Indianapolis, Ind.—With one year remaining until the May 31, 2022, conclusion of the Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign, Butler University has reached $210 million raised toward its $250 million goal to support student access and success, innovations in teaching and learning, and community partnerships.
The Butler Board of Trustees has provided significant philanthropic leadership support of the University’s campaign, giving 23 percent of the total raised to date. The campaign is designed to provide the needed funding to advance Butler’s new strategic direction, which is centered on strengthening the core residential undergraduate experience while simultaneously launching new educational pathways that are accessible to a broader set of learners.
“It has been extremely gratifying to witness the generous support of the entire Butler community during this campaign, and the leadership of our Board of Trustees in this effort has been especially noteworthy,” says Butler President Jim Danko. “In spite of the challenges we have faced over the past year, extensive generosity from our community in the form of philanthropic gifts to the Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign has allowed us to continue pursuing our strategic goals with a clear vision for Butler’s future.”
The largest single contribution to the campaign so far was a $25 million gift from Andre and Julia Lacy that resulted in the renaming of the College of Business to the Andre B. Lacy School of Business in 2016 and jump-started fundraising efforts for the new building that now houses the School, which opened in 2019. Corporate and foundation community partners have also provided significant philanthropic support, particularly to the Sciences Expansion and Renovation Project and the University’s strategic transformation efforts under the umbrella of the new Butler Beyond Transformation Lab.
These and other gifts have strengthened the University’s standing as a hub for science, business, innovation, and technology in Central Indiana. Phase I one of the new sciences complex was completed in May, adding state-of-the-art lab spaces and high-tech classrooms that mimic top research companies and allow for more collaboration across disciplines. Donors have now contributed more than $30 million toward Butler’s $42 million fundraising goal for the project. The new facilities for business and science remain among the University’s top funding priorities in the final year of the comprehensive campaign, along with student scholarships.
So far, donors have given $47.8 million to endowed student scholarships, nearing the University’s $55 million goal for new scholarship support. This total includes more than 85 new endowed scholarships that will exist in perpetuity at Butler and will help to provide a sustainable source of funding for the University’s extensive financial aid program. In 2020-21, Butler invested $82 million in student financial aid. Of that total, $3.4 million was paid for through donor-funded scholarships. Increasing scholarship funding through philanthropic support will remain a focus of the University’s ongoing fundraising efforts.
“The sacrifices and investments made into our education by the people who love and support us will always be appreciated and recognized,” says Gwen Valles ’21, a first-generation Butler scholarship recipient who graduated last month with an undergraduate degree in International Studies and Spanish. Valles was selected as the commencement speaker for the May 9 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences commencement ceremony.
“As Butler students, we have accumulated educational and experiential opportunities that will allow us to make a meaningful difference in the world. As we continue to learn and grow, we must push for accountability, accessibility, and a better tomorrow for everyone,” she says.
A recent $10 million Lilly Endowment grant will accelerate Butler’s strategic efforts to serve a more diverse set of adult and online learners through a new Division of Professional Studies and creation of new academic programs and alternative credentials that align with the region’s workforce development needs. Through collaborative partnerships and innovative programming, the University aims to create accessible solutions for those currently excluded from traditional private higher education and which are reflective of Butler’s founding values of diversity, equality, and inclusion.
“On behalf of Butler faculty, staff, and students, I am grateful for the overwhelming support from our donors and community partners in advancing our vision for expanding student access and success, elevating teaching and learning, and engaging our community in creative and collaborative ways,” says Vice President for Advancement Jonathan D. Purvis. “Every gift has contributed to Butler’s momentum since the start of this campaign in 2015, and the loyal partnership of the Butler philanthropic community is making a tangible difference in the lives of our students and in the broader Indianapolis community.”
With 12 months remaining and approximately $40 million still needed to reach the University’s $250 million goal for the campaign, Butler Beyond campaign co-chairs Keith MBA ʼ90 and Tina Burks hope every member of the Butler community will be inspired to participate in the effort.
“Every gift is a meaningful step toward this $250 million goal that will provide the foundation for Butler’s next great chapter,” Keith and Tina Burks say. “We invite every member of the Butler community to take part in moving Butler Beyond by considering the impact they wish to make and contributing to a program that aligns with those passions. Giving back is at the heart of The Butler Way, and we are confident that together we can reach this important goal for future generations of Butler students.”
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.