Local Agency Packed with Butler Alumni Prioritizes Well-being in the Workplace

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

In the midst of the current pandemic, 71 percent of employed adults who are able to do so have found themselves working from home. As a result, many professionals have had a difficult time achieving high productivity levels while also maintaining a stable work-life balance, and the mental health of many employees has suffered. But some organizations are taking notice of this issue and making efforts to combat employee burnout.

The Basement is an Indianapolis-based advertising agency already ahead of the game. They have been working actively for years to prevent employee burnout while encouraging physical and mental well-being. With a roster of nearly 50 employees (18 of which are Butler University grads), The Basement has built a healthy team culture that prioritizes people and promotes growth both in and out of the workplace.

Its positive workplace culture has earned The Basement a strong reputation as one of the best employers in the Indianapolis area—one factor that leads many Butler alumni to pursue positions at this agency. The Basement’s Vice President of Client Services, Todd Bolster ’05, says the strong community of Bulldogs at the company and across Indianapolis has helped shape his career.

Todd Bolster ’05

Now, Bolster is giving back to the Butler community by partnering with the Lacy School of Business, the College of Communication, and BU|BeWell to host a virtual discussion about well-being in the workplace. On April 13 at 6:00 PM, Bolster will be joined by The Basement CEO Conrad Edwards for a conversation about how leaders can help maintain the health and wellness of their employees and their organizations while also seeing to their own well-being. The Zoom event is open to Butler students, faculty, staff, and alumni. You can register here.

As an involved member of Greek Life throughout his time at Butler and Student Government Association President during his senior year, Bolster had a variety of experiences that helped him build a strong network around campus. These relationships helped enhance his Butler experience even after he graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. A Butler referral ultimately helped him land his first job at MediaSauce, where he initially met the two founders of The Basement. Later in his career, he reconnected with The Basement team and began working at the agency in Sales and Account Management. From there, he moved up to his current position as VP.

Founded in 2007, The Basement is an integrated agency specializing in marketing and advertising. Bolster joined the team early on, when its primary focus was creative work, but the agency has since shifted to also provide media and account management services. 

With the agency’s growth has come an influx of Butler-alum employees. Located only a short drive from campus, The Basement has been a natural fit for many grads looking to stay in Indy. However, it’s more than the close proximity to campus that has kept 18 Butler alumni working at The Basement as “Dwellers.” As described by Campaign Coordinator Sarah Crull ’19, “The environment that The Basement has created in a lot of ways is a reflection of The Butler Way. My coworkers consistently put the whole of the company before themselves, while always looking for ways to grow and improve. I think this similarity between the two places is evident for those who have experienced both, and a huge reason so many Bulldogs have become Dwellers.”

This parallel was immediately clear to current Basement intern and Butler senior Emi Smith, who says, “I think so many Butler students and alumni specifically are drawn to The Basement because of its strong sense of community. One of the main reasons prospective students choose Butler is because of our community—accessibility to peers and professors, opportunities for leadership and involvement, and a genuine culture of care. This same type of community is apparent at The Basement.”

Bolster says the agency keeps its employees at the heart of everything it does.

“I genuinely believe we have a responsibility, in positions of leadership, to create companies where people want to work—where they’re valued, where they’re respected, where they’re taken care of,” he says.

This dedication to employee well-being is executed at the agency in many ways. Put into practice, prioritizing employee well-being at The Basement means frequent one-on-ones with supervisors to ensure progress and goals are being met.

“You shouldn't have to wait until your annual review to find out how you’re doing or get some great feedback,” Bolster says.

Another tool in fostering a healthy work environment is encouraging employees to speak with leadership. With a mantra of “great ideas come from everywhere,” Bolster says employees are encouraged to speak up and share their thoughts. “Regardless of your title, a great idea is a great idea.”

The agency also encourages its team members to live fulfilling lives outside of the office, creating an environment where employees feel respected by peers and leadership, as well as motivated to do their best work.

“The Basement recognizes its employees as people, ahead of the work that they accomplish,” Crull says. “Everyone is eager to ask questions and pour into one another. We are focused on helping each other be the best, both from a personal and professional perspective.”

During the April 13 Well-being at Work panel, The Basement’s Todd Bolster ’05 and Conrad Edwards will discuss the agency’s focus on organizational growth and what it means to prioritize employee health. Learn more here.

Butler University
Alumni Success

Local Agency Packed with Butler Alumni Prioritizes Well-being in the Workplace

At The Basement, where Bulldogs make up a third of the staff, company culture reflects The Butler Way

Elements Financial
Butler Beyond

Butler University and Elements Financial Partner to Provide New Student Financial Literacy Program

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Apr 08 2021

Butler University and its credit union partner, Elements Financial, are teaming up to promote student financial literacy through a new online training program called FinancialEdu. The program, which launched in January, is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge on topics such as student loans, credit cards, budgeting, and saving. The program is just one piece of an overall suite of financial wellness offerings provided by Elements to the Butler community as part of a robust corporate partnership, which began in 2016.

The student financial literacy training is the latest addition to the Career & Life Skills module of BU|BeWell, Butler’s holistic student experience framework built around eight dimensions of overall well-being. The new program was born out of conversations among a group of leaders in the Butler community determined to address the root causes of financial stress among students. After brainstorming discussions and a joint financial investment, Elements and Butler joined forces to offer the FinancialEdu training library to all Butler students, faculty, and staff. Beginning this academic year, the basic training module is now required for all first-year students.

“BU|BeWell is a proactive approach to well-being, not a reactive approach, so having this tool allows us to get out in front of this issue of financial stress for students,” says Josh Downing, Butler’s Director of Recreation and Wellness. “If we can get this training to first-year students and make it a requirement, we can provide them with foundational tools that will help them along their journey at Butler and through the rest of their lives. We’re grateful to be able to lean on the expertise provided by Elements Financial to bring this program to the Butler community.”

Kara Fischer, Elements’ Relationship Manager at Butler, already offers in-person financial wellness workshops, guest lectures in classes, and one-on-one consultations for Butler students and employees on a variety of financial topics including financial life after college, understanding credit, investment fundamentals, and more. Downing says BU|BeWell stakeholders across campus are becoming familiar with the additional training modules available within the FinancialEdu program, and he foresees the online training modules building upon the in-person offerings to better prepare students for life after Butler.

The financial literacy training works hand-in-hand with other efforts across campus to address student financial stress, including the Office of Financial Aid’s commitment to educating students about over-borrowing to finance their education, the Butler Emergency Assistance Fund, a recent freeze on tuition, and a new scholarship established by Randy and Libby Brown to provide support to current Butler students who are financing their education primarily through student loans. Together, Butler and Elements aim to prepare students for a lifetime of financial wellness.

“We’re proud to partner with Butler University in multiple ways,” says Ron Senci, Executive Vice President at Elements Financial. “Most important to us is working with faculty, staff, and students in the area of financial wellness education. This connection allows us to empower the Butler community to achieve personal financial success, which is our core purpose at Elements Financial. It’s been exciting to see our relationship grow year over year, since it formally began in 2016, and we look forward to creating new initiatives with Butler.”

The partnership exemplifies the purpose and potential of the University’s efforts to forge new collaborative relationships in the community through its Butler Beyond comprehensive campaign and strategic direction. Along with the new financial literacy training and the existing financial wellness workshops, Elements has invested extensively in Butler’s educational mission through sponsorships and philanthropic donations that have touched nearly every part of campus life.

In total, Elements is investing more than $400,000 in the Butler community through a range of initiatives including an endowed scholarship for students studying in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and capital support for the new facility housing the Andre B. Lacy School of Business. Elements Financial also serves as sponsor of the Butler Magazine, the annual faculty staff picnic, and Bulldog Boulevard during Homecoming, and is the exclusive provider of the Butler-branded VISA® debit card and the Butler University Rewards VISA® Credit Card.

“Butler University is fortunate to have such an engaged and committed partner in Elements Financial,” says Butler Vice President for Advancement Jonathan Purvis. “Since our partnership began in 2016, Elements has become increasingly invested in the Butler community, not only financially, but also through their support of a broad range of initiatives across campus. It has been gratifying to see this relationship grow to the point of co-developing this financial literacy training for students. We are extremely grateful for the holistic nature of our partnership with Elements Financial.”

