Hometown: Arlington Heights, Illinois
High School: Rolling Meadows High School
“I’m looking forward to meeting new people and the new experiences, and all of the fun that comes with college and everything.”
Racing remote-controlled model airplanes has been part of Jack Kane’s life for longer than he can remember. He was 2 months old the first time he attended a competition, and the hobby has taken him around the country (California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida) and the world (Australia, the Netherlands, England, Switzerland).
And now, it’s a hobby he hopes to continue in Indianapolis. Jack will be one of 1,357 first-year students in Butler’s Class of 2022, the University’s largest class ever.
“My dad’s dad started doing this in the ’60s and ’70s,” Jack said. “My grandpa was obsessed with it. Then my dad followed in his footsteps to be closer to his dad, and I followed to be closer to my dad too.”
Jack and his dad fly Formula 1 and Quickee planes that are about 3 or 4 feet long and have a wingspan of roughly 6 feet. In competitions, they race against three other flyers at a time on a mile-long course. The first one to navigate around three pylons and get back quickest wins.
Winners take home trophies—there’s no prize money—and in the past five years, since Jack’s been an active participant with his dad, they’ve won about 20.
Jack said competitions are meant “to just enjoy yourself and have fun with your friends.”
“But it’s an adrenaline rush,” he said. “These planes are going about 200 miles an hour around a mile course. It gets your heart pumping a little bit.”
Jack said the biggest competition is held annually in Muncie, Indiana—and that, in part, is how he ended up applying to Butler University. He would see Butler billboards on I-465 heading toward I-69 to Muncie, and that piqued his interest enough to investigate further. He liked what he found.
Like Jack, more than 25 percent of this year’s class hails from Illinois. As an incoming Accounting major, he’ll be among the first Lacy School of Business students to enjoy the college’s new building. Set to open in August 2019, the new business facilities will feature a trading room, food service, and a rooftop deck.
When he’s at Butler, Jack plans to try to continue racing planes.
“But,” he said, “I’m putting school first.”