Grant program helps preserve and support historic African American sites

Program honors retired Eli Lilly chemist and preservationist Stan Cox

Two funds honoring the legacy of a retired Eli Lilly chemist will provide grants to organizations working to preserve significant African American landmarks in Indiana.

Standiford “Stan” Cox, who passed away in February 2019, joined Eli Lilly and Co. in 1957 as its first Black chemist and was a generous advocate for the preservation of African American heritage sites. During his lifetime, he established two funds with the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), one in his name and one to honor his parents.

The Standiford H. Cox Fund supports the restoration, preservation, operation and ongoing maintenance of African American historic sites in Indiana. The Dovie Stewart Cox & Chester A. Cox Sr. Memorial Fund provides support for Lost Creek Community Grove at the Lost Creek Settlement near Terre Haute, one of the state’s earliest settlements of free people of color.

Indiana Landmarks will continue in its role as a key preservation advisor to the funds, drawing on the expertise of its African American Landmarks Committee to identify significant places and evaluate projects that the program could assist. The group will make initial recommendations to CICF in late May.

“Through this partnership with Indiana Landmarks, CICF is able to fulfill the legacy of Stan Cox and his commitment to preserve and honor African American history and contributions made throughout our communities,” said Pam Ross, vice president of community leadership and equitable initiatives at The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of CICF.

In 2021, the fund awarded $192,120 to 13 projects, including repairs to the damaged vestibule and steeple at historic Roberts Chapel in northern Hamilton County, as well as conservation of gravestones in the adjacent cemetery. In addition to grants for capital improvements, CICF also distributes grants for architectural or engineering services and nominations to the National Register of Historic Places on an ongoing basis throughout the year.

“Stan Cox has left an incredible legacy to the people of Indiana,” said Mark Dollase, Vice President of preservation services at Indiana Landmarks. “We are honored to work with the Central Indiana Community Foundation in a partnership that will aid in the restoration of important African American landmarks for years to come.”

Born in Brazil, Ind., Cox was an Indiana University graduate who worked for 32 years for Eli Lilly and Co., beginning as a chemist and holding a variety of positions during his career. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most prestigious academic society, he also earned a master’s degree from Butler University. An advocate for academic biochemical research, he endowed the Standiford H. Cox Professorship in Biochemistry at Indiana University in Bloomington.

People who want to suggest a property that might qualify for grants from the funds should contact Indiana Landmarks with recommendations by April 15, 2022 at

Sites will be assessed based on criteria including architectural and/or historical significance, opportunities for redevelopment, threat of demolition, and significance to Indiana’s African American heritage. Applicants must be a non-profit organization with active 501(c)3 status.

For more information, contact Mark Dollase, vice president of preservation at Indiana Landmarks, 317/-39-4534, 80-450-4534,, or Diane Schussel, senior community leadership officer at CICF,

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Mark Dollase, Vice President of Preservation Services, Indiana Landmarks, 317-639-4534, 317-650-1650 (cell),

Mindi Woolman, Director of Marketing and Communications, Indiana Landmarks, 317-639-4534, 317-417-1204 (cell),

Tashi Copeland, Communications Manager, Central Indiana Community Foundation, 317-634-2423,

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Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit

Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) is a $1 billion public foundation working to mobilize people, ideas and investments to make this a community where all individuals have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential–no matter place, race or identity. CICF was established in 1997 as a partnership between The Indianapolis Foundation, serving Marion County since 1916, and Hamilton County Community Foundation, serving Hamilton County since 1991. For more information about CICF, visit, or call 317-634-2423.

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