 

About Elements Financial
Elements Financial is a diversified federal credit union with assets of more than $2.0 billion and 100,000+ members in all 50 states and 50 foreign countries. As a financial wellness provider, Elements serves individuals through our original sponsor, Eli Lilly and Company, and more than 150 companies across Indiana and nationally. Beyond our Elements branches in Central Indiana, we provide access to more than 5,000 shared branch locations nationally and 78,000 surcharge-free ATMs globally. Elements Wealth Management is a full-service investment management and financial planning firm with $900 million in assets under management. Elements is known for higher deposit rates, lower loan rates, and fewer fees. Join us at
elements.org to learn more. Federally Insured by the NCUA

About Butler Beyond
Butler Beyond: The Campaign for Butler University is the University’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, with a goal of $250 million to support student access and success, innovations in teaching and learning, and community partnerships.

Elements Financial
Butler Beyond

Butler University and Elements Financial Partner to Provide New Student Financial Literacy Program

FinancialEdu is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge on topics such as student loans, credit cards, budgeting, and saving

Apr 08 2021 Read more

2010/2011 Final Four Teams Inspire $2 Million Planned Gift to Butler Men’s Basketball Program

By Jennifer Gunnels

Ten years ago, the Butler men’s basketball team was on its way to a historic second consecutive NCAA title game appearance. Tom ʼ70 and Deborah Slaton were following along closely from their home in Lexington, Kentucky, where Tom had recently retired from a 40-year career as a financial advisor, and Deborah had just retired after 26 years as a professor and associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky (UK).

The couple was so inspired by the back-to-back title game appearances, and by the quality of the student-athletes on those 2010 and 2011 teams, they decided to include a gift to the Butler men’s basketball program in their estate plans. Ten years later, that gift is now valued at approximately $2 million, and the Slatons say they’ve only become more convinced their decision to invest in Butler basketball was the right one.

“We saw how the success of the basketball program in 2010 and 2011 propelled Butler into the limelight,” Tom says. “It allowed people to know about Butler both academically and athletically, and it helped showcase the many things that Butler has to offer. We think that a strong athletics program can support a strong academic program, and success for athletics can unquestionably lead to success for the entire University.” 

Tom graduated from Butler with a business degree in January of 1970, just a few months before Tony Hinkle retired as the Bulldogs’ head coach. As the years passed by and he was busy with his financial career in Lexington, Tom lost track of Butler basketball. The games were rarely on television, and he didn’t have many occasions to return to campus.

But Tom and Deborah both remember when they started paying more attention to the team. It was March 16, 2001, and the couple was on vacation in Florida, where they vividly recall watching Butler beat Wake Forest in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

As Butler basketball rose in prominence through the early 2000s, the Slatons began following the team more closely. By the time the Bulldogs were facing Duke in the 2010 championship game in Indianapolis, they were hooked. And, as they began to enjoy retirement and make plans for their estate, those back-to-back Final Four appearances inspired a desire to support the team in a more concrete way. Since formally documenting their estate gift in 2012, the Slatons have started making the drive from Lexington to Indianapolis a few times each year to watch games at Hinkle Fieldhouse and to visit with the Butler friends they have gathered along the way.

“Tom and Deborah Slaton have been incredibly generous and loyal friends to the Butler men’s basketball program for many years,” says Barry Collier, Vice President and Director of Athletics. “Their planned gift will positively influence the lives of future student-athletes and will support the program’s long-term goals of consistently competing successfully in the BIG EAST Conference while representing the best of Butler University on and off the court. On behalf of Butler Athletics, I am grateful Tom and Deborah have chosen to invest so generously in the future of the Butler men’s basketball program.”

Along with Tom's fond memories of his own days as a Bulldog, the Slatons say the thing that makes Butler most special to them is the spirit of The Butler Way.

“When we read the five guiding principles [of The Butler Way], we agree that these are key for education, teamwork, and success,” Tom says.

Deborah says her career at UK made her feel especially confident in the far-reaching impact of a philanthropic investment in higher education. Along with the Slatons’ planned gift to Butler basketball, they also have plans for an equal gift to support doctoral students in special education at UK. The Slatons have no children of their own and say they are pleased to be able to leave legacy gifts at UK and Butler that will have a positive effect on student lives for many years to come.

“We think higher education is life-changing,” Deborah says. “I think about the many people who invested in my education through scholarships at Texas Tech as an undergraduate and the University of Florida, where I earned my PhD, and it makes me want to give back.”

Following its back-to-back Final Four appearances, Butler made a move to the BIG EAST Conference, renovated Hinkle Fieldhouse, and, in 2017, hired Head Coach LaVall Jordan ʼ01. Meanwhile, the University was growing in national prominence and moving up in rankings like the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges annual listing. Each move has reinforced the Slatons’ instinct that an investment in the basketball program will benefit the entire University.

“We have been impressed with President Danko’s leadership,” Deborah says. “We see the rankings and all of this recognition coming to Butler, and we think that President Danko has pulled together a team to accomplish all of this that is forward-thinking and student-oriented, and we like that. We see this close dynamic between athletics and academics, which makes us want to invest in it.”

Tom says the future of Butler basketball looks bright, and not just because of the program’s consistently high rankings or next year’s strong recruiting class. Tom says he sees something more important happening in the lives of the student-athletes.

“Under Coach Jordan’s leadership, we think we’re seeing what the future holds for Butler basketball,” Tom says. “Not only is he an excellent coach, but he also prepares his student-athletes for life after college. We’re impressed by how he communicates with the players and gives them opportunities to engage with the world outside of basketball. I know he’s been talking to them about all the events that have been going on in the world in the past year, and we think that really develops a well-rounded person when you have a student-athlete graduate who has learned about more than just basketball.”

The Slatons say their engagement with Butler has led to deep and meaningful friendships with Butler staff and fellow fans, as well as to friendly conversations with strangers anywhere they go while wearing a Butler shirt or hat. The couple says they are happy they were able to find a way to translate their passions for basketball and special education into meaningful gifts at Butler and UK. They hope their gift will inspire others to be generous, too.

“We think Butler students, faculty, and staff are doing an amazing job,” Tom says. “Anyone who wants to support Butler can find a program that reflects their interests and make a positive impact for now and into the future.”

Slatons
Butler Beyond

2010/2011 Final Four Teams Inspire $2 Million Planned Gift to Butler Men’s Basketball Program

Ten years later, Tom ʼ70 and Deborah Slaton say they’ve only become more convinced their decision to invest in Butler basketball was the right one

Butler University
Campus

Butler University Welcomes Two New Trustees

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 31 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Butler University appointed two new members to its Board of Trustees during its February meeting. Andrew Greenlee ’90 and Chris Miskel ’96 will each serve three-year terms beginning June 3, 2021.

“We are fortunate to have two distinguished alumni from Butler’s Lacy School of Business join our Board of Trustees,” Butler University President James M. Danko said. “They are highly effective leaders who have excelled in their careers, and Butler University will benefit greatly from their presence on our board.”

Chris Miskel ’96

Chris Miskel is president and CEO of Versiti, a midwestern non-profit organization with 2,100+ employees that serves customers nationally in transfusion medicine and esoteric diagnostic testing; conducts internationally renowned blood research; and serves patients in need of blood products, as well as organ and tissue transplant. The organization exceeds $300M in revenue annually.

Prior to joining Versiti, Chris served as Group Vice President and Global Immunology Franchise Head at Shire, helping to bring medicines to patients around the world and shaping the strategy for a $2.5 billion biopharmaceutical franchise. In a previous role at Baxalta, Chris was Vice President of Plasma Strategy and New Product Development.

Chris began his career with Eli Lilly & Company in 1996 as a Business Analyst before going on to hold a succession of positions, culminating in his appointment as General Manager of Lilly Australia and New Zealand.

Chris earned a B.S. in Accounting from Butler’s Lacy School of Business (LSB) in 1996 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2000. He is a member of the LSB Dean’s Advisory Council, and a former member of the Young Alumni Board, the Central Indiana Community Steering Committee, and the Alumni Board. Chris was a member of the Butler men’s basketball team and he and his wife are current season ticket holders. An engaged alumnus, Chris is a past recipient of the Hilton U. Brown Alumni Achievement Award and a joint recipient with his wife, Nicole, of the Foundation Award.

