine curiosity in these topics.  Shaelyn’s classroom projects were always professionally executed, well thought out, and full of creativity and originality. While learning about the “conspiracy theories” in our Topics in History class, Shaelyn successfully researched, designed, and shared both a virtual and physical presentation over the recent COVID-19 pandemic. As a teacher when you create a project you often have an example in mind of what exactly that project should look like, and Shaelyn always exceeded my expectations.”

Twenty-five Fountain County students applied for this year’s Lilly Scholarship.  The first phase of the selection process included the high school faculty of each school recommending up to six applicants from their school to be considered by the local scholarship committee representing the same school district.

The second phase included each scholarship committee reviewing the applications and interviewing each applicant.  Two nominees from each school are selected based on consensus.

The third phase of the selection process included each of the two nominees from each school being interviewed by the scholarship committees representing the two other school districts.  Each committee member independently scores each applicant in six categories including academic performance, school activities and work, volunteerism, financial need, letters of reference and a personal interview with each committee member.

Following the final scoring, finalists were forwarded to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for final selection of the Western Indiana Community Foundation’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipient.

Lilly Endowment created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program for the 1998-1999 school year and has supported the program every year since with tuition grants totaling in excess of $439 million. More than 5,000 Indiana students have received the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship since the program’s inception.

The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are: 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.

NEW ~ Lee & Thelma T. Clingan Fund Established

David W. Clingan, the son of the late Lee Clingan and Thelma Tucker Tyhurst Clingan, is establishing the fund in loving memory of his parents.

While Lee and Thelma Clingan were not natives to Covington, they considered Covington their hometown. Lee was born and raised near Kingman and Thelma was born in Kentland and raised across the border in Georgetown, Illinois.

Like most people of the “Greatest Generation”, World War 2 took them from their hometowns to locations throughout the USA and Europe, but they were drawn back home to the Wabash Valley.  Lee and Thelma were married in Covington in February of 1958 and purchased a home on Elm Drive in the brand new “Beck Addition”.  They ran their insurance, auctioneering and real estate business, as well as political campaigns, out of the office in the basement for 30 years, raised three children, and entertained dozens of Elm Drive kids in the large backyard, woods and sledding hill over the years.

Lee was born near Kingman in 1921, graduated from Kingman High School in 1939, and enlisted in the Army in April 1941. Lee quickly rose to the rank of First Lieutenant and led an infantry platoon through two major battles in Holland, earning the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman Badge. Lee was a German prisoner of war at Oflag 64 in Poland and towards the end of the war, from January to April 1945, the camp of more than 1,000 prisoners was forced to march over 300 miles back to Germany on the infamous Poland death march. Lee escaped briefly during General George Patton’s Hammelburg Raid of Oflag XIII-B to rescue his son-in-law.

After the war, Lee graduated from Reppert’s School of Auctioneering and attended life insurance and marketing classes at Purdue University. Lee often referred to himself as a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none, and some of his other jobs included suit salesman, apple picker, bail bondsman, livestock buyer, gentleman farmer, laundromat owner, and truck driver. Since 1953, Lee had the pleasure of entertaining thousands of people at his mini farm, cattle, antique and land auctions. Lee’s deep voice, cadenced auctioneering chant and colorful stories never failed to entertain the buyers.

Lee entered the Indiana State Senate in 1960 and served for eight years until his seat was reapportioned in 1968. In 1972, he ran for the House of Representatives and won, serving for 16 years.  Every year of the 24 years that Lee served in the General Assembly he was a member of the Agriculture and Insurance Committees of the chamber in which he served, and he was at one time the chairman of the Insurance Committee of each chamber. During Lee’s 24 years in the legislature, he represented districts that included all or parts of Fountain, Vermillion, Warren, Vigo, Benton, and Parke counties.

Lee was a past president of the Kingman High School Alumni Association; a member of the Indiana Auctioneers Association; a past commander of the Kingman American Legion Post; a past commander of firing squads and colors for many military funerals; a member of the V.F.W; the Kingman Masonic Lodge # 314, the Scottish Rite, the Zorah Temple, and the Elks Lodge; and a member of the Fountain County draft board for 25 years. Lee was also instrumental in moving the Ernie Pyle home to Dana, Indiana., in the mid-1970s to establish the Ernie Pyle State Historic Site.

In 1985, Lee’s 99 colleagues in the Indiana House of Representatives rated him as “Best Liked” in Indianapolis Monthly magazine.  In 1989, Governor Evan Bayh awarded Lee the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash award, bestowing upon him the state’s highest award for a citizen and honoring him for his many years of service to the State of Indiana. In 1988, Lee was honored by House Concurrent Resolution No. 97, praising his 24 years of service to the Indiana General Assembly.

The lovely and lively Thelma was literally and figuratively the wind beneath Lee’s wings as well as her children and grandchildren.  She served as his wife, chief advisor, and supporter for 30 years until her death in 1987 of ovarian cancer. Emulating President Harry S. Truman, Lee lovingly referred to Thelma T. as “The Boss”.  In addition to raising three children (Lynne Suzanne Tyhurst, Greg, and David) Thelma was a homemaker, room mother, office manager, accountant, political advisor and campaigner, and auction cashier.  She was a 1942 graduate of Georgetown High School and was a member of Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Psi Iota Xi, the Coffeenians, Fountain County Democratic Women’s Club, State Assembly Women’s Club, Sky Valley Ladies Golf League, and she attended Covington United Methodist Church.

Generous of heart and spirit, both Lee and Thelma T. were committed to service to their community and their country.   Their shared experience of growing up during the great depression and World War 2 provided them both with extraordinary measures of resourcefulness, frugality, and practicality, as well as a deep respect for hard work and loyalty to family, friends, and neighbors.  Therefore, David felt it important and appropriate to remember and honor Lee and Thelma’s beloved “hometown” with this fund to benefit the Covington community.  Projects supported by the Lee & Thelma Clingan Fund may be in a wide variety of areas, including, but not limited to, beautification, animal welfare, libraries, patriotism, arts, culture,  historic preservation, and others.

Donations to the Lee & Thelma Clingan Fund may be made online at or mailed to: Covington Community Foundation, Attn: Lee & Thelma Clingan Fund, P.O. Box 175, Covington, IN 47932

NEW ~ LIVINGenerously Fund Established

This fund has been established by V. Edward Grogg, a graduate of Covington High School and Indiana University. For the past four decades, Mr. Grogg has been actively involved in the operation, development, and investment in senior care products in both the USA and Canada. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Ellipsis Real Estate Partners, LLC. He resides in Westfield, Indiana.

Ed’s desire to “give back” to the Covington community was a result of his positive childhood and youth experiences in the Covington community and through his education and extra-curricular activities in the Covington Community School Corporation.

“As a youth I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to come from such a close-knit, small-town community. After living in a few other communities, I came to realize how blessed I was. It’s a privilege to give back and make a difference in my hometown,” Ed stated.

The projects supported by the LIVINGenerously Fund may be in a wide variety of areas, including, but not limited to, education, health & wellness, economic improvement, community leadership development, park & recreation ventures, child & youth activities, senior citizen endeavors, school-based initiatives, visitors & tourism promotion, and others.

Donations to the LIVINGenerously Fund may be made online at or mailed to: Covington Community Foundation, Attn: LIVINGenerously Fund, P.O. Box 175, Covington, IN 47932.

Western Indiana Community Foundation
135 S. Stringtown Rd.
P.O. Box 175
Covington, IN. 47932
Phone: 765-793-0702
Fax: 765-793-0703
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