School of Music Announces Three New Faculty Members


PUBLISHED ON Mar 20 2018

The Butler University School of Music will add three new faculty members beginning in the 2018–2019 academic year, Doug Spaniol, Interim Chair, announced today.

Becky Marsh, a choral music educator who's finishing her doctorate at Michigan State University, is the new Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education.

Brian Weidner, currently a lecturer at Lake Forest (Illinois) College, is the new Assistant Professor of Instrumental Music Education.

Dana Zenobi, a soprano who has taught for the past 10 years at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, is the new full-time Instructor of Voice.

Marsh was a choral music educator in North Carolina for several years as well as the Musical Director of a K-12 youth theatre. She holds a Master of Music in Music Education and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Music Theory from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she taught beginning guitar, supervised student teachers, and assisted in introductory music education, vocal pedagogy, and choral methods courses.

She is currently finishing her dissertation, which examines the intersections of preservice music teachers' identities and their initial field-observation experiences.

Weidner will receive his Ph.D. in Music Education at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. He holds bachelor's degrees in Music Education and English from Illinois State University and master's degrees in Music Education from Northern Illinois University and school leadership from Olivet Nazarene University.

Prior to his studies at Northwestern, he taught for 12 years at McHenry (Illinois) High School, serving as its Fine Arts Coordinator, Director of Bands, and Music Theory Instructor. He is a National Board-certified teacher. His academic interests include investigating the relationship between music and literacy and the development of independent musicianship through large ensemble instruction.

Zenobi has taught Vocal Diction, Vocal Pedagogy, Song Literature and first-year Theory and Ear Training, as well as an interdisciplinary course in Music and Gender Studies. Her studio teaching was nationally recognized in 2014, when The American Prize competition issued her an "Inspiration in Teaching" award.

An active recitalist and concert performer, her work as an interpreter of art song by women composers has garnered both regional and national attention. On the opera stage, she has earned critical acclaim for roles ranging from Mozart heroines Donna Elvira and Konstanze to Verdi's Violetta Valéry. She appeared in the American Premiere of Philip Glass’s Waiting for the Barbarians with Austin Opera, and performed with Lyric Opera Cleveland in the first production of Mark Adamo’s Little Women directed by the composer.

Zenobi created Southwestern University's Sarofim Vocal Competition for high school singers. She also founded BELTA.org, a nonprofit that provides free crowdfunding services and entrepreneurial support to artists and musicians. She holds a dual degree in Music and Women's Studies from Duke University, as well as both an MM and a DMA from The University of Texas at Austin.


Media contact:
Marc Allan





School of Music Announces Three New Faculty Members

Becky Marsh, Brian Weidner, and Dana Zenobi will join Butler for 2018-2019 school year.

Mar 20 2018 Read more
AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Julian Wyllie '16 Named to Politico Journalism Institute


PUBLISHED ON Mar 20 2018

Julian Wyllie '16, a Lacy School of Business graduate and former editor of The Butler Collegian, has been named to the 2018 class of the Politico Journalism Institute (PJI), an educational initiative supporting diversity in Washington area newsrooms.

PJI, which will be held May 29 to June 9, will offer 13 university students intensive, hands-on training in government and political reporting. Programming includes interactive sessions, panels with industry leaders, mentoring, and an opportunity for students to have their work published by Politico.

The PJI Class of 2018 also includes students from Yale, University of Southern California, and Georgetown. Two of the students will be selected at the end of the program for a three-month residency in the Politico newsroom where they will write, edit, and produce content.

All costs for PJI participants, including room, board, and transportation, are provided by Politico. Students split time between American University in Washington, D.C., and Politico headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

"We're thrilled to welcome this exceptional new class of PJI students," said Politico Editor Carrie Budoff Brown. "Our class this year reflects the racial, geographic, and socioeconomic diversity that Politico is committed to nurturing. Our newsroom is looking forward to mentoring these talented young journalists, who will be at the forefront of tomorrow's political news landscape." 

Since graduating, Wyllie’s career has included stops at Governing magazine and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

"My time in Washington has been more than amazing so far," Wyllie said. "Being associated with anything as big as Politico is a great thing. But the best part about this program is that it gives me the chance to meet other hard-working young writers, who are all going through the struggles of trying to make it. Being around them feeds my desire to keep pushing myself and not let up. Overall, the success I've had is a direct result of skills I gained while attending Butler, where at The Collegian I stumbled on my life's passion."


Media contact:
Marc Allan

AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Julian Wyllie '16 Named to Politico Journalism Institute

Program offers hands-on training in government and political reporting.

Mar 20 2018 Read more

Like a Pro

By Rachel Stern

DETROIT—It’s hard to catch Jimmy Lafakis.

The first time, his phone goes straight to voicemail. The next, after about two rings, it goes to voicemail again. But this time, Lafakis follows up with a text message.  “I’m on the court shooting Michigan State-Bucknell, can we talk after the game?” he writes. “The atmosphere is insane.”

He steals a few minutes to talk during a media timeout, in the bowels of Little Caesars Arena. It’s fitting. Most of Lafakis’ college career has been spent dotting the country, following the Butler men’s basketball team from arena to arena, squatting on baselines, documenting the action for The Collegian, Butler’s student newspaper.

Then, there are games like Michigan State-Bucknell. The Butler junior has no real reason to shoot photos of this game. But that’s not how he sees it at all. In Lafakis’ eyes, it’s impossible to count all the reasons. He has a media pass, he is a basketball fanatic, he loves photography, it’s March. The list goes on.

Take Friday for example.

He rose at about 4:00 AM, drove from Indianapolis to Detroit with his parents. Went straight to Little Caesars Arena. Arrived in time to shoot the Purdue-Cal State Fullerton game at noon. Then shot the Butler-Arkansas game (a perfect game, he says). And when he takes a quick break to chat, it is about 9:00 PM and he is in the midst of shooting the Michigan State-Bucknell game (he’s running on adrenaline, he says. He isn’t even tired, he says).

March is his favorite time of the year. According to Jimmy, the tournament “is unlike anything else in the universe.” Which is no surprise, considering what a basketball junkie he is. But what is a surprise, if you talk to him for just five minutes, is that he had never even heard of Butler University until he was in eighth grade.

A lot has changed since then.


A Student of the Game

Lafakis is from Schererville, Indiana. Hoops country. But, believe it or not, he grew up without a favorite college basketball team. How did a hoops-obsessed kid from Indiana grow up teamless?  “Well, my dad went to IU and everyone I knew had a team, but I was waiting for a reason to really fall in love, you know?” Lafakis says.

Lafakis played basketball in middle school, but was just OK, he says. However, he was always a student of the game. And then there’s his memory. Jimmy Lafakis remembers everything. He says this carries over to most things in life. But when it comes to basketball, well, his memory is extra sharp. He likes to play a game with his friends where they name a professional basketball player, and Lafakis fires back with the college he went to. Lafakis is rarely stumped.

So, when he started to get really into hoops, he, of course, remembered everything. Every game he watched, every player he saw, most stats. There was that day in seventh grade when he was watching SportsCenter and saw highlights of A.J. Graves and Butler. Naturally, it stuck and he was instantly hooked, he says.

“A.J. Graves was getting buckets,” Lafakis says, recalling specific highlights from a clip he saw in seventh grade. “I remember thinking, wow, he is good and Butler is good. I have to go to Hinkle. It was perfect timing because they were on the brink of bursting onto the national scene.”


A Butler Love Affair is Born

Obviously, Lafakis can reel off the first time he went to Hinkle Fieldhouse. He was in eighth grade, it was Halloween, and the Bulldogs were playing an exhibition game against Florida Southern. “I instantly fell in love with Hinkle,” he says. “That was the moment I knew I had to go to Butler.”

I instantly fell in love with Hinkle,” he says. “That was the moment I knew I had to go to Butler.

Jimmy’s parents, John and Kathy, toured the campus with Jimmy that day. They walked into the bookstore and walked out “with basically the entire store,” Jimmy says. Most notably? A blue sweatshirt that Jimmy still wears. Holes and all. “My mom and I still wear it. My dad tells me it is time to throw it out, but it means way too much,” Jimmy says. “There is too much history in that sweatshirt.”

The game against Florida Southern was just the beginning that year. The crew then went to Valparaiso in January (they lost in overtime, Jimmy says). Then it was onto New Orleans for the Sweet 16, where the Lafakis family watched Butler beat Wisconsin. After that game, the family headed back to Indianapolis, but made a pitstop at Butler, specifically Atherton Union, to watch Butler beat Florida in the Elite Eight. The game was projected on a wall inside the Reilly Room and Jimmy recalls the feeling of jubilation when the buzzer sounded (Shelvin Mack scored 27, he says), and he and about 200 Butler students ran onto the lawn outside Atherton to celebrate.

Now, a junior journalism major, Jimmy cannot believe how lucky he is. Instead of Atherton Union, he takes in most games from the baseline, Canon Rebel T6S camera, the same one he got June 1, 2015 for a graduation present around his neck. Snapping away. Posting to Twitter, Instagram, and publishing for The Collegian.



It’s hard to believe, Lafakis says, with a chuckle. But the first Butler game he ever shot photos for was exactly five years to the day after the first one he saw as an eighth grader with his parents. Halloween, 2015. And of course, he starts getting into the details of the game. An exhibition game. From 2015.

Lafakis first got into photography when he was a sophomore in high school. The girls basketball team was really good, and he started shooting their games. He saw this as a perfect way to blend his love of sports with journalism. Butler has allowed him to grow that passion, on a much larger scale, he says.

“I have worked for The Collegian since my freshman year and I really thank my lucky stars everyday,” says Jimmy. “It is really so special and unique. I don’t think too many other folks have the opportunity to do what they love, on this level, all over the country, while they are still in college. It’s really special.”

Following the team for the better part of his college career has sent Lafakis to Memphis, Portland, Detroit, Cincinnati, and West Lafayette, to name a few. Since he takes full advantage of these trips and snaps as many games as possible, he has captured some of basketballs biggest names. There has been Lonzo Ball, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and Russell Westbrook (that was a selfie, he notes). NFL and NBA players have retweeted his photos.