 

Andrew Greenlee ’90

Andy Greenlee is the President & CEO of US Farathane, LLC, a global leader in the automotive industry. US Farathane is a high-end plastics company offering wide ranging technologies, processes and expertise. When Andy joined US Farathane in 1996, there were 300 employees with $25 million in revenue and two Michigan locations. US Farathane is now a global leader with approximately $1 billion in revenue and 5,500 employees. They have 16 locations in the United States, China and Mexico. US Farathane has garnered the top awards in the industry by being named Supplier of the Year with General Motors, FCA and Honda. Andy has been the President & CEO since 1999. Prior to that, he was in fast-track positions with Honeywell and Cooper Industries.

In 2015, US Farathane partnered with The Gores Group. The partnership has been highly successful, and US Farathane’s organic growth continues to far outpace the industry, and the culture and spirit have remained intact.

Andy earned his Bachelor Degree in Marketing from Butler University’s Lacy School of Business in 1990 and an MBA in Finance from the University of Detroit in 1994. He was named to Crain’s Detroit Business “40 under 40” list in 2005. He is also a past recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Andy is honored to be a Founders Circle Member, contributing to the construction of the new Lacy School of Business building. Originally from Columbus, Indiana, Andy, his wife and children currently split time between Lake Angelus, Michigan and Vero Beach, Florida.

 

Media Contact:
Mark Apple
mapple1@butler.edu
317-519-8592

About Butler University
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 30 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 98 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.

Butler University
Campus

Butler University Welcomes Two New Trustees

Andrew Greenlee ’90 and Chris Miskel ’96 will each serve three-year terms beginning June 3, 2021

Mar 31 2021 Read more
Butler University
Student-Centered

Butler University to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine to Students on Campus

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 30 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Butler University will offer free COVID-19 vaccinations to all students, beginning next week. If enough vaccine remains following student vaccinations, Butler will make it available to faculty and staff.

Butler was informed late last week by the Indiana Department of Health that the State would make doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine available to colleges and universities across Indiana, with the goal of vaccinating as many students as possible prior to the end of the semester. Out-of-state residents and international students are also eligible for the program.

Butler students who choose to participate will receive the first dose April 7–9 in the Efroymson Family Gymnasium in Hinkle Fieldhouse; the second dose will be administered May 4–6 in the Health and Recreation Complex on campus, immediately following Finals Week but prior to Commencement Ceremonies and students departing campus. Students in Butler’s renowned College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will assist in administering the vaccines.

“We appreciate the Indiana Department of Health for partnering with us to make this vaccine available,” said Brent Rockwood, Vice President and Chief of Staff at Butler. “This will have a tremendous impact on our efforts to establish herd immunity on our campus, and will allow us to more safely restore a full campus experience in the fall.”

At this time, Butler is not requiring students to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The University is, however, highly encouraging students to participate in the on-campus vaccination program. Rockwood indicated that vaccinations may be required of students for fall 2021.
 

Media Contact:
Mark Apple
mapple1@butler.edu
317-519-8592

About Butler University
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 30 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 98 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.

Butler University
Student-Centered

Butler University to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine to Students on Campus

First doses will be administered from April 7–9, and second doses from May 4–6

Mar 30 2021 Read more

Sports Media Major Travels to San Antonio as Intern for NCAA Women’s Tournament

By Kamy Mitchell ’21

As men’s games for the 2021 NCAA® tournament have been underway on Butler University’s campus and throughout Indiana, one Bulldog is spending most of March helping with the other half of this month’s basketball action.

Caroline Crosby, a junior Sports Media major, is working for the NCAA® this semester as an extern in the Division I Women’s Basketball Championships and Alliances Division. Part of her role consists of traveling to San Antonio, Texas, for three weeks to help organize the NCAA® Women’s Basketball tournament.

Caroline Crosby“I’m a huge women’s basketball fan, so this is just like a dream for me,” Crosby says. “It will be so fun actually being there and being in the moment.”

As the only college student on her team, Crosby is honored and excited for the opportunity to visit San Antonio. Before heading to Texas, she started her experience by helping out remotely, working with the tournament’s host schools to organize catering for the game operations and event operations teams. Due to COVID-19 precautions, all food must be pre-packaged, so Crosby has been tasked with selecting meals to have catered in.

“It’s crazy how much goes into planning a whole tournament, especially while working a thousand miles away during a pandemic,” she says.

Crosby arrived in Texas with her team on March 14 to help get everything set up and organized. She is spending the majority of her time working at the Alamodome and Convention Center while there, assisting her team to ensure things run smoothly. One of her main roles includes escorting teams from their busses to their locker rooms or holding rooms at the Alamodome. Every movement from each team requires an escort, and at times there can be up to six teams in the building, making Crosby’s job require strategic planning. But she has loved the opportunity to interact with players and coaches. She has also been tasked with communicating with teams about practice times and COVID-19 testing times on a daily basis.

While COVID-19 has made planning difficult, Crosby has persevered. She originally interviewed for this internship in spring 2020, but a heavy semester of classes prevented her from taking it then. Crosby followed up over the summer in hopes of interning for the fall, but pandemic restrictions made the position unavailable. She was determined and reached out once more, finally landing her current internship for spring 2021. 

Originally from Davenport, Iowa, Crosby visited Butler’s campus as a junior in high school and instantly knew it was her top choice. She was drawn to the small school in a big city, filled with sports teams—not to mention the NCAA® headquarters. With a goal of joining the sports industry, she knew Indy was the place for her.

Crosby says her Sports Media and Journalism classes have prepared her well for this internship, specifically in regards to communication and writing skills, which she has applied while conversing with colleagues from the different host schools in preparation for the tournament. Communication is difficult while working remotely, miles apart, so Crosby has utilized Microsoft Teams meetings as one way to stay connected. She has also worked for Butler Athletics, doing camera work for women’s volleyball and basketball games. As a woman who has played on the club basketball team here at Butler, and who has grown up as a fan of women’s basketball, Crosby says her current internship is like a dream come true: “It’s been a great experience—a once in a lifetime thing, for sure!”

Caroline Crosby
Experiential Learning

Sports Media Major Travels to San Antonio as Intern for NCAA Women’s Tournament

For Butler student Caroline Crosby, the opportunity is a dream come true

Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh
Campus

Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh Named Interim Dean of the College of Communication

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 29 2021

Dr. Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh has been named the Interim Dean of Butler University’s College of Communication (CCOM), effective April 1. Geertsema-Sligh has served as Director of the Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media since June 2016.

Geertsema-Sligh joined Butler in August 2005 as an Assistant Professor and received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2011. She was promoted to Professor in 2017 and holds the Richard M. Fairbanks Chair of Communication. She served as Director of Global and Historical Studies for four years before her appointment as Director of the Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media. Geertsema-Sligh’s teaching and research focus on global media, gender and news, and global women’s issues. 

“I am delighted that Margaretha is stepping into this new role as Interim Dean and I know that she will provide excellent leadership for the college during this time of transition,” says Dr. Brooke Barnett, the current CCOM Dean who was recently named Butler’s Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “She has already made a tremendous impact as Director of the Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media and I look forward to seeing the ways she continues to shape and support the CCOM community.”

During her time as Director of the Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media, Geertsema-Sligh provided leadership for majors in Creative Media and Entertainment, Journalism, Music Industry Studies, Sports Media, and Web Design and Development. She worked closely with faculty in each of these programs to implement curricular changes over the past years. In addition to her work as Director, Geertsema-Sligh served as chair of CCOM’s Professional Standards Committee, International Committee, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Intercultural Development Committee. She was also a member of President James Danko’s Faculty Advisory Committee.

Geertsema-Sligh earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from North-West University in South Africa, where she worked for five years in journalism and public relations before coming to the United States to attend graduate school. She received her master’s degree in Communication from Washington State University and her doctorate in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

“I am excited to serve CCOM as the Interim Dean until a permanent Provost has been appointed,” Geertsema-Sligh says. “I definitely have some big shoes to fill with Dr. Brooke Barnett’s move to the position of Interim Provost. I look forward to working closely with the talented faculty and staff of our college to ensure the best experiences for students in all the CCOM majors and across the University.”
 

