INDIANAPOLIS – Dr. Dennis ’71 and Nancy Lawton have made a generous commitment to the Athletics Capital Improvement Fund for the second phase of renovations to Hinkle Fieldhouse, moving Butler University closer to its $10.5 million fundraising goal for the project. To date, more than $10.1 million has been raised toward the effort. In recognition of the gift, the Strength and Conditioning Room in Hinkle Fieldhouse will be named for the family.
“The passionate generosity of Nancy and Denny has significantly and directly impacted the student-athletes in our men’s basketball program,” says Barry Collier, Vice President and Director of Athletics. “We greatly appreciate their many gifts to Butler Athletics and Butler Basketball.”
The second phase of renovations are currently being completed and will be unveiled this fall. Thanks to overwhelming donor support for the original Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse, the first phase of renovations were completed in 2014. The second phase enhancements include a complete renovation of the Efroymson Family Gym, air conditioning for all public areas of the Fieldhouse, and extensive work to the men’s soccer locker room.
The Lawtons have been longtime supporters of Butler Athletics and the Men’s Basketball program in particular. In 2014, the couple established the Lawton Family Scholarship for Men’s Basketball, which is awarded annually to a scholarship student-athlete. The family has also provided significant support to the team’s travel fund, which helped to cover the costs of the team’s 2017 foreign tour in Spain.
As longtime men’s basketball season ticket holders, the Lawtons have extended their support of the program far beyond attendance at games and financial gifts. The Lawtons consistently reach out to members of the basketball coaching staff and their families, taking special care to make sure everyone feels included in the Butler community.
“Nancy and Denny have generously supported Butler and our program in many ways,” says Men’s Basketball Head Coach LaVall Jordan. “Their impact is undoubtedly felt by our student-athletes through major initiatives like foreign trips and team travel. They have also gone out of their way to embrace the families of our staff in many ways. Their relationship continues to mean so much to my family, and the families of the staff and players. They truly are Butler family.”
The Lawtons have a long family history at Butler, beginning with Nancy’s mother Doris who was a 1941 graduate. In her honor, the couple established the Doris Huesing Barrett and Dennis and Nancy H. Lawton Endowed Fund for Men’s Basketball in 2010. The fund provides support for the team’s area of greatest need as determined by the head coach.
“As a child, my parents, Homer and Doris Huesing, instilled in me the wonder and value of a Butler education,” says Nancy Lawton. “The amazing Butler culture provided not only my parents, but my husband, Denny, our son Ben, and a very long list of other family members a stellar education. The friendships we have developed with alumni, staff, and their spouses have greatly enhanced our lives.”
About Butler University
An influx of philanthropic support has aided Butler University’s dramatic growth in recent years. Pursuant to the Butler 2020 Strategic Plan, the University and donor partners have invested in new campus facilities, academic programs, and co-curricular offerings. In the past five years, Butler has built the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts, the Sunset Avenue parking garage including a streetscape beautification project and renovated Hinkle Fieldhouse. In addition, the University partnered with American Campus Communities to build the Fairview House and Irvington House residential communities. The Andre B. Lacy School of Business recently moved into its new 110,000-square-foot building, and fundraising is underway to complete a $100 million Science Complex expansion and renovation.
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,800 undergraduate and 600 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 48 states and 35 countries. Ninety-five percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, student teaching, clinical rotation, research, or service learning by the time they graduate. Butler students have had significant success after graduation as demonstrated by the University’s 98% placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.