But being around fellow journalists has been one of the most impactful parts, Lafakis says. It has given him a unique opportunity to seek out advice and learn from the best in the business. Jeff Goodman, of ESPN, for example, has offered words of encouragement. And he has developed a close relationship with the Indianapolis Star’s Gregg Doyel.

“There’s so much you learn in the classroom that prepares you, which I have been so fortunate at Butler to have some awesome professors. To mix that with the opportunities I have had in the field is irreplaceable. In the field, you really get thrown into the fire, which is where the real-world experience that I wouldn’t normally have so much of at this point in my life is so helpful. I am so lucky for that,” he says.


Making his Mark

Gregg Doyel remembers Lafakis’ presence in his inbox before actually meeting him in person. And he wasn’t exactly impressed. Lafakis would email Doyel some stories when he first got to Butler and ask for advice.

“I thought, ‘you are not very good,’” Doyel says. “Two years later, he is fabulous. Jimmy is like a basketball player who gets to college and cannot walk and dribble and then by the time he is a sophomore, he is an All-American.”

Doyel says Jimmy has become a regular at Butler men’s basketball games. Lafakis sends Doyel photos all the time. For example, Doyel recently published a story about Trevon Bluiett and Kelan Martin. Later that day, Lafakis pops up in his inbox, an email with photos of Bluiett and Martin together.

“Jimmy is the sweetest kid,” Doyel says. “He’s really smart. The thing about Jimmy is, and very few people have this, and I am not exaggerating, he is sincere. He’s got this thing where he embeds himself into your heart. He is not just a guy who takes pictures and writes stories, the entire team loves him. He is part of the team.”

A few weeks ago, Doyel was speaking to a College of Education class at Butler. He referenced a story he wrote and brought up Jimmy Lafakis, as he was mentioned in the story. He asked the class, about 20 women, if any of them knew Lafakis. “I’m telling you about 18 of them were nodding and smiling at me,” Doyel says. “I blurt out, ‘Why do you all know Jimmy?’ And someone says, ‘Well, everyone follows his Instagram because he is always taking beautiful pictures of Butler, and we want to see Butler through his eyes’…He is everywhere. He deserves everything. He is happy and humble, and all he does is bring happiness to everyone.”


Documenting in Detroit

It’s 9:30 AM on Sunday morning and Jimmy arrives at Little Caesars Arena. He likes to get to the arena on game day “as early as possible. Every time.”

Tip off against Purdue is over two-and-a-half hours away, the court is nearly empty, but Jimmy heads to his usual spot on the baseline. Questions swirl around the health of Butler’s Paul Jorgensen and Purdue’s Isaac Haas, and Jimmy wants to make sure he sees how each look during warmups. And of course, document it.

Minutes later, Jorgensen emerges from the tunnel to test his ankle. At seemingly the same time as Jorgensen hits the court in real life, images of him running up and down the court appear on Jimmy’s Twitter account.

“This school literally means everything to me,” he says. “These guys on the court are some of my good friends. I love basketball, trust me, but it is about so much more than being able to do what I love while I watch what I love. It is about being at a place that means so much to me with lifelong friends and memories that I will have forever.”

It is about being at a place that means so much to me with lifelong friends and memories that I will have forever.

See, that is what Jimmy loves about photography so much. That is why he gets to the arena on Sunday morning around 9:30 AM. That is why he shoots as many games as he can. And that is why, he estimates, he has shot hundreds of thousands of photos since he stepped onto Butler’s campus nearly three years ago, only missing a handful of Butler basketball games.

“It’s fun capturing moments. I love catching the emotion. It’s really cool to look back on. I love looking back at all of my pictures and seeing all the emotion and the memories,” he says.

If Jimmy has it his way, he will get a job in sports journalism after he graduates in 2019. Ideally, doing both writing and photography. But for now, he doesn’t want to even think about graduating from the place that has been “life changing,” he says.

“Being a senior will be extremely emotional. I don’t even want to talk about it,” Jimmy says. “Butler is such a special place. I am really nervous to be a senior. I want to savior every morsel of junior year.” But, when the time comes to graduate, Gregg Doyel, of the Indianapolis Star, thinks Jimmy is more than ready. Maybe a little too ready. “I’m not sure what he does better, write or take photos. He can really do both. He could write for any paper in America tomorrow, but he might be an even better photographer. And that is sincere,” Doyel says. “I just hope that little sucker doesn’t take my job someday.”



March MadnessStudent LifePeople

Like a Pro

DETROIT—It’s hard to catch Jimmy Lafakis. The first time, his phone goes straight to voicemail.

Like a Pro

By Rachel Stern

A House Sometimes Divided

By Rachel Stern

DETROIT—Chris Williams had her wardrobe change down to a science.

She started the day in all Purdue attire. Purdue shirt, Purdue hat, decked out in black and gold. She cheered for the Boilermakers in the stands at Little Caesars Arena Friday as they beat Cal State Fullerton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.But when the buzzer sounded, it was time for the change.

See, Chris is a Purdue graduate. And a proud one at that. But she married Mike, a Butler graduate. A proud, Butler basketball season-ticket-holding-since-1990 graduate, at that. And ever since, there have been, well, some hiccups. Like Friday, and Sunday, and the time their kids were deciding where to go to school, and the Crossroads Classic, and, and, and.

“We went to all the football and basketball games when I was at Purdue, and I am still a huge fan,” Chris says. “When I met my husband, I definitely became a Butler fan quickly. Pretty soon, I was going to tons of Butler sporting events and, even though I never stopped rooting for Purdue, I found a special place for Butler.”

On Friday, at least, there was an easy remedy. Chris was prepared. She dug into her purse after the Purdue game, reached for her stash of Butler gear, and changed before the Bulldogs tipped off against Arkansas in their first round matchup. Sunday, well let’s just say Sunday will be a bit less convenient. Butler will face Purdue for a birth in the Sweet 16. A wardrobe change won’t cut it. “Sunday will definitely be hard for me. It is always hard when both teams play each other,” Chris says. “I will probably wear a Butler hat and a Purdue quarter zip…”

Then Mike interjects.

“I remember, specifically, by the end of one Crossroads Classic game you were rooting for Butler,” Mike says. “The kids were like wow, you went to Purdue, but you are rooting for Butler. I definitely remember that time specifically.” Mike grew up in the Broad Ripple area, in, wait for it, a Notre Dame family. But, being so close to Butler, he attended a fair share of Bulldog basketball and football games growing up. When it was time for him to make his college decision, Mike knew he wanted to play golf and Butler, he says, was a perfect match.

Chris, on the other hand, grew up in Buckeye Country, eating and breathing Ohio State football in Lima, Ohio. She was all set to attend Ohio State, but at the last minute, switched to Purdue to study pharmacy. The two met in 1989 in Indianapolis and then married in December 1993. A lot of Butler athletic events followed. “I still followed Purdue closely, but just because of proximity and having season tickets, Butler was much more on my radar after we got married,” Chris says.  

Then they had their first child, Nick. “We took him to Hinkle a couple weeks after he was born. He always felt like Hinkle was home and the campus was comfortable to him,” Mike says. And it must have stuck. Nick is now a freshman at Butler and a member of the golf team. So, it is clear where his allegiance lies. Mike and Nick were texting during the Butler-Alabama game. Nick was trilled after the win, Mike says.

But then, there is their younger daughter, Claire. A junior in high school, she is starting to weigh her college options. “Every kid is different. She is just trying to figure out what place feels right for her and what will be the best fit. We will be taking some visits soon, but we are definitely hoping she likes Purdue or Butler,” Chris says. “Hopefully Butler,” Mike adds.

Claire wanted to be in Detroit, and is certainly rooting for Butler, Mike says, but she is away at a leadership retreat. The retreat doesn’t allow cellphones, but Claire has her priorities and was following the Butler game closely on her phone Thursday. She will do the same Sunday, secretly keeping an eye on the action. “She’s a good Butler fan,” Mike says.

The Williams', though a house sometimes divided, were excited on Selection Sunday when they saw the potential Butler-Purdue matchup in Detroit. At least they could travel to Detroit, see both teams play in the first round, and then watch a potential second round clash. Things are still tough for Chris when Purdue and Butler face off, she says. She still feels divided, even more so now that her son goes to Butler and is having such a great experience. She has taken to the Bulldogs even more now, with a vested interest at the school. There is one thing, though, that is easy for the Williams’ to agree on when it comes to college hoops.

“We both aren’t IU fans, that’s a no brainer,” Mike says. “And no matter what happens Sunday, we want the Indiana team that wins to keep going. But it better be Butler.”


March MadnessPeople

A House Sometimes Divided

DETROIT—Chris Williams had her wardrobe change down to a science. She started the day in all Purdue attire. Purdue shirt, Purdue hat, decked out in black and gold.

From Detroit: Fans Reflect on Victory

By Rachel Stern

DETROIT—It is only about 30 minutes after No. 10 Butler has knocked off No. 7 Arkansas in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, but Jessie Eastman must put the celebration on a quick hold of the modern variety. “We are making a pit stop because we took too many pictures, so all of our phones are dead,” says Eastman, a 2015 Butler graduate who lives in Detroit and attended the game with seven friends. “We had a blast and probably took too many pictures. We are going to stop at home to charge our phones and then keep the celebration going.”

All of Bulldog Nation has reason to celebrate. During a game of runs – Butler jumped out to a 21-2 lead in the opening minutes, only to see that disappear late in the first half – it was the Bulldogs that took control again early in the second half and pushed the lead back to double digits en route to a 79-62 win. Now, the Bulldogs will take on 2-seed Purdue on Sunday in an all-Indiana matchup. The Boilermakers beat Butler 82-67 in the Crossroads Classic in December, but the Bulldogs lead Purdue 2-1 in head-to-head Crossroad matchups. The winner of Sunday’s game will advance to the Sweet 16 next weekend.

