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Shelvin Mack and Brad Stevens
HomecomingAthleticsPeople

Shelvin Mack's Homecoming

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Oct 01 2018

Emerson Kampen will never forget Shelvin Mack’s bachelor party in Las Vegas. But before any assumptions are made, Kampen wasn’t even there.

He called his former Butler University roommate and basketball teammate one morning, East Coast time, which must have been, “like 6:00 AM or 7:00 AM Vegas time,” he says, shock still audible in his voice, and Mack picked up.

“I’m in Vegas at my bachelor party,” Mack told Kampen. “I have this paper to do. I’m trying to knock it out this morning.”

And that is when Kampen knew his friend was serious about completing his Butler degree.

“Shel is as motivated as anybody, as self-driven as anybody I have ever met,” says Kampen, who is now an Assistant Coach on the Butler men’s basketball team. “When he says he will get something done, he will, and that attitude carries over to all areas of his life. When he said he was going to make the NBA, he did. When he said he was going to finish his degree, despite the demands of an NBA schedule, I knew he would do it. Now, in Vegas, I don’t know how good the paper ended up being, but I do know he was getting it done.”

Mack, who left Butler after his junior year in 2011, to enter the NBA Draft, has played for six teams, and most recently signed a one-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. Many players drafted in the second round like Mack have come and gone, but former teammates, coaches, friends, and family members say his work ethic and ambition separate him.

Those same traits that turned him into an 8-year NBA veteran, have motivated him to complete his Butler degree in Digital Media Production, he says. As he sees his sisters graduate, and all his friends flaunt their Butler degrees, as well as his wife, his competitive juices kick in. But it is also more than that—a love of Butler, a desire to better himself, and a promise he made to his mom.

“I always wanted to get my college degree, for myself and for my mom, but it was hard to balance my time when I first got into the league and figure out how to take classes without being at Butler,” Mack says. “Now that everything is sorted out, it was something I knew I had to do because I came to Butler because of the education and the fact that basketball won’t last forever. Now I know taking classes is part of bettering myself and my future.”

 

THE RECRUIT

Brad Stevens remembers meeting Victoria Guy, Shelvin’s mom, for the first time. He was in Lexington, Kentucky visiting Shelvin at his home.

Let’s just say Mack and his mom had slightly different questions as they sat in their living room with Stevens.

“She didn’t care about playing time, or TV games, or what kind of gym we were going to be playing in,” Stevens says. “She wanted Shelvin to get his college degree and work hard in the classroom. She asked about graduation rates and class sizes.”

Stevens had answers. A big part of the presentation at the time focused beyond what the team accomplished on the court, Stevens says.

They talked a lot about how successful players were after they graduated. Stevens shared graduation rates, and players’ majors, and the fact that practices were run around class schedules—not the other way around. 

The answers mattered. At the last second, the University of Kentucky swooped in, Guy says, and Mack was torn. He asked his mom for advice. She wanted the decision to be her son’s, but the only thing she did share with him was the value of a smaller, tight knit campus.

“He stuck with Butler and it worked out perfectly,” Guy says.

So, when Mack told Stevens he was going to finish his degree over a meal last summer, he wasn’t that surprised.

“Shelvin is very, very driven and usually that is hard to turn off. When you have an ambitious kid, they will usually be ambitious in everything they do and he certainly is that,” Stevens says. “I never dreamed he would have been good enough to leave after three years, but he did it because he was determined to.”

But Stevens also knows his mom is right there, ever-present, making sure her son is getting it done.

 

LIFE AT BUTLER

Kampen and Mack first met in 2008, two freshmen on the men’s basketball team in need of physicals. So, they hopped in Kampen’s car and headed to the doctor’s office. They made small talk and Kampen remembers how it wasn’t awkward—Mack always made everyone feel comfortable.

Kampen learned quickly that Mack was determined to make it to the NBA. But, he says, he and others didn’t really see it.

“He was obviously a really good player, but he was a bit chubby when he walked in. We all should have known when he says he will get something done, he will do it,” Kampen says.

Mack’s work ethic was always on display. He spent more time in the gym than anyone else on the team. They would be playing video games and Mack would have a 30-pound weight in his hands, doing curls while the game was loading, or while there was a pause in the game. He was always working.

Kampen wasn’t surprised when he found out Mack was finishing up his degree. He knows how much his friend loves Butler and values education. He also knows he can’t stand to have something go unfinished.

“I think one day he will be a coach,” Kampen says. “I always have tons of texts from him during the season, analyzing what we did in a game, and why we could have done this or done that. He is always the first to let me know about a decision we should have made.”

