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Butler Ranked No. 1 in the Midwest For the First Time by U.S. News & World Report

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Sep 10 2018

For the first time in its history, Butler University has moved into a tie for the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings released today.

After eight years of being ranked second in the Midwest Regional Universities category, Butler tied for first place with Creighton University, thanks to its high percentage of small classes (52 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students), first-year students who were in the Top 25 percent of their high school class (76 percent), and alumni giving rates (22 percent—higher than any of the 165 schools in the Midwest region).

“Butler is an innovative leader in education,” President James Danko says. “This prestigious ranking affirms that Butler is creating learning experiences for students that support their success and well-being—both during their undergraduate experience and throughout their lives.”

Butler was also ranked the No. 1 Most Innovative School among Midwest Regional Universities for the fourth straight year, as well as the top school for its commitment to undergraduate teaching.

“Butler’s recognition for exceptional teaching is particularly rewarding, since this is determined by leaders at our peer institutions,” Danko says. “To have our faculty highlighted in this manner is a testament to their outstanding work.”

Butler was also listed among the best schools in six out of eight academic programs that U.S. News ranks. The lists for first-year experiences, internships/co-ops, senior capstone, service learning, study abroad, and undergraduate research, all categories that education experts, including staff members of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, believe lead to student success, all included Butler.

Here’s some more information on these categories:

  • First-year experiences are seminars or other programs that bring small groups of students together with faculty or staff on a regular basis.
  • More than 90 percent of Butler students have at least one internship before they graduate.
  • Senior capstone are culminating experiences that ask students nearing the end of their college years to create a project of some sort that integrates what they’ve learned.
  • In service-learning programs, volunteering in the community is an instructional strategy and relates to what happens in class.
  • Study abroad programs involve substantial academic work and considerable interaction between the student and the culture.
  • Undergraduate research gives students the opportunity to do intensive and self-directed research or creative work that results in an original scholarly paper or other product that can be presented on or off campus.

Administrators at regional universities and colleges were surveyed about peer institutions within their regions. The colleges and universities named on the list were cited most often by college presidents, provosts, and admissions deans who were asked to identify up to 15 schools.

Regional universities offer a full range of undergraduate programs and some master's programs, but few doctoral programs. These rankings are split into four regions: North, South, Midwest, and West. U.S. News also ranks National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, and Regional Colleges in the North, South, Midwest, and West.

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications
rstern@butler.edu
914-815-5656

Going Places: Studying Abroad in the Sciences

By Marc Allan, MFA '18

Chemistry Professor Stacy O’Reilly remembers looking at the other science disciplines and thinking, "They're going places. Why can't we?"

O’Reilly wanted Chemistry students to have the opportunity to see the world, learn from other cultures, and put their classroom education into practice—something they didn't typically get to do because they were so busy with coursework.

That was in 2015.

Soon after, she got a call from a tour company about putting together a study-abroad trip for Chemistry students. In less than 10 months, she and colleague Michael Samide developed a course centered on Chemistry and sustainable energy in Germany and Switzerland. They took 18 students to visit two hydroelectric power plants and, by the time they left, better understood how water is used to create electricity, the finances required to build such a facility, and the economic impact a plant can have on a community.

Fast-forward three years: 87 students have taken Chemistry's study-abroad course in various incarnations: Chemistry and Food, Chemistry and Art Conservation Science, and Chemistry and Fermentation. There are courses with embedded study tours planned out through 2021—including one for Butler alumni, employees, their families, and friends called Beer, Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate. (More at https://blue.butler.edu/~msamide/AlumniTour2020/)

"So often, our science students are so engaged in the work to finish their science degree," O'Reilly says. "They don't have a lot of flexibility in their schedules. One of the things we like about this program is that it's not a full semester abroad, it's not a full summer abroad, but it gives them a taste of international travel."

"The language of science bridges culture," Samide adds. “There's a common bond they feel between cultures. I think it makes the world a little smaller for them. They feel more globally connected."

Students who take CH418 spend the semester building their background in the subject area, the idea being that they have the scientific knowledge they need before they travel. Then, when they go overseas in early May, they can integrate the science with the culture and society they're visiting and have conversations with experts.

Ben Zercher '16 was among the students who went on that first study tour. When he first heard about the opportunity to study abroad, he was excited because "Chemistry can get lost in textbook learning and memorizing."Student Feeding Goat

"I wasn't sure how they'd work chemistry into a study abroad program, but we started looking at renewable energy systems that are used around the world and I was excited for the trip because it would give the class some cultural context to the curriculum we go over," said Zercher, now a graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle. "We moved around a lot and saw a lot of different applications of what we had learned in the course."

Zercher said what he looks for in Chemistry are ways to better society. The study-abroad trip showed him that the United States is lagging the leading countries when it comes to renewable energy. "Maybe I can help change the cultural acceptance of science and how we apply it to renewable energy," he said.

Heidi Kastenholz '19, took the Chemistry and Art Conservation Science tour in 2017, which met during the spring semester to prepare the students for what they would see at conservation and research laboratories in Germany.

She said she chose to go because she's always been interested in art and she wanted "to be able to take what I'm learning in class and see it applied to something I have a great interest in and to be able to learn and to see it in a new way."

The experience so intrigued Kastenholz that she continued to look into conservation science. This summer, she presented a Butler Summer Institute project called "Case Studies of Reference Materials in Conservation Science."

Kastenholz came to Butler wanting to be an optometrist. Until last summer, that was her goal.

"Because of my awesome experience, I'm actually having a really tough time trying to figure out if I do want to do optometry or if I want to pursue a career in culture heritage Chemistry because I think it's a fascinating field that most people don't know about," she says.

As for the Chemistry study abroad class, "I think it's my favorite class I've ever taken at Butler, and this is my fourth year," Kastenholz says. "I think that speaks a lot about what the Chemistry Department has been putting into these short-term study abroad programs. Sometimes, when you're a Chemistry or Biology major, you feel like you can't take that whole semester. But they're making it so easy to be able to go abroad for a short time. I don't know how you can say no to it."

*

Although study abroad is relatively new to Chemistry, it's been part of Butler's sciences programs for at least 30 years, dating back to Biology's first trip to look at marine life in Belize. Physics and Astronomy also has been taking students to Japan, Spain, Chile and China for at least 10 years.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences believes so strongly in study abroad for science students that it offers financial assistance through Seitz Awards, which assist Natural Science students who desire to study science and conduct research abroad, outside the normal academic classroom setting. Sophomores and junior status majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics are eligible to apply. (Psychology majors studying Physiological or Cognitive/Neuropsychology, or Anthropology majors studying Biological Anthropology, Primatology, or Archaeology also are eligible to apply.)

The Seitz funds have provided financing for students to study all over the world—China, Tanzania, South Africa—and propelled the careers of graduates who've gone on to research and travel the world fighting infectious diseases.

The Biology Department has been taking students on study-abroad trips to Belize every other year since the 1980s, thanks in part to the Seitz Awards. There, students get what often is their first exposure to the tropics and marine ecosystems in the second largest barrier reef in the world, said Biology Professor Carmen Salsbury, who has led the trip, which goes every other year, since joining the Butler faculty 17 years ago.

"It gives us the opportunity to dive in deeply—excuse the pun—to those particular habitats," she said.

Prior to trip, students spend the first part of the semester learning about marine ecology. In the laboratory, they learn to identify organisms. They come to know what the fish are, as well as the ecology of the invertebrates. When they travel to Belize during spring break—they stay on one of the largest island off the coast of Belize, Ambergris Caye, which has a small fishing village that is a popular tourist destination—they're on or in the water from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily.

In evenings, there's class to review everything they saw. The students make a list of species and where they're found so they can see the different patterns of diversity.

They also take one day for a side trip to visit the Mayan ruins and the rainforest.

Salsbury says study abroad trips are important for students to broaden their worldview.

Students Abroad"This goes well beyond science," she says. "The walk from where we stay to the dock is maybe five blocks. The students walk by houses where there are no windows, there are dirt floors, there are feral dogs everywhere. Chickens and roosters wake them up in the morning because they're wandering the streets. The streets aren't paved. It's a very different experience. I don't think you can give students a sense of what's that about until they see it for themselves."

In the years when Biology students aren't going to Belize, they're traveling to Panama for an immersive tropical biology course. There, they walk the Pipeline Road, where over 400 species of birds can be observed at one time or another. They witness researchers collecting bats, take a crane ride more than 130 feet in the air to see the tops of the forest and meet the researchers on Barro Colorado Island, the most intensively studied tropical forest.

That course is heavily subsidized through an endowment from Frank Levinson '75, part of a $5 million gift to the sciences in 2007 that also enabled the University to buy the Big Dawg supercomputer and make upgrades to the Holcomb Observatory telescope. Biology Department Chair Travis Ryan said Levinson's endowment covers more than half the course and also pays for two Butler interns to spend the summer interning at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

One of every three Butler interns who works there becomes an author on a paper they helped collect data on, and most have their own independent project they're working on while they're interning, Ryan said.

*

Physics Chair Gonzalo Ordonez said his department has used Seitz Awards for several years. Professor Xianming Han has taken students to China, while Ordonez has gone with others to Japan and Spain.

"That's been really helpful for our students, and it really improves their prospects for grad school," Ordonez said. "They get involved in more serious research and they might get interested in a field that they didn't know before."

Bradley Magnetta '15 went to Osaka on a Seitz Award in the summer of 2014. He was in Japan for a month, studying and collaborating with Ordonez's colleagues there.

Magnetta participated in all the research opportunities available to him at Butler and had a wealth of experience in research in general when he took the study trip.

"I already had a base foundation for my project and I was really ready to start collaborating with people in general," he says. "I knew I wanted to start collaborating. I heard about this program and I knew that Dr. Ordonez had colleagues working on similar things that I was interested in. So it was a natural fit to pick Japan and Osaka."

He describes the experience as "excellent," not just academically but on a personal level. It was his first opportunity to leave the country, he collaborated with a graduate research group—"which as an undergrad was a really cool experience"—and he got to be around different people from different backgrounds and discover that there's a universal language in sciences and mathematics.

Magnetta said he went in with questions on his project and, through collaboration, was able to answer them. He published the results a couple of years later.

Today, Magnetta is working on a doctorate in applied physics at Yale University and grateful to have had the chance to study abroad.

"I absolutely recommend it," Magnetta said. "A trip like this really adds clarity because once I get into grad school, I felt very comfortable. When I joined a research group, it was a very familiar feeling because I had already spent a month with a graduate level research group in Japan. So it prepared me for what the group dynamics were. That trip prepared me for my future in a number of ways and I would recommend it to anyone."

Study Abroad Group in Germany
AcademicsStudent Life

Going Places: Studying Abroad in the Sciences

Although study abroad is relatively new to Chemistry, it's been part of Butler's sciences programs for at least 30 years.
Shelvin Mack and Brad Stevens
HomecomingAthleticsPeople

Shelvin Mack's Homecoming

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Oct 01 2018

Emerson Kampen will never forget Shelvin Mack’s bachelor party in Las Vegas. But before any assumptions are made, Kampen wasn’t even there.

He called his former Butler University roommate and basketball teammate one morning, East Coast time, which must have been, “like 6:00 AM or 7:00 AM Vegas time,” he says, shock still audible in his voice, and Mack picked up.

“I’m in Vegas at my bachelor party,” Mack told Kampen. “I have this paper to do. I’m trying to knock it out this morning.”

And that is when Kampen knew his friend was serious about completing his Butler degree.

“Shel is as motivated as anybody, as self-driven as anybody I have ever met,” says Kampen, who is now an Assistant Coach on the Butler men’s basketball team. “When he says he will get something done, he will, and that attitude carries over to all areas of his life. When he said he was going to make the NBA, he did. When he said he was going to finish his degree, despite the demands of an NBA schedule, I knew he would do it. Now, in Vegas, I don’t know how good the paper ended up being, but I do know he was getting it done.”

Mack, who left Butler after his junior year in 2011, to enter the NBA Draft, has played for six teams, and most recently signed a one-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. Many players drafted in the second round like Mack have come and gone, but former teammates, coaches, friends, and family members say his work ethic and ambition separate him.

Those same traits that turned him into an 8-year NBA veteran, have motivated him to complete his Butler degree in Digital Media Production, he says. As he sees his sisters graduate, and all his friends flaunt their Butler degrees, as well as his wife, his competitive juices kick in. But it is also more than that—a love of Butler, a desire to better himself, and a promise he made to his mom.

“I always wanted to get my college degree, for myself and for my mom, but it was hard to balance my time when I first got into the league and figure out how to take classes without being at Butler,” Mack says. “Now that everything is sorted out, it was something I knew I had to do because I came to Butler because of the education and the fact that basketball won’t last forever. Now I know taking classes is part of bettering myself and my future.”

 

THE RECRUIT

Brad Stevens remembers meeting Victoria Guy, Shelvin’s mom, for the first time. He was in Lexington, Kentucky visiting Shelvin at his home.

Let’s just say Mack and his mom had slightly different questions as they sat in their living room with Stevens.

“She didn’t care about playing time, or TV games, or what kind of gym we were going to be playing in,” Stevens says. “She wanted Shelvin to get his college degree and work hard in the classroom. She asked about graduation rates and class sizes.”

Stevens had answers. A big part of the presentation at the time focused beyond what the team accomplished on the court, Stevens says.

They talked a lot about how successful players were after they graduated. Stevens shared graduation rates, and players’ majors, and the fact that practices were run around class schedules—not the other way around. 

The answers mattered. At the last second, the University of Kentucky swooped in, Guy says, and Mack was torn. He asked his mom for advice. She wanted the decision to be her son’s, but the only thing she did share with him was the value of a smaller, tight knit campus.

“He stuck with Butler and it worked out perfectly,” Guy says.

So, when Mack told Stevens he was going to finish his degree over a meal last summer, he wasn’t that surprised.

“Shelvin is very, very driven and usually that is hard to turn off. When you have an ambitious kid, they will usually be ambitious in everything they do and he certainly is that,” Stevens says. “I never dreamed he would have been good enough to leave after three years, but he did it because he was determined to.”

But Stevens also knows his mom is right there, ever-present, making sure her son is getting it done.

 

LIFE AT BUTLER

Kampen and Mack first met in 2008, two freshmen on the men’s basketball team in need of physicals. So, they hopped in Kampen’s car and headed to the doctor’s office. They made small talk and Kampen remembers how it wasn’t awkward—Mack always made everyone feel comfortable.

Kampen learned quickly that Mack was determined to make it to the NBA. But, he says, he and others didn’t really see it.

“He was obviously a really good player, but he was a bit chubby when he walked in. We all should have known when he says he will get something done, he will do it,” Kampen says.

Mack’s work ethic was always on display. He spent more time in the gym than anyone else on the team. They would be playing video games and Mack would have a 30-pound weight in his hands, doing curls while the game was loading, or while there was a pause in the game. He was always working.

Kampen wasn’t surprised when he found out Mack was finishing up his degree. He knows how much his friend loves Butler and values education. He also knows he can’t stand to have something go unfinished.

“I think one day he will be a coach,” Kampen says. “I always have tons of texts from him during the season, analyzing what we did in a game, and why we could have done this or done that. He is always the first to let me know about a decision we should have made.”

As a student, Mack took his work very seriously, Christine Taylor, Associate Professor of Entertainment Media and Journalism, says. She had Mack as a student in her directing and production classes. Now, Taylor is Mack’s academic advisor.