“We had a much louder, larger crowd than Arkansas today. There was a huge Butler showing and it felt like a home game. Of course, nothing beats Hinkle, but it was pretty close,” Eastman says. “It will be really exciting to see the atmosphere against Purdue. Today, we saw Purdue fans rooting us on, but of course on Sunday, it will be a completely different story.” Eastman, who has lived in Detroit for about a year, was hoping on Selection Sunday that Butler would play in Detroit. After the bracket was released, her phone started blowing up. She has fellow Butler grads from Indianapolis and Chicago asking to stay on her couch, and now, they just extended their stay.

“Oh, we are definitely starting to look into tickets and will be here through Sunday,” says Kate Allen, who graduated from Butler in 2015 and now lives in Indianapolis. “Typically, I am bad luck for Butler, so I am always skeptical, but today they certainly proved me wrong. This was my first tournament game in person and it was amazing.” Some of their friends who live in Chicago already had St. Patrick’s Day plans on Saturday. After Butler beat Arkansas, they hit the road to drive back to Chicago and plan on returning to Detroit for Sunday’s game.

“The tournament atmosphere is just so exciting,” Eastman says. “It is so great to see all the fans. The fact that we are going up against Purdue adds another level of excitement, for sure. We need to prove our worth after the Crossroads Classic loss and I think we are definitely ready for that comeback game.”

Bulldog Fans
March MadnessAthletics

From Detroit: Fans Reflect on Victory

DETROIT—It is only about 30 minutes after No. 10 Butler has knocked off No. 7 Arkansas in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, but Jessie Eastman must put the celebration on a quick hold of the modern variety.

Butler Roots Run Deep

By Rachel Stern

DETROIT—Out on the hardwood, toward a far corner of the court, the shortest player with the floppy blonde hair puts up three-pointer after three-pointer. Swish, swish, swish. At one point, he hits nine in a row.

He is 5 feet 11 inches, and Campbell Donovan wearing number 0 on his jersey is in a land of giants. It is the Thursday before Donovan, a freshman walk-on, and No. 10 Butler will take on No. 7 Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  

The team is at open practice – think glorified shoot-around – but to Campbell, this is serious business. Any chance to work on his game, be a part of the Butler team, and, his dad Rick jokes, put up shots, is a good day. And he knows to never take it for granted.

That’s because, despite basically growing up in Hinkle Fieldhouse, he was very close to never putting on the Butler jersey at all.

The Butler Bond Begins

Donovan Family
          Donovan Family during 2015-2016 Season

Rick Donovan grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana during Hoosier Hysteria, dreaming of playing basketball at the college level. He rooted for Purdue, but when it came time for Rick to head off to college, it looked like he would have a good chance to play at Butler. Joe Sexson was the head coach and the team wasn’t great, Rick said, but he was excited. “Once you get that Butler blue in your blood, Purdue and everyone else becomes secondary,” he says. “I had an amazing experience there.”

Barry Collier took over for Sexson during Rick’s senior season and Rick says, he could tell the program was starting to move in the right direction. After graduating in 1990 and enrolling in law school at Valparaiso, Rick bought season tickets to the Bulldogs and he hasn’t looked back since.

Rick and his wife, Sabrina, still live in Fort Wayne, but that hasn’t stopped them from traveling to Indianapolis for most games. And, it turns out, the Donovans have had several reasons to keep coming back to Hinkle. And keep coming back, and back, and back.

Another Donovan Joins Butler

Campbell remembers the drive from Fort Wayne to Indianapolis. There have been so many trips back and forth, but this one, he says, sticks out. His oldest sister, Ali, was on the brink of heading off to college at Butler, but first, she had a cheerleading tryout. Campbell was devastated.

“I remember it was her tryout day and I was in the backseat so sad,” he says. “She was about to leave home and I really didn’t want her to leave yet. She is 10 years older, so I remember thinking how upsetting it would be without her at home. But I also remember how excited she was to have the chance to cheer at Butler. We grew up at Hinkle with my dad watching basketball games and everything, so this was huge for her. I just remember being real sad, but also real nervous for her and just thinking what a big deal it was.”

Ali ended up making the cheer team. Donovan No. 2 to be connected to Butler Athletics. Rick says he made a distinct effort to remain open-minded during Ali’s college search. They made about four college visits and he was very impressed with all the schools.

“When Ali decided on Butler, let’s just say I was extremely happy,” Rick says. “It was really neat and special to see my kid on the court. I remember people would always ask, did you ever think you would see one of your kids out there, and I always would think of Campbell with hoops, that’s just what would come to my mind. But seeing Ali cheer was very special.”

With Ali’s four-years came more trips to Butler sporting events, says Campbell. He remembers going to tons of basketball games, football games, and traveling all the time.  With all of the travel, Rick says, he started to see his son’s motivation and passion grow. Rick and Campbell used to stay up late and watch Butler compete in the Atlantic 10 on television when they had away games. But once Ali joined the cheerleading team, Rick says, they started traveling to more and more games.

“I literally grew up in Hinkle,” Campbell says. “The coolest thing was she was on the cheer team during the 2010 and 2011 National Championship runs. This was the time that Butler was really starting to become a household name and gain national prominence. I knew before that it was cool my dad played in college and that was a big deal. But this was when it really hit me how much of a big deal playing for Butler was. It was then that I decided, OK, I really want to play basketball for Butler one day.”

A Dream Comes True

Rick and Campbell have walked out of Hinkle Fieldhouse together too many times to count. But this time, Rick made a beeline to Scotty’s Dawghouse. He had to talk some sense into his son.

The two of them had just met with, Butler’s head coach at the time, Chris Holtmann. They expected the meeting to just be a chance to get to know one another, let Holtmann know Campbell was interested in potentially walking on, and find out what the process would be like. At that point, Campbell was being recruited heavily by smaller schools, such as Division III’s DePauw. He knew he would have a great experience at a smaller school, get a lot of playing time, and that these smaller schools were very interested in him. However, Butler was always his dream.

Rick happened to play in an alumni game in fall 2016, which led to a phone call with former Butler assistant coach Terry Johnson, which led to this very meeting with Holtmann at the end of the season. An hour-and-a-half into the meeting, Rick couldn’t help himself. He kept looking over at Campbell, thinking, is this really happening.

“It seemed like Coach Holtmann was going in the direction of offering Cam a walk on position,” Rick says. “We just were looking at each other, like, is he really going to offer this? It was such a surprise. We were days away from probably going with one of the smaller schools, just because we didn’t know if this was an option for Cam. I really think if I pushed Cam with one finger he would have fallen over.”

Holtmann ended the meeting by telling Campbell to give the walk on role some thought and then to get back to him. Campbell said thanks and left. Rick couldn’t believe it. “I told him, you have been waiting 18 years for this, working your butt off, dreaming about this, the heck you will think this over,” Rick joked. “Cam told me he didn’t want to look too anxious, but after lunch he walked right back over to Hinkle and told Coach he couldn’t wait to join the team.”

Back to the Tournament

Campbell with Sisters
         Campbell with sisters at Final 4 in 2010.

There was the time Roosevelt Jones hit a floater at the buzzer to beat Gonzaga at Hinkle. Campbell remembers storming the court from 15 rows up. Then there was the time he watched in person as Butler advanced to their first ever National Championship in 2010, knocking off Michigan State. He remembers watching with his entire family. He also remembers missing the Final Four the following year because of a family vacation in Florida. He recalls looking for his sister, who was a cheerleader at the time, on TV. He was bummed he wasn’t there as he watched from the beach.

“Having all these memories, and now being in Detroit as a part of the team, it’s just mind blowing,” Campbell says. “Having this opportunity to be in the tournament, even though I am just a small part of it, but knowing I am a little part of something special, is just so incredible.”

Rick and Sabrina will be in the stands on Friday. Their two daughters will join on Sunday, if Butler advances. “Friday will be very emotional for me,” Rick says. “Butler has been great to us as a family. I am smiling all the time when I walk into Hinkle, but this will definitely be a different level of excitement getting to see Cam achieve something he always had in the back of his mind, surrounded by so many great teammates and friends.”

Campbell was one of the last one’s off the court Thursday. Putting up a few last shots, taking in every last second on the court. His first time being a member of an NCAA Tournament team, something he has thought so much about. “I try and put myself in the shoes of where I was last year, not even knowing where I was going to go to college,” Campbell says. “I remind myself all the time how lucky I am to be at Butler, not only as a walk on, which is amazing because so many kids would give a lot to be in my position, but to just take classes here and be at such an amazing University. It is really a great all around place and I am enjoying every moment.”


Team at Practice
March MadnessAthleticsPeople

Butler Roots Run Deep

DETROIT—Out on the hardwood, toward a far corner of the court, the shortest player with the floppy blonde hair puts up three-pointer after three-pointer. Swish, swish, swish. At one point, he hits nine in a row.

Team at Practice

Butler Roots Run Deep

By Rachel Stern

Watching from Afar

By Rachel Stern

When it comes to the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, Andrew Cottrell usually tries to figure out how he can watch as many games as possible. That usually means mixing work with basketball. Or maybe, mixing basketball with work.

“I make no bones about it, I love basketball and there is nothing better than the first weekend of the tournament,” Cottrell says. “I try and mix client entertainment with watching some basketball. Let’s call it watching basketball under the guise of client entertainment.” Cottrell, who graduated from Butler in 2011 and now works at Merrill Lynch as a Senior Financial Advisor in Cincinnati, will maintain that work-basketball mix until approximately Friday at 3:10 PM. “That’s when I will shed that coat and tie and trade it in for a Bulldog pullover,” Cottrell says. “The Butler game needs my full attention.”

Cottrell will be watching at a bar in Cincinnati with, maybe around 30 to 40 alums, he says. Among those in the crowd will be his wife, a former Butler softball player who graduated in 2012, and their six-week-old, decked out in blue with earmuffs on.

A similar scene will be unfolding in New York City.

