Major / Program: Political Science
Meet Jimmy Lardin. SGA president (2017–2018, after two years on Student Senate). Student Orientation Coordinator (promoted after two years as a Student Orientation Guide). Education Reflection Chair for Fall Alternative Break. Four minors (English, Ethics, Environmental Studies, and Peace and Conflict Studies). Campus tour guide.
And that’s just a partial list.
“Out of the three S’s—socialize, sleep, and study—I don’t sleep,” he said with a laugh.
Lardin expected to be active in college. Just not here. The Shelbyville, Indiana, native was “1,000 percent determined not to go to school in Indiana.”
But a friend who was a year ahead of him chose Butler and invited him to campus. Lardin sat in on a business class and, six minutes into the lecture, belched. Loudly. The professor made light of it and used that as a way to incorporate Lardin into the class and make him feel at ease. Afterward, the professor offered her email and phone number in case Lardin had questions about Butler.
Then at lunch in Atherton, Lardin’s friend’s friends told him how passionate they were about Butler. Others chimed in too.
“That’s what sold me,” he said. “People who had no idea who I was were still interested in sharing their love of the school with me.”
He’s seen that love up close in the years since. In summer 2016, Lardin was diagnosed with cancer. He went through surgeries, then chemotherapy.
“The feedback and support I got was outstanding—and far beyond what I could have ever imagined,” including from professors who reached out to express support and offer accommodations for missed classes. Lardin said the cancer is in remission.
“I’m thankful that happened on this campus versus a school where you’re considered more of a number,” he said.
Lardin is now looking at public policy programs for graduate school, though he wants to work for a while first—ideally on environmental justice issues. In June, he went to India for a month through the School for International Training to work on a food security/climate change project and see if he wants to do international work. He does.
He said Butler has proved to be a great fit, giving him opportunities and satisfying his social nature.
“It’s small enough that I can’t walk from my house to my classes without running into two or three people who I know and love dearly,” he said, “but it’s large enough that I meet one or two new people every single day.”