“He was very well-liked and a great team player in my classes,” Taylor says. “He also put his own creative stamp on the work. He had a creative identity of his own. He took his work seriously and was a very good student. So, when he reached out a few years ago, I was not really surprised at all. It was more about figuring out how we could make it happen logistically.”

 

LIFE IN THE NBA

When Mack decided to leave school early, his mom fully supported him, but said he had five years to finish his degree. As the years marched on, she kept checking on him. Mack claimed he was trying, but certain classes he needed weren’t offered by Butler online at the time, Guy says.

She did some fact checking.

“At first, I wasn’t buying it, so I called Coach Stevens,” Guy says. “I talked to Coach Stevens just to make sure Butler wasn’t offering the classes online and then I felt better.”

In Mack’s defense, it wasn’t just the logistics of figuring how to fulfill his major requirements. After he got drafted in 2011 by the Washington Wizards, by his estimate, he was moving around about once a year. He had a stint with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Atlanta Hawks, the Utah Jazz, the Orlando Magic, and now the Memphis Grizzlies. It was also adjusting to life in the NBA.

“It was something I always wanted to do, but I could never find the time,” Mack says. “I wasn’t great with time management, I was adjusting to NBA life, and probably not spending my time as wisely as I could have.”

Once Mack had his daughter, things changed, he says. He was on a strict schedule, going to bed early, waking up early, working out, taking care of her. Then, he realized, he could work school in. His daughter helped him manage his time, and he wanted to make sure he set a good example for her when it came to education.

Butler also started to work with him. A few years ago, when he tried to work on his degree, classes he needed weren’t offered online. A lot has changed over the last few years, says Taylor, his academic advisor, as more classes are offered online.

“Our philosophy is that we should partner with students so they can reach their goals,” Taylor says. “Obviously there is course work they must fully complete, but people are people and circumstances change for individuals and we will do our best to help them realize their goals of getting a Butler degree. This is simply us recognizing an individuals’ circumstance changes and we are as supportive as we can be within the rules to help them recognize their short and long-term goals.”

With Mack, Taylor sees someone who has a strong love for Butler and desire to complete a degree he has, in large part, already earned.

“For Shelvin, this has been part of the process of his development as a person and what kind of individual he wants to be,” Taylor says. “In times when the larger world is questioning the value of a degree from a four-year institution, I always find it really gratifying that people like Shelvin still place such a high value on education. It has been so uplifting to work with him…He is doing this to better himself because what happens in a classroom makes a difference, and he realizes that. That is really gratifying to know, and it reinforces that the conversations and lessons we have make a difference.”

 

FUTURE PROMISES

This summer, Mack finished his major by taking Entertainment Media and the Law.

He spent a couple months watching YouTube videos of different cases, reading case law, writing papers, learning why some people can sue, and others cannot. And, sometimes forgetting he had assignments due. Like many new students, he had to readjust to college life.

“Luckily, I had plenty of people around me reminding me and keeping me in check,” he says.

This fall, as the NBA season kicks off, Mack will be crisscrossing the U.S. on planes, playing in back-to-back games, and squeezing in time to read his textbooks. He will take two online courses, hoping to complete his degree in the next three years. But most importantly, before his youngest sister, Keionna, graduates in 2020. His mom is quick to remind him that he already missed his middle sister, Sierra, who graduated this past May.

To assure mom he is all over it, he had his textbooks sent to her house ‘by accident’ this summer. She isn’t so sure it was an accident.

“I know the degree isn’t everything, but it opens a lot of doors that won’t otherwise be there for you,” Guy says. “He could break a leg today and basketball could be over. I know he has thought about coaching, broadcast, and I want him to have that degree and those courses to fall back on.”

He will continue to take online courses throughout the season. As of now, he says, he would like a career in broadcast after his playing days are over. But coaching interests him, too. He looks forward to the day when he can just walk in the house and show his wife, a Butler grad and former hoops player, his degree.

But to his mom, who he says drove him around to “a million” basketball tournaments when he was young, and always supported him, it will mean everything.

Asked how she will feel when her son officially graduates from Butler, Guy is quiet for a moment.

“Oh my god. I will be super excited. Super excited. He will be the first male in his generation to have a college degree. He is behind schedule, but he needs to follow through. I need him to be better than average and I know he expects that out of himself, too.”

But there is one more thing that is bothering her. Mack pursuing his degree has motivated his mom to finish her degree. He has always motivated her to go after her dreams, just as she has always motivated him, he says.

“After two years of college, I had my son, and he was my number one priority, so I am going to go back after all of this and get my degree in business management,” Guy says.

Her son has given her a three-year window.   

 

Images courtesy of Shelvin Mack. 

Shelvin Mack and Brad Stevens
HomecomingAthleticsPeople

Shelvin Mack's Homecoming

NBA Player and former Butler Men's Basketball star Shelvin Mack is committed to completing his Butler degree. 

Oct 01 2018 Read more
HomecomingCampus

Butler, by Being Bold, Ready for a Future Steeped in Past Ideals

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Sep 28 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – During his annual State of the University address, Butler University President James M. Danko reported on the University’s progress, challenges being confronted, and visions for the future.

But as much as things change, he said, one thing has remained constant throughout Butler’s history, and that is a University that has never shied away from being bold in its decision making. As Butler evolves over time, the essence of the University has always remained the same, Danko said.

“Just like no one would have predicted 20 years ago what Butler would look like today, we can’t accurately predict what Butler will look like 20 years from now,” Danko said. “So, while our future success will always be something to consistently chase, we can be certain that Butler University will be here, thriving. Because for more than 165 years, Butler has always put in the extra effort. It’s the Butler Way.”

Danko delivered the 2018 State of the University on Friday at Butler’s Schrott Center for the Arts. The afternoon featured three guest speakers—retired Religion Professor Paul Valliere, current senior Xavier Colvin, and College of Education graduate Katie Moore ’08.

From the beginning, Danko said, Butler has made bold decisions.

In the years just before the Civil War, Ovid Butler established an inclusive university, providing access to education for everyone, no matter race or gender. Springing from that intrepid start, there were other bold decisions which have shaped us as the University we are today, Danko said. Like moving the campus three times, building a Fieldhouse 90 years ago, opening Clowes Hall, and building an observatory.

More recently, bold decisions have taken the form of joining the BIG EAST Conference, investing in nationwide branding and awareness, improving the living and learning facilities on campus, increasing the size of our student body, And, most recently, establishing South Campus.

Danko noted that these daring choices are paying off.

“For the first time ever, Butler was included in the Princeton Review’s list of ‘The Best 384 Colleges,’” he said. “And after years on the rise, Butler has now secured the No. 1 position among Midwest Regional Universities in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings.”

Other highlights include:

  • Compensation and Classification study to provide more equitable and competitive wages for our faculty and staff.
  • A new partnership with the Indiana Housing Program and Midtown Anchor Coalition to both purchase and repair homes in the surrounding neighborhood.
  • The welcoming of a new Title IX Coordinator, as well as our new BUBeWell model
  • An active search for the University’s first Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
  • Since 2010, total student full-time equivalent has grown by 500.
  • Since 2010, overall revenues have grown by 60 percent.
  • Since 2012, Butler’s endowment has grown by nearly 60 percent.
  • The total gift income raised in the past three years is more than double what Butler raised in gift income the six years prior.

But the most powerful, most significant indicator of Butler’s impact is in its people.

“I think you’ll agree with me that the core of Butler University is our success in bringing together great faculty and great students,” Danko said. “Butler has excelled over its history because of the richness of our education, brought to life by outstanding faculty who care about students and who are committed to providing them with exceptional academic experiences.”


Paul Valliere

Since his career at Butler began in 1982, Retired Professor of Religion Valliere, has seen a lot of change. In 1982, he said, Butler needed to grow, to upgrade physical facilities, to clarify its identity, and to enhance its visibility. Now, he says, Butler has accomplished all those things. All while maintaining a healthy balance of change and tradition.

“Butler changed a lot in all sorts of good ways. But, the wonderful fact is that in some profound ways Butler University has not changed,” he said.
 

Xavier Colvin

A senior marketing major at Butler, Colvin is a linebacker on the football team. He also came out as gay in 2016. He feared the reactions of teammates, coaches, and the campus community, but he used his platform as an NCAA athlete to share his story in hopes of helping others, he said. He has tried to be the person that teenage Xavier needed. And he hasn’t stopped, as he continues to share his coming out story in hopes it impacts someone, somewhere.

“I was recently asked if I get tired of telling my story over and over. The work I’m doing is minimal. If Harriet Tubman, Bayard Rustin, MLK Jr., or Harvey Milk, all activists for either the LGBT or the Black Community, would have gotten tired, I am not sure if I would be standing in front of you today,” he said.
 

Katie Moore

Moore, a 2008 College of Education graduate, said the most rewarding experiences at Butler were experiential learning opportunities—practical opportunities that allowed her to make connections between the content, her life, and the world. She has learned first-hand, she said, that it is impossible to be prepared for what you cannot imagine, but Butler’s commitment to investing in students through ensuring a variety of opportunities prepares individuals for the unforeseen dynamics of the future.

It is that unwavering commitment to students, Danko said, that has always been a part of Butler—no matter how much has changed. That balance between being unafraid to make bold moves, yet sticking to core values, is what has made Butler successful throughout time, and what will help sustain that success in the future, he said.

“We will maintain a balance of change and tradition, we will celebrate the investments we have made to remain competitive, while at the same time we begin to explore new bold ideas to sustain, advance, and ensure our success for generations to come,” Danko said.


Media contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications
rstern@butler.edu
914-815-5656

HomecomingCampus

Butler, by Being Bold, Ready for a Future Steeped in Past Ideals

In his State of the University address, President James M. Danko reported on progress, but evoked tradition.

Sep 28 2018 Read more

A Global Education

by Marc Allan

Katie Moore's career in international education has taken her to places most of us can't find on a map: Mozambique, Fiji, Laos, the Philippines, Vietnam, Timor-Leste, The Gambia, Zambia, Uganda, Azerbaijan, Sierra Leone.

But no matter where the 2008 graduate has gone, "Butler friends and former professors have really been a part of every step on my path," she said. "And not just kept in touch, but have supported me in my life and in all of these decisions that my family has made. I don't know that you get that at other universities."

Moore had planned to devote two years to the Peace Corps after graduation, then become an early- or middle-childhood teacher. She thinks back to her days at Butler and recalls that when her then-boyfriend, now-husband Nick '07 MPACC '08 was earning his Master's in Accounting, one of his courses included lessons in negotiating. One of the topics he chose to present to his class was about negotiating what their life would look like after she finished with the Peace Corps.

"Unfortunately, he 'lost' his negotiation from that particular class; neither of us ever imagined we would have the life that we've had!" she says, laughing.

More seriously, she says, "On the other hand, we have gained together a world view that is more inclusive, more critical, and one that allows us to better understand the privilege we have had in even beginning to have the careers and opportunities to work and live internationally by choice. A recent UNICEF video articulates this sentiment, as it highlights the significant number of children and families throughout the world that travel not by choice, but for sheer survival."

Two years in the Peace Corps—where she trained approximately 90 young adults between the ages of 18-30 to become primary school teachers—became three, and in that third year, which she spent working for Save the Children, she was exposed to the field of non-governmental humanitarian work. She has since worked in various positions ranging from internships, fellowships, and as a consultant for global reaching organizations such as Amnesty International, UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services, and other organizations, promoting education, early childhood development and health.

While most of Katie's work has taken her to far-off corners of the globe, she also has spent time in New York—she earned her Master's in International Educational Development from Columbia University in 2013—and in Washington, DC. That's where she, Nick, and their daughter Wini are now based.

These days, Katie works as Senior Technical Advisor for Early Childhood Development for ChildFund International. The organization provides parenting programming to empower parents and other primary caregivers in low-resourced communities in the countries in which ChildFund operates with the knowledge and practical skills they need to give children a strong start in life, building on what parents already know and do. (Nick is Vice President Finance at Brookfield Property Partners, a real estate developer.)

This year, Katie is also wrapping up multi-year research efforts with Yale University's Child Study Center; she was on a team of research consultants. The team has been conducting a multi-country study on the impact of decentralization on early childhood education in East and Central Asia. 

In her most recent position, Katie will continue to engage with academic partners aiming to identify how to improve early childhood development programming conducted jointly with governments and community-based organizations in lower- and middle-income countries to promote children's development in their early years. She says she'd like to get back into academia in the future, perhaps earn her doctorate in Global Public Health.

"The experiential learning opportunities I had as a student in Butler's College of Education, specifically, and at Butler, more generally, made a significant impression on me," she said during the State of the University. "Not only on what I would choose to work on, but how and with whom, and they influenced the person, parent and professional I would become in an ever-changing world."

HomecomingPeople

A Global Education

Katie Moore's career in international education has taken her to places most of us can't find on a map.

A Global Education

by Marc Allan

Acting Boldly

by Marc Allan

Xavier Colvin thought his appearance in the 2015 International Bowl was going to be his final football game. Colleges told him he wasn't big enough. So he thought maybe he'd go to Central Michigan or some other school as a student. Study Sports Administration. Come back to Indianapolis, get an MBA and figure things out from there.

Then Butler University Coach Jeff Voris called. He came to North Central High School, and sat down with Colvin and his parents.

"Suddenly," Colvin said, "football started to become a thing again. I felt like I was wanted here and I felt like there was a reason for me to be here."

The reason, it turned out, went far deeper than football. In August 2017, Colvin came out as gay in an interview with outsports.com. What he found at Butler, he said, was that he could be himself here. Everyone around him—teammates, coaches, professors, friends—supported him.

He's been sharing his story ever since, and he shared it with the Butler community on September 28 at the State of the University address.

"There are seven of us in NCAA football who are out," Colvin said. "Statistics show there's more than seven. So I would hope someone could see my story and see my situation and know that everything is going to be OK, everything can be OK. You don't have to continue to lie and not be yourself. I think that's the main reason I've done what I've done—to help the next person, that kid who's going into high school soon and trying to figure themselves out before the real world hits them."

Colvin said he would like to get to a point where individuals in the LGBT community don't have to come out; they can just be who they are.

And when he's not sharing this part of his life with others, he's busy being who he is—a Marketing major in the Lacy School of Business, a Sports and Recreational Studies minor in the College of Education. A linebacker on the football team. An operations intern at the Health and Recreation Center, his third internship (after working at the Indiana Sports Corp. and Hot Box Pizza). A senior set to graduate in May.

Down the road, he wants to work in an athletic department, maybe as an Athletic Director, or perhaps as a coach. Further down the road, he envisions himself as an NFL General Manager or Director of Operations.

But right now, he's a student who's happy he chose Butler and the Lacy School of Business. He tells his teammates who are unsure of what to major in to consider Marketing. Yes, he said, Business Calculus, Accounting, and Finance are tough courses. Internship class requires a lot of papers. And the School does require you to build a network of resources.

"But the individuals I've met through my internships who have been connected to Butler have been great," he said. "It's a small community, but once you find someone in it, it leads to positive impacts."

HomecomingStudent Life

Acting Boldly

"I felt like there was a reason for me to be here," Colvin said. The reason went far deeper than football.

