The community atmosphere at Butler University was clear during the 2021 Homecoming festivities that were two years in the making. Despite a year of separation, Bulldogs across the nation found their way back to campus to rekindle collegiate friendships, commemorate the achievements of their peers, and celebrate their university. 

Butler homecoming
Brad Stevens at Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

From September 9–12, current students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other community members had the opportunity to join together in a variety of events hosted on Butler’s campus. The weekend kicked off Thursday with the Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony honoring 2020 and 2021 inductees, including the men’s basketball teams who made back-to-back Final Four runs in 2010 and 2011, along with former coach Brad Stevens. On Friday, the state-of-the-art building that houses the Lacy School of Business was officially named Bill and Joanne Dugan Hall, and many Butler community members attended the ceremony to show their gratitude for the $7 million gift commitment from Bill Dugan ’51 that demonstrates his dedication to the education of Butler students. Also on Friday, The Alumni Recognition Ceremony and Reception honored Butler community members for their extraordinary achievements in their professional lives, communities, and in service to the university. Award recipients from both 2020 and 2021 were recognized. Butler Blue IV hosted the 20th annual Bulldog Beauty Contest on Saturday afternoon—an adorable way for the audience to get ready for the football game while tailgating and celebrate their Bulldog pride.  

Butler Alumni Recognition 2021
Alumni Recognition Ceremony
Bulldog Beauty Contest
Bulldog Beauty Contest
Bulldog Beauty Contest 2021
Bulldog Beauty Contest
Butler 2021 Homecoming royalty
Homecoming Royalty

These events, among many others, were a sign of hope and validation that the Butler community is as strong as ever. Jennie Jones, MBA ’18, Director of Butler Community Engagement, shared that many alumni expressed how glad they were to be back on campus again.

During the Efroymson Diversity Center Homecoming Reunion and Open House, Kayla Long ’19 said spending time with the Diversity Center family was “a reminder of how the people I met here helped shape who I am today.” Long’s recognition that the impact of the Butler community spans far beyond one’s time on campus is felt deeply among current students and certainly by many alumni. Festivities such as Homecoming are a reminder that togetherness and the powerful bonds formed at Butler deserve to be celebrated. 

Photos by Zach Bolinger