Jennifer White, who graduated from Butler in 2000 and is an attorney in New York City, will be gathering with fellow grads, friends, and family members at Suspenders in the Financial District to watch No. 10 Butler take on No. 7 Arkansas. The timing could be tricky, she said, in terms of predicting turnout, but one thing is always guaranteed. “These gatherings are so much fun because you meet people from all different years and there is such a great community feeling,” says White, who double majored in English and music. “We all have such a great time together.”

And it is not just the Butler-affiliated people who get into it, she says. These gatherings are an opportunity to introduce Butler to the rest of the country, White says. Before 2010, people would sometimes confuse Butler for Baylor. Then, after Butler knocked off Syracuse, people in New York definitely knew who Butler was, White says.

“You can see there has been a huge shift in name recognition in New York,” she says. “I remember in 2003, we were watching a tournament game and we were losing at halftime and we had our Butler shirts on and no one heard of Butler. Then, we came storming back and everyone in the bar was supporting us. The fun thing is everyone loves an underdog and we always end up in a bar full of Butler supporters and people always end up asking about our school. It is a great opportunity to spread the word.”

White and her husband always attend Butler games in person if the team makes the Sweet 16 or better. But she never shirks her alumni event responsibilities. She has been in a hotel business center sending out emails to alumni to let them know about a chapter event. Last year, White was in London coordinating tournament plans from her laptop. She knows firsthand how important these events are. As a result of the New York City gatherings, White says, she has met people who have graduated way before her – one comes all the time who graduated in 1953 and spends an hour on the train coming to NYC events from his home in New Jersey. Others are way younger than her, she says.

“We know sports goes a long way for brand recognition, but also for us and for the opportunity to get to know all different people from the Butler family,” White says. “We try and take advantage of it and have a good time.”


In St. Louis, Rachel Gotshall will be trying to keep her husband from counting his chickens before they hatch on Friday. The Gotshalls followed the team almost everywhere when they were students at Butler, Rachel says. They have been to Maui, Memphis, Maine, Birmingham, to name a few. And now, Rachel is trying to make sure her husband waits until Sunday before making plans for Boston.

But on Friday, they will be at a Butler Bar in St. Louis with friends and fellow alums. Rachel, who graduated in 2009, has the day off on Friday. But her husband will be playing hooky. “These are truly some of our closest friends,” she says. “We all have a love for Butler in some way or another. The best thing is seeing more people come out and seeing new faces. That is what I look forward to the most.”


March MadnessPeople

Watching from Afar

When it comes to the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, Andrew Cottrell usually tries to figure out how he can watch as many games as possible.

Watching from Afar

By Rachel Stern

Baked Goods and Bulldog Groupies

By Rachel Stern

If you have been to a Butler basketball game, in say, the last eight years or so, chances are you’ve sampled Lori Showley’s famous Bulldog Droppings.

That’s because she has researched the ins and outs of most arenas in America, and how precisely to sneak the two to three batches of her chocolately-peanuty treat into the game. Since Showley started mass producing what she says she has become famous for, arenas have become more secure. So, she’s simply gotten more creative. In some places, she hides the Droppings under her pompoms. Other times, she hands them out in the hotel lobby – that is easiest, she says.

But then, there was Maui.

There is an exact science to making Bulldog Droppings. There are three different kinds of chocolate and peanuts, all mixed together in a crockpot, cooking on low for three hours, Showley explains. Traveling to Maui to watch Butler play does not lend itself well to making Bulldog Droppings. But tradition is tradition. “I found a fan who had a friend who lived in Maui, believe it or not. I borrowed her crockpot and set it up in my hotel room,” Showley says. “Well, when you cook it on low for three hours, my room was smelling like Hershey, Pennsylvania and I almost got evicted. I quickly had to put everything away and clean up all the evidence before hotel staff came in to check out what was going on.” Before tip-off in Maui, though, there was Showley, outside the arena handing out Bulldog Droppings. It was too hot, she said, to try and sneak the treats into the arena. So, she put bags of ice underneath the packages so they wouldn’t melt outside and handed them out to Butler fans.

“It’s my claim to fame,” she says. “If I don’t do it, everyone is upset. We are all a family, even if we have never met. What makes these games so fun is the tradition and the comradery that is formed over the years among Butler fans. I venture to guess this doesn’t happen at a lot of schools. People just fall in love with Butler.”

Showley, a 1974 Butler graduate, will be in Detroit, Michigan on Friday afternoon when No.10 Butler takes on No.7 Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Bulldog Droppings and all. She will be making the drive with her husband Thursday morning, who is recovering from rotator cuff surgery. But, as Showley explains, they already had to miss the Big East Tournament because of the surgery, so enough was enough.

Showley’s son, who graduated from Purdue, will be meeting them at the game, driving to Detroit from Ohio, but with strict directions. “He is welcome to sit with us, but only if he has his Butler gear on,” she says. “Otherwise we will just be waving to him.”


Group Photo
"Butler Groupies" at a tournament in Portland


There is a group of about 12 that Showley says will be meeting up in Detroit and has been meeting up all over the country to watch their beloved Bulldogs, for the most part, since 2008.

Mary Shaw starts to tick off the various destinations the crew has been to. There was San Jose, Milwaukee, Greensboro, Portland, Memphis, says Shaw, who ran point for the Butler women’s basketball team from 1989 to 1993 and has been meeting up with Showley’s group since about 2010. Shaw will drive to Detroit with her husband, brother-in-law, and Xandra Hamilton, another member of the group who has been going to games for “forever,” Shaw says.

Nadine Treon calls them the Butler Groupies. Treon started going to Butler games with her dad in 2000. Her dad was a Butler graduate and Treon got her MBA from Butler in 2006. For Treon, Hinkle Fieldhouse always makes her think of her dad. After he passed away, she took over his season ticket package in 2006-07. She loves basketball, but Butler games mean so much more to her than just hoops. When Treon starts talking about Butler basketball, the memories start rolling off her tongue. There was the time she watched Darnell Archey’s consecutive free throw streak end. Then the time Archey hit 8-9 three pointers in the Sweet 16 against Louisville.

“I always think of my dad when I am going to a game,” she says. “It is pretty special every year. When I go to the first game, I think of him. There is so much history for me personally.”

This year was unique for Treon. She has been on the road in New Jersey for work since July, so she has been unable to watch Butler in person as much as past seasons.

“But once March rolled around, I was totally excited for that,” Treon says. “I will fly to Detroit and meet the gang out there and when we win this weekend, I will start making plans for Boston.”

And you better believe, they’ll be enjoying Lori Showley's Bulldog Droppings at every stop along the way.


Photo Credits: Lori Showley

March MadnessPeople

Baked Goods and Bulldog Groupies

If you have been to a Butler basketball game, in say, the last eight years or so, chances are you’ve sampled Lori Showley’s famous Bulldog Droppings. 

Arts & CultureStudent LifePeople

Four Butler Students Named 500 Festival Princesses


PUBLISHED ON Mar 02 2018

Taylor Bowen                                  Natalie Cole     

Katie Pfaff                                    Anna Rather


Four Butler University students have been selected as 500 Festival Princesses for 2018.

They are:

-Taylor Bowen, Michiana Shores, a senior majoring in Digital Media Production and Art Plus Design.

-Natalie Cole, Westfield, a junior majoring in Violin Performance with emphases in Music Theory and Music History.

-Katherine (Katie) Pfaff, Lewisville, a junior majoring in Strategic Communication: Public Relations.

-Anna Rather, Bargersville, a junior majoring in English Literary Theory, Culture and Criticism.

Each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship. In addition, 500 Festival Princesses are involved with the 500 Festival’s statewide community outreach programs, volunteering at 500 Festival events, and participating in various Indianapolis Motor Speedway functions, including the pre-race ceremonies and Victory Circle celebration for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

The 2018 500 Festival Princesses represent 14 Indiana colleges and universities and 21 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.72, this year’s 500 Festival princesses were selected from hundreds of applicants based on communication skills, academic performance and community involvement.


Media contact:
Marc Allan


AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Ten Butler Students Selected for Orr Fellowships


PUBLISHED ON Feb 13 2018

Ten Butler students from the Class of 2018 have landed two-year jobs after graduation through the Orr Fellowship program, which recruits and evaluates candidates based on academic excellence, extracurricular involvement, and leadership qualities and matches them with local companies.

The students (and companies) are:

Claire Cox (Allegion)

Zach Bellavia (Ascend Indiana)

Cole Geitner (DemandJump)

Bailey Padgett (FirstPerson)

Benjamin Evans (hc1.com)

Eleanor McCandless (Innovatemap)

Sarah Thuet (OurHealth)

Hayley Brown (Probo Medical)

Mariam Saeedi (RocketBuild)

Kaitlyn Sawin (Vibenomics)

Some 1,100 students competed for 70 possible positions with 47 companies across central Indiana.

The Orr Fellowship facilitates in-depth interviews that connect local decision makers to top young professionals.

“What began as a simple idea – attract talented new graduates to central Indiana’s workforce and grow them into business leaders and entrepreneurs over the course of two years – has evolved into a program infusing the community with hundreds of entrepreneurial, high-achieving and civic-minded Orr Fellows and alumni,” said Karyn Smitson, Orr Fellowship Executive Director.

Named for the late Indiana Governor Robert D. Orr, the Orr Fellowship develops the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs in Indianapolis. The Fellowship is designed to create a foundation for career success and a talent pipeline for the Indy business community.

Since its inception in 2001, Orr Fellowship has placed nearly 400 Fellows with some of Indiana’s leading companies, and many Fellows have gone on to form their own companies.



Media contact:
Marc Allan



AcademicsStudent LifePeople

Ten Butler Students Selected for Orr Fellowships

These members of the Class of 2018 have two-year guaranteed jobs.

Feb 13 2018 Read more
Student Life

Welcome to Shakespeare: 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'


PUBLISHED ON Feb 12 2018

Shakespeare moves onto the big stage Wednesday, February 28, at 7:00 PM when Butler Theatre presents a 90-minute adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Clowes Memorial Hall.