Acting Boldly

by Marc Allan

To Be Greek Or Not To Be Greek

by Kyle Giebel ’20 and Rebecca VanVliet ’19

On Being Greek

By Kyle Giebel ’20

Greek Students Participating in Butler's Dance MarathonFor over one-third of Butler University students, building lasting relationships, developing skills as leaders, and organizing all-campus fundraisers through Greek Life is college at its best. With the potential to explore new experiences and activities, our chapters (five fraternities and nine sororities) plan formals and social events, perform service projects, and stay connected with alumni mentors while maintaining at least an average of 3.4 GPA. Additionally, in any given year, members of Butler’s Greek organizations contribute more than 20,000 hours in service to over 200 Indianapolis area nonprofits.

In my first year at Butler, I was dead set on being independent. I had seen movies like Revenge of the Nerds and Animal House, and with those in mind I was certain that Greek life was not for me. Going through first semester I also struggled with my identity. In high school, I was on the swim team. Without sounding cliché, that team was truly a family, and when I came to Butler, that family was stretched too thin to be reliable anymore. I was put in a position to become whoever I wanted to be and with whomever I wanted. That freedom of choice was too much for me to handle in that moment. I resorted to the few things I knew, swimming and working out. That is where I started to develop a relationship with Adam Bantz, who was a junior at the time. This man, as I grew to know him, was everything I wanted in a friend and in a role model. I eventually learned that he was a very active member of the Greek community. This then exposed me the true nature of Butler’s Greek life. The more people I met, in fraternities and sororities, the more I realized that the Greek population on campus was a true community of families and neighbors. After meeting the right people, I was hooked.

As a Junior, I am currently the president of one of the chapters on campus. My time as a member has been such a unique and rewarding experience. It is true that most of my stresses and time commitments stem from being a part of the Greek community, but my friends and support system were developed by the same community. Under further reflection, I would rather struggle with true friends than coast with a few acquaintances.

In the end, any group or organization will give you what you put into it. I see the Greek Community as my family. Yes, I am willing to sacrifice my time, energy, and effort daily to support my family members, make a positive impact, and build those relationships that I want and sometimes need. Greek life is not for everyone, but for me it was the perfect start for my future.

 

To learn more about Greek life on campus, visit our website.


On Being Independent

Rebecca VanVliet ’19

Students Studying on the MallI might be a senior now, but I still can remember posting on the Class of 2019 Facebook page for the first time: I’m Rebecca, I’m from Ohio, and I don’t plan on rushing.

Even then, before we were technically students, we all identified by our decision on whether or not to go Greek. Now, as an Independent student by choice, I know that I am much more than my decision not to rush.

Students who don’t join Greek life are often called “unaffiliated” – but in my experience, Independent students affiliate themselves with tons of organizations on Butler’s campus. With over 130 student organizations to choose from, religion to politics, professional to social, student government to special interests and beyond, we have so, so many opportunities to get involved on campus.

Just over the past three years, I’ve tried out many of the groups that Butler has to offer, including founding a new club, restarting another, and currently serving as president in a third. I don’t feel like my decision not to rush limited my involvement in these organizations – if anything, it allowed me to dedicate myself fully to other groups that were important to me. These groups have given me leadership opportunities, social activities, and the chance to meet some of my best friends – who are both Greek and Independent.

Greek houses host regular events on campus, and most students who join Greek life are proud of their houses and their involvement, and this can sometimes lead to so much Greek presence that it can feel overwhelming to Independent students.

As a student that has been overwhelmed by this, I think it’s important to remember that the majority of Butler’s students aren’t considered Greek; whether they are commuters, athletes, dropped out of or didn’t receive a bid from a Greek house, or students like me that simply chose not to go Greek. Only about 35% of Butler’s campus chooses to join a Greek organization, which means that most Butler students are a part of the Independent community.

This community is growing, with more Independent students coming together for campus events that were typically Greek-dominated, like BUDM and Spring Sports. The past year also brought the Independent Student Council back to campus, a group of Independent students that hope to bridge the gap between the Greek and Independent communities and offer ways for Independent students to get involved. Butler has also encouraged panels and conversations about the decision to go Greek, as well as offering programming during the winter Rush Week.

Independent students are welcome at all events, and belong on Butler’s campus. Though they might not find their homes in the Greek houses along Hampton Drive, Independent students can find their home in other organizations, their residence halls, within their friend groups, or wherever else they want to belong.

 

To learn more about campus life, visit our website.

To Be Greek Or Not To Be Greek

by Kyle Giebel ’20 and Rebecca VanVliet ’19

Meet Butler’s Bulldog Beauty Queens and Kings

By Sarah Bahr

 Butler University’s beauty queens and kings lick the runway, sniff purses for cookies, and do more slobbering than Snapchatting.

But these bulldogs are no pampered pets, though some of them have the (three-dresser!) wardrobes of international pop stars.

They’re there to win.

More than 100 bulldogs are expected to compete for accolades such as “Most Beautiful” and “Best Mean Mug” at Butler’s 18th annual Bulldog Beauty Contest on Saturday, Sept. 29. The competition kicks off at 9:30 A.M. in the west end of the Hinkle Fieldhouse parking lot, and is expected to last around an hour. Admission is free for both spectators and competitors.

The contestants come from all over the country, Butler University Director of External Relations Michael Kaltenmark, who’s emceed the contest for the past 18 years, said, as Butler alumni return to their alma mater for the Homecoming Week kickoff event.

The contest has ballooned from the 50 to 100 people who attended the first event — most, Kaltenmark said, who were tailgating in the Hinkle parking lot and “happened to see us making a bunch of noise and holding bulldog puppies in the air” — to the nearly 2,500 spectators who turned up last year.

A panel of five judges — which in the past has included local celebrities such as Indianapolis Star Butler beat writer David Woods and Fox 59 chief meteorologist Brian Wilkes — selects the top dog in each category.

This year’s event features seven categories, though each dog can only enter two: “Most Beautiful Bulldog,” “Best Mean Mug,” “Best Dressed Bulldog,” “Best Bulldog/Human Tandem,” “Best Bulldog Trick,” “Most Butler Spirit,” and “Mr. & Mrs. Bulldog Congeniality.” A winner and runner-up trophy are awarded in each division.

The category champs will then vie for the top prize, “Best in Show,” which earns the winning dog bragging rights, a trophy, and a year’s supply of dog food from City Dogs Grocery in Broad Ripple.

To impress the crowd — whose “huge laughs” and “big cheers” wield an outsized influence on the judges — a dog must have not only looks, but personality, Kaltenmark said.

Kurt Phillips, the official veterinarian of the Butler Blue Live Mascot Program and longtime judge of the Bulldog Beauty Contest, said judging isn’t a science.

“It’s whatever makes us smile, or makes us laugh, or makes the audience go crazy,” he said.

So if you’ve got a French, American, or English bulldog raring to roll over, don a French Fry costume, or strut the runway, you can show up on Saturday and throw your dog’s hat into the ring.

Just don’t try to backdoor your beagle in. 

“We used to have a ‘Wannabe Bulldog’ category,” Kaltenmark said. “But we had to do away with it when the contest got so big. Now it’s bulldogs only.”

 

Step 1: Choose a Costume

Things you might see this weekend outside Hinkle Fieldhouse: Minnie Mouse licking a Chipotle burrito. A peacock sniffing a bulldozer.

You never know what’ll turn up, Kaltenmark said. It seems like people get more creative every year.

People have dressed their bulldogs in lobster suits — then donned a matching hat and claws. They’ve affixed a lion’s mane to their dog’s neck and hoisted the dog-cub over their head like Simba. Wrestled them into a shark suit. Made them up like Cleopatra.

Kaltenmark’s favorite? One man donned a red hoodie, placed his bulldog in a milk crate attached to the handlebars of a BMX bike, and covered him in a towel so he looked like E.T.

One entrant, Jodi Madaj, who owns Butler Blue III’s sister Phoebe, even roped Kaltenmark’s sons, Miles, 3, and Everett, 7, into participating in the “Best Bulldog-Human Tandem” category.

“My sons would walk these dogs up on stage in their Han Solo and Chewbacca costumes with Trip’s sister Phoebe dressed as Princess Leia, and it was too much for the judges to handle,” Kaltenmark said.

Madaj, who’s now taken home three category trophies, doesn’t shirk from enlisting strangers in her schemes, either.

When she was walking through the Butler bookstore in 2011, one employee was “getting a little cranky” about one of her bulldogs, Daphne, she said. The logical next step?

“I talked him into being Prince Charming, complete with tux, pillow, and glass slipper, in that year’s contest,” Madaj said. “Phoebe was Cinderella, and they won ‘Best Human-Dog Tandem.’”

So where does one buy a bulldog costume?

Not at Party City or Walmart, Kaltenmark said.

“We know what costume is popular at Target each year because three to five dogs show up wearing it,” Kaltenmark said. “The best costumes are either handmade or pieced together. You can’t just run out, buy a Halloween costume, and slap it on your dog and expect to win.”

 

Step 2: Master the Mean Mug

 

A bulldog can be a winner without wide eyes, wrinkly fur, or floppy ears.

“The ‘Best Mean Mug’ category is for the ugliest bulldog at the contest,” Kaltenmark said. “Not all bulldogs are good looking.”

Doug Welks, an English Bulldog breeder who’s participated in the event for the past decade, once brought a green-mohawked puppy, Mojo, who took home the pugnacious prize.

“He was a real sweetheart,” Welks said. “He just looked mean, like a ferocious teddy bear.”

But some bulldogs really are, well, curmudgeonly canines.

Butler alums Kyle Schwipps, 30, and his wife Alicia, 29, entered their 4-year-old bulldog, Beauford, last year.

While Beauford’s snarfing and scowling weren’t affronting enough to take top prize, Kyle Schwipps said his peevish pooch really is a grumpy old man at heart.

“We treated him like an only child for three years — we took him everywhere with us,” he said. “Then we had our son, Grayson, and he got thrown on the back burner.”

“Now he’s mad all the time because he’s not the center of attention anymore.”

 

Step 3: Play the Cute Card

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the cutest bulldog of them all?

Bow in her hair, a doe-eyed, tan-and-white bulldog in a blue tutu peers at the crowd with quarter-sized, glistening eyes that put Fiona the hippo’s floppy folds of flesh, stubby arms, and slack-tongued grin to shame.

“The ‘Cutest’ category is hilarious because everybody throws their dog in,” Kaltenmark said. “It takes the longest to judge because everyone thinks their bulldog is cute.”

Puppies, unsurprisingly, have a leg up on their more mature competitors.

“The younger dogs are so stinkin’ cute that they’re literally showstoppers,” he said. “But it’s tough for them to repeat as champs.”

The best part? On Saturday morning, the Hinkle parking lot becomes a “quasi-Bulldog petting zoo” for spectators, Kaltenmark said.

“We’ve got around 100 bulldogs milling about behind the stage,” he said. “People who want to pet them can walk right up, snap a picture.”

 

A Loveable Loser

 

One dog, for the past nine years, has been neither ugly nor beautiful enough to get the judges’ attention. Like elevator music, he’s been lurking in the background, neither loved nor loathed.

Wilberforce, an English bulldog owned by 2004 Butler grads Daniel Pulliam and his wife, Noelle, entered every year until his death in February at age 9. But he never got so much as a “Best Mean Mug” title.

“They got all their kids involved, but they never took home the trophy,” Kaltenmark said. “It was heartbreaking.”

Daniel Pulliam said Wilberforce — Wilber for short —- enjoyed cheese, sunbathing on the couch, and playing with his buddy Butler Blue II.

“He was kind of like Brain on ‘Pinky and the Brain,’” Pulliam said. “He was pretty laid back, like ‘What are we gonna do today?’”

Daniel and Noelle had entered Wilber in the contest every year since 2009.

“He was a puppy then, so that year was our best chance,” Pulliam said. “But we didn’t win.”

But then the Pulliams’ children entered the equation, renewing their hopes. They entered their 6-month-old daughter alongside Wilber in 2011 in the “Best Bulldog-Human Tandem” category.

“Having a bulldog and a small child is a good way to impress the judges — or so we thought,” Pulliam said.

Alas, no dice. But the Pulliams really thought they had a chance in 2017, when they entered their four children alongside Wilber as characters from “PAW Patrol.”

“It wasn’t enough,” Pulliam said. “The competition was really tough.”

Kaltenmark is considering calling the Pulliams back up to the stage this year to present Wilber with a posthumous lifetime achievement award. Though they no longer own a bulldog, they’re still planning on attending, Pulliam said.

If you too want to watch but can’t make it in person, Butler will be live streaming the contest on Blue III’s Facebook page.

And if you do want to enter, Kaltenmark said those five seconds of fame are an equal opportunity — Butler’s never had a repeat “Best in Show” winner.

“A good costume, plus preparation, plus a good dog, plus kids the past few years is a formula that’s done really well,” he said.

 

Bulldog Beauty Contest
HomecomingStudent LifeCampus

Meet Butler’s Bulldog Beauty Queens and Kings

With more than 100 bulldogs competing, the Bulldog Beauty Contest is the cutest pageant around.   

Homecoming at Butler

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

The energy of Butler University’s campus during homecoming week is unlike any other. As the leaves finally begin to turn and crisp breezes begin to blow, a certain electricity slips into the air. Decked out in blue and white, students will celebrate their pride at events throughout the week, and alumni and families will dawn their Bulldog gear on Saturday to cheer on their favorite team in the Sellick Bowl. Homecoming celebrations and events are some of the most exciting, most memorable moments of the year. From extravagant lawn decorations to the parade down Hampton Drive, members of the Butler community share their school pride with the entire campus.

“On homecoming, everyone feels that energy at Butler,” Jennie Jones, Director of Volunteer Engagement for Alumni and Family Programs said. “I think there really is something for everyone at homecoming.”

With this year’s celebration, close to 1,000 alumni will travel from near and far to celebrate their Butler experience. Nostalgia intersects with pride as graduates, young and old, reminisce about their time at Butler with their former professors and friends. Conversations about the way things were naturally evolve into discussions about the way things are and what will be.

According to Jones, for many graduates, their four years at Butler were some of the most special times in their life. “It’s important for our alumni to see how campus is evolving and growing, so they’re proud of their Butler experience and can pay that forward to other students,” she said. Whether through monetary gifts, volunteering their time, or simply by visiting campus, alumni share their experience and make connections with current students. From the Bulldog Boulevard tailgate to classroom visits in the Jordan College of the Arts, students have the chance to meet with alumni in and out of the classroom throughout the week of homecoming.

For Chris Sanders ‘19, a current student and SGA’s VP of Programming, this time of year is extremely special for all parts of the Butler community. His passion for homecoming and Butler traditions is evident in his determination to connect all students, past and present.

“The pride that I feel when I am experiencing homecoming week is something that I appreciate so much,” he said. “Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to be going to such a great university, but it's weeks like this that put everything back into perspective. I hope that every student, alumni, faculty, and staff also feels the same amount of pride.”

As students prepare for an exciting weekend, they’re reminded of what it means to be a Bulldog. Some of Butler’s most recent graduates pay it forward on the Young Alumni Board. They dedicate their time to enhance every alumni’s experience post-graduation. For board member, Caleb Schmicker ‘15, homecoming is a time for him to relive many of his favorite Butler memories. He stays connected with his Alma Mater to further develop every current student’s experience. Alumni often volunteer in the community and on-campus to educate students about professional life off campus. Caleb said this is what makes Butler University so special.

