The Butler University Alumni Association has announced the 2023 recipients of eight alumni awards, which honor individuals for their commitment to the University and to their communities. Award honorees will be recognized at a special Alumni Recognition Ceremony on October 27 during Butler’s annual Homecoming festivities.
This year’s recipients are:
- The Butler Medal: John David Doyle ’74
- The Butler Service Medal: Dr. Margaret Brabant
- The Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award: James W. Funk, Jr. ’69
- Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award: Kent D. Greer ’94
- Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award: Mikael Burke ’09
- Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award: Jacqueline (Cromleigh) Eckhardt ’13
- Mortar Award: Mark Moore ’74 and Carol (Osborne) Moore ’76
- Foundation Award: Francisco J. Miyares Jr. ’10 and Andrea L. Miyares ’10
The Butler Medal: John David Doyle ’74
John Doyle attended Butler University thanks in part to the help of a scholarship that led him into the journalism program and under the instruction of Art Levin, who would become one of his most beloved mentors. After serving as Editor-in-Chief of The Collegian, Doyle earned his Butler degree in Journalism in 1974. He began his career in healthcare communications after a post-graduate internship with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital sparked a passion for bringing care to the vulnerable.
While Doyle’s journalism training prepared him to ask thoughtful questions, it was Levin’s mentorship that instilled in him a mission mindset in approaching his work. Levin encouraged his students to use their skills and training to raise awareness for important issues. Doyle found deep meaning in using his journalism background to advance quality healthcare for those in need. He joined St. Vincent Health in 1996 and eventually moved from communications into strategy, becoming Senior Vice President of Strategic Business Development and Innovation with Ascension in 2000.
Doyle used his journalism background to seek innovative new solutions to drive the ministry’s mission, launching a number of new initiatives and ventures that continue today in service of the mission to provide consistent, exceptional experiences for patients. Doyle retired in 2019 as Executive Vice President of Ascension and President and CEO of Ascension Holdings and Ascension Holdings International.
Doyle and his wife, Barbara, have been generous supporters of Butler University students, particularly those studying in the College of Communication. Along with other friends and former students, Doyle created the Art Levin Journalism Scholarship for the First Amendment in honor of his mentor. He has also served as a Visiting Professor in CCOM and currently serves on the President’s Advisory Group.
The Butler Medal is the highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association, recognizing individuals for a lifetime of distinguished service to either Butler or their local community while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession and attaining a regional or national reputation. Since 1959, it has recognized individuals who have helped immeasurably toward perpetuating the University as a great educational and cultural institution and have had, during their lifetime, a profound influence on the course of Butler University.
The Butler Service Medal: Dr. Margaret Brabant
Dr. Margaret Brabant served as a devoted member of the Butler faculty for nearly 30 years before retiring in 2020. Brabant was beloved by students and colleagues for her passion, intellectual curiosity, kindness, and fierce dedication to her students and her work.
Among her many contributions to Butler University, one of the most notable is founding Butler’s Center for Citizenship and Community in 1996. The CCC now guides, develops and manages service-learning courses, fosters civic mindedness through inter-college programming, serves as an incubator for civic engagement initiatives, and coordinates Butler’s Indianapolis Community Requirement. Through the CCC, Brabant helped countless Butler students to imagine how their Butler education might be applied in service to the greater good, and her leadership was instrumental in developing positive relationships between Butler and many ongoing community partners.
Brabant joined the Butler faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science in 1991 after earning her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Virginia. She served the Butler community through leadership and participation on numerous committees including two terms as Chair of the Faculty Senate, Chair of the Department of Political Science, and Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies and Gender Studies programs. She was known amongst her faculty peers for her equal commitment to teaching, scholarship, and service. Her classrooms were noted as places of warmth and enthusiasm where a love of learning was contagious.
During her time at Butler, she was recognized with the Distinguished Faculty Award, the Mortar Board LAS Professor of the Year, an MLK Community Center Legacy Award, and a City of Indianapolis Mayoral Recognition, among others.
The Butler Service Medal is the second-highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association. It recognizes former faculty and staff for extraordinary and distinguished service to Butler University, while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession and attaining a regional or national reputation. All recipients have had, in the course of their service, a profound influence on the future course of Butler University.
The Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award: James W. Funk, Jr. ’69
Jim Funk graduated from Butler in 1969 with a degree in Political Science. He began his career in insurance in 1972 and has been committed to the value of education and serving the community through his work ever since. Jim has served on the Board of Directors for the Professional Insurance Agents of Indiana (PIA) for more than 30 years over the course of his career. He was the recipient of the first PIA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022.
Jim founded his own insurance agency, Central Insurance Associates, with a friend in 1993. In 2003, he was appointed by Governor O’Bannon to serve on the Indiana Insurance Agents Continuing Education Committee and has been reappointed by every Governor since that time. He has been active in agent education, teaching insurance, and working on behalf of the insurance industry through agent organizations.
Jim has also been an active member of the community, teaching life skills through the Boy Scouts and serving on the parents council of his children’s schools and the homeowner associations of his neighborhood. He has served on the Board of Directors for Gibault Children’s Services since 2011 and previously served on the Board of Directors for Play Ball Indiana.
Jim and his wife, Janis, have been longtime supporters of Butler Athletics, encouraging student-athletes through their attendance at events as well as through an annual scholarship and gifts to support the renovation of Hinkle Fieldhouse. They have also attended Butler Arts performances for more than 50 years and served on the Clowes 50th Anniversary planning committee. Jim currently serves on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council.
The Robert Todd Duncan Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career and whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. This award honors the spirit and accomplishments of Robert Duncan, a 1925 graduate, noted opera singer, and educator who in 1945, became the first African American to sing with a major white opera company, the New York City Opera Company.
Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award: Kent D. Greer ’94
Kent Greer earned his Butler degree in Marketing from the Lacy School of Business in 1994 and was a member of the Butler Football team. He has been an active and committed member of the Central Indiana Alumni Association along with his wife, Brittany ʼ93.
Kent has had a successful career in financial services, sales, and client satisfaction. His extensive service to Butler University includes serving on the Butler University Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2018 to 2022. In addition, he also served as a member of the BUAA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force from 2020 to 2022.
The Greers are longtime Butler basketball season ticket holders and have given generously in support of the renovation of Hinkle Fieldhouse and the Butler Emergency Assistance Fund. They also named a faculty office in Dugan Hall to support the construction of the new facility for the Lacy School of Business. They are proud parents to three children, including a 2017 Butler graduate. The Greers originated what has now become known as Family Reunion at Butler Homecoming. This beloved annual event began as a cookout hosted by the Greers, which continued to grow in size each year due to Kent and Brittany’s welcoming spirit and deep love for the Butler community.
The Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career and who has displayed and recognizes a long-term commitment of outstanding service to the University. The recipients of this award have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. This award honors the memory of Katharine Graydon, who graduated from Butler in 1878 and was a Professor of English Literature at the University from 1907 to 1930, receiving an honorary doctorate of literature in 1928. Graydon served as the Alumni Secretary and Editor of the Alumnal Quarterly from its first edition in 1922 until her retirement in 1929, when she was named Professor Emerita.
Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award: Mikael Burke ’09
Mikael Burke earned his undergraduate degree in Theatre from the Jordan College of the Arts in 2009 and went on to earn an MFA in Directing at The Theatre School at DePaul University. He is now a Chicago-based director, deviser, and educator with extensive credits to his name, including work with Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Northlight Theatre, About Face Theatre, and First Floor Theater in Chicago, and regionally with Asolo Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and the Phoenix Theatre. He is one of the most sought-after directors in the professional theatre world today.
Mikael earned a Princess Grace Award in Theatre in 2017. He was also nominated for a Jeff Award for directing in 2019. He is committed to making theatre that brings the marginalized to the foreground. In Fall 2021, he was a JCA Signature Series Artist with Butler Theatre.
Mikael previously served as Associate Artistic Director for About Face Theatre, as well as with First Floor Theater. He is the former Head of the Directing Concentration for the Summer Training Program of The Theatre School at DePaul University, as well as a former adjunct faculty member both at TTS and Roosevelt University.
The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award honors a recent graduate whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. Hilton U. Brown gave a lifetime of service to his career and Butler University, including serving on the Board of Trustees for 71 years. He was an award-winning newspaper journalist and Managing Editor at the Indianapolis News for more than seven decades.
Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award: Jacqueline (Cromleigh) Eckhardt ’13
Jacqueline Eckhardt graduated from Butler’s College of Communication in 2013 with a degree in Integrated Communication. Though she is originally from Ohio, she has made Indianapolis her home since graduation, serving the city through numerous roles advocating for the community’s growth and vitality.
She currently serves as the Director of Communication for 16 Tech Community Corporation, the nonprofit responsible for catalyzing the programmatic and physical development of 16 Tech Innovation District in downtown Indianapolis. She previously served as Associate Director for Public Relations & Engagement for Downtown Indy, Inc., where she directed the communications and engagement strategy for the organization, developed and executed key member events, drove foundational grant efforts and enhanced corporate partnerships.
She has also served as Communications and Community Relations Manager at Indiana Humanities and as Public Relations and Marketing Manager for Conrad Indianapolis.
Jacqueline served on the Butler Young Alumni Board from 2015-2020, leading the group as President from 2018-2020. Eckhardt serves as a mentor to Butler College of Communication students, including many she has supervised as interns. She serves as a Bulldogs Connect Mentor and is passionate about opening doors of opportunity for fellow Bulldogs to help launch their careers.
The Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award recognizes a recent alumnus who has demonstrated a significant commitment of outstanding service to the University. The award’s recipients have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. The award honors the spirit and example of Joseph Sweeney, a young student with a great deal of potential, whose life was tragically cut short.
Mortar Award: Mark Moore ’74 and Carol (Osborne) Moore ’76
Mark and Carol Moore are loyal and dedicated Butler graduates who have given generously of their time, talent, and treasure over many years in support of Butler students.
Mark earned his Butler degree in 1974 from the Lacy School of Business and went on to earn a Master of Health Administration from the Indiana University School of Medicine. Beginning in 1977, he served in various senior-level administrative roles with Community Hospitals in Indianapolis. From 2002-2016, Mark served as President & CEO of Indiana University Health Bloomington, where he was responsible for the oversight of all facets of the south central region of IU Health, including IU Health Bloomington, IU Health Bedford, IU Health Morgan, and IU Health Paoli. In 2016, Mark was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. Mark now serves as a career mentor in the Lacy School of Business and is a past member of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council.
Carol earned her Butler degree in 1976 from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and spent her career as a financial manager. She recently completed a term on the Butler University Alumni Association (BUAA) Board of Directors. During her term, Carol chaired the Communities Committee and was an active member of the BUAA’s DEI task force. Together, Carol and Mark served on the Board of Visitors for the Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign. They are longtime basketball season ticket holders.
The Moores are honorees of the Carillon Society and were inaugural members of the Butler Giving Circle. They are always willing and eager to connect with Bulldogs of all ages, whether on campus or in the community, to provide mentorship, connection, support, and friendship. They are the proud benefactors of two Butler University endowed scholarships: the Richard and Barbara Osborne Scholarship in honor of Carol’s parents and the Moore Family Athletic Scholarship in support of a female student-athlete.
The Mortar Award, created in 1995, honors one person or couple each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating great vision, leadership, and generosity to Butler University.
Foundation Award: Francisco J. Miyares Jr. ’10 and Andrea L. Miyares ’10
Francisco and Andrea Miyares both earned their Butler undergraduate degrees in 2010 and now reside in Cape Coral, Florida. Francisco earned his Butler degree in finance from the Lacy School of Business and went on to earn an MBA from La Salle University. He has spent his career working for Johnson & Johnson in a wide range of roles encompassing strategy, domestic and international market access, finance, and business development. He currently serves as Vice Chairman on the Board of Trustees for the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, and serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Lacy School of Business.
Andrea earned her Butler degree in Arts Administration from the Jordan College of the Arts. She has spent her career working in graphic design, marketing, web design, and brand strategy consultation. Prior to founding Iconic Design Group, LLC, she worked for MetLife and The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
Francisco and Andrea have been generous supporters of the Lacy School of Business, including naming an office in Dugan Hall to support the construction of the new facility in 2018.
The Foundation Award, created in 2011, honors one person or couple (age 40 and younger) each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating leadership and generosity to Butler University.