Tickets are $10-$25 and available at the box office.

Veteran Indianapolis actress Constance Macy will direct the production, which Butler Theatre Department Chair Diane Timmerman has adapted from the original script. Timmerman is the Producing Artistic Director of Indy Shakes, which performs Shakespeare at White River State Park each summer.

"This is straight up, welcome to Shakespeare," Macy said. "We decided to keep it sparse and open and let the story speak for itself."

That story, as summarized by Butler Theatre, is a "classic comedy that revolves around mistaken identities, lovers chasing each other through the woods, rustic workers trying to put on a play, and fairies creating magic everywhere." The Royal Shakespeare Company describes the story as one of "order and disorder, reality and appearance and love and marriage. Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, are to be married and great celebrations are planned."

"It's one of my favorite plays by Shakespeare," Macy said. "It's funny—very, very funny—it's a love story, there's magic, order vs. disorder, which is in almost every Shakespeare plot. But it's primarily a play about love. Because it's a comedy, the love is fickle and constant and jealous, and there's as much discord as harmony in these couples, almost to a ridiculous degree."

To stage the play, Associate Professor of Theatre Rob Koharchik designed a sparse set using lights rather than furniture and props. Strings of lights hanging from the ceiling will be used to create the illusion of the Port of Athens, trees in the forest, and more. Indiana Repertory Theatre Costume Designer Guy Clark is dressing the cast in clothing that reflects what Macy calls "a modern timelessness."

"It's not specific to any time or place," she said. "It's not Athens, but it's not Indianapolis. I just want it to feel accessible."

Macy said that when Timmerman asked her to direct the production, she was eager to do so. Macy used to teach acting at Butler as an Adjunct Professor.

"I always feel like the Butler students are a cut above everybody else," she said. "They're more focused, they're more eager, they're more enthusiastic about the work. So it's always fun to work with students here."

Macy also serves as a role model for students who want to learn how to forge an acting career while living in a small market. She has been an actor in Indianapolis for 25-plus years.

"That's something I'm very proud of," she said. "I have young people ask me about that all the time. They say, 'I want a house with a yard and a family and a dog and an acting career. How did you do it?' Certainly, I went through some slumps and there were times I thought if I'd only moved to L.A. or New York, I might have a better career. But ultimately, I do have a good career and a good life."

And she's having fun with A Midsummer Night's Dream.

"This play is funny," Macy said. "We end laughing. I think it will be cool to look at. The students who are in it are fully committed. A lot of them are playing multiple parts, so that is a challenge for them. I think people will dig it for the look of it, for the straightforwardness of it, for the comedy of it."

The cast:

Hermia/Snug: Haley Loquercio, Chicago

Helena/Starveling: Sarah Ault, Overland Park, Kansas

Demetrius/Snout: Isaiah Moore, Indianapolis

Lysander/Flute: Ian Hunt, Cincinnati

Bottom: Jeffrey Bird, Muncie, Indiana

Quince/Egeus: Emma Summers, Des Moines, Iowa

Oberon: Peter Jones, Lakewood, Ohio

Puck: Evie Davis, Nashville, Tennessee

Titania: Karina Milvain, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Peaseblossom: Hailey DeWolf, Hammond, Indiana

Cobweb: Glenn Williams, Bethesda, Maryland

Mustardseed: Jade Coley, Indianapolis

Theseus: Jacob Herr, St. John, Indiana

Hippolyta: Sydney Simms, Chicago



(In the photo: Isaiah Moore, Haley Loquercio, Sarah Ault)


Media contact:
Marc Allan




Student Life

Welcome to Shakespeare: 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

Butler Theatre's one-night-only performance is February 28.

Feb 12 2018 Read more
Arts & CultureCampus

Butler Ballet Spices Up Midwinter Dance Festival With a Tango


PUBLISHED ON Jan 31 2018

Butler Ballet will warm up the cold winter nights with the sizzling modern dance tango Piazzolla Caldera and three world premiere pieces as part of Midwinter Dance Festival, Feb. 14-18 at the Schrott Center for the Arts.

Audiences have the opportunity to see two separate shows, each featuring Piazzolla Caldera, choreographed by the legendary American choreographer Paul Taylor, and three other pieces.

Program A will be presented:

Wednesday, February 14, at 7:00 PM

Friday, February 16, at 7:30 PM

Saturday, February 17, at 2:00 PM

Program B will be presented:

Thursday, February 15, at 7:00 PM

Saturday, February 17, at 7:30 PM

Sunday, February 18, 2:00 PM

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors 62 and older, and $7 for students and children under 18. They are available at Clowes Memorial Hall during regular box office hours and at the Schrott Center for the Arts beginning two hours before each performance.

Piazzolla Caldera, created in 1997, has been described as "a sensual exposé of tango as reinterpreted and reimagined with modern dance." The piece will be set by Butler Dance Professor Susan McGuire, who was a principal dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1977 to 1988 and served as rehearsal director in 1989.

On February 9, the week before the Midwinter performances, the Paul Taylor Dance Company will perform at Clowes Memorial Hall. The company will present a masterclass for Butler Ballet dancers, and two members of the Paul Taylor company—including Heather McGinley '05—will coach the student-dancers.

"The circle has completed itself," Attaway said. "We're all excited about that."

Program A also will feature:

Farewell to the Singing Earth, choreographed by Professor Stephan Laurent and set to the music of Gustav Mahler. "This is a bittersweet moment for us because Stephan is retiring at the end of this year and this will be his last Midwinter with us," Attaway said. "He thought it would be fitting for him to revive a piece he did in 2003 that is a farewell."

Like Water for Dancers, choreographed by Assistant Professor of Dance Ramon Flowers. The piece represents the elements of water, fire, air, and earth. Initially developed for three dancers, it will feature 16 dancers in this new incarnation.

Dawn, choreographed by Professor Marek Cholewa. This world premiere also will feature an original score by percussionist Jordy Long '16.

Program B also will feature:

The grand pas de deux from La Bayadère, set by Assistant Professor of Dance Rosanna Ruffo. "This is a technical tour de force for our dancers," Attaway said. "It's more traditional than other pieces in Midwinter. It's certainly been reworked by Rosanna, but it will be familiar to people."

Stardust, a world premiere by Professor Cynthia Pratt, featuring music by David Bowie. "It's a technical challenge – very aerobic," Attaway said. "It doesn't stop moving."

Flying Wings, by Associate Professor of Dance Derek Reid. "We carry thoughts/burdens that weigh us down and search for opportunities and moments to feel free, to feel happy," Reid said, explaining the dance. "A friend passed a scripture reading on to me one day which sparked my inspiration. Roman 5: 3-4: “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Arts & CultureCampus

Butler Ballet Spices Up Midwinter Dance Festival With a Tango

Performances will take place February 14-18 at the Schrott Center.

Jan 31 2018 Read more
Arts & CulturePeopleCampus

On Butler's Curling Team, the Students Sweep Together


PUBLISHED ON Feb 12 2018

By Jackson Borman '20

The history of curling can be traced back 500 years to the frozen lochs of Scotland.

The history of curling at Butler University is a bit more recent.

It all started with a group of Butler students who were inspired by the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics to try curling for the first time. At first, they were just joking around on the ice, but eventually they bought their own shoes and brooms and in 2012 started Butler’s very own club curling team.

Fast forward eight years. Jacqueline Murphy '20, is the president of Butler’s club curling team. She was inspired to join during her freshman year because of her own background with the sport.

Murphy said that in her home town of South Bend, Indiana, curling is all the rage.

“Curling is the number one sport for student participation at Notre Dame right now,” Murphy said. “It takes places on a certain night of the week and they will have tons of students turn out just to go curling.”

Murphy and her father were always interested in joining in on the fun, but they never did.

Once she got to Butler and saw that there was a curling team, she felt she had to join. She and some friends decided to go to a meeting and try it out.

“When I told my family that I was the president of the curling club they were like, ‘Uhh what?’” Murphy said. “It’s a weird sport, you know? You never hear people say that they love to go curling.”

Last year there were only seven members of the team including Murphy, and they did not have enough members to compete. This year, the club more than quadrupled in size to an impressive 30 members. With this many people, the team now has enough members to participate in tournaments, which are known as bonspiels.

While this year's team has enough people to compete, Murphy said that they are just working on the basics.

“No one that came out for the team this year had ever played before, except for one person, so everyone is a beginner,” Murphy said. “We really didn’t expect so many people, but it is so much fun.”

The team practices at the Circle City Curling Club, which is housed within the Indiana State Fairgrounds, a 10-minute drive from campus. They meet every Thursday night and practice by playing in tournaments against each other.

While the team practices, the executive team members are visiting and researching different bonspiels that the team could compete in next year. The club was invited to compete at University of Colorado and University of Oklahoma, but there are other tournaments in Chicago and Minnesota that the team is considering as well.

As far as the team roster goes, Murphy said she is just going with the flow. Anyone can invite a friend to join the team, and even staff and faculty are welcome to join in the fun. Joey Calvillo, Butler’s Residence Life Coordinator, is a member of the team.

Calvillo said that he is always glued to his TV during the Winter Olympics. When he saw a blurb in the Butler Connection about a meeting for the curling club, he reached out to the executive members of the team to see if he could tag along.

While Calvillo is still a novice, he said that the most exciting part of the club is seeing students leading the charge and getting out of their comfort zone.

“I got into student affairs so that I could work with students and be around students, and it has been really awesome to be there and see them in their element and also just to be an active participant,” he said. “That’s been the great part: seeing it from a staff member’s perspective of getting students connected to something that they wouldn’t have possibly done outside of here. I think that’s one great thing about Butler in general; they provide so many of those types of experiences that students would not have been able to access [otherwise].”

The next big event for the team (outside of weekly practices) is a viewing party to watch the 2018 PyeongChang, South Korea, Winter Olympics. Their emphasis is sure to be on one sport in particular.