As a student, Mack took his work very seriously, Christine Taylor, Associate Professor of Entertainment Media and Journalism, says. She had Mack as a student in her directing and production classes. Now, Taylor is Mack’s academic advisor.

“He was very well-liked and a great team player in my classes,” Taylor says. “He also put his own creative stamp on the work. He had a creative identity of his own. He took his work seriously and was a very good student. So, when he reached out a few years ago, I was not really surprised at all. It was more about figuring out how we could make it happen logistically.”

 

LIFE IN THE NBA

When Mack decided to leave school early, his mom fully supported him, but said he had five years to finish his degree. As the years marched on, she kept checking on him. Mack claimed he was trying, but certain classes he needed weren’t offered by Butler online at the time, Guy says.

She did some fact checking.

“At first, I wasn’t buying it, so I called Coach Stevens,” Guy says. “I talked to Coach Stevens just to make sure Butler wasn’t offering the classes online and then I felt better.”

In Mack’s defense, it wasn’t just the logistics of figuring how to fulfill his major requirements. After he got drafted in 2011 by the Washington Wizards, by his estimate, he was moving around about once a year. He had a stint with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Atlanta Hawks, the Utah Jazz, the Orlando Magic, and now the Memphis Grizzlies. It was also adjusting to life in the NBA.

“It was something I always wanted to do, but I could never find the time,” Mack says. “I wasn’t great with time management, I was adjusting to NBA life, and probably not spending my time as wisely as I could have.”

Once Mack had his daughter, things changed, he says. He was on a strict schedule, going to bed early, waking up early, working out, taking care of her. Then, he realized, he could work school in. His daughter helped him manage his time, and he wanted to make sure he set a good example for her when it came to education.

Butler also started to work with him. A few years ago, when he tried to work on his degree, classes he needed weren’t offered online. A lot has changed over the last few years, says Taylor, his academic advisor, as more classes are offered online.

“Our philosophy is that we should partner with students so they can reach their goals,” Taylor says. “Obviously there is course work they must fully complete, but people are people and circumstances change for individuals and we will do our best to help them realize their goals of getting a Butler degree. This is simply us recognizing an individuals’ circumstance changes and we are as supportive as we can be within the rules to help them recognize their short and long-term goals.”

With Mack, Taylor sees someone who has a strong love for Butler and desire to complete a degree he has, in large part, already earned.

“For Shelvin, this has been part of the process of his development as a person and what kind of individual he wants to be,” Taylor says. “In times when the larger world is questioning the value of a degree from a four-year institution, I always find it really gratifying that people like Shelvin still place such a high value on education. It has been so uplifting to work with him…He is doing this to better himself because what happens in a classroom makes a difference, and he realizes that. That is really gratifying to know, and it reinforces that the conversations and lessons we have make a difference.”

 

FUTURE PROMISES

This summer, Mack finished his major by taking Entertainment Media and the Law.

He spent a couple months watching YouTube videos of different cases, reading case law, writing papers, learning why some people can sue, and others cannot. And, sometimes forgetting he had assignments due. Like many new students, he had to readjust to college life.

“Luckily, I had plenty of people around me reminding me and keeping me in check,” he says.

This fall, as the NBA season kicks off, Mack will be crisscrossing the U.S. on planes, playing in back-to-back games, and squeezing in time to read his textbooks. He will take two online courses, hoping to complete his degree in the next three years. But most importantly, before his youngest sister, Keionna, graduates in 2020. His mom is quick to remind him that he already missed his middle sister, Sierra, who graduated this past May.

To assure mom he is all over it, he had his textbooks sent to her house ‘by accident’ this summer. She isn’t so sure it was an accident.

“I know the degree isn’t everything, but it opens a lot of doors that won’t otherwise be there for you,” Guy says. “He could break a leg today and basketball could be over. I know he has thought about coaching, broadcast, and I want him to have that degree and those courses to fall back on.”

He will continue to take online courses throughout the season. As of now, he says, he would like a career in broadcast after his playing days are over. But coaching interests him, too. He looks forward to the day when he can just walk in the house and show his wife, a Butler grad and former hoops player, his degree.

But to his mom, who he says drove him around to “a million” basketball tournaments when he was young, and always supported him, it will mean everything.

Asked how she will feel when her son officially graduates from Butler, Guy is quiet for a moment.

“Oh my god. I will be super excited. Super excited. He will be the first male in his generation to have a college degree. He is behind schedule, but he needs to follow through. I need him to be better than average and I know he expects that out of himself, too.”

But there is one more thing that is bothering her. Mack pursuing his degree has motivated his mom to finish her degree. He has always motivated her to go after her dreams, just as she has always motivated him, he says.