“Support comes from alumni who are willing to give back because they want future students to have the same or better experience that they had,” he said. “When you feel as if you are a part of the Butler community, you have more of a vested interest in the welfare of the school.”

 

Homecoming Highlights


 

Snack Attack and Lawn Decorations

Before the start of homecoming week, Butler Greek organizations are teamed up with a residence hall to compete in a series of competitions, games, and events that showcase their school spirit. Homecoming board aims to make this year’s homecoming as inclusive as possible - ensuring all first-years feel connected and a part of something larger than themselves.

Late into Thursday night of the week, the entire campus comes to life as teams decorate their Greek house lawns according to the year’s theme. Every hour on the hour, SGA delivers a new snack food for the teams to replenish and re-energize before decorating into early Friday morning.

 

Yell Like Hell

After weeks of practice, the homecoming teams strut their stuff in front of hundreds of students at Yell Like Hell, an annual tradition celebrated by Butler students in Hinkle Fieldhouse. The team with the best Bulldog spirit and representation of the year’s theme takes home a thrilling victory. Some alumni still reminisce on their greatest wins, funniest losses, and unforgettable moments when they return to campus for the homecoming game.

Students also participate in the King and Queen competition leading up to the performance. Nominated by their peers, these students campaign throughout the week - sharing their Butler experiences and passion for the Dawgs with the entire campus.

 

Bulldog Beauty Contest

Bright and early on the day of homecoming, members of the community and their furry friends stop by Butler’s campus for the annual Bulldog Beauty Contest. Located in the heart of homecoming festivities, the contest kicks off the day with excitement and a contagious energy.  The bulldogs dress up in their finest outfits and costumes to impress the crowd and win one of the nine categories, from Best Dressed to Best Mean Mug. Every year, the competition grows in creativity as bulldog pups from near and far compete for the title of the Most Beautiful Bulldog - may the best dog win!

 

Bulldog Boulevard Tailgate

After a quick parade around campus, students head to Hinkle Fieldhouse to celebrate before the football game. Many Greek organizations, colleges, and clubs have a booth set up with food and games for current students and alumni to celebrate before kickoff. Starting in 2010, Bulldog Boulevard transformed the traditional tailgate experience into a Butler reunion and celebration for all.

 

FULL HOMECOMING 2018 SCHEDULE

Cheerleaders at Homecoming
HomecomingStudent Life

Homecoming at Butler

This exciting intersection of past and present has a little something for everyone.

Cheerleaders at Homecoming

Homecoming at Butler

By Brittany Bluthardt '20
Hardesty with Dean Shelley
Giving

College of Education receives $1.25 Million Gift for Scholarships

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Sep 24 2018

Myrtle Hardesty '54 left Butler University before graduating, but the two years she spent as a Bulldog always meant something to her and her family.

So when she died in 2017, at age 95, she left the University a gift of $1.25 million to go toward scholarships in the College of Education.

The Myrtle Browning and James E. Hardesty Endowed Scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate students who have financial need, are majors in the College of Education, and have a GPA of 3.0 or better.

"She was one of those people who realized that she had been given a lot in life, and when you're given so much, you should turn around and give back," said Ena Shelley, Dean of the College of Education.
"That was very much what she was about—giving back. We will make sure we do a good job with the gift she has given to us."

Mrs. Hardesty told Dean Shelley she wanted the College of Education at Butler University to have the gift because her mother and father had been so proud of her for getting to Butler and for later becoming a teacher.

Myrtle Browning spent two years at Butler. She married an engineer named James Hardesty—they were together more than 40 years—and moved to New Jersey. She earned her bachelor's and master's in teaching and counseling from Montclair State University, and spent her career as a guidance counselor at the Hubbard Middle School in Plainfield, New Jersey.

In her retirement, she liked to spend time in the art studio in her home. In addition to her monetary gift, she also left one of her paintings to the College of Education.

Dean Shelley visited Mrs. Hardesty at her home in New Jersey in early 2017 and described her as "absolutely darling. I'm so glad I got to meet her. She was such a sweet, sweet woman."

The Dean said the Hardesty gift is going to make it possible for Butler to educate more teachers.

"This is a great step forward in meeting the teacher shortage demands and for us to have some resources to offer students," she said. "This helps our ability to bring more students in to teacher education."

This gift supports the Butler 2020 Strategic Plan which was approved by the Board of Trustees in the fall of 2013. Butler 2020 charts a bold course for Butler’s future through which it will preserve the University’s unique character, distinguish Butler as a school of choice for exceptional students, and increase its national prominence. In support of Butler 2020, the University has invested in new campus facilities, academic programs, and co-curricular offerings. In the past five years, Butler has built the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts and two undergraduate residential communities, Fairview House and Irvington House. In the fall of 2019, the Andre B. Lacy School of Business will open a new 110,000 square foot building. Additionally, Butler is actively fundraising to complete a $93 million Science Complex expansion and renovation. To learn more, visit butler.edu.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan MFA '18
News Manager
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

Hardesty with Dean Shelley
Giving

College of Education receives $1.25 Million Gift for Scholarships

The Myrtle Browning & James E. Hardesty Endowed Scholarships will be awarded to students with financial need.

Sep 24 2018 Read more
United States Marine Band
Arts & CultureCommunity

One Night Only: Colburn to Rejoin "The President's Own" United States Marine Band

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Sep 14 2018

You can take the colonel out of the band, but you can't take the band out of the colonel.

So when “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band comes through the Indianapolis area on October 27, retired Col. Michael Colburn—now in his fifth year as Director of Bands at Butler University—will return to the podium. He'll conduct the band he led for 10 years in a performance of John Williams' "The Adventures of Han" from the movie Solo: A Star Wars Story.

"I was really thrilled to get the invitation," Colburn said. "And this will be a chance for a local audience to realize that they have a connection to the Marine Band that perhaps they weren't aware of right here at Butler."

Colburn, who directed the Marine Band from 2004-2014, said he received the invitation from his successor, Col. Jason Fettig, after Fettig found out that the band's tour would stop in Carmel, right outside Indianapolis.

They decided that it would be most appropriate for Colburn to conduct a piece by Williams because during Colburn's tenure with the band, he established a close relationship with the famed composer.

Their friendship started with a letter about 20 years ago—Colburn wrote to Williams asking him to guest-conduct the Marine Band, and Williams did. They collaborated several other times, including in 2004 when Williams requested that Marine Band perform his music during the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to him.

"Col. Colburn's distinguished service as the 27th Director of the U.S. Marine Band had an immeasurable impact on the ongoing success and reputation of this historic ensemble," Fettig said. "He spearheaded many notable artistic achievements for the organization during his time at the helm, not the least of which is developing our close relationship with famed composer and conductor John Williams. I'm absolutely thrilled to welcome Col. Colburn back to the podium of "The President's Own."

The rest of the concert at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel will feature a selection of patriotic music—Sousa marches such as "Semper Fidelis" and "Stars and Stripes Forever" (that's Colburn conducting in these video clips)—as well as some recent original music for wind band.

"This concert is a rare opportunity to hear the Marine band," Colburn said. "They only come through this area once every 4-5 years at most. I encourage people to get out there and get a little taste of what people in Washington, DC, and especially people in the White House get to hear all the time. This is really one of our national musical treasures."

"The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band will perform at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel on October 27. Ticket and tour information is available here.

Media Contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

 

United States Marine Band
Arts & CultureCommunity

One Night Only: Colburn to Rejoin "The President's Own" United States Marine Band

Butler's Director of Bands will conduct his former band when they come to area on October 27. 

Sep 14 2018 Read more
Carillon
Giving

Butler University’s Most Prestigious Donor Society Inducts 248 Honorees

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Sep 13 2018

Butler University celebrated the launch of the inaugural Carillon Society on Wednesday, September 12, honoring those individuals whose cumulative giving reached $100,000. Two hundred and forty-eight honorees were inducted into the university’s most prestigious donor recognition society, representing more than $73 million in total philanthropic support for the University.

In addressing the honorees, President James M. Danko reflected that “woven through our history are the names of individuals who saw a bright vision for the future and invested in the innovative ideas of their time and place making that vision a reality. Those generous philanthropists from Butler’s founding have passed the torch to each of you in the room tonight. Together, you have accepted the challenge to continue moving Butler forward.”

Carillon Society honoree giving has impacted nearly every corner of the University. Collectively, they have established more than 50 endowed scholarships and provided significant support for the Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse, the Butler Fund, the Bulldog Club, the Butler Arts Center, the new Lacy School of Business Building, the Science Complex expansion and renovation, and each of the six academic colleges.

This influx of philanthropic support has been a critical element to Butler University’s dramatic growth under the leadership of President Danko. Pursuant to the Butler 2020 Strategic Plan, the University and donor partners have invested in new campus facilities, academic programs, and co-curricular offerings.

In the past five years, Butler has built the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts and partnered with American Campus Communities to build the Fairview House and Irvington House residential communities, in addition to renovating Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Andre B. Lacy School of Business will open the doors to its new 110,000 square foot home in the fall of 2019, and fundraising is underway to complete a $93 million Science Complex expansion and renovation.

The Carillon Society celebration will be an annual event honoring those who reach status in the previous year.


About Butler University

Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,500 undergraduate and 541 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 46 states and 39 countries. Ninety-five percent of Butler students will have participated in some form of internship, student teaching, clinical rotation, research, or service learning by the time they graduate. Butler students have had significant success after graduation as demonstrated by the University’s 97% placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.

 

Media Contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

Carillon
Giving

Butler University’s Most Prestigious Donor Society Inducts 248 Honorees

Butler University celebrated the launch of the inaugural Carillon Society on Wednesday, September 12.

Sep 13 2018 Read more

Five Questions With A Butler RA

They’re one of the first people you meet on move-in day, and some of the last smiles you’ll see before you leave Butler University. Murjanatu Mutuwa is a senior RA in Irvington, the new, state-of-the-art residence hall on campus. Along with pursuing a double major in Strategic Communications and International Studies, Murjanatu spends countless hours with her residents on a daily basis. Butler RA’s are full-time students who dedicate their time to helping students find their home away from home on campus. Murjanatu gives a bit of insight into her leadership experience.


Why did you decide to become an RA?

“I thought it made sense. I loved being able to care for people and I like planning things. I also make a mean door dec, so I thought, ‘Hey, maybe this job was made for me!’”


What's your favorite memory as an RA?

“I threw my resident's a formal. It was so fun to see them all get dressed up and dance together. Afterwards, they sent me a card with a photo of all of us smiling together.”


How do you think being an RA has impacted your Butler experience?

“This isn't just a job, these are the people you live with and the people you end up caring the most for.”


What are some of the challenges you've had to overcome as an RA?

“It's a huge time commitment, and it's hard to be a student with all the academic and social expectations. Along with the school work, you are also a support system, advisor, and rule-enforcer for 40 individuals. It is hard to juggle all of that and to feel as though you are doing it well.”


What is your advice to future students interested in becoming an RA?

“It is the most rewarding role one can have on campus. If you take it seriously, you'll play a major role in your residents' lives, and they will a play key role in your Butler journey.”

 

Murjanatu
Student Life

Five Questions With A Butler RA

Murjanatu Mutuwa explains her experience as one of the most influential people on campus, an RA.

Jordan Hall
Campus

McEvoy-Levy named Director of the Desmond Tutu Peace Lab

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Sep 12 2018

The Desmond Tutu Center, a five-year joint partnership between Butler University and the Christian Theological Seminary created in 2013 to promote the legacy of the Archbishop, will be renamed the Desmond Tutu Peace Lab and will get a new director, Butler Professor of Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies Siobhan McEvoy-Levy.

"Growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, we were inspired by Desmond Tutu and the struggles of South Africans against apartheid," McEvoy-Levy said. "So it is a great honor to be named Director of the Desmond Tutu Peace Lab and to have the opportunity to further collaborate with Butler students and other colleagues and community partners in the cause of peace."

McEvoy-Levy will be supported by three Faculty Fellows: Chad Bauman, Butler Professor of Religion and Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Classics; Terri Jett, Butler Associate Professor of Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies and Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusivity; and Fait Muedini, Butler Associate Professor and Director of International Studies.

The Desmond Tutu Peace Lab will be dedicated to undergraduate research, activism, dialogue, and advocacy around peace and social justice issues broadly defined. The Lab continues work in the spirit of The Desmond Tutu Center by promoting peace, reconciliation, and global justice on campus and in the local community.

Student interns and a student "think tank" will work with faculty and local community partners to:

  • Convene roundtables and dialogues on ‘cultures of future peace’ themed around the arts, media, religion, politics, gender, race, science, business, and other topics.
  • Offer trainings in mediation, activism, interfaith engagement, and writing for social justice.
  • Study "sites of conscience" and how divided societies have constructive dialogues about the past.

“With this new initiative, we will provide a new generation of students with space to explore and develop their aspirations for nonviolent change," McEvoy-Levy said. "The Peace Lab will be a place for collaborations, recognizing that peace building is a dynamic and tension-filled process, and that inner peace, community violence prevention, reconciliation with our enemies or with our natural world, or advancing economic justice, are not achievable alone. The aim is to build on students’ already rich classroom, study abroad, and community-based learning experiences."

 

Media Contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

Jordan Hall
Campus

McEvoy-Levy named Director of the Desmond Tutu Peace Lab

Siobhan McEvoy-Levy is a professor of Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies at Butler. 

Sep 12 2018 Read more
Karamo Brown
Arts & CultureCampus

Diversity Lecture Series Fall 2018 Lineup Announced

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Sep 06 2018

Charismatic Queer Eye star Karamo Brown and University of Texas Political Science Professor and immigration expert Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto will be the fall 2018 speakers in Butler University's Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series.

Brown will kick off the 31st annual series at Clowes Memorial Hall on Wednesday, September 19, at 7:00 PM. DeFrancesco Soto's talk takes place on Monday, October 22, at 7:00 PM in Shelton Auditorium on South Campus.

Admission to all talks in the series is free and open to the public without tickets. The lecture series will continue during the spring semester with two more speakers.

 

Karamo Brown
Know Thyself: Using Your Uniqueness to Create Success
Wednesday, September 19, 7:00 PM
Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler Arts Center
More information at ButlerArtsCenter.org

Whether as an openly gay man, a black man, a Christian, a single father, a business leader, or reality television personality, Brown has discovered that the many facets of his identity are the key to his success. In this speech, he shares his methods and ensures that corporate and collegiate audiences alike are able to recognize and utilize their own different identities.

Today, Brown serves as the television Host and Culture Expert on the Emmy-nominated Netflix reboot of Queer Eye. Brown has worked as an on-air host and producer for OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), Huffington Post Live, and a contributor on NBC’s Access Hollywood Live. He was first introduced to the world in 2005 at 22 as a housemate on the hit MTV reality series The Real World. He was a breakout star and became the first openly gay African-American in the history of reality TV. In February 2016, he returned to reality television as a cast member on TV One’s #TheNext15.

 

Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto
E Pluribus Unum? American Diversity & the Political Landscape
Monday, October 22, 7:00 PM
Shelton Auditorium, South Campus
More information at Events.Butler.edu

The United States has always been made up of diverse entities and, as a nation, we have negotiated the "pluribus" to get to the "unum." DeFrancesco Soto will consider the topic of negotiating diversity within the current political landscape with a particular focus on the last decade and the upcoming mid-term election.