Media Contact:
Mark Apple
mapple1@butler.edu
317-519-8592

Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh
Campus

Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh Named Interim Dean of the College of Communication

Geertsema-Sligh had served as Director of the Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media since 2016

Mar 29 2021 Read more
Butler University
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives Nearly $10 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc.

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 25 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Butler University will receive nearly $10 million from Lilly Endowment, Inc. (the Endowment) as part of the Endowment’s Charting The Future of Indiana’s Colleges and Universities (CTF) education initiative, Butler President James M. Danko announced today. The grant will help fund initiatives in the University’s Butler Beyond strategic direction.

This is the third phase of funding from the Endowment’s CTF initiative, launched with the hope that it will help the leaders of Indiana’s 38 colleges and universities engage in further thoughtful discernment about the future of their institutions and advance the speed of their strategic planning and implementation efforts to address their key challenges and opportunities. The Endowment has made a total of more than $138 million available to schools across Indiana through the initiative. Butler received $2.75 million during the first two phases, bringing the total received from the Endowment to nearly $13 million over the past 12 months.

“Indiana’s colleges and universities face myriad challenges as they work to fulfill their educational missions while adapting to growing financial pressures, rapid demographic and technological changes, and evolving needs and demands of students,” Ted Maple, the Endowment’s vice president for education, said. “We are pleased with the creative and collaborative approaches the colleges and universities are taking to address these challenges and seize opportunities to better serve their students, institutions, communities and the state of Indiana.”  

“I am extremely grateful for Lilly Endowment’s generous investment in Butler University’s strategic direction,” Danko said. “Despite the pandemic, Butler is making significant progress in implementing its current strategy, Butler Beyond. When an organization of Lilly Endowment’s stature and prestige recognizes and rewards our vision and progress, it is quite motivating. It affirms that Butler is making a difference in higher education, and that we can have an even greater impact in the future.”

The Butler Beyond Strategic Direction, launched in 2019, was premised on a dual transformation strategy for the University. It is focused on both enhancing the traditional, high-quality residential undergraduate education for which Butler is known, while also expanding its capabilities to create new educational models and ventures aimed at serving a non-traditional student population.

Danko said the grant will enable Butler to:

  • expand its educational impact beyond traditional, full-time residential students, primarily to include adult and professional learners;
  • invest in the creation of new academic programs and alternative credentials—often in collaboration with corporations and economic development initiatives—that align with the region’s workforce development needs and offer greater opportunity to attract diverse learners;
  • support the creation and success of emerging postsecondary and workforce-related organizations poised to transform education, both within the state and across the country; and
  • maintain its position as an educational leader, despite the long-term challenges higher education is experiencing, through the generation of new sources of revenue.


“Expanding our efforts to better serve adult and online learners will support our undergraduate efforts by strengthening our ties with the regional business community, bringing a wider audience—both physically and virtually—to Butler, and increasing the educational impact of the University,” said Danko.

Butler will use grant proceeds to create a Division of Professional Studies, which will deliver a variety of new, high-quality non-traditional programs focused on professionally-oriented learners.

Beyond program development, Butler will use funding to spur entrepreneurial activity among the postsecondary and workforce-aligned organizations positioned to transform higher education. This includes the creation of collaborative, statewide effort between universities, venture capitalists, education-focused entrepreneurs, and technologists. 

“Institutions of higher education must reinvent themselves if they want to remain relevant and thrive in the 21st century,” Danko said. “Whether through the development of new programs or new, mission-aligned ventures, we will expand our reach and, ultimately, our impact. This grant from Lilly Endowment will help us achieve our goals more quickly.”
 

Media Contact:
Mark Apple
mapple1@butler.edu
317-519-8592

About Butler University
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 30 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 98 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Butler University
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives Nearly $10 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc.

The grant will help fund initiatives in the University’s Butler Beyond strategic direction

Mar 25 2021 Read more

An Attitude of Gratitude

As the world marked the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bulldogs came together to honor friends, colleagues, and loved ones and give back to Butler University during the sixth annual Day of Giving on February 24 and 25. Donors raised a record-breaking $614,710 during the event, and almost 300 of the 1,803 gifts made during the event were in honor or memory of colleagues, friends, and loved ones.

“The fact that so many donors chose to make gifts to Butler during this year’s Day of Giving in honor or memory of others is truly inspiring,” says Vice President for Advancement Jonathan D. Purvis. “This gesture demonstrates the true spirit of The Butler Way as Bulldogs joined together to make a difference in the lives of our students out of their sincere love for one another.”

In just 1,855 minutes… $614,710 raised; 2,013 donors; 294 gifts in honor or memory; 243 first-time donors; 396 Butler employee donors; $170,779 in challenge fundingWhether donors made a gift in honor of the friends and colleagues from whom they’ve been separated for the last year or in memory of departed loved ones, all gifts made during Day of Giving’s 1,855 minutes (in honor of Butler’s founding in 1855) support current and future students.

“One of the best investments you can make in yourself is coming to Butler University. I want to say thank you to all of the alumni out there—I would not be here without your support!” says Paco Beltran Rodriguez ’23.

Donors supported 140 different funds representing a variety of programs, departments, and initiatives across the University. Among the initiatives supported most generously by Day of Giving donors were the Butler Fund for Student Scholarship, the Sciences Expansion and Renovation Project, the Ayers Student Assistance Fund, and a newly created College of Education Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fund.

Student scholarships are particularly critical to fulfilling Butler’s commitment to embracing and supporting learners of all life stages and backgrounds. Every dollar given to the Butler Fund for Student Scholarships goes directly back out the door to students in the form of scholarships. The average first-year student receives $22,000 in financial assistance.

The total amount raised includes $170,779 in funding from donors whose gifts were offered as challenges to inspire others to join in giving. Among the challenges was a $50,000 gift to the Butler Fund for Student Scholarship from Ken Massaroni ’83 and Lori Ziemba ’82, and Lynne Zydowsky ’81, which was accomplished when 1,500 gifts were received.

“Butler donors have always been incredibly generous, but the outpouring of support and record-breaking contributions during this year’s Day of Giving are particularly noteworthy given the circumstances of the past year,” Purvis says. “These philanthropic gifts represent many lives that have and will be changed for the better by a Butler education.”

The funds raised during Day of Giving support several of Butler’s key strategic priorities under the Butler Beyond strategic direction. Butler is nearing $200 million raised toward its $250 million goal for the Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign, which concludes on May 31, 2022. As of March 22, Butler has raised $198 million in support of initiatives aimed at advancing the campaign’s three pillars: Student Access and Success, Innovations in Teaching and Learning, and Community Partnerships.

Day of Giving recap
Butler Beyond

An Attitude of Gratitude

Donors give $614,710 during Butler’s record-breaking Day of Giving

At Visit Indy, Four Butler Alumni Help Create the City’s Brand

By Katie Grieze

As teams, fans, media, and other guests from across the country descend on Indianapolis for March Madness® 2021, Hoosiers around the city are putting in extra work to make the tournament one to remember. For staff at tourism organization Visit Indy, that means thinking ahead to how the spike in national attention can boost Indy’s brand, even after this year’s champions leave the basketball bubble.

And four Butler University alumni are leading the charge. Chris Gahl ’00 (who is also a current Butler Trustee), Morgan Snyder ’07, Nate Swick ’16, and Becca Schmiegel ’19 all work together to promote and support the city through positions on Visit Indy’s Marketing & Communications team. By helping Indianapolis successfully pull off the majority of a 68-team tournament—especially amid the complexity of a global pandemic—these Bulldogs hope to show the nation that Indy is the ideal place for hosting other large-scale events. We touched base to learn more about each of their careers and what they’ve been working on this month.
 

Chris GahlChris Gahl ’00
Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Visit Indy
Butler major: Communications

What is your role at Visit Indy?
I help oversee our community, public, government, partner, and media relations.

What have you learned from helping plan other major sporting events in the past?
This will be the fourth NCAA Men’s Final Four® during my tenure at Visit Indy, each providing a unique perspective on how best to utilize a major sporting event to market a city. I’ve learned that without question, trust with community partners is the most valuable tool to have in place. The ability to call on partners in the city in a moment of need and ask for help is so important.