“After two years of college, I had my son, and he was my number one priority, so I am going to go back after all of this and get my degree in business management,” Guy says.

Her son has given her a three-year window.   

 

Images courtesy of Shelvin Mack. 

Shelvin Mack and Brad Stevens
HomecomingAthleticsPeople

Shelvin Mack's Homecoming

NBA Player and former Butler Men's Basketball star Shelvin Mack is committed to completing his Butler degree. 

Oct 01 2018 Read more

Built for Bulldogs

Rachel Stotts

from Fall 2016

ICING ON THE CAKE

Serina KashimotoSenior Serina Kashimoto grew up playing boys club soccer in Hiroshima, Japan. She believes this early exposure along with the influence of her father and grandmother—her father still plays indoor soccer at a high level and her grandmother won a national championship in her 50s—gave her a solid foundation in the sport that she loves. The Butler Women’s Soccer Team’s 2015 BIG EAST Championship—the first for any Butler sport since joining the conference—is the icing on the cake for Kashimoto, who had always dreamed of playing in the United States.

Elise Edwards, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Butler, paved the way for Kashimoto to fulfill that dream. Edwards, an Assistant Coach for Butler Women’s Soccer, had done fieldwork on the culture of sport in Japan and knew Kashimoto’s high school soccer coach. Edwards asked Kashimoto about coming to the states to play. After an experience playing in the U-17 World Cup, Kashimoto knew it was time—she told Edwards she was ready. Kashimoto was used to winning before she came to the United States, having always competed on national championship teams in Japan. At Butler, it was different.

“We couldn’t win the conference until this year, so when we finally won, I was feeling great. I wished that moment could last forever.”

Kashimoto is also focused on preparing herself for life after soccer and recently completed an internship in Butler’s Sports Marketing Office. Majoring in Body, Mind, Media, and Sport, Kashimoto cites Edwards and Lisa Farley as her two favorite professors. “I’ve never gotten bored in [Farley’s] class. She is also like my American mom and always cheers me on during the games. After the games, she always gives me a hug and is making sure I don’t feel lonely since my family cannot come to my games.”

While the mid-fielder hopes to play soccer professionally when she graduates, another goal is to make the national team and play in the Tokyo Olympics. “I think that would be a great opportunity for me to pay back those who helped me to become who I am today—especially my family who made so many sacrifices for me to keep chasing my dream.”

  • 2015 First Team All-BIG EAST Selection
  • 2014 First Team All-BIG EAST Selection
  • Third Team All-Northeast Region Selection
  • 2013 Second Team All-BIG EAST Selection
  • Second Team All-Northeast Region Selection

LOVING THE WORLD OF SPORTS

David GoldsmithSenior David Goldsmith grew up with a dream common to English boys—to play professional soccer for his home country. When it appeared that dream might not come to fruition, he began looking at American schools where he could play soccer and complete his education. He chose Butler sight unseen. The senior forward had never even been to the United States. After talking to coaches from several Division I schools, he made his choice based on the relationship he forged with Butler Men’s Soccer Head Coach Paul Snape (also English) over the phone.

“That was kind of a scary moment—getting on the plane, not knowing where I was going and only having spoken to one person on the phone,” said Goldsmith. “But I’m so glad I picked Butler. I love everything about it and I have a really good relationship with the coaches and players.”

Tasks like getting a bank account and a social security number—things his teammates took for granted—felt overwhelming to Goldsmith. “The first couple weeks were crazy. Thankfully, Coach Snape helped me out a lot. He went through the same process 20 years earlier so he understood what I was going through and could relate to it. The team was also really supportive.”

Goldsmith is majoring in Human Movement and Health Sciences. Professor Lisa Farley helped guide him academically and remains his advisor. “She was another main reason I chose Butler,” Goldsmith said. “She answered my questions and put my parents’ minds to rest.”

The soccer star’s immediate future hinges largely on how he performs in the fall, but he has a plan no matter what the outcome. “I just love sports and no matter what, I want to work in sports. If playing professionally doesn’t work out, or after that, I will try to work for a professional soccer team or in strength and conditioning or psychology—I just like the world of sports—working together to try to win.”

  • 2015 Second Team All-BIG EAST
  • 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-District Men’s Soccer Team
  • 2014 Second Team All-BIG EAST
  • 2014 CoSIDA Academic All-District V
  • 2013-14 BIG EAST All-Academic Team
  • 2013 Second Team All-BIG EAST
  • 2013 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year
  • 2013 BIG EAST All-Rookie Team
  • 2013 BIG EAST All-Tournament
  • Butler Athletic Director’s Honor Roll

Butler Softball Team with Big East trophy

Q & A WITH BUTLER SOFTBALL COACH SCOTT HALL

Q: How did you see this team grow and change through the season?