DeFrancesco Soto is a professor at the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs and a contributor to MSNBC, NBCNews.com, and Telemundo among others. She was a featured expert in the PBS documentary of the Civil Rights trailblazer Willie Velasquez in Your Vote is Your Voice and has published in both academic and popular outlets such as Politico, Talking Points Memo, and Perspectives on Politics.

Her areas of expertise include immigration, Latinos, women and politics, political psychology, and campaigns and elections. In looking at immigration, she takes a broad historical perspective to understand current policy debates. When looking at diverse groups within the electorate, she focuses on how women, Latinos, and other minorities influence policies.

 

Media Contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

Karamo Brown
Arts & CultureCampus

Diversity Lecture Series Fall 2018 Lineup Announced

The 31st year of Diversity Lecture Series will feature Karamo Brown and Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto.

Sep 06 2018 Read more
Dance Rehearsal
Arts & CultureStudent LifeCampus

New Dance Work To Debut with More than 100 Student Dancers

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Sep 05 2018

Dance Professor Cynthia Pratt wants to give Butler's Class of 2022 a welcome to remember. So she and four student choreographers from the Dance Department have put together a large-scale dance project that will feature the entire department performing on the grassy areas outside Irwin Library and Jordan Hall on Thursday, September 20, from 6:30-7:00 PM.

The dance will celebrate the start of the new academic year and will revolve around the themes and values of the Butler Way. The soundtrack for the dance is expected to incorporate snippets of interviews with students, faculty, and staff talking about their Butler experiences.

"I thought it would be a great opportunity for the department to welcome everyone back to campus," said Pratt, who is starting her 24th year at Butler. "The Dance Department here is significant, but many of the students don't know who we are or what we do. Even though this type of dance isn't what we're known for—we're known for ballet—I thought it would be a wonderful welcome for the whole student body, especially since we have the largest freshman class ever."

Pratt said the idea for an all-department project goes back four years, when she choreographed a dance as part of StreamLines, an outdoor art project that meshed arts and science. She said that project was tough—"they're outside, they're uncomfortable, they're hot, they're rolling around in grass, and there's stuff in that grass"—but it helped create a bond that lasted throughout their college careers.

More than 100 students will participate in the dance.

"We found in the department that when we did those large group dances, the morale in the department skyrocketed," she said. "We found that this was a really positive experience—not just for the students, but for the onlookers as well. These were really successful performances."

 

Media Contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

Dance Rehearsal
Arts & CultureStudent LifeCampus

New Dance Work To Debut with More than 100 Student Dancers

The outdoor performance on September 20 will celebrate the start of the new academic year.

Sep 05 2018 Read more

Meet the Class of 2022: Max Cordoba

When incoming first-year Theatre and Math major Max Cordoba flew to Los Angeles in February to attend the National Unified Auditions—a one-stop shop for high school seniors to audition for multiple universities—he had never even heard of Butler University. The Neward, California native’s intention was to audition for mainly private schools that had a special musical theatre degree, explore those options, and then pick whichever school felt right, offered the best financial aid, and allowed him to learn more about not only the fine arts, but math as well.

He spotted Butler’s name and decided it was in his best interest to at least do one more session—it was additional practice, after all.

In most auditions, Cordoba was asked to perform two monologues and two songs. In the audition with Butler, Professor of Theatre William Fisher asked Cordoba to do one of each to start. Cordoba chose to sing Beautiful City from the Broadway production Godspell. For his monologue, he chose to read an excerpt as Hank from Marvin’s Room—a piece he believed would put him “over the top for the audition.”

After his monologue, Fisher and Cordoba made an instant connection over Marvin’s Room.

"I almost thought my audition with Butler was going to be a practice session, but after my talk with Professor William Fisher, I thought this could be the right school,” Cordoba said.

Cordoba explained to Fisher that he is a big theatre lover, but he wanted to also major in something a little more practical.

“I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket, and I wanted to ensure I had math as a back-up since a major in theatre isn’t foolproof,” Cordoba said. “I really needed a school that understood that about me.”

Most schools Cordoba had talked to previously in the day had told him that pursuing math with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) was not a possibility. Fisher explained that at Butler it’s not a BFA, but rather a Bachelor of Arts, which offers more flexibility, as well as the option to incorporate his passion for math.

“He really convinced me to at least explore more,” Cordoba said, “Even though it’s really far away, Butler seemed open to my diverse interests.”

In April, Cordoba—joined by his grandfather—started the on-campus college visit journey,  exploring the various schools he was interested in—including Butler. While on campus, Cordoba had the opportunity to speak with professors, including Chair of the Theatre Department, Diane Timmerman. He also sat in on an improv class.

“The students were making me laugh. Just from that show alone, I saw what I loved about theatre,” he said. “The students were super friendly and amiable, and they love to act and perform.” When he left for his trip, he was excited about all the schools he was about to explore. After the trip, though, he realized that when he was making his rounds, he always found at least one thing he didn’t like—except for when he was at Butler.

“What really set it in stone for me for Butler was that it was a smaller school than most I was looking at, but it had a big school feel,” Cordoba said.

Cordoba arrived on campus August 12, and feels just as excited as nervous—as most students are their first year. Cordoba’s distance from his friends and family definitely makes it harder, especially when he was so involved with various theatre and chorus groups for the past eight years.

Despite the nervousness of new surroundings and being so far from home, Cordoba said he feels honored, “to go to a school that is super accepting and diverse.”

Max Cordoba
Welcome WeekArts & CultureStudent LifePeople

Meet the Class of 2022: Max Cordoba

What brought Max from California to Indiana was Butler Theatre's faculty and flexibility. 

A Working Actor: Logan Moore

By Marc Allan

Whether he's acting or doing landscaping, Logan Moore '14 considers himself a workhorse.

From the time he was a sophomore at Butler, Moore was performing in productions both on and off campus, and since graduating he's worked steadily at several theaters in central Indiana while retaining his job with a local landscaping company.

In other words, he's living the life of a working actor.

"I like hard work," he said. "I just do."

Those who saw his most recent work, Actors Theatre of Indiana's production of Forbidden Broadway, can attest to that. In the show, a rapid-fire spoof of Broadway hits, cast members sing, dance, and act their way through multiple roles and costume changes galore. 

"Forbidden is one of the best shows I've ever been in," Moore said. "It's also one of the hardest shows I've ever done just because it's a marathon. Even in intermission, we're getting ready for the next numbers and setting up for Act 2. We get a five-minute break and then places get called."

By the time Forbidden Broadway ended on July 29, Moore had already secured his next two roles, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (August 30-October 7) and Man of La Mancha (October 11-November 18) at Beef and Boards dinner theater in Indianapolis, and Actors Theatre of Indiana invited him back for an updated version of Forbidden Broadway (April 26-May 19, 2019).

"He’s got a good bit of the whole package," said Don Farrell, Artistic Director/Co-Founder of Actors Theatre of Indiana. "He has a beautiful voice. I was surprised at the range. He has the low notes for the bass, but he also goes into the tenor range as well. The clarity and the tone is really strong, and I just love the resonance of it too. His acting ability is very good. His comic timing is very good. He’s also a team player, which always goes, no matter what business you’re in. You give him a little direction and he can run with it. He’s a good mover, dancer. On top of it, he’s a good-looking guy too."

Moore grew up on the eastside of Indianapolis, the second of six children. He's always been a singer—he sang in church choir with his family, and he sometimes traveled with his dad, who was part of a southern gospel quartet. He was homeschooled till eighth grade and hadn't thought about performing in public until his school drama teacher and choral director dragged him to an audition.

"From then on, I liked being onstage," he said. "There's just something about the lights. When they shine and you're in front of them, you just forget that any audience is there and you're just in a different world. It's like playing make-believe for a job. And it's great."

He went to Warren Central High School and chose Butler for college because he wanted to stay close to home and Butler felt like home. "Once you get on campus, you just know that you're in a good place," he said. "That was the first thing I felt on my first tour here. I couldn't believe it. I had never felt that feeling before—except when I was home. I love the class sizes, being able to have one-on-one time with the professors, the core curriculum, everything."

At Butler, guest director Richard J Roberts, the dramaturg from the Indiana Repertory Theatre, cast him in Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice in the role A Nasty Interesting Man/The Lord of the Underworld. He also had parts in every production directed by the Christel DeHaan Visiting International Theatre Artists (VITA), guest directors from other countries who spend a semester working with Butler students and faculty.

In one VITA production, The Priest and the Prostitute, Moore performed an intricate Indian dance known as kathakali.

"The physical rigor of these pieces and the completely different style of working demanded a lot," Theatre Department Chair Diane Timmerman said, "and Logan delivered beautifully."

"Not only was he a terrific actor while here at Butler, he also excelled in technical work, and, perhaps most notably, was one of the kindest and most generous students around. If anyone needed help with a project, Logan was first in line. And whenever anyone was down, he made a special point to seek them out and brighten their day."

Moore said one of the lessons he learned at Butler is that acting is 80 percent connection and 20 percent talent. That stuck with him, especially since he had no connections. So he went out and met people. He did The Oedipus Trilogy at NoExit (a local theater company run by Butler graduates) and shows at Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre and Footlite Musicals.

After graduation, Roberts, who directed Moore at Butler, put him up for the lead in Actors Theatre of Indiana's production of The 39 Steps. "For Richard to think that highly of Logan said something," Farrell said. "And Logan gave a great audition."

Now four years out of college, with a resume that also includes The Fantasticks and The Mystery of Edwin Drood for Actors Theatre of Indiana, Romeo and Juliet at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, and Ghost the Musical at Beefs and Boards, Moore is toying with the idea of seeing what he can do in New York.

He's been thinking about a trip there in April—his boyhood friend Jordan Donica is currently on Broadway in My Fair Lady—but he may well be working then.

"It's not my favorite to decline work," he said. "If people are like, 'We need you for a show,' I'm there."

  

Logan Moore
People

A Working Actor: Logan Moore

Whether he's acting or doing landscaping, Logan Moore `14 considers himself a workhorse.

People

Nine Alumni To Be Honored

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 23 2018

  

Nine Butler University alumni who have demonstrated extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities will be honored at the annual Alumni Awards Recognition Program on Friday, September 28, at 6:00 PM in the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts, part of Homecoming Weekend festivities.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Butler Medal: John B. Dunn ’77
  • Butler Service Medal: Jeanne Hawkins VanTyle ’74 MS ’80
  • Joseph Irwin Sweeney Award: Kyle S. Delaney ’03
  • Hilton Ultimus Brown Award: Dr. Adam B. Hill ’03
  • Robert Todd Duncan Award: Hoagland C.  Elliott ’57
  • Katharine Merrill Graydon Award: Julie Russell Dilts ’92
  • Mortar Award: Jean McAnulty Smith '65
  • Foundation Award: John MBA '04 and Jordanna Perry MBA '03

Registration for the awards ceremony and all Homecoming activities can be made online.


THE BUTLER MEDAL: John B. Dunn ’77

John Dunn grew up in Speedway, Indiana, and attended Butler on a full-ride basketball scholarship. He majored in business, played varsity basketball and baseball, and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. In 2004, he Dunnwas inducted into the Butler University Athletics Hall of Fame.

After graduating in 1977, he went to work for Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana, where he worked his way up from foreman on the main engine assembly line to owner of the Cummins distributor Cummins Rocky Mountain in Denver, Colorado. He sold the business and retired in 2001.

Dunn has been a long-time supporter of Butler University. He served on the Butler University Board of Trustees for 14 years, chairing a number of committees and two successful capital campaigns, ButlerRising and the Hinkle Campaign. He also served as Board Chair for three years. He was elevated to Chairman Emeritus status by the Board in 2016.

Dunn and his wife of 41 years, Kathryn (Kathy) Wilkie Dunn '79, whom he met at Butler, are members of the Cornerstone Society (lifetime giving of $1 million or more) and the Bulldog Club.  They have also supported the Campus Crusade for Christ organization for years on the Butler campus.  The Dunns also have established a scholarship fund for Speedway High School graduates attending Butler University. John attributes much of his success to Butler University and the invaluable lessons, friendships and service opportunities Butler has afforded him.

The Dunns have three adult children, John, Alisyn, and Patrick. John and Alisyn are both Butler graduates.

The Butler Medal is the highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association. It recognizes individuals for a lifetime of distinguished service to either Butler University or their local community while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession and attaining a regional or preferably a national reputation.  Since 1959, it has recognized individuals who have helped immeasurably toward perpetuating the University as a great educational and cultural institution and have had, during their lifetime, a profound influence on the course of Butler University.

 

THE BUTLER SERVICE MEDAL: Jeanne Hawkins VanTyle ’74 MS ’80

VanTyleDr. Jeanne Hawkins VanTyle is Professor Emerita of Pharmacy Practice at Butler’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She began her professional career in a joint appointment with Butler and St. Vincent Hospital before moving into a full-time academic position in 1981.

Her teaching areas have included pharmacokinetics, therapeutics, clinical assessment, and women’s health issues. She has taught in the Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, and Health Sciences programs. In addition to teaching, she served as the Director of the Learning Resource Center and as Interim Department Chair for Pharmacy Practice. 

Van Tyle served as Chair of the Assessment, Curriculum, Academic Affairs, and Honors committees in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. In addition, she was elected as the College’s Faculty Senator, and was the long-standing advisor to Lambda Kappa Sigma, the professional fraternity for Women in Pharmacy.

She was faculty advisor for Butler University Community Outreach Pharmacy and the Academy of Students of the American Pharmacists Association. She was Chair of the Faculty Senate, Vice Chair of the Faculty Assembly, Co-Chair of the Gender Equity Commission, and member of the Sesquicentennial Planning Committee. In recognition of her service, she was awarded Butler’s Woman of Distinction (Faculty) Award in 2011, and the Distinguished Faculty Award for Service and Leadership in 2015.

Van Tyle earned a BS in Pharmacy and MS in Hospital Pharmacy from Butler’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 1974 and 1980, respectively. She earned a PharmD from Mercer University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacokinetics at the State University of New York in Buffalo. Her husband, Dr. Kent Van Tyle ’67 (COPHS), is Professor Emeritus, Pharmaceutical Sciences at Butler. They have two daughters, Rachel and Emily ’13 (LAS).

The Butler Service Medal, established by the Alumni Association in 2001, is the second highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association and is reserved for recognition of emeriti faculty or retired faculty and staff (graduate or non-graduate).  The recipient will have achieved a lifetime of distinguished service to Butler University and/or the community.  Recipients will have helped to shape the past and future successes of Butler University and therefore shown a profound influence.

 

THE JOSEPH IRWIN SWEENEY ALUMNI SERVICE AWARD: Kyle S. Delaney ’03

Kyle Delaney is Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Marketing for the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University, serving as the Dean’s Chief of Staff with oversight over marketing and communications,Delaney new strategic initiatives, events, and dean’s office operations.

In his current role he has led a comprehensive rebranding of Northwestern Engineering, articulating Northwestern’s “whole-brain engineering” approach and leading significant improvements in media coverage of engineering research at Northwestern. He has also driven the development of new collaborative initiatives, such as activities at the interface of art and engineering.

Kyle joined Northwestern in 2005 and previously held a number of marketing positions at the school. He is a 2003 graduate of Butler University, earning a degree in integrated communications. As an alumnus, he has served as Chicago Chapter co-president, president of the Butler Alumni Association Board of Directors and a member of the Board of Trustees.

The Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award recognizes a recent alumnus who has demonstrated a significant commitment of outstanding service to the University. The award’s recipients have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. The award honors the spirit and example of Joseph Sweeney, a young student with a great deal of potential, whose life was tragically cut short.

 

THE HILTON ULTIMUS BROWN ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Dr. Adam B. Hill ’03

HillDr. Adam B. Hill is a palliative care physician at Riley Hospital for Children. Dr. Hill is a proud Hoosier, a Butler Bulldog, and an Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) graduate. He completed his pediatric residency training at St. Louis University, a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Duke University, and a palliative medicine fellowship at IUSM.

His work in palliative care is focused on allowing patients to live the best quality of life possible, in the midst of chronic, life-limiting and/or life threatening medical conditions.

In addition, Hill is passionate about physician wellness/self-care, physician education, and international medical work. His international work has allowed him to work in Belize, Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania, and Australia over the past several years. As part of his work in palliative care, he serves as the medical director for a weeklong summer camp for children affected by childhood cancer.

A true embodiment of the Butler Way, Dr. Hill put others above self and courageously broke the silence regarding substance abuse issues within the medical field. Using his own struggles as the subject, Dr. Hill lectures and writes about the importance of addressing addiction and mental health challenges. His article titled, “Breaking the Stigma – A Physician’s Perspective on Self-Care and Recovery” was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award honors a recent graduate whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. Hilton U. Brown, who from his early years to last, gave a lifetime of service to his career and Butler University including serving on the Board of Trustees for 71 years and was an award-winning newspaper journalist and Managing Editor at the Indianapolis News for more than seven decades.

 

THE ROBERT TODD DUNCAN ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Hoagland C. Elliott ’57

ElliottHoagland Elliott spent the first half of his career in retail and the second half in healthcare. After graduating from Butler, he worked as a buyer for L. S. Ayres & Co., and a Manufacturer's Representative for C.R. Gibson Co. He was Owner and President of the Card & Gift Gallery retail chain, The Fireside Shop, The Candle Gallery, The Wooden Unicorn, and I-ICE Inc.

In 1997, after a short retirement, Elliott was asked to serve as Chief Financial Officer for the Raphael Health Center, a ministry outreach of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church that serves as a primary health center for the uninsured and underserved in the inner city of Indianapolis. The center, which started as a half-day health clinic on Saturday mornings, grew from 400 patient visits and a staff of volunteer doctors in the first year to 20,000 visits and a staff of 37 doctors when he retired as Chief Executive Officer in 2014.

Elliott had left Butler nine credits shy of graduation in 1957. In 2013, at the age of 78, he returned to Butler to finish his academic requirements by completing nine hours of German.

The Robert Todd Duncan Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career, and whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. This award honors the spirit and accomplishments of Robert Duncan, a 1925 graduate, who was a noted opera singer and educator who in 1945, became the first African American to sing with a major white opera company, the New York City Opera Company.

 

THE KATHARINE MERRILL GRAYDON ALUMNI SERVICE AWARD:  Julie Russell Dilts ’92

DiltsJulie Russell Dilts is the Director, Regulatory Compliance, for Roche Diagnostics, where she has worked since 2007. Her teams help Roche achieve key business goals while ensuring that its product communications comply with FDA regulations.

Prior to her current role at Roche, Julie was Senior Counsel and also served as the Indianapolis campus leader and the mentoring program chair for Roche’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. Previously, she practiced law in the business department of Barnes and Thornburg, LLP, an Indianapolis-based law firm from 1997-2007.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Butler in 1992. After graduating from Duke University School of Law in 1997, she returned to Indianapolis and served on the Advisory Board for the Butler chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta from 1998-2007 (Chair, 2002-2004). 

Dilts joined the Butler University Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2007 and served as its President and representative on the university Board of Trustees from 2012 to 2014.

Her love for Butler started early, as her parents, Marla (Lantz) Dernay ’66 and the late Tim Russell ‘64, are Butler  graduates. The Butler legacy continued with her younger brother, Andrew Russell (PharmD ’08), and his wife, Danielle Haynes Russell (PharmD ’09). 

Dilts lives in Indianapolis with her husband, Clay, and their children, Asher and Lucinda.

The Katharine Merrill  Graydon Alumni Service Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career, and has displayed and recognizes a long-term commitment of outstanding service to the University. The recipients of this award have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. This award honors the memory of Katharine Graydon who graduated from Butler in 1878, and was a Professor of English Literature at the University from 1907 to 1930, receiving an honorary doctorate of literature in 1928. Graydon served as the Alumni Secretary and Editor of the Alumnal Quarterly from its first edition in 1922 until her retirement in 1929, when she was named Professor Emerita.

 

MORTAR AWARD: Jean McAnulty Smith '65

SmithJean McAnulty Smith graduated from Butler with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and served as a newspaper reporter, gubernatorial Press Secretary, and Communications Director before spending 20 years as First Vice President and Director of Public Relations and Corporate Giving, First Chicago NBD Bank.

In 1999, she earned her Master of Divinity (magna cum laude) from Christian Theological Seminary and had a 15-year career in religion, mostly as Program Director, Religion Division, with the Lilly Endowment Inc. In 1998 she was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. She served several years at Saint Alban's, Indianapolis, retiring in 2013.   

Her service to Butler has included membership on the Board of Trustees (she is a trustee emerita), co-chair of a Presidential Search Committee, and chair of committees on Clowes Memorial Hall and Student Affairs. She has received The Butler Medal, Alumni Achievement Award, and Distinguished Professional Award from School of Journalism.

The Mortar Award, created in 1995, honors one person or couple each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating great vision, leadership, and generosity to Butler University.

 

FOUNDATION AWARD: John MBA '04 and Jordanna Perry MBA '03

John D Perry is Managing Director - Family Wealth Director of Perry Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley. He is a member of Morgan Stanley's Chairman's Club, a distinction made for the top 2 percent of advisors within the firm. He is among the select few Financial Advisors to have earned Morgan Stanley's designation of Family Wealth Director, an industry leading designation that demonstrates that he met rigorous and high standards of delivering depth of experience and breadth of knowledge in wealth planning and investment advice to the most affluent clients.

John has been named in Barron's Top Advisor Rankings, honored as an IBJ 40 Under 40, Indy's Best and Brightest, and was featured in the magazine and website On Wall Street at number one on their Top 40 Under 40 list.

John is a graduate of the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University and earned his MBA from Butler University. He currently serves on the boards of the Goodwill Industries Foundation and Butler University’s Lacy School of Business. He also served as an advisory board member for the Butler Business Consulting Group and Student Managed Investment Fund.

John and his wife, Jordanna, have three children: Jack, Elly, and Gracy.

The Foundation Award, created in 2011, honors one person or couple (age 40 and younger) each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating leadership, and generosity to Butler University.

 

Media Contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

 

People

Nine Alumni To Be Honored

The annual Alumni Awards Recognition Program will take place as part of Homecoming Weekend.

Aug 23 2018 Read more

The Highlight of My Summer...

Travis Ryan, Professor and Chair of the Biological Sciences

"The highlight of my summer was the first two weeks after graduation! My colleague Phil Villani and I led a class to Panama for an intensive field ecology course. We teach this course every other summer and it is always a real thrill to take a group of students to the tropics – most of them for the first time. Over the course of two weeks we saw red-eyed tree frogs, sloths, howler monkeys, white throated capuchin monkeys, dozens and dozens of bird species, and more shades of green than most people can imagine. The class hiked an island in the middle of the Panama Canal, toured a rain forest canopy from a crane, and visited a facility that serves as a refuge for several frog species on the brink of extinction. In addition to meeting with scientists studying the endless diversity of tropical biodiversity, we also toured a traditional slash-and-burn farm, visited with an indigenous tribe of Amerindians, and learned about sustainable permaculture on a cacao plantation. The class ended the two-week whirlwind tour of Panama exhausted, but with deeper understanding of tropical biodiversity and an appreciation of different ways to live off of and with the land. And, we are already planning the trip for 2020!"

 

Francis Mihm, Class of 2020, Dance Arts Administration

"The highlight of my summer was my trip through Eastern Europe with Butler’s dance department. The trip began in Warsaw Poland and continued on to Poznan, Krakow, Bratislava, Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague. The semester before I left for the trip the dance department began rehearsals to take with us as a mini showcase to present to the other dance schools that we visited. The showcase was a combination of student and faculty choreography and represented the diversity and versatility of our program.

Once we arrived in Europe we immediately got to work by taking classes with the National Ballet School of Poland and continuing rehearsals for our showcase. However, it wasn’t all dance all the time. We were able to do a lot of sight-seeing including visiting the home of Mozart and the famous salt mines in Salzburg as well as many of the great old palaces and museums of Poland and Europe. Overall, the trip was an incredible experience and I would strongly suggest it to any future dance students coming to Butler. Butler creates so many options for students to travel and study abroad that offer such rich experiences. It has changed my life and hope other students take advantage of that opportunity."

 

Ryan Rogers, Assistant Professor of Creative Media and Entertainment

"The highlight of my summer was traveling to Prague to present a research paper at the annual conference of the International Communication Association. I had the opportunity to chat with other researchers and see some exciting work in the field as well as share my work - ‘The Impact of Presenting Physiological Data During Sporting Events on Audiences' Entertainment.’ Outside of the conference, I got to enjoy the culture, especially the beer gardens like Stalin (the former site of a huge monument to Joseph Stalin) and Letna. After the conference, I left the Czech Republic to spend some time in Lake Bled, Slovenia where I hiked to Mala Osojnica and rowed a boat to the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary at the center of the lake. Then I took a bus to Budapest, Hungary where I ate some amazing food like Langos and Nokedli. I also spent some time in the ruins bar, Szimpla Kert."

 

Nate Fowler, Class of 2019, Mechanical Engineering and Economics

"In addition to my two summer classes and daily basketball workouts, a highlight of my summer was the opportunity to intern at RENU Property Management in Carmel, Indiana. The benefits of a Mechanical Engineering and Economics double major were revealed to me this summer through my job responsibilities. While the internship was not directly correlated with my Mechanical Engineering coursework, being an Acquisition Analyst at RENU utilized my analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as knowledge attained from the Economic courses I completed at Butler. My daily work at RENU consisted of using their proprietary analytics software to search and underwrite single family residential properties in markets such as Las Vegas, Charleston, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Indianapolis. I was fortunate to share the work experience with current Butler student-athletes, Will Marty and Joey Lindstrom throughout the summer as well. I am incredibly thankful for the experience and opportunity Tom Eggleston, Traves Bonwell, and everyone else at RENU gave me this summer!"

 

Lauren Tibbets, Class of 2019, Actuarial Science

"The highlight of my summer was having the opportunity to fully embrace my sport (golf) before entering my last year as a collegiate student-athlete. I spent most of my time around golf through my part-time jobs in the golf industry and my practice time. Through working part-time, I was able to practice more than last summer, and it led to some success – I won the Indiana Women’s Open and Indiana Women’s Match Play tournaments. I also got the chance to play in the Monday qualifier for an LPGA tournament held in Speedway, IN. The support I received throughout the whole summer topped off my experience. My dad caddied for me in every tournament; my mom and grandparents attended all of them; a few members of my Butler golf family were able to watch my final holes in the State Open. The success and support I experienced this summer have contributed to excitement and confidence that I am ready to carry into our season as Butler golf starts competing in September!"

 

Ena Shelley, Dean of College of Education

"This summer was one filled with new beginnings!  The COE had been located in Jordan Hall for 35 years so packing and purging were hurdles that we all jumped together.  Working with Colin Moore and his team to finish the details in our new space on South Campus was one of the best experiences of my 36 years at Butler.  On August 6 the moving trucks arrived and the process began. I then left the site with many of my colleagues for the opening of new second Butler Lab School at IPS #55.  It is named the Eliza Blaker School and she happened to be the founder of the COE.  The past, the present, and the future have all been connected for me in a summer that I will always treasure."

 

 

Kayla Long, Class of 2019, Critical Communication and Media Studies + Spanish Majors

"The highlight of my summer was my participation in the Indy Summer Experience (ISE) program. Although I have spent my entire college career at Butler University, I was still unfamiliar with city. ISE provided the opportunity to learn more about Indianapolis and capitalize on the remaining time in my undergraduate experience. Through the program this summer, I spent my Wednesdays networking with Butler University alumni and traveling to amazing sites around Indy such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the back rooms of The Children’s Museum (I touched a real dinosaur skull!). I not only learned more about what Indy has to offer but I also learned more about myself. With meeting alumni and visiting incredible professional spaces like Statwax/BLASTmedia and The Speak Easy Downtown, I have been able to envision my future as a young professional. ISE 2018 has opened my eyes to see Indianapolis as a hub of different environments, people, and remarkable spaces."

Francis Mihm
Welcome WeekPeople

The Highlight of My Summer...

From Panama to Poland, these Butler students and faculty had an amazing summer doing what they love.

Sonia Nazario
Welcome WeekCampus

Pulitzer Prize Winner Sonia Nazario Speaks to Butler Incoming Students

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 21 2018

Sonia Nazario has been writing about immigration for more than 30 years, and the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner told Butler University's incoming students on Academic Day, Monday, August 20, that she has a better approach to fix a broken system. Nazario's book Enrique's Journey was given to more than 1,300 incoming students as this year's common read. 

As she addressed students, she stated border enforcement, guest-worker programs, and pathways to citizenship have all failed. What the United States needs to do, she said, is:

  • Increase foreign aid to Central America to address the root causes of violence. In Honduras, she said, we are spending $100 million a year on violence-prevention programs. The money funds outreach centers that identify the most at-risk children and provides them with outreach centers, family counseling and other programs to keep them safe. The most violent neighborhood in that country saw a 77 percent drop in kids engaging in crime or abusing drugs and alcohol. Homicides are now being investigated there, and the number has decreased 62 percent. "I think this is a brilliant investment on our part," she said during her talk at Clowes Memorial Hall. "Spend millions there rather than having to spend billions on these kids once they arrive at our border."
     
  • Provide a safe haven for people who are arriving at our border and are fleeing danger. Instead of cutting the number of refugees we let in to 45,000 a year, we need to increase the number. If Germany can admit 1 million people, we need to show similar compassion.
     
  • Radically alter our war on drugs. "We spend $1 trillion on the war on drugs," she said. "Every household in this country has spent $10,000 in recent decades … by locking up non-violent offenders. And it hasn't worked." She advised more prevention, drug treatment, and legalizing small quantities of all drugs. "If you don't, you simply move the problem around," with violence shifting from Colombia to Mexico to Central America to, now, the Caribbean, she said.

Nazario, whose book recounts the harrowing story of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, 11 years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States, said the United States needs to uphold its core values.

Luke Haas with Nazario"During World War II, we turned away a ship with 900 Jews aboard," she said. "We wouldn't let them dock in our shores. Hundreds of those Jews were murdered in the Holocaust when they were sent back. You've all probably read The Diary of Anne Frank. Well, we rejected Anne Frank's family in 1941. And there was a moral reckoning in this country after World War II. We said never again. We were the leaders in providing the refugee movement around the world. Yet now, we are doing something that is all too similar."

She asked the students to get involved in some way and help end the immigration crisis.

"You can do anything that you set your minds to," she said. "And I think that you—unlike my generation, which has made a mess of this issue—you can actually provide real solutions that are humane and that actually work to slow the flow of people coming to this country illegally."

