INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Butler University will permanently name one of the newest facilities on campus Bill and Joanne Dugan Hall in recognition of a $7 million multi-year gift commitment from Bill Dugan, a 1951 graduate. The gift was made in support of the state-of-the-art facility, which opened in August 2019, and houses Butler’s Andre B. Lacy School of Business, the new Butler Beyond Transformation Lab, and the Office of Career and Professional Success.
“I felt at home at Butler throughout my entire undergraduate career, and I appreciate all that Butler gave to me,” Dugan said. “Giving back is The Butler Way, and this seemed like the right thing to do. I hope the students who use this facility will be able to enjoy the same kind of blessings and successes that have been bestowed upon me through my Butler education.”
Dugan is President and Owner of Sign Crafters Inc., an Evansville-based company that designs, manufactures, and installs business signs. Originally from Huntingburg, Indiana, Dugan’s connection to Butler spans eight decades. As a student, Dugan worked concessions at Hinkle Fieldhouse to help pay for his Butler education. He earned his undergraduate degree in Accounting before becoming a successful entrepreneur and Indiana business leader. Dugan met his late wife, Joanne, when the two were students at Butler in the late 1940s. The couple were married for 56 years prior to Joanne’s passing in 2014.
“I am deeply grateful to Bill Dugan for this extraordinary investment in Butler University and our students,” Butler President James Danko said. “Bill and Joanne have been pillars in their family and community, leading with integrity and investing quietly and generously over many years in the relationships and institutions they value, including Butler University. We are extremely proud to have the Dugan family name permanently recognized on our campus through this facility.”
The 110,000-square-foot building was designed to house the Lacy School of Business (LSB), providing six times more space than its previous home in the Holcomb Building, which is currently being repurposed as part of the University’s $100 million Sciences Expansion and Renovation Project. The University broke ground on Bill and Joanne Dugan Hall in 2017 following the April 2016 announcement of a $25 million gift from Andre and Julia Lacy to name the LSB. A portion of the Lacy gift was designated to support construction of a new facility for LSB, jump-starting fundraising efforts for the building that until today had remained unnamed.
With the Dugan gift, Butler has now raised more than $28 million toward its $40 million fundraising goal for the facility, which has been a key funding priority in the University’s $250 million Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign. Along with the new Sciences Complex, the construction of Bill and Joanne Dugan Hall has been part of an overall Butler University strategy to attract and develop talent for Indiana’s booming science, business, innovation, and technology sectors.
“The construction of this facility was a foundational step toward our long-term vision for Butler’s future, allowing us to maximize the space within our campus footprint to provide for the growth of academic programs and University initiatives that are aligned with Indiana’s workforce needs,” Keith Faller ʼ71, Chair of the Butler University Board of Trustees, says. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am grateful to Bill Dugan for recognizing the significance of this facility, not only for Butler but for the entire Hoosier state.”
Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused an interruption in the University’s ability to welcome guests to campus, Bill and Joanne Dugan Hall was always intended to be a facility that is open to the community. Along with traditional classrooms and office space, the building features a cafe, coworking spaces, and small group meeting rooms open to the greater Indianapolis community.
“Our desire for this facility was always to create a space where our students could interact with members of the local business community and to foster an atmosphere of collaboration and synergy that would provide a mutual benefit for our students and our city,” Danko says. “We are honored to welcome members of our community to Bill and Joanne Dugan Hall.”
As the building’s largest benefactor, Dugan will have a designated office in the facility and has been named a Senior Advisor for the Andre B. Lacy School of Business, a role Lacy held until his death in 2017. A fourth-floor installation will also pay homage to the Class of 1951, a special request from the donor who credits his Butler experience and the lifelong friendships he made with his classmates with preparing him for a successful career and life.
Butler will host an official naming ceremony to honor Dugan on Friday, September 10, at 1:00 PM in Bill and Joanne Dugan Hall. The ceremony is open to the public.
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 4,500 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 46 states and 22 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 97 percent placement rate within one year 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 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. Donors have so far contributed more than $221 million toward the $250 million goal.