A: I saw growth in their focus and chemistry as a team. Teams that are not close will tend to fall apart at the end of the season because they are focused on things when softball is over. This team never lost sight of what they wanted to accomplish.

Q: What’s special about this particular group of women?

A: They found a way to win in many games and didn’t stop competing. Tough to beat a team or individual that refuses to quit!

Q: What were your feelings and observations about the team throughout the BIG EAST tournament?

A: I knew we had a shot at winning. I told the team all year long that if you get to the tournament, I would put them up against any team in the BIG EAST in a single game, winner takes all game. That is what happened. It was pure coaching joy to watch that group of young women celebrate on the field!

Q: What are you looking forward to for next season? What are your goals?

A: Goals have not changed. Do great in the classroom and compete on the field. Winning the BIG EAST title again is always what we will strive for. We return with a lot of experience and talent and what this group did this year will hopefully fuel their drive and work ethic in the off-season.

Athletics

Built for Bulldogs

by Rachel Stotts

from Fall 2016

Read more
AthleticsPeople

President Danko to Chair Big East Board of Directors

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jun 04 2018

James M. Danko, President of Butler University, has been elected to a two-year term as Chair of the BIG EAST Conference Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is comprised of the Presidents of the BIG EAST’s 10 member institutions.

Danko replaces Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., President of Providence College, who served on the BIG EAST Executive Committee since 2013 and as BIG EAST Board Chair since 2016. Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, President of Villanova University, will serve as new Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors. Fr.  Michael J. Graham, S.J., President of Xavier University, was elected to fill the third Executive Committee position.

Danko, who has served as Butler’s President since 2011, oversaw the school’s entrance into the BIG EAST in 2013. He has served on the conference’s Executive Committee since that time, most recently as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors. Danko also currently serves as the BIG EAST’s representative on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Presidential Forum. 

The Executive Committee appointments were made in connection with the annual spring meeting of the BIG EAST Board of Directors, which was held at the Conference’s offices in New York City. Agenda items included men’s and women’s basketball matters, transfers, esports, and strategic direction as the Conference enters the sixth year of its current configuration. Katrice Albert, NCAA Executive Vice President of Inclusion and Human Resources, made a presentation to the Board on the NCAA’s current initiatives in the area of diversity and inclusion. The Board of Directors also received a report on the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on sports betting and the potential ramifications for intercollegiate athletics.

Max

That's the Ticket

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

In October 1956, Schumacher was finishing a two-year stint in the Army and thinking about what to do with his Journalism degree from Butler. He picked up a copy of the Indianapolis Star—he had his subscription forwarded to Fort Sheridan, Illinois, where he was stationed—and read a one-paragraph news brief reporting that Marjorie Smyth, the ticket manager for the Indianapolis Indians baseball team, was leaving. 

Schumacher called his mentor, J.R. Townshend Sr., who knew Frank McKinney Sr., the Indians’ Chairman of the Board, to help him arrange an interview. That December, Schumacher went to McKinney’s Fidelity Bank office on East Market Street. After a brief conversation, McKinney wrote a note on a little piece of paper and told Schumacher to take the note to Ray Johnston, the team’s General Manager. 

“He didn’t put it in an envelope,” Schumacher said. “He just handed it to me. He wrote something like: ‘This is the young man I talked to you about for the open position at the ballpark.’” 

Schumacher took the paper to Johnston. He was hired. 

Over the next dozen years, Schumacher advanced from Ticket Manager to Public Relations Director to General Manager to President and Chairman—a position he held for 47 years until he retired at the end of 2016. In that time, the Indians won 19 divisions and eight league championships, turned a profit for 42 consecutive years after periods of financial losses, and moved into a downtown Indianapolis ballpark still considered one of the best in America. 

“After I graduated from Butler, I thought I’d get a regular job—work for the Star, maybe—or be in somebody’s PR department or putting together publications for some corporation,” he said. “This just dropped in my lap.” 

Truly a Butler Family 

Schumacher grew up at 44th Street and Winthrop Avenue in Indianapolis, his academic future seemingly preordained. His father, a musician, and his mother, who worked in a downtown department store and later at a bank, both went to Butler when the campus was in Irvington. His two older sisters preceded him on the Fairview campus. “I never thought about anything else other than Butler,” he said. 