Nazario's visit to Butler was part of the Welcome Week tradition of inviting an author to campus to discuss a book that the new class has read. Jennifer Griggs, Academic Orientation Programs Manager, said the program "is really about bringing an intellectual experience into an overall orientation program and making that leap to academic life in the classroom."

After Nazario's talk, the students broke into groups with faculty members to discuss what she has said. The purpose of that, Griggs said, is to simulate course discussions and get students comfortable speaking and sharing and talking in the classroom when classes get started on Wednesday.

Luke Haas, a first-year student from Bath, Indiana, said he was glad to have a common read—and the chance to interact with Nazario.

"It definitely broadened my horizons," he said. "I'm more conservative, but I understand problems like this and how we need to fix them. This is a problem everyone is dealing with. She essentially put it out and there and said this is what we have wrong and there are things we need to fix. She does the research and understands that there are multiple places to blame—Republicans, Democrats, people in their own countries. She knows that certain things don't work because she has the statistics and the personal interaction to know."

 

Media Contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

Sonia Nazario
Welcome WeekCampus

Pulitzer Prize Winner Sonia Nazario Speaks to Butler Incoming Students

 Enrique's Journey was give to 1,300 students as part of this year's common read. 

Aug 21 2018 Read more

Meet the Class of 2022: Maria De Leon

Maria De Leon
Major: Peace and Conflict Studies
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
High School: Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School


“I’m really looking forward to growing my professional network in my Butler experience.”

 


 

Incoming first-year student Maria De Leon is leading her family in a number of firsts.

She’s the first of her family members to graduate high school.

She’ll be the first to attend college. This fall, Maria will be one of 1,357 first-year students in Butler University’s Class of 2022, the University’s largest class ever.

Maria is also the first in her family to travel to Washington DC to participate in a sit-in to persuade senators to vote “yes” for a clean Dream Act.

And—as a result of participating in that protest—she’s definitely the first to text her Butler admission counselor to ask how getting arrested might affect her admission.

Luckily, Maria didn’t need to worry about the answer to her text. She was not arrested for her participation, although some of her travel companions were. But the protest was still an emotional experience for her.  While she isn’t directly impacted by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legislation, her family and many of her friends are.

“My parents are immigrants, so they are affected by the immigration laws that the current administration is trying to put into place. Whatever happens with DACA will have a direct impact on my parents and my peers who want to attend college but might not be able to,” she explained.

Maria’s civic involvement began long before her DC trip. The Crispus Attucks High School salutatorian participated in last year’s nationwide “A Day Without Immigrants” rally.

“It was after this experience that I started asking more questions,” Maria said. “I asked, ‘How can I be more involved?,’ and ‘What can I do to help?’”

It was questions like these that landed her in contact with the Central Indiana Community Foundation, where she had the opportunity to be a Community Ambassador. In this role, Maria conducted in-depth research on a community of her choosing. As the daughter of two Guatemalan immigrants, Maria chose to research the Hispanic and Latino communities in Indianapolis.

“I wanted to know what my community was facing. Just because I’m Latina and have immigrant parents doesn’t mean I know everything,” she said.

Beyond rallies, Maria was also heavily involved in advocacy and raising awareness about various social issues at her high school. She founded the International Club at Crispus Attucks and was also a leader in her school’s NO MORE Club, designed to raise awareness about domestic violence. She’s interned with the Domestic Violence Youth Network and the Center for Victim and Human Rights (CVHR), and a teen dating violence policy she worked on will be implemented at Indianapolis Public Schools this fall.

These leadership efforts helped her earn the competitive Lilly Endowment Scholarship, which offers four-year, full-tuition scholarships to select Indiana students in all 92 counties. Candidates for the prestigious award must display “notable abilities, leadership skills, and civic potential through community service, exemplary school citizenship, and outstanding academic performance.” Maria is one of 20 Lilly Scholars in Butler’s incoming class this year.

Maria will continue her advocacy efforts at Butler, where she plans to double major in Peace and Conflict Studies and Political Science. She’s already lined up a gig on campus as an assistant in the Office of Health Education and Outreach Programs.

Butler’s Associate Director of Health Education and Outreach Programs Sarah Diaz believes Maria will be an excellent fit for their office.

 “She is coming in with this very solid foundation of knowledge around sexual violence, also some knowledge of the resources within our community because she done work with them, and she has had the experience of being a peer educator,” Diaz said. “She’s  the whole package of what our office does.”

Whole package, indeed.

Maria De Leon
Welcome WeekStudent LifePeople

Meet the Class of 2022: Maria De Leon

Incoming first-year student Maria De Leon is leading her family in a number of firsts.  

Meet the Class of 2022: Jack Kane

Jack Kane
Major: Accounting
Hometown: Arlington Heights, Illinois
High School: Rolling Meadows High School

 

"I'm looking forward to meeting new people and the new experiences, and all of the fun that comes with college and everything." 
 


 

Racing remote-controlled model airplanes has been part of Jack Kane's life for longer than he can remember. He was 2 months old the first time he attended a competition, and the hobby has taken him around the country (California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida) and the world (Australia, the Netherlands, England, Switzerland).

And now, it’s a hobby he hopes to continue in Indianapolis. Jack will be one of 1,357 first-year students in Butler’s Class of 2022, the University’s largest class ever.

"My dad's dad started doing this in the '60s and '70s," Jack said. "My grandpa was obsessed with it. Then my dad followed in his footsteps to be closer to his dad, and I followed to be closer to my dad too."

Jack and his dad fly Formula 1 and Quickee planes that are about 3 or 4 feet long and have a wingspan of roughly 6 feet. In competitions, they race against three other flyers at a time on a mile-long course. The first one to navigate around three pylons and get back quickest wins.

Winners take home trophies—there's no prize money—and in the past five years, since Jack's been an active participant with his dad, they've won about 20.

Jack said competitions are meant "to just enjoy yourself and have fun with your friends."

"But it's an adrenaline rush," he said. "These planes are going about 200 miles an hour around a mile course. It gets your heart pumping a little bit."

Jack said the biggest competition is held annually in Muncie, Indiana—and that, in part, is how he ended up applying to  Butler University. He would see Butler billboards on I-465 heading toward I-69 to Muncie, and that piqued his interest enough to investigate further. He liked what he found.

Like Jack, more than 25 percent  of this year’s class hails from Illinois. As an incoming Accounting major, he’ll be among the first Lacy School of Business students to enjoy the college’s new building. Set to open in August 2019, the new business facilities will feature a trading room, food service, and a rooftop deck.

When he's at Butler, Jack plans to try to continue racing planes.

"But," he said, "I'm putting school first."

Jack Kane
Welcome WeekStudent LifePeople

Meet the Class of 2022: Jack Kane

An native of Illinois, Jack has traveled the world racing remote-controlled airplanes.

Meet the Class of 2022: Kate Callihan

Kate Callihan
Major: Sports Media
Hometown: Austin, Texas
High School: Westlake High School

 

"I am most excited about the growing Sports Media program. It offers so many opportunities here and around Indy, and the professors show so much interest in the students already and classes haven't even started yet. Working with people who are likeminded and driven is going to be just incredible."
 


 

Like many high schoolers, Kate Callihan and her classmates studied the Vietnam war during their junior year.They read The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, heard from veterans who visited their class, and, as a final assignment, researched an American soldier who died in, or as a result of, the war.

Unlike many high schoolers, though, Kate took this assignment to the next level–and discovered a passion for storytelling in the process.

The name Kate was assigned was Michael Meyhoff. Rather than do some cursory research, she tracked down his family in North Dakota and made a 20-minute documentary using home movies, photos, and recollections of family and friends.

"I absolutely loved every second of it," she said.

Kate said she'd always loved writing, but it wasn’t until this project that she realized how much she loved storytelling. She narrated the video, "and at the beginning you can hear how timid I was and by the end of it I really found my voice and confidence."

"I realized that by telling this story I was not only impacting my grade and my own agenda, but there was a whole community that benefited from it and it was an absolutely incredible experience," she said.

Kate's English teacher, Dr. James Moore, wrote this about her effort: "The work you put in with calls, interviews, and emails eclipsed that of your classmates tenfold at least. I can tell that you really delved into the material, too, mining it for any little detail that would help fill out your story. "

Kate will continue honing her storytelling craft as a Sports Media major at Butler this fall. She will be one of 1,357 first-year students in Butler’s Class of 2022, the University’s largest class ever.

Butler’s Sports Media program drew her to Indianapolis–and it’s drawn others, too. Since 2017, the number of first-year students enrolling in Sports Media has more than doubled. The program, an integration of Sports Journalism and Digital Sports Production, is the only degreed program of its kind in Indiana, and one of only a handful of degreed programs in the Midwest.

In addition to studying Sports Media at Butler, Kate plans to double minor in Marketing and Theology, with a focus on Monotheism and Biblical Studies. She hopes one day to combine her interests in sports media and theology to bring teams to third-world countries to teach the children there how to play sports.

But that's the future. For now, she said, "I feel blessed to be part of the young Sports Media program and blessed to be part of Butler."

Kate Callihan
Welcome WeekStudent LifePeople

Meet the Class of 2022: Kate Callihan

Butler's Sports Media program drew Kate to Indiana from Texas.

Meet the Class of 2022: Ben Varner

Ben Varner
Major: Engineering Dual Degree Program
Hometown: Metamora, Michigan
High School: Oxford High School

"What I'm looking forward to the most in my time at Butler is meeting new people and getting the opportunity to live and hopefuly, work in Indianapolis."

 


 

Ben Varner's dad took him to a local go-kart track when he was 7. That started his competitive fires.

And he’s counting on Butler University to keep them going.

For the past 11 years, Ben has been competing in go-kart racing—and winning. He has more than 60 career wins and a list of achievements that include: 2011 Great Lakes Sprint Series Season Champion; 2016 East Lansing Kart Track Season Champion; 5th Place US Pro Kart Series Season Championship; and WKA Manufacturers cup win.

In 2017, after 10 years of go-kart racing, Ben got enough funding to take a step up into Formula cars. The next step, he hopes, will be IndyCar. His dream is to win the Indianapolis 500.

Achieving that dream, though, requires finding financing, he said. In the complicated and expensive world of auto racing, it can take mid-six-figure investments just to get started.

"You could be the best driver in the country and not have any financial backing and you wouldn't be able to get anywhere," he said.

So while he works toward that, Ben also has a backup plan: He wants to be an IndyCar engineer. To achieve that goal, he chose Butler's Engineering Dual Degree Program (EDDP), figuring that attending school within seven miles of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a smart strategy.

“We were at the Indy 500 a few years ago, and my dad told me about Butler,” he said. “We went and visited during the 500 weekend. I really liked the campus, and we talked to Jessica McCormick (Academic Program Coordinator) about the engineering program. I knew it would be a really good fit.”

Butler’s 5-year Engineering Dual Degree Program integrates curriculum from Butler University and Purdue University. Students enroll at both universities, and courses are taught on Butler’s campus during the first three years. In the final two years, courses are held at Butler and at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Ben will be one of 1,357 first-year students in Butler’s Class of 2022, the University’s largest class ever. As a Michigander, he’ll be in good company on campus–76 other new Bulldogs are also from the state. Since 2015, applications for admission by Michigan high schoolers have increased by more than 80 percent.

Last May, Varner shadowed the engineers at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and he hopes to work with them again.

While he's looking forward to starting his college career, he also appreciates what he's achieved so far.

"It's been a ride, that's for sure," he said.

Ben Varner
Welcome WeekStudent LifePeople

Meet the Class of 2022: Ben Varner

 Originally from Michigan, Ben is a competitive Forumal car racer who is majoring in Engineering.

Abiodun
Welcome WeekPeopleCampus

From Nigeria to Butler, First Year Up to the Challenge

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Aug 20 2018

INDIANAPOLIS— It started as a friendly wager.

Teacher to pupil. Apply to as many colleges as possible, with the goal of earning at least $1 million in scholarship offers. But the accounts differ, a bit. According to teacher, it was a way for pupil to ‘explore his options.’ According to pupil, it was a way to get ‘$200 to take his girlfriend on a date to Buffalo Wild Wings.’ That’s a lot of wings.

Either way, pupil won the bet. Or, teacher won the bet. Well, those accounts differ, too, depending on who you ask.

Abiodun Akinseye applied to 32 colleges. He finished 28 applications. He was accepted into 30 colleges. Wait, what? Yes, two schools accepted him without a complete application. He has a heaping pile of acceptance letters to prove it, along with the multiple days it took to clean out the 2,000-plus emails he accumulated from different schools. There was Union College, Samford, Wittenberg, Central State, it’s hard for him to remember them all, but most states in the U.S. were covered. At the end of it all, Abiodun had more than $1 million in scholarship offers. And $200 from his teacher.

Genevieve McLeish-Petty wanted Abiodun to push himself. To explore his options. In her 17 years of teaching, she never came across a student quite like Abiodun. She knew the Northwest High School valedictorian was capable of getting into several colleges, but she wanted him to know it, too. So, she threw in a $200 motivator – earn the most scholarship money in the school and get $200. Next thing she knew, it seemed like Abiodun was coming up to her every day with another acceptance letter. And more scholarship money.

In the end, Abiodun chose Butler University. A campus he first stepped foot onto as a 10th grader, he was drawn to Butler’s location, size, Honors Program, and liberal arts education. But most of all, he was drawn to Butler because he knew it would challenge him. And though he made the college application process look easy, his road from Nigeria to Indianapolis was anything but.

“There’s definitely a reason I keep all of those acceptance letters at home in a big box,” says Abiodun, as he scrolls through pictures on his phone until he gets to the one he is looking for – a picture of all the acceptance letters and envelopes piled high. “I want to keep them to show how far I have come and how hard I have worked to get to where I am. I went from Nigeria, and tough, tough times, to graduating at the top of my class, and now really a dream at Butler. So, it has been good, but challenging, and now I want another challenge.”

I went from Nigeria, and tough, tough times, to graduating at the top of my class, and now really a dream at Butler.

From Nigeria to the U.S.

Abiodun grew up in Nigeria until he was five. He remembers it well. But he also vividly remembers why his family fled for America.

There was family tragedy. His aunt tried to kill him and his two brothers, so his mother and father moved the family to America. Abiodun still has nightmares about the pain he felt from being poisoned. He felt like he was on fire. About his mom crying next to him when he was laying in the hospital bed.

He also felt guilty for a long time. He was in charge of watching his younger brother when the hitman came and hit his brother with a motorcycle. He blamed himself.

They settled in Indianapolis in 2005. Abiodun remembers the cereal Corn Flakes and wondering what it was. He remembers the music. He definitely didn’t understand the music. The first song he heard was Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies,” and he wasn’t a fan of all the heavy bass. He taught himself English by watching "Sesame Street" daily. His favorite character was Cookie Monster, he could relate to his appetite. Then there was the snow. His family had no idea what the white stuff falling from the sky was. His mom warned him not to touch it. He still prefers summer to winter.

“What’s crazy is I never expected life to be harder in America than in Nigeria,” Abiodun says. “When I came here, things got worse.”

Abiodun was bullied in school. Classmates called him an “African booty scratcher.” They threw paper balls at him, made him feel ashamed of being Nigerian, and made fun of his accent. They asked him if he was related to monkeys, if turning the lights off would make his skin disappear, and if he knew what deodorant was.

He told his mom about the bullying, so he changed schools. But the bullying continued.

