What’s New at the ECI

Through a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. the Program for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University is excited to launch the Educating Character Initiative and invite U.S. colleges and universities to join a broad and diverse community of individuals and institutions to strengthen the understanding, integration, and education of character in undergraduate institutions.

If you’re a faculty or staff member working in higher education who’s interested in joining our community, tap or click on the button below:

“We believe the invitation to community is in many ways the most important part of the Educating Character Initiative.

Beth Purvis, Director of the Educating Character Initiative

Our Goal

The Educating Character Initiative aims to equip a wide range of public and private institutions of higher education, including but not limited to major research universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, military academies, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, religiously affiliated colleges, single-gender colleges, and tribal colleges—with the resources, funding, and support needed to integrate character education into their distinctive institutional contexts, curricula, and cultures. The broader aspiration is to foster a robust network that recognizes the value of educating character within higher education.

In addition to organizing workshops, conferences, and convenings and
developing resources for faculty and staff, the Educating Character Initiative
will award grants to both individuals and institutions. In 2024, funding for institutions will include up to 10 Institutional Impact Grants of between $100,000 and $1,000,000, as well as 20 Capacity-Building Grants of up to $50,000. Successful grantees will be teams of faculty, staff, and administrators at U.S. colleges and universities with outstanding proposals for developing the moral, civic, and/or intellectual character and capacity of faculty, staff, and students. 

Funding for individuals is available through Teacher-Scholar Grants (up to $15,000 each), which may be used to support research on character or character education in undergraduates, or to develop resources aimed at strengthening the capacity to educate character effectively at the grantee’s institution or in the larger network. Professional Development Grants (up to $5,000) will help faculty and staff to become educators of character or lead efforts to educate character at their institutions.

Download a printable PDF version of our Invitation to Community and Request for Proposals by tapping or clicking on the button below:


program/wfu logos

The Program for Leadership and Character is delighted to have the opportunity to expand its impact through the Educating Character Initiative. We are deeply grateful to Lilly Endowment Inc. for its commitment to this vision, as well as to Wake Forest University for its unwavering support of the Program.