As a sophomore at Shortridge High School, where his classmates included future U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and author Dan Wakefield, Schumacher became interested in Journalism. He also played second base on the Shortridge team, which was coached by Jerry Steiner, a 1940 Butler graduate and future Butler Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. Steiner accompanied Schumacher on a visit to ask Tony Hinkle about an athletic scholarship. They arrived to find Hinkle cutting the grass, his leg in a cast—the result of a lawnmower accident from a previous session mowing the baseball field. 

Schumacher remembers Hinkle’s response. “He said, ‘Well, kiddo’—everybody was ‘kiddo’—‘we have a great school here. It’s a wonderful school. We announce when baseball practice starts, and you can come out for ball.’ He didn’t say baseball. And away we go. Long story short, that’s what I did.” 

Schumacher drove his 1936 Chevrolet Coupe the two miles to Butler (later upgrading to a ’41 Pontiac), where he studied Journalism and walked on to the baseball team. He was surprised at his first game when Hinkle called out, “Hey, Schuey, coach third base.” He did that for two years before earning some playing time in his last two years. (His best game, four hits in four at-bats against DePauw was overshadowed by teammate Norm Ellenberger, who threw a no-hitter that day.) 

When Schumacher wasn’t playing ball, he was in class or writing for The Butler Collegian. He worked his way up to Editor, but when the boss at his summer job—public relations for Junior Baseball, a citywide youth baseball program—asked him to stay on during the school year, Schumacher chose the paying job. 

Time to Go to Work 

That turned out to be the right decision: The man who ran Junior Baseball, J.R. Townsend Sr., would later provide the introduction to Frank McKinney Sr. with the Indianapolis Indians. 

By his senior year, Schumacher also had a second job with the Indianapolis Times. He took calls from sports correspondents at high schools, gathering information for box scores and game stories. He also wrote his own stories occasionally—like on the night of March 20, 1954, when he was sent to the tiny town of Milan to see if there was anyone around. (Almost everyone was in Indianapolis, watching their team win the state high school basketball championship.) 

“I loved that,” Schumacher said. “I really loved that. That got me hooked on Journalism.” 

With what he learned in classes, on The Collegian, and through his outside jobs, he graduated with skills that translated well for what was to come next. 

“I thought at the typewriter better than longhand, so to have correspondence that had to go out to somebody for Indians’ business, I could sit down and compose a coherent letter and fire it into the mail to them,” he said. “I was very happy with my education. It helped me develop the necessary skills to be successful, and I had what it took to get started.” 

Building a Franchise and Family 

From 1957 until he stepped down in 2016, Max Schumacher experienced enormous successes—and the occasional hiccups. He once traded a future Cy Young Award winner (Mike Cuellar), but he also helped assemble teams that won four consecutive championships in the 1980s. The 1986 title, won in the bottom of the ninth inning of the seventh game when the Indians’ Billy Moore drove in the winning run off future star Rob Dibble, remains a personal favorite. 

Perhaps his greatest success in those years was meeting and marrying Judy Whybrew, an Indiana University graduate who worked on the Indians’ ticket staff. Schumacher had been hired to replace her friend Marge Smith as ticket manager, “and I was not real well received because I was replacing her friend,” he said. “But we got to know each other well, and we fell in love later.” Bruce, their first son, who succeeded Max as Indians Chairman of the Board and CEO, was born in 1959, followed by Brian, Karen, and Mark, and they now have five grandchildren. 

Over the years, Schumacher had opportunities to go to the major leagues, but he turned them down. He grew up in Indianapolis and, except for his two years in the Army, has lived here his entire life. With the Indians, he was more or less his own boss, and he was instrumental in building one of America’s great minor-league franchises. He’s particularly proud that for the team’s employees, “to have on their resume that they worked for the Indianapolis Indians is a pretty good line to have.” 

“I never had the feeling that I wanted to be a big guy in my industry,” he said. “A lot of people think if you work in baseball, you need to get to the major leagues if you want to be a success. So many people have said to me, ‘I thought you would have been in the major leagues by now.’ If you’re an attorney, do you have to work in New York or Chicago or Los Angeles to be successful in your profession? No. And I don’t, either.” 

Max
AthleticsPeopleCommunity

That's the Ticket

Can one little newspaper story change a life? It did for Max Schumacher ’54. 

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Read more

Of Brothers and Business

Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

Conner ’11 and Jordan ’13 Burt—brothers from Elkhart, Indiana—came to Butler for similar reasons. The people. The size. The athletics. The feeling ... you know, the one where you just know it’s where you belong. 

While at Butler, both studied Economics—Conner an Economics major with a minor in Business, and Jordan a double major in Economics and Finance— and both played soccer. 