How did Butler prepare you for this?
During my time at Butler, College of Communication Lecturer Scott Bridge encouraged me to read local and national news each day to stay knowledgeable on current events. This is still built into my daily routine. I also learned the term ‘servant leadership’ while at Butler, leading to my genuine interest in studying this mindset.

What has your career path looked like?
After graduating, I worked at a public relations agency in Honolulu, where the majority of our clients were in the tourism industry. After a few years, I became part-owner, helping market the islands of Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island. My wife, Catherine (also a 2000 graduate), and I moved back to Indy in 2005. I’ve been with Visit Indy since then.

Most rewarding aspect of your work?
Over the last 15 years, it’s been rewarding to see our city’s tourism infrastructure grow. Part of this process has been advocating for why our city needs to grow key tourism assets, and then marketing each of those. From a new airport terminal to the Cultural Trail; from building Lucas Oil Stadium to expanding the Indiana Convention Center. And connected to this physical growth has been the growth of tourism-related jobs, which is equally rewarding.

Favorite thing about Indy?
Sitting at White River State Park as the sun sets over the water, listening to a live concert.

What are you most excited about this March?
I’m looking forward to watching a game inside Hinkle as part of hosting the tournament, seeing visitors admire this historic place synonymous with basketball.
 

*****
 

Morgan SnyderMorgan Snyder ’07
Director of Public Relations and Film, Visit Indy
Butler major: Integrated Communications

What is your role at Visit Indy?
On a day-to-day basis, I work with national media to help tell the Indy story. If you ever read a lifestyle article about Indianapolis in a magazine or newspaper, it’s my job to help get that story placed. I also work with our convention clients to inform their attendees about all things Indianapolis and drive attendance to the conventions. Finally, I work on behalf of our Film Indy marketing initiative to recruit film and television production to the city.

What have you learned from helping plan other major sporting events in the past?
Back in 2012, I worked very closely with the Super Bowl Host Committee to serve on their Speaker’s Bureau, which meant going out in the community to speak on behalf of the Super Bowl team, giving residents and organizations a glimpse of what to expect when Indy is on the national stage. I also served on their PR Committee and worked with media who were reporting on the Super Bowl. Through that experience, I learned there’s no better city than Indy to host big events. We’re truly the most collaborative, all-hands-on-deck place. I also learned best practices for engaging with A-List media to tell stories about Indy outside of the game.

How did Butler prepare you for this?
I truly believe The Butler Way is a mentality that is instilled in the experiences Butler provides. I hope I’m able to exude those skills in my career today. I’m also thankful that the journalism school required internships in order to graduate, as it forced me out of my comfort zone and provided real-life opportunities that led to my career path today. I held several internships throughout my time at Butler, including American College of Sports Medicine, Hetrick Communications, Arnold Worldwide, and Visit Indy.

What has your career path looked like?
Upon graduation, I worked for Hirons and Company on the Indiana Office of Tourism Development account, then moved over to the Conrad Indianapolis hotel as their PR and Marketing Manager for three years. I then returned to Visit Indy and have now worked here for ten years in PR and Communications.

Most rewarding aspect of your work?
I love landing national media attention for our partners in the city—restaurants, small business owners, retail, or hotels who might not have the opportunity to have an on-staff PR person, but still have a great story that needs to be told. There are wonderful people doing incredible things right here in Indianapolis, and I want to find those story angles and tell the masses.

Favorite thing about Indy?
There is always something new to explore. This city never stops creating or wanting to be a better version of itself. As residents, we get to reap those benefits.

What are you most excited about this March?
I think being a part of unchartered territory is fun and challenging. Never before in the history of this sport has the entire NCAA March Madness® tournament been hosted in one city. There are also so many fun stories brewing out of Indy hosting The Big Dance®, and I look forward to the opportunity to tell them to the media who will be descending on the city.
 

*****
 

Nate SwickNate Swick ’16
Communications Manager, Visit Indy
Butler major: Strategic Communications

What is your role at Visit Indy?
I work with local, regional, and trade media to tell the Indy story. I collaborate with our tourism and hospitality partners in the city to find unique stories and individuals before sharing those stories and telling the world why they should visit. What’s the newest hotel, or the newest exhibit at the Children’s Museum? If people from Nashville are coming up to Indy for March Madness®, what should they do while in the city? I’m essentially a storyteller by trade—and Indy has no shortage of stories.

What have you learned from helping plan other major sporting events in the past?
While in college, I worked two spring semesters as an extern with the NCAA® Women’s Basketball Championships team, traveling down to Nashville and Tampa Bay for consecutive Women’s Basketball Final Fours®. This was the first time I really had a chance to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to put on a major sporting event.

I’ve also assisted with Indy 500s and Big Ten Basketball and Football Championships before, alongside NCAA® Regionals. It is remarkable how many volunteers and community partnerships it takes to pull off a massive event like this, and it’s always fun to see Indy come together as one community and one city. Truly, no one does it better than Indianapolis.

How did Butler prepare you for this?
My time at Butler taught me the importance of community and relationships. I’m also thankful for internship requirements because, without them, I likely wouldn’t have worked at the NCAA or interned with Visit Indy and made my way back after graduation.

What has your career path looked like?
After graduation, I joined the Visit Indy team as Communications Coordinator in fall of 2016, and I’m now Communications Manager. I also stay involved at Butler by speaking with classes each semester and serving on both the Butler Young Alumni Board of Advisors and the Butler Career Services Advisory Board.

Most rewarding aspect of your work?
I still get a little bit of a rush every time I land some ink for one of our partners in the city. Working on a story from start to finish and then seeing it in a newspaper or magazine is always rewarding. I love to think about the impact that these stories have on local businesses, too.

Favorite thing about Indy?
Besides the people, it’s tough to choose between the sports, the parks, and the beer scene for me. My ideal Indy day would probably include a long run at Eagle Creek Park, followed by a baseball game at Victory Field and a stop at Indy’s best dive bar, The Dugout. 

What are you most excited about this March?
With all eyes on Indy, I’m most excited for more people around the country to get a taste of how great this city really is. My main role will be working with visiting media. We have a unique opportunity to help shape their stories and perceptions of the city. I also thrive on the natural buzz that takes over downtown when there are major events in the city. Sure, it’s a little bit different this year, but people are still looking for ways to be a part of the action and the energy.
 

*****
 

Becca SchmiegalBecca Schmiegel ’19
Digital Marketing Coordinator
Butler major: History

What is your role at Visit Indy?
It’s my job to plan our social media content calendars, posting multiple times a day on our channels to increase engagement and encourage viewers to visit our website or plan a stay in Indianapolis. That includes curating content from our partners, updating guides and articles on our website, and managing a team of local freelance bloggers to help tell the stories of Indianapolis. In broad terms, a lot of what I do is handle how the brand of “Indy” is seen online.

What have you learned from helping plan other major sporting events in the past?
In my first week of the job, back in May 2019, I learned very quickly how much marketing effort goes into large sporting events. That week was the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500, and the social chatter—understandably so—was crazy. There was always something to share and engage with on social media. That’s definitely been something I plan to incorporate into my strategies this month for March Madness®—knowing that each piece of content adds more value to how we’re perceived online.

How did Butler prepare you for this?
Studying History and having that strong liberal arts education really has helped me working now in marketing, because I use that second lens gained through the History and Anthropology Department to empathize with and predict how my audience will perceive my marketing tactics. It’s added so much value to my career, being able to think one step ahead on how our brand and our messages will be uplifted. When you study History, you do a lot of digging to understand different perspectives, and, in a way, that’s what I’m doing each day on social media.

I also had the opportunity to complete internships at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, the Public Affairs Department at the Indianapolis Airport Authority, and Visit Indy.

What has your career path looked like?
Right when I started my internship at Visit Indy during my final semester, I realized how much I enjoy the organization and our mission. Then a position opened up right when I was looking to plan my next steps. I’ve been working as the Digital Marketing Coordinator since graduation.

Most rewarding aspect of your work?
For me, it’s extremely rewarding to have my hat thrown in so many different rings around the city. I keep tabs on restaurant openings, the best things to do on a Saturday afternoon, upcoming sporting events, and the more technical, governmental side of tourism.

