The Educating Character Initiative

The Educating Character Initiative (ECI) is a new part of the Program for Leadership and Character that will support a national effort to educate character in U.S. colleges and universities. The ECI will award grants to other faculty and institutions, organize major international conferences on character, and develop new resources that can help others educate character in their own contexts. The aim is to equip a wide range of higher education institutions––from major research universities to liberal arts colleges, from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to women’s colleges, from secular universities to religious institutions––with the resources, funding, and institutional support needed to integrate character education into their distinctive contexts. The broader aspiration is to foster a robust network and educational movement that recognizes the value of educating character within higher education.

This program is supported by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. Some $23 million will enable Wake Forest to award funding and provide support to other colleges and universities to create their own initiatives focused on character.

Over the next two years, the Program for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University will administer a competitive grant process for:

The Educating Character Initiative will also host international conferences and convenings, advance research and assessment on character within higher education, and produce resources that can support others in fostering character in their students. 

“We are building a team with the character, academic expertise, and operational experience to begin working with partner institutions within the next few months,” says Dr. Beth Purvis, the ECI director. “We are grateful to the Lilly Endowment for their visionary support of the Educating Character Initiative, which will have a significant impact on American higher education.”

If you’d like to be notified when the our request for proposals goes out, please fill out the form below so we can contact you:

Educating Character Initiative Contact List

Enter your contact information here to stay informed about future information, grants, and resources from our Educating Character Initiative.