Michael Simmons Student Team Activity Endowment


The Michael Simmons Activity Endowment was established to support experiential learning activities for teams of students at Indiana State University (ISU) in the spirit of Michael Simmons’ extracurricular experiences at ISU. Mr. Simmons was a student leader on campus in the early 1960s and one of the founders of ISU’s Tricycle Derby.

The purpose of the fund is to plan, develop and implement programs outside the formal curriculum that help students learn how to work as a team to succeed. The focus of the fund is to support the activities of teams, as opposed to individual students. Curricular activities, including field trips, international programs, service-learning, or conference travel, will not be supported by the fund. Endowment funds will not be used to support projects or activities that are currently supported or could qualify for other ISU, State of Indiana, or Federal funding. The intent of this fund is to increase student participation in extracurricular, team-based programs that foster the development of leadership and teamwork skills that are necessary for success after graduation.

Funding Process

Student organizations and individual students have two options for applying for funding. First, individual students and student organizations can submit request(s) for support anytime throughout the year as creative team activity opportunities arise. These requests are submitted to the Associate Vice President for Community Engagement and Experiential Learning for expedited review. Generally, funding provided for these programs will be less than $1000 and focused on special occurrences such as one-time events. Applicants will be notified within two weeks of proposal submission.

Second, the Board of Counselors of the fund conduct a semi-annual proposal solicitation and review to consider funding requests that exceed $1000. Generally, programs approved through this process require larger commitments with regard to both financial support and the impact of the program on the campus (i.e. the number of students that are engaged). As part of the annual review process, organizations can apply for funding for existing programs such as the Trike Race, Tandem Race, and Homecoming, given the funding will enhance or increase student participation in the program. 

All requests for funding support shall include a clearly stated goal for the project and objectives that reflect the desired experiential learning outcomes of the project. All funded projects must submit an evaluation within 30 days of completion of the program. Evaluations must include data related to student participation. Projects that do not meet this evaluation reporting requirement are not eligible for future support.

Funding Guidelines

The Board has the latitude to support any creative program opportunity deemed worthy, providing the applicant can clearly demonstrate the project outcomes are consistent with the aforementioned purpose of the fund. The following descriptions serve as general guidelines to assist the Board in discerning the donor’s original intent of creating this fund.

Funds are available to support University-sponsored extracurricular activities that provide opportunities for students to work as teams to succeed. Priority is given to activities that are initiated and implemented by students and/or student organizations. Allowable projects include the following programs examples and other programs that are reasonably similar with regard to intent, structure and goals:

  • An annual team competition that includes other accredited institutions of higher education.
  • Strengthened or enhanced existing University events (e.g. providing stipends of a set amount that defray costs for teams to build floats for the annual Homecoming parade).
  • An initiative that is a one-time event or one-time participation in a statewide or national activity (e.g. entry fee for student led participation in the RAIN ride).

In general, funds should be used to support the direct programmatic operation of the initiative. However, funding can be used for the following:

  • Direct support for student participation (e.g. small cash awards or trophies for Trike Race participants creatively structured such as fastest time trial, a hard luck award, last place award, etc.)
  • Facility improvements that directly impact an existing experiential activity or will support the development of an experiential activity (e.g. installation of additional bleachers at the Michael Simmons Activity Center).
  • Reasonable entry fees or costs associated with allowing a team of students to participate in an initiative. Funds may be used to support student participation in a charitable event; however, funds cannot be used to provide direct support to another charity.

While it is the goal of this fund to support programs that are successful in accomplishing the fund’s objectives, there may be instances when the funding supports a program that fails to meet the objectives. Applicants are encouraged to develop creative and innovative programs that might have uncertain outcomes.