Favorite thing about Indy?
The juxtaposition of a small-town community with the big-city energy is my favorite thing about the place I now call home. There’s always something going on to get excited about, whether it’s a new restaurant, a cool exhibit, or, of course, March Madness®! But at the same time that you’re out experiencing all Indy has to offer, you’ll probably run into some familiar faces along the way. That community is just so special to me.

What are you most excited about this March?
Our marketing department is working with the NCAA on a fun campaign celebrating basketball in Indy. I’m working on sourcing social media content using specific hashtags from our community partners, which the NCAA will then compile into videos touting our city and our brand, shared all across social media. I’m also looking forward to seeing players, friends and family, and fans explore downtown. Overall, I’m really excited to see social media chatter sharing everything I love about Indy!

Indianapolis, Indiana
Alumni Success

At Visit Indy, Four Butler Alumni Help Create the City’s Brand

These Bulldogs see March Madness® as a chance to showcase all Indianapolis has to offer

Butler University
Butler Experts

How Will March Madness® Affect Indy? Butler Experts Weigh In.

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Mar 18 2021

The 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament kicks off this week, and from the first game through the Final Four®, Indiana will play host to it all. With the majority of games happening right here in Indianapolis—and several at Butler University’s own Hinkle Fieldhouse—two experts from Butler’s Lacy School of Business share their thoughts on how the city might see impacts of the madness this month and for years to come.
 

Ronia HawashDr. Ronia Hawash
Assistant Professor of Economics

“I am excited that Indianapolis will be hosting the tournament, not only because some Hoosiers will be able to enjoy the games live, but also because Indianapolis will be in the national spotlight. The stream of visitors to these events—including team members, game spectators, support staff for teams, and media personnel—is also expected to positively impact the local economy.

The high inflow of non-residents to the city will likely increase spending on area hotels, restaurants, retail vendors, and rental car companies, in addition to public transportation and parking services. Moreover, we would expect that the number of visitors to Indianapolis tourism venues will increase. The initial projection of the economic impact was estimated at $100 million if no fans were allowed. But with the NCAA’s decision to allow up to 25 percent occupation of capacity for fans, the positive economic impact of hosting the event will be significantly greater.

Those effects will likely be felt long-term. Higher inflow spending in the city means higher tax revenues for the local government, which in turn is channeled into better, lasting services for local residents. Higher spending in certain industries will also increase local firms’ demand for labor, boosting employment opportunities and wages paid to the Indianapolis labor force. Because workers spend some of their incomes on goods and services, higher employment and wages is expected to induce the economy even more.

The tournament may also strengthen long-term tourist inflows to Indianapolis, as visitors become more aware of the city’s cultural, historical, and entertainment attractions.”
 

Dan McQuistonDr. Dan McQuiston
Associate Professor of Marketing

“I see this as a great opportunity for Indianapolis to showcase the things we do well—and sporting events are something we do extremely well. When we hosted the Super Bowl in 2012, for example, the whole city just turned out. There were so many people who wanted to volunteer. It was incredible.

Tournaments are great in Indy, in part because everything is right downtown. When you look at the venues we have—Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Hinkle Fieldhouse, and so on—the proximity of those locations makes it easy for guests to get around. And it’s not just the venues: It’s the organizational efforts from our people. We plan these things really well, and the whole idea of Hoosier Hospitality plays into that.

This will be a festive atmosphere, with people coming from all over the country. In between games, those fans can visit local attractions like the Indianapolis Zoo, the Children’s Museum, White River State Park, and so on. Maybe those people have never been to Indianapolis before, and maybe they’ll see that it’s a pretty neat place. Then, when they go on social media to talk about what a great time they had here, that type of thing can go viral.

We will also have all these media members in the city, and when they aren’t covering games, they will be looking for stories about Indianapolis.

This could be a real boon for the city. Indy has a great brand in terms of all the things we can offer. This just gives us a chance to showcase that, and I have every confidence we will do a great job.”
 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
Senior Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403 (mobile)

Butler University
Butler Experts

How Will March Madness® Affect Indy? Butler Experts Weigh In.

Two Lacy School of Business professors explain potential impacts of the basketball bubble

Mar 18 2021 Read more

Butler Student Affairs Launches Free Headspace Subscriptions for Students, Promoting Mindfulness and Well-being

By Sam Varie ’21

Butler University’s Division of Student Affairs has announced it is offering all students a free, annual subscription to the mindfulness and well-being app, Headspace.

“I am excited we can offer students another resource to support their well-being,” said Dr. Frank E. Ross, Vice President for Student Affairs. “We are committed to finding new ways to offer accessible services to students, regardless of if they’re learning on or off Butler’s campus. Headspace allows us to meet students where they are and provide a tool that promotes our commitment to wellness.”

The Division began searching for a tool after feedback from a recent Student Government Association (SGA) survey indicated students would be interested in an app that provided meditation and well-being services.

“Students told us they wanted additional wellness resources, and with the national rise of virtual health support, Headspace was the perfect choice for Butler,” said Beth Lohman, Associate Director of Recreation and Wellness, and the Headspace campus administrator.  “I hope students use this tool to slow down and take care of themselves.”

Roua Daas, a senior Psychology major and SGA’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, agreed that this is an impactful way to care for students’ mental health.

“Headspace is an accessible and easy way to improve our mindfulness and meditation practices. During a time of such high anxiety, frustration, and emotional upheaval, it is so important for students to explore different ways to prioritize their mental health,” Daas said, speaking to the stress of the pandemic.

Headspace provides more than 1,000 hours of research-based, guided exercises and videos designed to help users live healthier and happier. From quick breathing exercises, to yoga classes, to guided meditations, students will have a new toolkit to help them stress less, move more, and sleep soundly.

Caroline Osler, a sophomore and an executive member of Be The Voice, a mental health advocacy organization, said she’s looking forward to having access to Headspace, especially during the pandemic.

“I think many students have become more conscientious of their well-being and mental health due to the pandemic, and they are looking for new types of support,” Osler said. “We are all attached to our devices right now with hybrid classes and activities, so having a resource like Headspace that is at our fingertips and allows us to pause will be beneficial to our mental health.” 

Students can activate their free subscription at any time at butler.edu/headspace and sign up using their university email address.

Maddie Riess, a junior Psychology major, added that Headspace has been on her wish list for a while, but the cost was a barrier.

“I am super excited to have access to Headspace,” Riess said. “I have been wanting to try out this app for a while now, and the only thing holding me back was finances. Now that it’s free, I am looking forward to using it, and I’m sure many of my peers are feeling the same way.”

 

Photo from left: Caroline Osler, Dr. Frank E. Ross, Roua Daas

Photo from left: Caroline Osler, Dr. Frank E. Ross, Roua Daas
Student-Centered

Butler Student Affairs Launches Free Headspace Subscriptions for Students, Promoting Mindfulness and Well-being

The app provides convenient, accessible support through guided excersises meant to help users stress less, move more, and sleep soundly

Hanif Abdurraqib
Campus

Hanif Abdurraqib to Serve as Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence

BY Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

PUBLISHED ON Mar 17 2021

Hanif Abdurraqib seems to be everywhere these days—online and in bookstores with his new collection of essays; articles in The New York Times Magazine; on his podcast, Object of Sound; on social media; and on his music website, 68to05.com.

And, for the 2021–2022 school year, you’ll find him at Butler University, where he will serve as the Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence, teaching both graduate students in the MFA program and undergraduate English students. He’ll also present his work as part of the Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series.

“I was at Butler in 2019 and loved the program,” says Abdurraqib, 37, who taught a poetry workshop. “I love the kind of writers the program focuses on and caters to, and I really believe in the vision and the work of everyone running the program. It’s a very writers-first program; it focuses on the writers. And there’s a real curiosity and eagerness in the students that I have not found anywhere else.”

Over the past five years, Abdurraqib has made a huge name for himself in literary circles as a poet, essayist, music critic, and cultural critic. The Washington Post called his book They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us “a definitive meditation on contemporary Black dying” and described his writing by saying “paragraphs open with piercing salvos, with sentences that move with hammering force and finish with finesse and flourish.”

