Richard Cole 1900 – 1958

The Olive B. Cole Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1954 by Richard R. Cole. He named the foundation after his mother Olive B. Cole. At the time of creating the Foundation, Mr. Cole transferred a small amount of Flint & Walling Manufacturing Company, Inc. stock to the Foundation. At the time of his death, he transferred additional shares of Flint & Walling, and a further number was transferred after the subsequent death of his mother.

The stock of Flint & Walling became increasingly more valuable as Flint & Walling had a period of growth in the next 15 years. Flint & Walling acquired a number of additional companies and was eventually sold to MASCO Corporation. The Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) private foundation under the Internal Revenue Code.


Cole Foundation receives many grant requests each year, but we can fund only a small number of many worthwhile proposals. These guidelines, formulated over the years by our founders and the Foundations’ Board of Directors, govern our grantmaking decisions.

Areas of Interest

The Foundation makes grants to 501(c)(3) organizations or to governmental entities located within DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble and Steuben counties. We will also consider such organization located outside the four county area but which server the residents of those counties. Job creation and entrepreneurism are areas of particular interest. In keeping with the intent of the founder, scholarships and education are other areas of interest. 


Loans or cash grants cannot be made to private individuals. Virtually all grant money is awarded to charitable entities. We do not assist individuals with personal or business-related finances. Normally, the Foundation does not make grants to religious organizations, to endowments, or to national fund drives. The Foundation does not encourage grants where the Foundation is asked to fund the entire project.

Application Process

If you believe your charitable organization has a request that fits within our guidelines, we suggest that you write us a preliminary letter of no more than one page. The letter should tell us about your organization, the project you have in mind and the amount of support you will need from us. We respond in writing to all preliminary inquiries. In cases that warrant further consideration, we may ask you to furnish a full proposal.

Review Process

Corporate officers review grant proposals. Those that meet the criteria for consideration proceed to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors considers grants quarterly. The grant-review process takes three to six months. All grantseekers receive written notification of our decisions.


The Foundation’s scholarship program in Noble County dates back almost 50 years. Cole scholarships from endowed funds are also available at Indiana University Bloomington, St. Francis University and Indiana Tech. Many of the Cole scholarships are four-year scholarships which are subject to certain academic standards.

Scholarship Awards

The Cole Foundation awards direct scholarships to students who reside in Noble County, Indiana. Students must be enrolled in college on a full-time basis. The maximum number of years a student may receive aid from the Foundation for an undergraduate degree is four.

The Olive B. Cole Foundation provides scholarships of up to $2,500 a year for up to 4 years. Additional funding is available for those pursuing a teaching degree. In particular, we seek students who:

  • Desire to obtain an Associate’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree;  
  • Desire to return to Northeastern Indiana after school; and/or
  • Might be the first in their family to seek advanced education.

Scholarship Eligibility

Applicants must: 

  • Reside in Noble County or attend for two years and graduate from Central Noble, East Noble, West Noble High School, Oak Farm Montessori, or Churubusco High School;

And be pursuing one of the following:

  • Bachelor degree requirements:  Students must enroll in college on a full-time basis, with a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester.  Students may receive up to four years (eight semesters) of aid for a total of $6,000
  • Associate degree requirements:  Students must enroll on a full-time basis, with a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. Students may receive up to two years of aid for a total of $3,000.  

Scholarship Applications

Application forms are available after February from the Guidance offices at Oak Farm Montessori, Central Noble, East Noble, West Noble and Churubusco High Schools. Deadline for filing is March 1.

Contact Information

6207 Constitution Dr., Fort Wayne, IN 46804


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