Conner BurtJordan’s favorite Butler memory is playing Indiana University in the Sellick Bowl with 5,000 fans in the stands. “The game was wild in itself, but we ended up coming back from a 2-0 deficit when David Goldsmith sent in a game-winner during overtime. That was a special day.” 

And Conner credits Butler Soccer for teaching him how fulfilling it can be to reach toward a common goal with like-minded individuals. “It made me appreciate ‘the underdog’ and, to this day, I’ve always tried to find situations that allow me to play that role.” 

To most people, being an entrepreneur is a lot like being the underdog. You aren’t the “safe bet,” so you have to enjoy taking risks. And you’re going to need to work twice as hard to be successful, so you better have incredible drive. Conner and Jordan both possess these traits and, with them being brothers, it makes most question the role genetics play in the matter. But, we aren’t here to discuss the nature vs. nurture of it all. 

During Jordan’s first year at Butler, he “got very fired up about entrepreneurship” in his Real Business Experience class. As he continued into his junior and senior year, his “classes and internships really fueled the flame.” 

Not surprisingly, Conner can relate. “Experimentation and opportunity was encouraged. From the Real Business Experience to independent studies, I realized the challenge and fun in starting something new.” 

In fact, both Conner and Jordan helped start the Butler Farm and Conner tried to build a compost business during his time at Butler. “Seven years later, I still think about a lot of lessons I learned through those experiences,” Conner confesses.

These lessons have served him well. After graduation, Conner completed an Orr Fellowship, which places high-potential college graduates with Indianapolis-based technology companies. His first job—which turned out to be in sales—was with a software startup called iGoDigital. Conner loved the challenge and helping solve customer problems.Jordan Burt

Eventually, ExactTarget acquired the startup and, then, Salesforce acquired ExactTarget. Through the transitions, Conner got involved with training—these new companies needed to learn about iGoDigital in order to sell it, which is what Conner had been doing for two years. So, he spent a lot of time on assignment in London, Australia, and all over the United States. 

During this time, Conner became a friend and roommate of Max Yoder. Yoder needed clients to test out his new training product, so they tested it at ExactTarget. As Conner shares, “It worked splendidly. It cut my travel time in half, and everyone who used it, loved it.” 

Conner joined Yoder at Lessonly, where he currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer, which means, “focusing on new initiatives that present large opportunities and/or the biggest challenges we’re facing at any given time.” 

According to Conner, “Lessonly has more than doubled in size each of the last five years and was ranked one of the Top 3 Best Small Business Cultures in the United States by Entrepreneur.” Quite an accomplishment for a startup. 

Back when Lessonly had only three employees, Jordan worked with Conner, helping him sell the software for a year and a half. He also was playing soccer with the Carolina Railhawks. 

While his friends were applying for corporate jobs after graduation, Jordan was trying to land a position on a pro soccer team. He admits it wasn’t a smooth path, but he is happy he took the risk. 

“The soccer world is an uncertain one in which your career could end at any time, so I have tried to always find balance in doing other work, exploring interesting topics, and, now, starting my own business,” explains Jordan. 

He found his passion while completing internships during his time at Butler. His first, in corporate finance at Zillow in Seattle, had some great perks but was not something that would excite him every day. His next experience at Techstars, a startup accelerator for tech companies in Boulder, Colorado, is where he found the contagious excitement and energy he wanted. 

Now, Jordan is playing professional soccer with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks Football Club and is Co-Founder of Pro Performance (properformance.guru). 

While he and Conner may not work together directly anymore, Jordan’s business uses Lessonly. “We get a killer deal.” 

AcademicsAthletics

Of Brothers and Business

Butler University: Entrepreneurs welcome here

by Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

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Scholarship: The Joel Cornette Scholarship Fund

Patricia Snyder Pickett '82, APR

When legendary Coach Tony Hinkle first touted The Butler Way, it was the pinnacle for which to strive—not just on the court, but throughout life, long after hanging up the uniform. The Butler Way demands commitment, denies selfishness and accepts reality, yet seeks constant improvement while promoting the good of the team above self. 

Joel Cornette ’03 embodied The Butler Way both during his time at Butler University and his post-graduate years. He was a member of the first Bulldog Sweet 16 team in 2003; his 144 career blocks and .544 career field goal percentage also rank among the Top 10 in Butler history. He later served as a member of the Butler coaching staff from for the 2006–2007 season as the team’s Coordinator of Basketball Operations before going to Iowa as a member of Todd Lickliter’s staff. He was an NBPA-certified player-agent, serving as the Director of Basketball recruiting for Priority Sports since January 2012. 