But before that, he was a kid in Columbus, Ohio, the youngest of four, being shaped by his siblings and his hometown. His siblings exposed him to all kinds of music (among his favorites are The Clash, Sleater-Kinney, X-Ray Specs, A Tribe Called Quest, The New York Dolls and Little Richard), and he absorbed it all.

His hometown taught him warmth—“the way the people are with each other, the way people interact with each other, the generosity that people show toward each other has allowed me to look at the world with the type of gentleness that I desperately need.”

He started his writing career as a music critic, working for anyone who would pay him, and developed the ability to write passionately about what he heard.

“I learned to express excitement for the way music makes me feel and for the way music allows me to access and see the world differently than I do,” he says. “I think I approach my investment in music with a sense of wonder, and I want to take that approach always.”

In 2011, Abdurraqib fell in with the Columbus poetry crowd. “I felt for the first time that I was accessing work that was interesting and exciting to me and that I could touch on my own and do on my own,” he says.

His first book of poetry, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, came out in 2016, and by 2017 he could put the word “writer” as his occupation on his 1040 form. His book They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us came out that year, followed by Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest and A Fortune for Your Disaster in 2019, and on March 30, 2021, A Little Devil in America.

The new book is about the many modes of Black performance throughout U.S. history, Abdurraqib says.

“It feels like I wrote a book that feels celebratory,” he says just before the book launch. “It was so fun to write, and I’m excited that it’s coming out in the world, but I’m a little sad that I had to let it go because I had such a good time writing it.”

Abdurraqib describes himself as “curious, always seeking and excited about the potential for what can be. That defines me and defines my work, too. I’m always seeking and attempting to find my way toward something that makes sense—not necessarily on a search for answers but in a search to better understand the kind of happy predicaments that I stumble into.”

One of those is teaching. Abdurraqib taught briefly at the University of Iowa last year until COVID-19 hit. Then he moved back to Columbus. Meanwhile, Butler was looking for its fourth Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence (Michael Dahlie, who later joined the faculty, Alix Lambert, and Justin Taylor were the first three) and reached out to Abdurraqib.

“Right now, Hanif is a rock star of literature, and my suspicion is that in the next year or two, he’s going to get even bigger,” English Professor Dan Barden says. “So we’re grateful that he enjoys being part of our community.”

As a professor, Abdurraqib says, he’ll be interested in breaking down the hierarchy between educator and student and seeing what everyone can teach to one another.

“It’s important for me to stress that we’re going to have to push each other to be good, and it’s not just going to be me telling people what to do or what to write,” he says. “Hopefully, we’re going to be more thoughtful than that. That is my hope for being at Butler for the second time around.”

Hanif Abdurraqib
Campus

Hanif Abdurraqib to Serve as Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence

During Butler's 2021–2022 academic year, the well-known writer will teach undergraduate English and graduate MFA classes

Mar 17 2021 Read more
COPHS building, Butler University
Butler Beyond

Major Gift to College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Provides Updated Teaching Labs

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Mar 16 2021

Decker Family
Decker Family

Butler University recently received a $500,000 memorial gift from Margery “Midge” Decker ʼ66 and her family in memory of the late John W. Decker II ’67 that will provide renovations to two labs in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS) building this summer. The gift will fully fund the renovation of the Anatomy and Physiology lab and the Pharmacy skills lab to bring both spaces up to date with current technology and equipment and simulate professional healthcare settings. Fixed furniture in the labs will be removed to make the spaces more flexible for mixed-purpose use, with equipment that can be rearranged as needed. Both labs will now be permanently named in honor of John W. Decker II ʼ67.

“Our programs in the College have a strong reputation, and that comes both from dedicated faculty and the students we attract, but there also has to be the physical facilities that match the talent of our faculty and our students,” says Bob Soltis, COPHS Dean. “We always have to be reinvesting in physical facilities as much as we are in the faculty and the students, so this renovation is going to be very beneficial. Investing in our facilities continues to be just as important as investing in student scholarships and faculty development, and I’m very grateful for donors like Midge Decker who see the value in that investment.”

The Deckers’ gift has prompted conversations with other donors about further enhancing the Anatomy and Physiology lab through the addition of another 3D virtual dissection table, which would not have fit in the lab without the renovation—a stroke of fortuitous timing and generosity that will allow significantly more students to have access to this valuable advanced technology.

Decker family touring COPHS building

Meanwhile, the Pharmacy lab renovation will allow the space to be used to replicate a hospital pharmacy clean room, a retail pharmacy, and a compounding pharmacy, preparing students with a more realistic vision of what they might encounter in their professional practice.

“Healthcare education in general tends to move fast with adopting new technologies, so it’s always a challenge to stay up to date both with the equipment and the physical facilities that simulate either patient encounters in the exam room or what students might see in a hospital pharmacy clean room or in a retail pharmacy,” Soltis says. “What this gift has done in terms of impact is renovating those spaces to really make them relevant to the teaching and to the simulation of current professional settings our students will encounter in practice.”

Midge and John met at Butler in the 1960s when they were both studying to be pharmacists. After earning their degrees, the couple settled in Huntington, Indiana, where they built a life together, including raising their sons, J.R. and Brad. Along with extensive involvement in the community, they also owned their own independent drugstore, where they worked side by side as pharmacists. After selling the store, Midge and John both continued their work in retail pharmacy in the Huntington area and stayed engaged with Butler by serving as externship coordinators for Pharmacy students completing rotations in the area. One of their sons, J.R., also graduated from Butler with a Pharmacy degree, deepening the family’s connection with the Butler Pharmacy program.

John passed away in 2007, and Midge, now retired, moved back to Indianapolis in 2018. She says giving back was always a core value of their marriage and their life together, and they both credited Butler with preparing them for the careers they loved.

“The thought has always been in the back of my mind that I want to contribute to Butler, and with the campus being right in my backyard now, my attention turned more closely to Butler in recent years,” Decker says. “My time at Butler was really a good part of my life, and I say it was the springboard for the rest of my life. I’m really glad to be able to give back.”

The COPHS building was originally constructed in 1950 and received an addition in 2008-2009. There are no immediate plans for further renovations to the COPHS building, though Soltis has a number of projects in mind when funding becomes available. As the University undergoes a $100 million expansion and renovation of its Sciences complex as part of its Butler Beyond campaign, capital projects like these are designed to advance Butler’s strategic initiative to integrate business, science, innovation, and technology, preparing students with workforce-aligned skills for these high job-growth sectors of Indiana’s economy.

Decker says she and her family are glad to be able to contribute to a project that will benefit a broad number of students over many years. She says they are especially proud that future Pharmacy students will get to learn in a space that bears John’s name.

“That means the world to me, and to my family, because he was my world for 40 years. And the Pharmacy education that Butler gave us really gave us such a great start in life and enabled us to earn this money that we’re now able to give back to Butler,” Decker says. “It has worked out perfectly with the timing of the new Sciences building, and it’s dovetailed in so nicely with what was already going on at Butler. I’m very pleased with how it is all coming together.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
Senior Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403 (mobile)

COPHS building, Butler University
Butler Beyond

Major Gift to College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Provides Updated Teaching Labs

The $500,000 gift from Margery “Midge” Decker ʼ66 and her family will fully fund the renovation of the Anatomy and Physiology lab and the Pharmacy skills lab

Mar 16 2021 Read more

The History of Hinkle Fieldhouse

By Jennifer Gunnels

Hinkle Fieldhouse is one of six Indiana venues proudly serving as a host site for the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Affectionately known as “Indiana’s Basketball Cathedral,” Hinkle Fieldhouse has played host to many memorable basketball games, community events, and notable public figures during its illustrious 93-year history. The construction and upkeep of this National Historic Landmark has been made possible by a long line of generous and visionary philanthropists who hoped this building would be a gift to the Central Indiana community.
 

1928: Hinkle Fieldhouse, originally known as Butler Fieldhouse, was built and financed by the philanthropic contributions of a corporation of 41 Indianapolis businessmen. With a seating capacity of 15,000 at the time of its opening, it was the largest basketball arena in the country, a distinction it held for 20 years.

Hinkle Fieldhouse, exterior construction

March 7, 1928: Butler played its first basketball game in the Fieldhouse on March 7, 1928, defeating Notre Dame 21-13, in overtime, before 12,000 fans. Since the Fieldhouse was not entirely completed at the time, the building dedication was held at a later date. Completion of the Fieldhouse was guaranteed when Butler signed a lease agreement with the Indiana High School Athletic Association, which allowed the high school state tournament to be played in the new facility.

