Trine student Azzue among ICI’s ‘Realizing the Dream’ recipients

February 08, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — Kristen Azzue, a Trine University biology major from Waterloo, Indiana, is one of 29 students named as “Realizing the Dream” recipients for 2021 by the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI).

Azzue is in Trine’s pre-physician assistant track and hopes to become a physician assistant.

Made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the scholarship program annually recognizes first-generation college students from each of ICI’s private, non-profit colleges and universities. Students are selected for the $3,000 award for outstanding achievement during their freshman year as they successfully advance toward completing their bachelor’s degrees.

To honor recipients, ICI created individual videos of each student describing what it means to them to be a first-generation college student and thanking the influential educator they have chosen to honor. Videos can be found at

In the video, Azzue says the award will allow her to carry out her future goals. A member of Trine’s acrobatics and tumbling team and the Gamma Phi Epsilon sorority, Azzue also says as the first in her family to attend college, “I’m paving a path for the rest of my family to come after me.”

In addition to the students’ scholarship awards, the influential educators also receive $1,000 in professional development grants.

Azzue honored Susan Zuber, her biology teacher (now retired) at DeKalb High School.

“She truly taught me so many amazing tips and I learned so much from her class,” Azzue says in the video. “it taught be that I did want to pursue a degree in biology.”

“Thanks to the continued support of Lilly Endowment, we get the opportunity to hear the inspiring stories of these first-generation students and the impact local educators have had on their drive to succeed academically,” ICI President & CEO David W. Wantz said. “These scholarship awards will provide critical support for these young people who are dreaming of future success.”

About Independent Colleges of Indiana

Independent Colleges of Indiana serves as the collective voice for the state’s 29 private, non-profit colleges and universities. ICI institutions employ over 22,000 Hoosiers and generate a total local economic impact of over $5 billion annually. Students at ICI colleges have Indiana’s highest four-year, on-time graduation rates, and ICI institutions produce 30 percent of Indiana’s bachelor’s degrees while enrolling 20 percent of its undergraduates.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based 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. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it 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. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Kristen Azzue


Last Updated: 02/08/2022

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