Meg Haggerty moved around frequently as a kid.
Being the daughter of an Air Force officer meant Haggerty and the rest of her family didn’t stay in one place for too long. It also meant that, at a very young age, she learned how to quickly build relationships and fully immerse herself into a community—two traits that have allowed her to make lifelong friends in every place she’s lived.
“Meg is a true inspiration,” Addie Barret ’17 said of Haggerty, who is the Staff Advisor for Barret’s sorority, Alpha Chi Omega—the same one Haggerty was a member of when she attended Butler as an undergraduate.
From co-advising the Student Government Association’s (SGA) Marketing and Communications Board, and coordinating student events, like Winter and Spring Commencement and the Top 100 Most Outstanding Student Recognition Program, to working with interns, Haggerty makes it her mission to be a mentor to Butler students like her mentors were to her. She makes herself available 24/7 and she tells students, “Any aspect of your life you want to invite me into, I’ll invite you into mine as well.”
“She is there for students in every aspect: academic, personal, and professional,” Barret continued. “She is always asking questions about others and wanting to know how we are doing. Every memory I have of her consists of that same incredible attitude.”
Levester Johnson, Vice President for Student Affairs for Illinois State University, worked with Haggerty closely as Butler’s former Vice President for Student Affairs. He also knew Haggerty during her undergraduate years and explained that she is Butler through and through—epitomizing Butler via its mission and values.
“Meg has a youthful flair about herself when she advises,” he said. “She doesn’t see her job as a nine-to-five and she understands the importance of working with students hand-in-hand to achieve their dreams.”
Johnson believes it’s Haggerty’s quality of going the extra mile that separates her from other administrative professionals. While interviewing Haggerty, this characteristic was revealed when she commented, “just say yes.” She added that if people are willing to say yes and step outside their comfort zones, they will have opportunities they never could have imagined.
When she graduated from Butler in 2004, Haggerty’s next opportunity was at Florida State University (FSU) where she would earn a Master of Science in Higher Education Student Affairs. While attending FSU, and prior to coming back to Butler, she worked in the FSU College of Education coordinating programming and events for her master’s cohort. She remembers feeling the graduate assistantship was not what she pictured herself doing long term.
“My passion, and my love, was still working with undergraduate students,” Haggerty explained. She looked for positions at various universities, but Haggerty says her “heart yearned for Butler.”
With a stroke of luck and good timing, Haggerty’s mentor and friend, Caroline Huck-Watson, reached out to her about a position in Butler’s Programs for Leadership and Service Education (PuLSE) Office. As an undergraduate, Haggerty had met Huck-Watson through the Ambassadors of Change (AOC) Program as a team builder and as a student staff member of the Volunteer Center. Huck-Watson had been an influence in her life at Butler and a significant inspiration to pursue Higher Education Student Affairs as a profession. By summer of 2006, Haggerty was back at Butler as an Assistant Director co-coordinating Welcome Week and Orientation programs as well as advising the Program Board of SGA with committees like films, the speaker’s bureau, Out and About in Indy, and events like Homecoming and Spring Sports Spectacular.
Since then, Haggerty has been a key player in student event programming for Butler. She has an innate ability to connect with each student she meets, and because of that, over the past 10 years she’s been able to build some amazing relationships with students—meeting them during their first or second year, and staying in touch with them during life’s biggest milestones like marriage and children. To her, it’s amazing that she gets to create and be a part of those relationships.
These relationships are shown through students like Emma Edick ’17, who remembers meeting Haggerty her first year on campus for a class project.
“Meg has been such a large part of my Butler experience,” Edick said. “She pays attention to what students on campus are doing, what they are working on, and what they are excited about.”
Edick continued by explaining that even if the two of them pass by one another at Starbucks, Haggerty always puts her work aside to sincerely ask the question: “How are you?”
“I never expected I would be here as a student and as a staff member for as long as I have, but it’s because of the people. People are the most important part of the work that I do—and I don’t think I could have done the work that I’ve done without the people in my life.”