“The bullying caused me to be depressed and for years I really didn’t know how to deal with my emotions or my feelings,” he says. “It’s still hard, because the depression turned into anxiety,  and it was all tough.”

The adjustment has been difficult, he says. His family lives in Speedway. His mom and dad are both nurses. He has an older brother and three younger brothers. And quickly, Abiodun realized, academics and art were his refuge.

 

His Escape

Abiodun’s mother told him when he was young that education would be his escape. He says that always stuck with him.

So, when the bullying persisted, and he was down, he would focus on his studies, he says. Education runs in his family. His mom got her Master’s Degree a few years after they moved to the U.S. His dad has his Bachelor’s Degree from Nigeria. His grandmother’s sister has a doctorate in education. His favorite aunt got her Bachelor’s Degree a few years ago in the U.S.

His best friends growing up?

“The characters in books,” Abiodun says. “I spent all my time reading and studying. I would read the dictionary to grow my vocabulary. I love fiction with elements of reality because those books give me the ability to jump from the real world, but not take the full leap to the stars.”

He loves “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “The Fault in Our Stars,” and the Percy Jackson series. Usually, if he’s into a book, he will finish it in a few hours.

Drawing runs in his family, too. And it is something that has always helped him with his depression, he says. He started drawing when he was four. His dad taught him how when they lived in Nigeria.

Now, he fills up sketchpad after sketchpad. He makes sure to draw in pen, as opposed to pencil, to avoid overthinking. Pencil, he says, gives him the option to erase.

“Drawing helps me control my emotions,” he says. “It helps me take what is in my head, what is bothering me or what I am thinking about, and get it out and put it on paper in a creative form.”

 

The Last Valedictorian

McLeish-Petty knew about Abiodun before he ever enrolled in her sophomore honors English class at Northwest High School.

She ran the honors program at the school, so she had a whole lot of practice typing out his name. He broke test-score records, was known for his creativity, and of course, for how bright he was. At first, Abiodun was quiet, but as he became more comfortable, he started to challenge the class.

“We read some difficult literature and Abiodun was able to facilitate conversations when I couldn’t get the rest of the class on board,” she says. “He would stir up conversations by playing devil’s advocate, he would make everyone think in different ways. His fascination with certain topics were lightyears ahead of what a high school kid typically thinks about.”

Most students, McLeish-Petty says, just want an answer so they can put it down. Abiodun wanted to know why; he wanted to know what was the point. He was very refreshing, she says.

Then there was the time she tricked Abiodun into joining the drama club when he was a sophomore. It started as him working behind the scenes. She convinced him to design the sets for “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

“Because he is so smart, after a couple days, he knew everyone’s lines and where everyone should be,” McLeish-Petty says. “By the time the show opened, we had some people quit and Abiodun filled in as Grandma Josephine and doubled as an oompa loompa.”

By the time he was a senior, he was the lead in the school play.

Abiodun would end up with a 4.1 GPA. He would deliver the school’s final valedictorian address – the building will shift to a middle school in the fall. He would discuss religion and politics with McLeish-Petty for hours. He won $12,000 when he wrote a two-page essay about his life for a Kiwanis Club scholarship that honors local high schoolers for their resilience.

It wasn’t just teacher helping pupil. Abiodun forever changed McLeish-Petty.

A high school teacher for 17 years, Abiodun got her thinking. If she had been in his life earlier, around the time he started being bullied, she could have tried to make it better much sooner. How many young people are there out there who just need someone to talk to, she started to wonder.

For the first time in 17 years, McLeish-Petty won’t be teaching high school this school year. She will be teaching at Coldspring Elementary School. Something Abiodun inspired.

“Every once in awhile you have a student come through who you know will be in your life way past graduation,” she says. “Abiodun is one of those people. He’s not just smart. He’s self-aware, he wants to have an impact, he will befriend the kid that is sitting alone. I am positive I will still be talking to Abiodun in 15 years.”

 

Change-Maker

It’s a few days before the start of his first year, and Abiodun is walking around Butler’s campus.

He says he feels excited about the start of classes, but definitely a bit anxious. He’ll be taking Spanish – his fourth language (he already speaks English, French, and Yoruba), Calculus, Honors First Year Seminar, and Introduction to Art.

Abiodun plans on majoring in Psychology and minoring in Art and English. He hopes to write a book, and also help others who are going through depression. He’s interested in child psychology, and also art therapy.

“Maybe I will be able to make a change and help,” he says. “I definitely want to write my own book when I’m done with college.”

But that is down the line. For now, he wonders if he will play intramural soccer, maybe join student government, maybe get involved in a video game club. He’s excited for the food on campus. He hopes to make some friends.

He remembers back when he was in 10th grade and came to Butler’s campus for the first time on a school trip.

“I wasn’t that impressed,” he says. “But that’s because I was a judgmental teenager. As I saw more and more schools, I realized how big they were, and crowded, and confusing, and I realized how much I liked Butler. It was a perfect size.”

Here he is, 30 acceptances later. There may be differing accounts about why Abiodun applied to so many schools. But, one thing is clear: he’s up to whatever challenges are ahead.

 

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
914-815-5656

Abiodun
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Planet Parade: Venus, Jupiter, Moon, Saturn, Mars to All Line Up this Weekend

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 16 2018

For the first time in more than a decade, Venus, Jupiter, the Moon, Saturn, and Mars will be lined up across the sky.

The best time for viewing will be on the evenings of August 17 and 18, according to Butler University Professor of Physics and Astronomy Brian Murphy—weather permitting, of course. Mars will be near its closest approach to Earth since 2003, and through a telescope, one should be able to see cloud-covered Venus in a quarter phase, the rings of Saturn, the belts and satellites of Jupiter, and Mars’ polar caps (if the dust storm has cleared).

Murphy, who is also the Director of Butler’s Holcomb Observatory, says the planets all orbit the sun in different periods, which means they are typically scattered along the zodiac. Some may be seen only before sunrise, only after sunrise, or not at all if they appear in the direction of the Sun.

"Being able to observe the Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn in a two- to three-hour time span is quite nice," he said.

Murphy encourages people to get out and see this "planet parade"—either by looking through the telescope at the Holcomb Observatory, which is the ninth largest telescope East of the Mississippi River, or simply by going outside and viewing the night sky.

"It's an ideal time to get out and see the planets," he said. "Usually, we don't have four planets visible at once in good viewing location, along with a quarter moon, which is the ideal time to view the moon. And they're all evenly spaced. If you ignore the sun, these are the four brightest objects in the sky we're talking about."

It’s hard to calculate when this lineup will occur again, Murphy says, but something similar will likely occur in two years. But after that, it will not happen for a long time.

In addition to telescope viewing at the Observatory, Planetarium shows will take place each evening.

 

Media contact:

Marc Allan
News Manager
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

AcademicsCommunity

Planet Parade: Venus, Jupiter, Moon, Saturn, Mars to All Line Up this Weekend

  

Butler astronomer says phenomenon likely won’t occur again for a long time

Aug 16 2018 Read more
AcademicsCampus

Butler Continues Trend, Welcomes Record First-Year Class

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Aug 16 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – It happened again.

For the second time in three years, Butler University is set to welcome its largest class ever, as 1,336 first-year students prepare to begin classes on August 22.

For the second time in three years, Butler University is set to welcome its largest class ever, as 1,336 first-year students prepare to begin classes on August 22.

The class highlights a nearly 10-year trend of application growth, represents a continued increase in out-of-state enrollment, and is more diverse. While the Class of 2020 was previously the largest class, with 1,255 incoming students, Butler has been experiencing an upward trajectory in applicants since 2009. 

“Butler’s enrollment goals have aligned with the University’s strategic plan, known as Butler 2020,” says Lori Greene, Vice President for Enrollment Management. “One of the strategic growth objectives is to increase full-time, undergraduate student enrollment. This is strategic growth complemented by an investment in the student experience. We see growth also reflected in new facilities, including two new state-of-the-art residence halls, and the new Lacy School of Business building, set to open in August 2019.”

This year’s growth is hardly a one-year anomaly.

Interest in Butler has been on the rise throughout the last decade. Since 2009, applications to the University have increased by 163 percent. For example, in 2015, Butler received 9,942 applications, compared to 16,431 this year. In the last year alone, first-year applications increased more than 12 percent.

This continued demand is due to a number of strategic initiatives, says Greene.

 

 

 

 

“Over the last few years, we’ve continued to refine and target our communications, and connect with prospects earlier in a student’s high school career. We’ve also focused on building a relationship with our prospective parents throughout the process,” Greene says. “We aim to support prospective students with the type of campus events and visit programs delivered, along with providing multiple options for a student to experience campus life, talk with current students, and hear from a professor in an area of interest.”

The increase in recruitment travel and targeted marketing efforts have paid off, Greene says, as the University continues to grow its out-of-state enrollment. Sixty percent of this year’s class comes from out-of-state, with nearly 20 percent of those coming from the Chicagoland area. Since 2015, applications to Butler from out-of-state students have increased by 68 percent.

And it’s not just applications. Since 2015, the number of students choosing to enroll at Butler from out-of-state has increased by 40 percent, compared to 17 percent growth in-state. Specifically, enrollment from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic has more than doubled since 2015.

While this year’s class hails largely from other Midwest states, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Texas are quickly on the rise. Over the last few years, Greene says, Butler has embedded counselors in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast in an effort to increase the University’s visibility.

This year’s incoming class is also the most diverse, as nearly 17 percent of the class are multicultural students. This represents a 3 percentage point jump from last year. While this is a percentage that Butler would like to see increase more, Greene says, partnerships with multiple Indianapolis-based organizations, as well as other community-based organizations throughout the Midwest, have helped multicultural recruitment efforts. The goal is to keep increasing this percentage, she says. 

Despite its size, Butler’s Class of 2022 is as academically inclined as previous classes. The average GPA is 3.86, up slightly from last year. This year’s incoming class features 44 valedictorians, 20 Lilly Scholars, and about 20 percent were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class.

The most popular majors this year are Pre-Pharmacy (136), Exploratory Studies (103), Exploratory Business (88), and Biology (72).

The University will also welcome 86 transfer students this fall.

 

Media contact:

Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
914-815-5656

AcademicsCampus

Butler Continues Trend, Welcomes Record First-Year Class

For the second time in three years, Butler University is set to welcome its largest class ever,

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Outstanding Butler Faculty Honored

BY Marc Alan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 16 2018

 Outstanding achievement inside and outside the classroom has propelled five Butler faculty members to be awarded Distinguished Faculty and Outstanding Professor designation.

These awards recognize inspiring presence in the classroom, achievement in research, community service, and exemplary achievements.

"As an educational institution, Butler strives to provide transformative educational opportunities to our students," said Provost Kate Morris, who handed out the awards on August 15 at the Fall Academic Workshop. "And faculty are on the front lines of that transformation. Simply put, without great faculty, our students would not have the success they have." 

"As an educational institution, Butler strives to provide transformative educational opportunities to our students," said Provost Kate Morris, who handed out the awards on August 15 at the Fall Academic Workshop. "And faculty are on the front lines of that transformation. Simply put, without great faculty, our students would not have the success they have." 

"It is critical to find ways to recognize faculty who have had outstanding years and outstanding careers to highlight the fact that their work truly makes a difference to students and to our academic community. I am delighted to be able to honor the five individuals honored this year, and believe they are excellent representatives of the impact faculty have on our students."

The Outstanding Professor awards recognize faculty members who excelled in all areas of their professional responsibilities and demonstrated outstanding achievement in teaching, scholarship, and/or service and were given to Associate Professor of English Ania Spyra and Professor of Music Kate Boyd.

The Distinguished Faculty awards recognize exemplary achievement, accomplishments, and contributions across the length and breadth of the winner’s career at Butler and were given to Associate Professor and Chair of Arts Administration Susan Zurbuchen, Professor of Philosophy Stuart Glennan, and Professor of Religion Paul Valliere.

Spyra, who joined the Butler faculty in 2008, studies the influence of migration on the language of literature. She was recognized for high student evaluation scores and her ability to reach all of her students in core, departmental, and interdisciplinary settings.

Boyd, a Butler professor since 2005, played nine solo recitals and nine chamber music performances during the 2016-2017 academic year. In addition, her CD recording of the work of composer John Cage garnered much national and international attention.

Zurbuchen was commended for creating one of the most successful degree programs of its kind in the country. She joined the Butler faculty in 1989.

Glennan, whose area of specialization is in the philosophy of science, with particular attention to biology and psychology, came to Butler in 1992. He is a scholar of international repute and a widely acknowledged founder of an important emerging field in philosophy.

Valliere, who retired at the end of the 2017-2018 after 35 years at Butler, was called a great professor, an outstanding scholar and researcher and a remarkable contributor to the university mission.

 

Media contact:

Marc Allan
News Manager
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

AcademicsPeople

Outstanding Butler Faculty Honored

Five faculty members have been recognized for outstanding achievement inside and outside the classroom. 

Aug 16 2018 Read more
Jeremy Johnson
AcademicsPeople

Butler Professor Receives NSF Grant to Study Class of Enzymes Linked with Cancer Growth

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Aug 14 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – It happened by accident.

Jeremy Johnson, Butler University Associate Professor of Chemistry, was looking at images of acyl protein thioesterases, or APTs. Because proteins are smaller than the wavelength of light, they cannot be seen by eye, or even with a microscope. So, proteins are crystalized, and then static images are taken, revealing what they look like at one point in time.

But, when Johnson looked at the APT images closely, he saw something he had never seen before, and something, he says, that is quite rare – the protein in multiple states.

“Our image showed the APT in open and closed states or active and inactive,” Johnson says. “Normally, we think of proteins as static, or as staying in one position, and only recently have we started to appreciate the idea of natural movements of proteins.”

With an $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Johnson will be researching why we should appreciate that very idea. Seeing the image of the APT in a dynamic state enabled Johnson to hypothesize a whole new set of ideas about what this protein could potentially impact – cancer progression, neural deterioration, and immune functions, he says.

“Once we had this image and saw it was dynamic, we were able to start to hypothesize how this protein could be important within a cell,” he says. “All of a sudden new possibilities emerged that we knew we wanted to research more. Once we knew the structure, new alleys for research questions opened.”

APTs are a class of enzymes that are linked with cancer growth, neural degeneration, and bacterial infections. But, this photo revealed they are also dynamic – something that was not previously known.

Now, Johnson says, he is set to dive into what this dynamic function actually means, and how it could impact those important links. Some questions his lab will focus on include looking at how the dynamic nature of this protein could impact APTs as a future drug target, and how it might relate to cancer and immune functions.

After seeing the image, Johnson says his team will start to look into how that movement is related to the regulation of the protein and how that can impact the biological functions of APTs.

“You always hope there is relation to the big picture,” Johnson says. “We are going to be looking at the dynamic movement and if that movement is essential to biological function. You hope that movement is related to the big picture things that we know this protein is already involved in.”

Also, as part of the NSF grant, research occurring in Johnson’s lab will be integrated into undergraduate classroom laboratories, giving a wide range of students the chance to participate in the research. There will also be a new molecular biophysics laboratory added to the biochemistry major at Butler.

All of this, Johnson says, because of an accident.

 

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
914-815-5656

Jeremy Johnson
AcademicsPeople

Butler Professor Receives NSF Grant to Study Class of Enzymes Linked with Cancer Growth

Butler Chemistry Professor Jeremy Johnson discovered something in his research that no one had seen before.

Aug 14 2018 Read more