Arts & CulturePeopleCampus

On Butler's Curling Team, the Students Sweep Together

Curling club members show they have the stones needed to compete.

Feb 12 2018 Read more
Lacey School
Innovation & CreativityCommunity

Small Business Center Moves to Butler


PUBLISHED ON Jan 04 2018

Butler University is the new host of the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, which provides guidance and resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners at all phases—concept, startup, growth, and maturity. The Central Indiana Small Business Development Center’s mission is to have a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of small business in Indiana and to develop a strong entrepreneurial community.

The Small Business Center (SBDC) will become a division of the Lacy School of Business’ Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business. The four-employee Central Indiana Small Business Development Center will be primarily located at the Speak Easy Downtown Indianapolis, but will be part of the Indianacoworkingpassport.com network providing access to multiple co-working spaces across Central Indiana.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) administers a grant from the federal Small Business Administration that enables these small-business development centers to exist and partners with local organizations to host them. The Indy Chamber has hosted the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center since 2014 and integrated it into its other key initiatives, including the Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) and the Women’s Business Center.

“The Indy Chamber has been proud to host the Central Indiana SBDC team for the last three years,” Indy Chamber President and CEO Michael Huber said. “While we will miss having these amazing individuals in our office, we are excited for the growth of their small business support services through this new relationship with Butler University. We will continue to partner with the Central Indiana SBDC team, the US Small Business Administration, and additional partners to further develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Indy region.”

Dennis Wimer, Director of the Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business said he wants Butler to build on the good work done by the Indy Chamber to help small businesses grow and will maintain the partnerships already in place. This partnership will help the Butler community connect more deeply with the small business community in Central Indiana.

Steve Standifird, Dean of Butler’s Lacy School of Business, said having the Center become part of the University is “a great addition to Butler.”

“It will give us additional opportunities for experiential education, enable us to partner with the business community, and continue our efforts to help Indiana businesses grow,” he said.

Media contact:
Marc Allan

Lacey School
Innovation & CreativityCommunity

Small Business Center Moves to Butler

On January 1, Butler University became the new host of the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, which provides guidance and resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners at all phases—concept, startup, growth, and maturity.

Jan 04 2018 Read more
Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Community Arts School Head Honored As United Way 'Hero'


PUBLISHED ON Feb 26 2018

Butler Community Arts School Director Karen Thickstun has been honored as one of United Way of Central Indiana's 100 Heroes for her efforts to grow the arts education program from 180 students in 2002 to more than 2,000 in 2016–2017.

The 100 Heroes awards are being given to 100 people from the Central Indiana community who have made a positive impact over the last 100 years.

"I appreciate the opportunity to share with the community what the Butler Community Arts School is all about," Thickstun said. "This is nice recognition for Butler, for the Community Arts School, for the Butler students who are doing something in the community. This isn't about one person. It is about one person plus staff and faculty and Butler students and community partners that have been with us from the very beginning."

The Butler Community Arts School (BCAS) provides affordable arts instruction to the Indianapolis community—people like Kennon Ward, who is now Assistant Music Director of The Salvation Army's Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children in New York—and enables Butler students to hone their teaching skills. BCAS offers private lessons, group classes, camps, and off-campus community programming.

Last year, 59 percent of the BCAS students taking lessons received a scholarship, and minority enrollment accounted for 53 percent.

The BCAS program was the vision of Peter Alexander, then Dean of the Jordan College of Fine Arts, who had started a similar community arts school at the University of Southern Mississippi. Alexander "saw the potential for using college students as the primary instructors and making inroads into the community with that dynamic," Thickstun said.

Alexander approached Thickstun with the idea in January 2002. At the time, Butler's only music instruction for the community was a piano camp. With the help of Arts Administration Professor Susan Zurbuchen, Thickstun secured a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission to provide need-based scholarships to students who wanted music lessons but could not afford them.

By September 2002, BCAS was up and running.

"It was a leap of faith by the Indiana Arts Commission because they were funding something that didn't exist yet," she said. "But Butler had credibility, and the Jordan College of Fine Arts had credibility, and I'm assuming they saw the potential."

The Indiana Arts Commission has renewed that grant every year since. Last year, BCAS received grants totaling more than $113,000 from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, The Indianapolis Foundation, Summer Youth Program Fund, and the Lilly Endowment. Some 90 percent of the grant money goes to provide student need-based scholarships.

The program also now has:

-Thirteen community partners serving more than 800 students with music, visual arts, dance, and theatre programs. The Martin Luther King Center, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, Auntie Mame Child Development Center, and Christel House Academy have all been community partners since the beginning.

-Sixteen summer camps serving over 600 students ages 7 and older. The camps include a summer ballet intensive that will be expanded to four weeks beginning in 2018, as well as theatre and music programs. A new guitar camp will debut in 2018.

-Nine group class programs—including Guitar for Young Bulldogs, Youth Theatre, and Children's Orchestra—serving more than 200 students ages 5 and older.

-Nine areas of private lessons serving over 400 students ages 5 and up. Lessons are available in piano, strings, voice, woodwinds, brass, percussion, guitar, music theory, and composition.

"I'm proud that Butler has stood behind the program for 16 years and continued to support it," Thickstun said. "Butler has recognized that it provides community engagement for the University students, in addition to all the good that it does for the children in the community."


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Community Arts School Head Honored As United Way 'Hero'

Karen Thickstun has made a positive impact on the central Indiana community.

Feb 26 2018 Read more

Chelsea Groves ’20

Student Profile

Major / Program: Sports Media

Chelsea Groves is the poster child for the importance of paying attention, showing up, and doing your best work.

In early September of her first year at Butler, she and the other Sports Media majors received an email from Creative Media and Entertainment Professor Christine Taylor asking them to contribute to the Bulldog Blitz, a weekly show spotlighting Butler sports. Groves jumped at the chance. She set up an interview with Volleyball Coach Sharon Clark, “and it just started to expand through that.”

Her work on the Blitz, which aired during halftime of games that aired on butlersports.com, led to work with Butler Athletics, where she reported stories about Butler Baseball, the men’s and women’s golf teams, and several other sports.

“I put myself out there and responded to that email,” she said. “It was a big deal for me.”

Now in her sophomore year, “I just want to get better,” she said. “I want to be my absolute best and watch myself grow in other areas. I want to be better in the broadcast area and be prominent and be known for doing a great job.”

Groves came to Butler from Walkerton, Indiana, where her dad was the high school varsity football coach and also coached eighth-grade boy’s basketball. She remembers bringing her stuffed animals and American Girl doll to games when she was little and learning to keep score as she got older.

“I had one of the rosters, I got a pen from my grandma’s purse, and I would put a tally mark next to all the people who scored,” she said. “I just became enthralled with it. My dad was a big reason why I fell into sports.”

Her plan now is to develop her skills in school and ultimately become either a sideline reporter or analyst for men’s college basketball or baseball.

She said Butler is making her better.

“So many people around me—basically everyone—pushes you to be your absolute best all the time,” she said. “They critique me, tell me what to do—and what to do better—and I listen to them because they know what they’re doing and I trust them and I want to step up my game all the time. Butler is an amazing place, and I’m so glad I’m here.”





Chelsea Groves
Student LifePeople

Chelsea Groves ’20

Chelsea Groves is the poster child for the importance of paying attention, showing up, and doing your best work.

Chelsea Groves

Chelsea Groves ’20

Student Profile
AcademicsArts & Culture

Professor Lynch's Book Named One of 2017's Best by The New York Times


PUBLISHED ON Jan 03 2018

The New York Times has selected Butler English Instructor Alessandra Lynch’s Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment as one of the 10 best books of poetry in 2017.

“You can read 20 pages into Lynch’s book before you fully realize it’s about a sexual assault—and this is to her credit,” wrote David Orr, author of the “On Poetry” column for The New York Times Book Review. “She wants to show an act of violence in all its terrible particularity and also in the way it becomes a background against which identity trembles and sometimes fractures. It’s difficult to read this collection without thinking about how timely it is, but its force is in no sense dependent on that congruity.”

The full article is here.

Lynch is the author of three collections of poetry: Sails the Wind Left Behind (winner of the New York/New England Award from Alice James Books, 2002), It was a terrible cloud at twilight (winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Award, Pleaides/LSU Press, 2008)and Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment (Alice James  Books, 2017). She has received fellowships from The Corporation of Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony for the Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center, and she has been the recipient of a Barbara Deming Award and a Creative Renewal Fellowship for the Arts from the Indianapolis Council for the Arts.

Media contact:
Marc Allan

AcademicsArts & Culture

Professor Lynch's Book Named One of 2017's Best by The New York Times

The New York Times has selected Butler English Instructor Alessandra Lynch’s Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment as one of the 10 best books of poetry in 2017.

Jan 03 2018 Read more

Bettine Gibbs ’19

Student Profile

Bettine Gibbs said her “Butler moment” came at the beginning of her third year, during the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences’ White Coat Ceremony that marks students’ transition from the study of preclinical to clinical health science.

“It lets the students know that this is the time to be serious,” she said. “It’s not a game. You have people’s lives in your hands. Having all the faculty participate was really nice, and the speech the Dean gave was helpful in guiding me, having me think about which route I want to take and understanding that it’s not always going to be a straight line to where you want to go.”

Gibbs, who chose Butler because earning her PharmD degree would take six years here rather than eight at another school, has often traveled the road less taken. For starters, while Pharmacy is typically all-consuming for students, she found time to walk on to the track and field team for two years, competing in the BIG EAST outdoor championships at Villanova and indoor championships in New York. In addition, she has been an officer in the Black Student Union, where she has pushed for more diversity and inclusivity at Butler.

Then, because she had an internship over summer 2017—at Eli Lilly and Company, in the Bioproduct Research and Development sector—she spent the fall 2017 semester finishing her Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences at IU Health Methodist Hospital. She worked a full eight-hour day each Saturday or Sunday alongside pharmacists and physicians, making medication recommendations. (Her classmates completed their IPPE’s in larger blocks of time.)

