President James Danko

From the President

James Danko


from Spring 2019

As Butler University finishes its 164th year, progress is visible everywhere. I walk around campus and see advancements and innovations in how we teach, mentor, and conduct research; how we learn, both in the classroom and out in the “real world;” how we innovate to solve problems, and how we engage and contribute to our community.

You will find inspiring stories about all of those areas and more in this edition of Butler Magazine.

What we are seeing is our Butler 2020 strategy coming to fruition.

Our roadmap for Butler in the next year and beyond is both bold and practical. It calls for us to keep pace as a leader among regional universities while advancing our national reputation with best-in-class academics, top-tier faculty and staff, a thriving community, and state-of-the-art campus amenities that serve growing numbers of students. (Our Spring Commencement in May will be the largest to date, with more than 1,000 graduates).

As we move forward, we will hold tight to our proud, inclusive heritage while exploring progressive ideas for reaching new generations of students, both near and far.

And always, we will stand out and apart in our offerings for students. For instance, you’ll read in these pages how 14 of our undergraduate students are helping to solve a worldwide health crisis while gaining invaluable research experience. The students, led by Assistant Professor Christopher Stobart in a small laboratory at Gallahue Hall, are aiding the vaccine development efforts for a leading cause of infant deaths.

Unlike larger institutions where research is reserved for graduate students, our talented undergrads—first-year through seniors—are milling in and out of the laboratory as they work with viral pathogens and answer questions no one else is investigating.

Now, it’s up to all of us who lead at Butler to continue to enhance not only the facilities for learning but also the opportunities, partnerships, and programs for students to grow, to explore, and to be challenged far beyond their expectations.

Alumnus Matt White ’89 did all of that, with a fierce devotion to Butler and the Bulldogs. He died in February after a courageous 19-year battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Soon—thanks to a generous gift in his memory—we will have a daily reminder of his grit and devotion. The practice court at Efroymson Family Gym will become the Matt White Court, preserving his legacy.

This is, quite simply, the Butler Way. We hope you will be inspired by the many examples shared in our spring magazine. And be sure to stay tuned for more signs of progress.