J. Douglas Boles ’88
Journalism major
President, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS)

How did Butler prepare you for your career?
Butler’s location in Indianapolis offered more than many other universities. The classroom education was second to none, but the opportunities that Butler helped create for me as a student—internships, work shadows, business leader connections—are those that can only be created in a large city. I was given  year-round opportunities to learn in the classroom and then apply that learning in the real world. 

What knowledge or skills gained at Butler have been most useful in your career?
Butler taught me the importance of  working with people from different backgrounds and different life experiences to reach a common goal. Learning to find common ground and appreciating a variety of beliefs is a foundation that Butler helped build and is still rock solid today in my life.

What is the most important thing you learned at Butler?
Pursue your passion. I loved to write. And I loved motorsports. A variety of professors and administrators helped support my desire to chase what I enjoyed and helped convince me that I could combine my education with what I was passionate about.

What is something you loved being  part of at Butler?
Hinkle Fieldhouse. It is to basketball what IMS is to motorsports!

Who influenced you most while a student?
My biggest influences at Butler came from a collection of professors (especially those in the Journalism department) and my Butler swim coach. All of those mentors were ones who helped teach and guide me.

What advice do you have for students who are interested in pursuing a career in this field?
Be willing to start on the ground floor. Lead by example—work hard, do more than asked, never get too big to do the entry-level work. Be patient, it takes time—sometimes years. Keep the end goal always in sight, even if the path isn’t always straight getting there. It isn’t about the money. It’s about the love of the sport and the love of doing what you enjoy most.