Tragically, Cornette passed away of natural causes last August at age 35. It was a loss that shook his family and friends to the core, as well as both the Butler community and peers in the world of athletics. 

In the wake of such an inexplicable loss, those who loved him most chose to commemorate him in a means of which they knew he would approve. The Joel Cornette Scholarship Fund was established by his family and Butler University to provide support for future Bulldogs. 

“Through the generous support of our donors, we’ve been able to establish this scholarship program/fund, that will guarantee there will be monies available for deserving student athletes now and into the future,” said Ken LaRose, Associate Athletic Director for Development. “We are able to pay tribute to these special people while offering the gift of education to our student athletes.” 

As a testament to this inspiring young man, at least five Butler head coaches (past and present), immediately donated to the fund along with scores of others, expediting the scholarship to be fully funded at the endowed level of $50,000. 

“We could never out give what he gave to the institution,” said Todd Lickliter, Cornette’s coach while at Butler. “It was such an honor to have been involved with him, and the scholarship will continue his good works.” 

Lickliter points to a well-known mantra often emphasized by former Lacy School of Business Dean Richard Fetter: “If you do well, do good.” 

“Joel did both,” he said. “He epitomized what it meant to be a true student athlete. Not only did he earn a distinguished degree, but he opened the door for others through his play on the court as well as his ability to articulate his vision and what Butler meant to him. He naturally drew people to the institution. He did well, and he did good.” 

 

Contributions in Joel’s honor may be made online or by check to Butler University Advancement, 4600 Sunset Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46208. 

AthleticsGivingCommunity

Scholarship: The Joel Cornette Scholarship Fund

Scholarship: The Joel Cornette Scholarship Fund

Patricia Snyder Pickett '82, APR

Athlete Profile: Mason Dragos ’19

Jimmy Lafakis ’19

from Spring 2017

Mason Dragos ’19 loves to compete. He came to Butler as a state champion, and his work ethic drives him to succeed. The sophomore tennis player looks to make another big impact after his strong first-year campaign. Dragos said he is fond of working hard and grinding his matches out. 

“I will always remember what beating a good team felt like,” he said. “Having a close team match and coming out on top is really quite surreal.” 

He said he enjoyed growing as a person and student through the ups and downs of his first year. “Our school is special because of its small-sized campus with big-school resources,” he said. “You get to develop relationships with your professors that are able to help you in many aspects of your life.” 

Dragos crossed state lines for his college experience. The Lexington, Ohio, native said he found a family of new friends at Butler. “It is a special place,” he said. “I went there not knowing a single person. I was able to make some great friends and experience some things I would not have if I did not come to Butler.” 

Dragos, who plays singles and doubles, said last year’s lessons made him a more mature player. 

“If you win the deciding match, your teammates go nuts,” he said. “I’m trying to focus on solidifying my game. Becoming more mentally tough will help myself and my team win even more matches than we did last year.”

Athletics

Athlete Profile: Mason Dragos ’19

The sophomore tennis player looks to make another big impact after his strong first-year campaign.

by Jimmy Lafakis ’19

from Spring 2017

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Athlete Profile: Haley Hallenbeck ’18

Jimmy Lafakis ’19

from Spring 2017

Haley Hallenbeck ’18 fell in love with lacrosse in seventh grade. Once she stepped foot on the turf, she never looked back. The Indianapolis native attended Park Tudor School and earned US Lacrosse All-American honors twice. Hallenbeck said her love for the sport has made a huge difference in her life. 

Haley Hallenbeck ’18“The lacrosse field is like home to me,” she said. “I fell in love with it because of the high-speed tempo of the game and high-pressure game situations.” 

Lacrosse took Hallenbeck across the United States. She spent her first two years of college at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Hallenbeck said she is happy to have lacrosse as a steady part of her life. 

“With a lot always changing around me, lacrosse has been the one constant thing in my life,” she said. “I appreciate all of the opportunities it has given me, as it will always have a special place in my heart.” 

Hallenbeck, a midfielder, said she recognizes the challenges thrown at her on a day-to-day basis. “As a midfielder, you have to be in great shape,” she said. “That is one of my favorite aspects of the sport. You run for miles and miles every match.” 

Butler is 10 minutes away from her home. She said she appreciates eating a home-cooked meal and spending time with her new family of teammates. 

“All of the run tests, sprint workouts, and lifts with my teammates are some of my favorite memories,” she said. “But they are always opportunities to see how hard I can push myself.” 