And finally, while most of her classmates tend toward clinical pharmacy, Gibbs has decided she wants to be a pharmaceutical scientist. Her goal is to either work for a company like Lilly, become a tenure-track professor at a research institution where she would have her own lab, or teach at a liberal arts college like Butler.

She said professors at Butler have backed her decisions.

“Finding a home in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department has been the best thing about Butler,” she said. “I found support there when I didn’t want to go the traditional clinical route. I was able to find support in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department as well as the Chemistry Department—and even some professors in Political Science and History and Anthropology helped me have ideas about what route I would like to go. It taught me that you don’t have to stay in one place in this University. You can go to different colleges and people will help you out.”




Bettine Gibbs
Student LifePeople

Bettine Gibbs ’19

Gibbs, who chose Butler because earning her PharmD degree would take six years here rather than eight at another school, has often traveled the road less taken.

Bettine Gibbs

Bettine Gibbs ’19

Student Profile
Amber Mills

Amber Mills ’14


PUBLISHED ON Dec 15 2017

Amber Mills ’14 said Butler provided her with a blank canvas—a fitting analogy for someone whose profession is graphic designer.

“I got to explore who I was, what I was passionate about, and who I wanted to become, and then Butler gave me the tools and the confidence to go out and get it,” she said.

Mills, one of the University’s first Art + Design majors, is now a Graphic Designer at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, the largest fully professional resident non-profit theater in Indiana. In that role, she works on the website (irtlive.com), designs ads, marketing materials, and does some photography. The job “changes by the minute,” she said. She even designed the theater’s current logo during its 2015 rebranding.

She said Butler prepared her well—whether it was what she learned in the classroom or in her internship with the University’s Marketing and Communications Department, where she designed the Hinkle Fieldhouse replica doghouse that is still on display in the campus bookstore. Mills did four internships while in school.

“Butler goes beyond teaching just the basic skills and theories in the classroom,” she said. “It teaches you how to communicate effectively. It teaches you how to solve problems. It teaches you how to think critically. And then it sends you out into the world to apply those skills and really gain the experience that sets you apart. There’s nothing like going into a job interview right after you graduate and being able to say, ‘Hey, I know I just graduated from school, but I’ve been making money as a graphic designer for two years and here’s my portfolio and my references to back that up.’”

Mills grew up in New Carlisle, in northern Indiana, and wanted a small school in a city. She found Butler to be “a nice steppingstone” with a community feel that reminded her of home. And she found people who are “exemplifying and living out the golden rule—being kind to one another, helping each other out, lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down. That’s the Butler Way.”

Amber Mills

Amber Mills ’14

Butler provided her with a blank canvas.

AcademicsStudent Life

Butler Selects Top 100 Students


PUBLISHED ON Jan 26 2018

The Alumni Association has announced Butler University's Top 100 students, honoring the top juniors and seniors for the 2017–2018 academic year.

The list is below, and Butler Collegian coverage is here.

The Top 100 students are determined by the Top 100 Selection Committee composed of representatives of each of the six colleges, student affairs, academic affairs, and alumni. Each candidate is judged against the core values of the program on a numeric scale. At the end of the judging period, all scores are tabulated, and the Top 100 students are selected.

Visit the Top 100 website to view guidelines for the program.  

The Alumni Association in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs conducts the Outstanding Student Recognition program. The program is in its 57th year.

Due to a tie in scoring, more than 100 students are being honored for the 2017–2018 academic year. All honorees will be recognized at the Outstanding Student Banquet on April 13, when the Top 15 Most Outstanding Students will be announced. 

Full Listing of Honorees (in alphabetical order)

Katie Allee, senior, Communication Science and Disorders, College of Communication (CCOM)

Lynn Alsatie, junior, International Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS)

Siena Amodeo, junior, International Management, Lacy School of Business (LSB)

Deborah Arehart, senior, Middle-Secondary Education, College of Education (COE)

Thomas Baldwin, senior, Biochemistry, LAS

Adam Bantz, senior, Strategic Communication, CCOM

Alex Bartlow, senior, Accounting, LSB

Leah Basford, senior, International Management, LSB

Zach Bellavia, senior, Economics, LSB

Bri Borri, junior, Psychology, LAS

Lauren Briskey, junior, Actuarial Sciences, LAS

Amy Brown, senior, Accounting, LSB

Rachel Burke, junior, Mathematics, LAS

Jeremy Caylor, junior, Biology, LAS

Parker Chalmers, junior, Risk Management, LSB

Lauren Ciulla, junior, Biology, LAS

Brooklyn Cohen, junior, ELED.BS, COE

Hannah Coleman, senior, Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS)

Dana Connor, senior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM          

Vickie Cook, junior, Biochemistry, LAS

Meredith Coughlin, senior, Human Communication & Organizational Leadership, CCOM

Ryan Cultice, junior, Accounting, LSB

Ashley Dale, senior, Physics, LAS

Erin Dark, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Darby DeFord, junior, Biology, LAS

Matthew Del Busto, junior, English Literature, LAS

David Dunham, senior, Middle-Secondary Education, COE

Suzanne Dwyer, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Shelby Eaton, junior, Sociology and Psychology, LAS

Katie Edwards, senior, Marketing, LSB

Ashlyn Edwards, junior, Philosophy, LAS

Sarah Elam, junior, International Studies, LAS

John Evans, junior, Finance, LSB

Chiara Evelti, senior, International Studies, LAS

Hannah Faccio, senior, Psychology, LAS

Megan Farny, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Elizabeth Fecht, senior, Middle-Secondary Education, COE

Megan Fitzgerald, junior, Elementary Education, COE

Annie Foster, junior, Spanish, LAS

Caitlyn Foye, senior, Biology, LAS

Travis Freytag, junior, Actuarial Sciences, LAS

Jackie Gries, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Nathan Hall, junior, History and Political Science, LAS

Hannah Hartzell, senior, Strategic Communication, CCOM

Patrick Holden, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Jonny Hollar, junior, Marketing, LSB

Kate Holtz, junior, Risk Management, LSB

Nicholas Huang, senior, Finance, LSB

Karla Jeggle, senior, Actuarial Science, LAS

Nathan Jent, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Drew Johnson, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Jakob Jozwiakowski, senior, Chemistry, LAS

Colton Junod, senior, Biology, LAS

Libby Kaufman, senior, Elementary Education, COE

Nida Khan, junior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Rachel Koehler, junior, International Studies, LAS

Caroline Kuremsky, senior, Elementary Education, COE

Carly Large, senior, Accounting, LSB

Emily Lawson, junior, Chemistry, LAS

Rachael Lewis, senior, Marketing, LSB

Becca Lewis, junior, Biology, LAS

Kayla Long, junior, Critical Communication & Media Studies, CCOM

Nicholas Maicke, senior, International Studies, LAS

Kelsey McDougall, senior, Biology, LAS

Kirsten McGrew, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Kasey Meeks, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Rachel Metz, senior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Joshua Murdock, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Kelly Murphy, senior, Organizational Communications, CCOM    

Garrick Nate, junior, International Studies, LAS

Emily Nettesheim, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Alexis Neyman, junior, Biology, LAS

Olivia Nilsen, junior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM

Gehrig Parker, senior, Sports Media, CCOM

Justin Poythress, junior, Accounting, LSB

Tori Puhl, junior, Actuarial Science, LAS

Salman Qureshi, senior, Biology, LAS

Courtney Raab, senior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Jordan Rauh, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Allison Reitz, senior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM          

Kate Richards, senior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM         

Sophie Robertson, junior, Dance, Jordan College of the Arts (JCA)

Abdul Saltagi, junior, Biology, LAS

Kaitlyn Sawin, senior, Marketing, LSB

Olivia Schwan, junior, Marketing, LSB

Abby Sikorcin, junior, Health Sciences, COPHS

Sundeep Singh, senior, Biology, LAS

Molly Smith, senior, International Studies, LAS

Maree Smith, senior, Marketing, LSB

Lilli Southern, junior, Communication Science & Disorders, CCOM

Madison Stefanski, junior, Elementary Education, COE

Isaiah Strong, junior, Recording Industry Studies, CCOM

Jennifer Sutor, junior, Marketing, LSB

Natalie Van Ochten, senior, Biology, LAS

Alexander Waddell, junior, Accounting, LSB

Skyler Walker, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Kate Warma, junior, Science, Technology and Society, LAS

Riley Wildemann, senior, Pharmacy, COPHS

Alexander Wright, senior, Chemistry, LAS

Heather Wright, senior, Music, JCA

Jill Yager, senior, Biology, LAS


Media contact:
Marc Allan


AcademicsStudent Life

Butler Selects Top 100 Students

Recipients to be recognized at April 13 banquet.

Jan 26 2018 Read more

Jimmy Lardin ’18

Student Profile

Major / Program: Political Science


Meet Jimmy Lardin. SGA president (2017–2018, after two years on Student Senate). Student Orientation Coordinator (promoted after two years as a Student Orientation Guide). Education Reflection Chair for Fall Alternative Break. Four minors (English, Ethics, Environmental Studies, and Peace and Conflict Studies). Campus tour guide.

And that’s just a partial list.

“Out of the three S’s—socialize, sleep, and study—I don’t sleep,” he said with a laugh.

Lardin expected to be active in college. Just not here. The Shelbyville, Indiana, native was “1,000 percent determined not to go to school in Indiana.”

But a friend who was a year ahead of him chose Butler and invited him to campus. Lardin sat in on a business class and, six minutes into the lecture, belched. Loudly. The professor made light of it and used that as a way to incorporate Lardin into the class and make him feel at ease. Afterward, the professor offered her email and phone number in case Lardin had questions about Butler.

Then at lunch in Atherton, Lardin’s friend’s friends told him how passionate they were about Butler. Others chimed in too.

“That’s what sold me,” he said. “People who had no idea who I was were still interested in sharing their love of the school with me.”

He’s seen that love up close in the years since. In summer 2016, Lardin was diagnosed with cancer. He went through surgeries, then chemotherapy.

