Rear Admiral Elaine C. Wagner ’76 and former Butler men’s basketball coach Brad Stevens will receive honorary doctorates at Butler University’s commencement ceremony May 10 in the Butler Bowl. More than 800 students are expected to receive their diplomas.

Winter CommencementRear Admiral Wagner is Commander, Navy Medicine East and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia. She grew up in southern Indiana and attended Butler and Indiana University School of Dentistry (D.D.S., 1980). She completed her pediatric dentistry residency at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis in 1982.

She was commissioned and reported to Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, 29 Palms, California, in December 1983. In the years since, she has headed military dental departments and programs in Washington, DC; San Diego; Maryland; Florida; South Carolina; New England; and Virginia, as well as Okinawa, Japan, and the Philippines. Wagner served as Chief of the Navy Dental Corps from 2010 to 2013. Her military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two gold stars, Meritorious Service Medal with three gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold stars, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars.

In his six years as the men’s basketball head coach at Butler, Brad Stevens led the Bulldogs to two NCAA® Division I national championship games, four Horizon League regular season championships, three league tournament titles, and five trips to postseason tournament play. Most of the members of the Class of 2014 were first-year students during the second Final Four®  run, and share memories of this achievement.

Last July, the Boston Celtics hired Stevens to be their head coach. “We didn’t have a formal opportunity to thank Brad or celebrate the many contributions he made to the Butler community,” Butler President James M. Danko said. “So for us, this will be that chance. Brad was a dedicated member of the Butler community for more than a dozen years, and still maintains close ties to the University. It is wholly appropriate that we honor him at Commencement with his first Butler degree.”

Stevens’s career is well documented. He left a position as a marketing associate at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis to pursue a career in basketball coaching. He served in a volunteer capacity in Butler’s basketball office during summer 2000, before eventually gaining a full-time administrative position under Thad Matta. He joined the Butler staff in 2000-2001 as Coordinator of Basketball Operations, handling a variety of administrative duties. He was offered a full-time assistant coaching position by then-Coach Todd Lickliter for the 2001-2002 season.

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