Eye on the ball

 ‘It’s a great place to get to know your professors one on one. I knew that I wouldn’t have that experience at a large school’

Freshman Jacob Slusher always knew he wanted to attend a private university close to home. That dream became a reality, thanks to his 2011 College Scholarship from the Peyback Foundation. The scholarship covers $10,000 in tuition annually for four years while he works toward a degree in pre-med.

“The Peyton Manning scholarship meant that I could go to a university to continue my studies, but also to continue doing what I love—playing football,” Jacob says. “It also meant that I could attend without having to worry so much about financing my future.”

A native of Greensburg, Indiana, he played football all four years in high school and now plays for UIndy.

Peyton’s legacy

The Peyback Foundation was established to provide scholarships and monetary support to a variety of individuals in the Indianapolis area. Until this year, Peyton Manning (now a Denver Bronco), a four-time league MVP, was the Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback. Certain to become a Hall of Famer, Peyton is still revered in Indy, where he’d played his entire record-setting career. And he’s still making an impact here.

The Foundation in Indy offers such events as the Thanksgiving Giveaway, providing a meal for low-income families, as well as the Children’s Peyback Holiday Celebration at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.

Feedback for Peyback

A stipulation of Jacob’s scholarship is that he report to the foundation on his academic progress. “It helps keep me motivated,” Jacob says, “and stay on the right track to graduate.”

Peyback also encourages him to “pay it forward” through community service—on campus and beyond. Staying motivated hasn’t been diffi-cult for Jacob, or for most of the student-athletes at UIndy, where student athletes keep their grade point average above a 3.1 on a 4.0 scale.

“I usually set aside time to study and keep on top of all of my coursework.” says Jacob. “It’s easy to stay in touch with my professors and classmates, since I’m at a smaller school.”

Jacob has always dreamed of being a doctor, and UIndy is the springboard to realizing that dream. Of the 31 private colleges in Indiana, in fact, UIndy ranks 6th in sending students on to the IU School of Medicine—one of the most competitive medical schools in the Midwest.

“UIndy has an excellent science department that fully supports me in my academic pursuits,” Jacob says. Jacob plans to honor the spirit of the Peyback Foundation. “The Peyback Foundation has inspired me to work hard,” he says. “I hope to someday give back and support other students in the same way the Foundation supported me.”

To learn about pre-med at UIndy, visit For more on the Peyback Foundation, go to