March 22, 2021
Contact: Judith Cebula
317.916.7327 |

Lilly Endowment elects Clarence Crain

 to its board of directors


INDIANAPOLIS – Lilly Endowment has elected Clarence Crain to serve on its board of directors, effective March 18, 2021. Crain retired from the Endowment last year at the end of August after serving for 14 years as a program director in its education division. Prior to his tenure at the Endowment, Crain had a distinguished career for 30 years at General Motors.

During his years at General Motors, Crain was an active community leader and volunteer with many charitable and educational organizations, including 100 Black Men of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Urban League, and United Way Community Service Council.  A graduate of Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, Crain attended Butler University, where he later served as vice-chair of the university’s board of trustees.  A Butler trustee emeritus, he is a recipient of the Ovid Butler Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Butler Alumni Association, and a member of the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

While at the Endowment, Crain played a key role in the development and oversight of grants to all of Indiana’s 38 colleges and universities. He also administered many of the Endowment’s grants to community organizations that serve African American youth, including Center for Leadership Development, Indiana Black Expo, Indianapolis Urban League and Fathers and Families. At the national level,  Crain represented the Endowment with respect to major grants to support the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of African American History and Culture, National Urban League and UNCF.

“My colleagues and I could not be more pleased that Clarence has agreed to join our board,” said N. Clay Robbins, Chairman, President and CEO of the Endowment. “His deep knowledge of the Indianapolis community and key national organizations that the Endowment supports will be most valuable as we envision, conduct and evaluate our grantmaking. We also will benefit greatly from the experience and insights Clarence has gained from his myriad efforts over many years to help African American youth and youth facing special challenges to succeed in life.”

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.