December 21, 1928: The Fieldhouse was officially dedicated at a game against Purdue University, which the Bulldogs won 28-27.

October 28, 1932: President Herbert Hoover delivered a speech to an estimated overflow standing-room only crowd of 23,000 at the Fieldhouse in his bid for re-election in the upcoming presidential race. The speech was broadcast to a national radio audience. Hoover lost the November 8 election to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1933: The removable hardwood basketball court, which originally ran east–west, was changed to a north–south orientation to provide additional arena seating and to keep the sunlight, which streamed in from the large west-facing upper windows, out of the players’ eyes.

east-west court at Hinkle

March 1935: Future Olympic Gold Medalist Jesse Owens ran 60 yards in 6.09 seconds during the Butler Relays intercollegiate event, tying a world record. He had to crash into an improvised barrier of hay bales to prevent his momentum from carrying him into the stands.

Jesse Owens at Hinkle

May 3, 1936: To open National Music Week, Sigma Alpha Iota, the national professional music sorority, sponsored a grand piano recital. 125 pianos were brought to the Fieldhouse, where 825 pianists played a variety of songs and accompanied the combined choirs of Butler University and the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music. Admission was 50 cents, and proceeds were used to aid the sorority’s scholarship and student loan funds. Approximately 25,000 spectators attended the recital over two performances.

February 1937: The Fieldhouse hosted a six-day bicycle race that lasted for 11 hours and 45 minutes each day. Riders rested in bunks arranged in the infield of the track between races, and approximately 30,000 spectators attended over the course of the six-day race.

six-day bike race at Hinkle

March 1937: Fred Perry defeated Ellsworth Vines in a three-set tennis match in the Fieldhouse.

March 1938: Elephants, ponies, and horses paraded through the Fieldhouse during the Shriner’s Indoor Circus, which also included a trapeze and high wire act.

March 1940: Butler hosted the 1940 Eastern Regional of the NCAA basketball tournament, which featured Indiana, Duquesne, Western Kentucky, and Springfield. Indiana won the Regional, advancing to the finals in Kansas City. This was the only other time Butler has hosted NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship tournament games.

1943-45: The Fieldhouse was utilized as U.S. Army and Navy barracks during World War II. Sailors and Army Air Corps recruits were stationed in the Fieldhouse while attending training courses on campus. Sleeping quarters were constructed in the main gym, and a kitchen and mess hall were also installed.

military at Hinkle

October 1952: The Fieldhouse was transformed into an ice rink to host an ice show headlined by Sonja Henie and a cast of 200 ice skaters.

March 1954: The "Milan Miracle" occurred at the Fieldhouse when tiny Milan High School's basketball team defeated the much larger Muncie Central High School in the state high school basketball championship. Milan’s Bobby Plump made the last-second shot to win the game and went on to become a star player at Butler. Two other players, Rollin Cutter and Ray Craft, also went on to play for Coach Hinkle, as had the Milan coach, Marvin Wood.

September 23, 1954: Then-Vice President Richard Nixon delivered a speech in the Fieldhouse for a GOP Rally event in the lead-up to midterm elections.

October 15, 1954: President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave a speech at the Fieldhouse about farm policy and the state of agriculture.

March 1955, 1956: The Crispus Attucks High School basketball team, led by Oscar Robertson, became the first all-Black team in the nation to win a state championship in an integrated tournament. The team defeated Roosevelt High School 97-64 in the Fieldhouse, and went undefeated the following year to win a second consecutive title.

Crispus Attucks High School

October 1959: Evangelist Billy Graham visited Hinkle Fieldhouse and delivered a speech to students. Afterward, he visited with students and faculty of the nearby Christian Theological Seminary.

November 1965: The Butler Board of Trustees voted to change the name of the facility from Butler Fieldhouse to Hinkle Fieldhouse in honor of Butler’s legendary coach and athletic director Paul D. “Tony” Hinkle, who contributed to the University’s athletic success for nearly 50 years. Hinkle is also known for originating the orange basketball. Until the late 1950s basketballs were dark brown. Hinkle worked with the Spalding Company to create an orange version that was more visible to players and fans. It was formally adopted by the NCAA after a trial use at the 1958 Final Four.

Tony Hinkle

January 9, 1968: Hinkle Fieldhouse hosted the inaugural American Basketball Association (ABA) All-Star Game. Larry Brown, who would later become Head Coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1993-1997, was named the game’s MVP.

1975-76: The inaugural season for the Butler Women’s Basketball program took place in 1975-76 with the team’s home games being played at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Hinkle Fieldhouse also hosted the first girl’s high school state basketball championship in March 1976.

April 22, 1976: President Gerald Ford spoke at Hinkle Fieldhouse before a crowd of approximately 15,000 as part of the Butler University Student Assembly Lecture Series while fending off a Republican primary challenge from Ronald Reagan.

1986: The final scenes of the movie Hoosiers, loosely based on the 1954 “Milan Miracle” state championship, were filmed at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

filming for movie "Hoosiers"

1987: The Fieldhouse was declared a National Historic Landmark.

August 1987: Hinkle Fieldhouse served as the volleyball host venue for the 1987 Pan American Games. The United States defeated Cuba in the men’s gold medal match before an estimated crowd of 15,000.

1989: Renovations reduced the Hinkle Fieldhouse seating capacity from 15,000 to 11,000.

November 28, 1993: Under then-Head Coach and current Director of Athletics Barry Collier, Butler defeated Bobby Knight’s No. 11 Indiana Hoosiers 75-71, the team’s first victory over the Hoosiers since 1958. Many consider the win to be a turning point in Butler basketball history.

March 1, 2003: Avery Sheets hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to beat Milwaukee for the Horizon League Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, where the Bulldogs went on to achieve their first-ever appearance in the Sweet Sixteen.

November 6, 2005: Former President Bill Clinton spoke at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Bill Clinton

March 2, 2006: Former President George H.W. Bush spoke at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Both former presidents spoke as part of Butler’s Sesquicentennial Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series.

President George H.W. Bush, 2006

May 6, 2008: Future President Barack Obama delivered a speech at Hinkle Fieldhouse while campaigning against his Future Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in that day’s Indiana Democratic primary election for President.

November 2011: Butler announced a $16 million fundraising campaign to preserve and update Hinkle Fieldhouse, “Indiana’s Basketball Cathedral.” The renovations included extensive exterior work, improved stadium accessibility, and upgraded areas for sports medicine, strength and conditioning, academics, locker rooms, and athletic department offices. Game day upgrades for fans included new chairback seating (reducing capacity to 9,100), a video scoreboard, and more concessions and restrooms.

January 19, 2013: Hinkle Fieldhouse hosted ESPN’s national College GameDay broadcast. Fans rushed the court after Roosevelt Jones hit the game-winning shot as Butler defeated Gonzaga 64-63.

2014: Butler surpassed its fundraising goal for the Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse, ultimately raising more than $17.1 million for improvements aimed to “Keep Hinkle, Hinkle.” In honor of the largest gift to the campaign, a $1 million gift from the Efroymson Family Fund, the practice gym was renamed the Efroymson Family Gym. Renovations were unveiled to the public in fall 2014.

Photo by Lindsay Martin, Hinkle Fieldhouse

April 2015: Hinkle Fieldhouse received the Cook Cup Award for Outstanding Restoration from Indiana Landmarks.

January 4, 2017: Butler defeated defending national champions Villanova 66-58. It was the first time the Bulldogs beat a No. 1 team at home.

October 2018: Butler University announced a second phase of renovations to Hinkle Fieldhouse. Donors collectively gave more than $10.6 million to fund updates including the installation of air conditioning for all public areas of the Fieldhouse, extensive work to the men’s soccer locker room, and a complete renovation of the Efroymson Family Gym.

March 2021: Hinkle Fieldhouse serves as one of the host sites of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, held entirely within the state of Indiana.

Hinkle Fieldhouse, 2021

 

Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler University
Campus

The History of Hinkle Fieldhouse

Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse has seen nearly a century of basketball, community events, famous visitors, and other historic memories

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