“The feedback and support I got was outstanding—and far beyond what I could have ever imagined,” including from professors who reached out to express support and offer accommodations for missed classes. Lardin said the cancer is in remission.

“I’m thankful that happened on this campus versus a school where you’re considered more of a number,” he said. 

Lardin is now looking at public policy programs for graduate school, though he wants to work for a while first—ideally on environmental justice issues. In June, he went to India for a month through the School for International Training to work on a food security/climate change project and see if he wants to do international work. He does.

He said Butler has proved to be a great fit, giving him opportunities and satisfying his social nature.

“It’s small enough that I can’t walk from my house to my classes without running into two or three people who I know and love dearly,” he said, “but it’s large enough that I meet one or two new people every single day.”





Student LifePeople

Jimmy Lardin ’18

Meet Jimmy Lardin. SGA president. Student Orientation coordinator. Education Reflection chair for Fall Alternative Break. Four minors. Campus tour guide.


Jimmy Lardin ’18

Student Profile
Lester Burris

Lester Burris ’12


PUBLISHED ON Dec 15 2017

Lester Burris ’12 said he received a great education from Butler’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences—especially the lessons in dealing with the ever-changing role of the pharmacist.

“I learned at Butler that a career spans several different jobs or even roles within those jobs,” he said. “Pharmacy is probably going to continue to change for as long as I’m working, so it’s important to be adaptable to that.”

That information proved to be important because since graduating, Burris has moved from CVS to Kmart to his own pharmacy. In May 2016, Burris, Josh Anderson ’07, and Josh’s uncle Steve Anderson ’91 founded Panacea Pharmacy inside the new Lucky’s Market store in Bloomington, Indiana. (They have since opened another pharmacy in Hope, Indiana.)

Suddenly, not only did Burris need to know all about medications, but he had to learn the business of pharmacy. The Panacea team had to contract with insurance companies, figure out their inventory, and develop their business model—which includes a more holistic approach to providing medication. Among their innovations: Packaging a patient’s medications together so they don’t have to open multiple pill bottles, and a smartphone app that makes it easier to fill prescriptions.

“We’re trying to change the way pharmacy’s done,” he said. “The main thing we’re trying to focus on improving is medication adherence. That’s a big focus of the Affordable Care Act—preventing readmission to the hospital. And one big cause of that is medication non-compliance.”

Burris grew up in Mitchell, Indiana, south of Bloomington, and knew he wanted to study pharmacy in college. He chose Butler because it’s closer to his home than Purdue is, and he was able to walk on and play football. After a year on the team as kicker—mostly place kicking, and a little punting—he figured he wasn’t going to see much playing time. He talked to the coaching staff and asked if he could help out.

“I was able to stay involved with the football team, which was one of my best experiences at Butler for sure,” Burris said.

Burris said by the time he graduated, he was well prepared for the state and national pharmacy licensing exams. As for running his own pharmacy, Burris said he’s enjoying the opportunity to improve patients’ health.

Lester Burris

Lester Burris ’12

He and two other Butler alumni are looking to redefine how pharmacy is practiced.

Doug King

Doug King '73 Named 'Diplomat of the Defense'


PUBLISHED ON Dec 18 2017

For civil defense attorneys, it’s the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award.

Doug King ’73 describes himself as someone who “goofed around a lot” at Butler, “was not very academically oriented,” and “barely got into law school.”

He can smile about those work habits now that he has been named the 2017 Diplomat of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, a lifetime achievement award-like honor bestowed by the officers and Board of Directors of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana.

“When you are recognized by your peers, by people who do the same thing you do, and they know how hard it is to do, that really means something,” King said, sitting behind the desk in his 18th-floor corner office in downtown Indianapolis.

King is now 41 years into his career as a Civil Defense Attorney with Wooden McLaughlin, where he defends companies in asbestos and medical device product liability cases. (More about his notable cases can be found here.)

His roots, though, are decidedly blue collar. He grew up in Chesterton, Indiana, the son of a steelworker, and dreamed of becoming a lawyer. He chose Butler for undergraduate studies, following in the footsteps of his brother Jon ’68 (now CEO at Synovia Solutions in Indianapolis).

To pay for school, King worked in the mills every summer during college. He keeps a picture of himself and others from the steel mill on his desk “to remind me that whatever kind of pressure I may be feeling, I’m not there.”

At Butler, King double-majored in History and Political Science. He was elected President of Phi Delta Theta twice. (He boasts that he works alongside Butler Phi Delt brothers Ron Salatich ’67 and John Nell ’68) and worked as an Office Assistant for Professor George “Mac” Waller, who later wrote Butler University: A Sesquicentennial History.

King also had a hand in a campus protest against the rule that women had to be inside by 11:00 PM weekdays and 1:30 AM on weekends. He remembers University President Alexander Jones calling the police, who brought dogs to chase the protestors into the Phi Delt house.

“It was women’s hours—not exactly an earthshaking issue—but to us it was a big deal,” he said. “Everybody thought it was unfair and paternalistic and that we were adults. Which, of course, we weren’t.”

When he got to Indiana University School of Law, King turned his academics around, thanks largely to professors who scared him with statistics about the number of students who flunk out. King decided he wanted to be a Criminal Defense Attorney, a real-life Perry Mason. But as a second-year law student interning for a Public Defender, he helped acquit a man who had stabbed a high school cheerleader 56 times.

“That really turned me off,” King said. “I never wanted to do criminal law again after that.”

King graduated summa cum laude and fourth in his class in May 1976. He started with the Wooden firm that August. One of his mentors was Bill Wooden, one of the founders of the firm, who was a Civil Defense Attorney. King became his protégé.

Over the years, King has tried more than 100 cases, including representing Bloomington Police in the shooting death of former IU football player Denver Smith. King was named Indiana Defense Lawyer of the Year in 2003 by the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, and in 2005 the American College of Trial Lawyers elected him a fellow.

King said studying History at Butler has served him well throughout his career.

“Almost every time I get involved in a case, I start a timeline,” he said. “You’ve got to have that historical sense. An integral part of the defense case in asbestos litigation is: What did you know and when did you know it? When did you know that asbestos was dangerous? When did you know that there was a health hazard associated with it? That’s not just true in asbestos. With medical devices, it’s the same concept: When did you know there was a risk associated with this medical device? That history background is something I use all the time.”

And he has stayed close to Butler. He travels with the men’s basketball team—most recently to Portland for the PK80 tournament in Portland, Oregon—and proudly displays Butler memorabilia in his office.

“Butler helped me be who I am,” he said. “It’s a great school.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan

Doug King

Doug King '73 Named 'Diplomat of the Defense'

For civil defense attorneys, it’s the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award.

Dec 18 2017 Read more
JoJo Ciancio

JoJo Ciancio ’14


PUBLISHED ON Dec 15 2017

JoJo Ciancio ’14 came to Butler with a clear vision—find the perfect post-graduate job. He took advantage of opportunities provided through Butler’s Lacy School of Business to come out on top.

An Economics and Finance double major, Ciancio developed relationships with professors and attended campus networking events to embed himself in the Indianapolis community as a future business professional.

He found his first internship at Localstake, a community investment company, through a career fair held at Butler. Ciancio worked as a Financial Analyst and was able to watch the start-up company grow from the ground up.

He then scored a second internship at Pearl Street Venture Funds, a venture capital firm, through a connection to a Butler graduate.

“I’m really fortunate I came here because there aren’t many schools that can get so many internships for students,” he said. “It really helps you learn on-the-job skills, what employers look for, and how to apply skills you learn in class to real-world situations.”

A star on the football field, Ciancio was named the co-recipient of the first Pioneer Football League Scholar-Athlete of the Year. His teammates voted him senior captain during his final season, and he was chosen for the Pioneer Football League Academic Honor Roll for four consecutive years.

Ciancio said Butler provided him with the tools and the mindset to succeed in all aspects of life. Since graduating, he has been working as a Staff Consultant in the finance department at H. J. Umbaugh and Associates, a CPA firm in Indianapolis. In 2017, he was promoted to Senior Staff Consultant at the firm.

“The most important thing that Butler teaches you is that you have to be able to communicate with others,” he said. “In order to be successful in a job, but really at anything in life, you not only have to set goals, but you have to be able to communicate to peers, or a supervisor, what you want to accomplish.”

JoJo Ciancio

JoJo Ciancio ’14

JoJo came to Butler with goals—and met them.

Kyle Inskeep

Kyle Inskeep ’12


PUBLISHED ON Dec 15 2017

Kyle Inskeep ’12 graduated from Butler as a recipient of an NBC News Tim Russert Fellowship, which earned him a one-year salaried position in the network’s Washington, DC bureau.

During that year, he worked stints with NBC’s political reporting unit, The Nightly News, filled in as a White House Pool Producer (filing reports to the media when access to the President is limited), worked the red carpet to interview celebrities the night of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and put in time behind the scenes at Meet the Press.

“It’s incredible to see how much work goes into a show that’s only one hour,” he said. “On Friday nights, you’re there until almost midnight, and then you’re there at Saturday at 9:00 AM. And then you might have to be back the next day at 4:00 AM. But that’s the level of work that’s required at the network level.”

Inskeep is working his way to the level. In August 2013, he joined WTWO in Terre Haute, Indiana, as a reporter and weekend anchor. Then in early May 2015, he moved back to Indianapolis to be a reporter at WXIN (Channel 59).

Inskeep said he sees the benefits of his Butler education every day.

“At Butler, writing was everywhere,” he said, crediting College of Communication Professor Scott Bridge as being particularly influential. “In journalism classes, in your core classes, you’re always writing. One of the things my bosses will say to me is, ‘Your writing is really good. You’re writing to the video. You’re writing to what viewers are seeing.’ That’s because at Butler, we’re writing all the time. They teach you the fundamentals that you need.”


Kyle Inskeep

Kyle Inskeep ’12

“At Butler, they teach you the fundamentals that you need.”