Athletics

Athlete Profile: Haley Hallenbeck ’18

Butler is 10 minutes away from her home. She said she appreciates eating a home-cooked meal and spending time with her new family of teammates. 

by Jimmy Lafakis ’19

from Spring 2017

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Butler Adds Women's Lacrosse

Katie Goodrich ’17

from Spring 2017

In a whirlwind of hiring, recruiting, and program building, Butler University has added a new varsity sport: women’s lacrosse. The Division I team began its journey as a BIG EAST program in February. 

Head Coach Cecil Pilson, who previously coached at Mercyhurst University for more than a decade, said he is glad Athletic Director Barry Collier and President James Danko had faith in him. 

“It’s definitely very exciting to start a Division I program, especially in the BIG EAST and at a university like Butler,” he said. “As a coach, you always want to be at a school where you can buy into the school’s philosophy and the academics. Butler aligned with everything I wanted as a coach.” 

In early 2016, Pilson worked tirelessly to contact potential recruits and encourage them to submit applications to Butler. “I recruited a large roster knowing that a lot of other D-I programs…did not have enough players,” Pilson said. “We definitely have the numbers now to be successful.” The team’s roster of 30 women includes first-year recruits, transfers, and former club team players. 

Senior and Captain Emma Annand was on the club team during her first three years at Butler. After playing for Granite State Elite and in high school, Annand said she considered playing lacrosse in college, but ended up really loving Butler and decided to play club. But then she got the opportunity to play varsity. 

“I met with Coach Pilson and he was very convincing,” she said. “And I thought, in 10 years looking back, if I didn’t do this, I would kick myself. And I have not looked back.” 

First-year student Journey Fischbeck is among the first class of recruits who will get the chance to play lacrosse for her entire career at Butler. She was originally going to attend Mercyhurst but decided to follow Pilson to Butler after falling in love with Butler’s big-school feel with small-school perks. She said the basketball team didn’t hurt either. 

The inaugural team’s season will be full of firsts. “Everything we do—no matter what—it makes history,” Annand said. “We’re writing our story and laying the foundation for years to come. We’re setting the mold for how the program is going to be, so we are not taking anything lightly. Everything we do has a lot of thought behind it because it is so significant.” 

Pilson said his No. 1 goal for the season is growth. “Regardless of wins and losses, what is really important is that the team is able to develop,” he said. “The thing I can control is players developing and becoming better, setting that culture for them to grow on.”

Athletics

Butler Adds Women's Lacrosse

In a whirlwind of hiring, recruiting, and program building, Butler University has added a new varsity sport: women’s lacrosse.

by Katie Goodrich ’17

from Spring 2017

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Anna Logan volleyball

Anna Logan ’18

Hayley Ross ’17

from Fall 2017

Looking back, Anna Logan said the past three years at Butler University and with Butler’s women’s volleyball were meant to happen. 

“Volleyball recruits so early,” she said. “They told me, ‘You need to start looking at college.’ I was like, ‘I’m only 15.’ I was told that the Butler Head Coach saw me at a tournament and would love to have me come to campus. I went for my unofficial visit during the spring of my sophomore year in high school.”

Other colleges were interested in Logan but she had grown up just down the street from campus and Butler was the only one Logan would call.

What she didn’t foresee was that she would experience such early success—American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Region, first team All-BIG EAST, and AVCA Honorable Mention All-American honors. She led Butler and the BIG EAST with 578 kills (ninth nationally) and 659.5 points (seventh nationally) during her sophomore season.

In her first two years, she compiled 944 kills, 666 digs, and 1092.5 points. She said her expectations for this season is to make it to the BIG EAST Tournament—only the top four teams in the conference make it—and also make it to the NCAA tournament. 

“Only 64 teams make it, but more than half of those teams are automatic bids from winning conference tournaments,” Logan said. “It’s very competitive, but it’s definitely something I am looking forward to accomplishing.”

Logan is an Accounting major. Her plan is to graduate in the summer of 2018, then stay for the following year (her senior year for volleyball) and graduate with her Master’s of Professional Accounting degree in spring 2019. She said that playing volleyball has not only helped her physically, but academically as well.

“Playing in college has definitely helped my time management,” she said. “I wake up at 5:45 AM and I still make enough time to
sleep. It is a skill I will take with me the rest of my life.”

Anna Logan volleyball
Athletics

Anna Logan ’18

by Hayley Ross ’17

from Fall 2017

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It’s Spring—Batter Up! Tyler Houston ’18 Baseball Player

Hannah Hartzell ’18

Tyler Houston '18 was 7 years old when he first visited Butler University. A Finance major from Brownsburg (Indiana) Houston frequented Butler’s sports camps as a child.

So when the time came to choose a school for himself, Butler immediately came to mind. “I definitely wanted a small school,” he said. “When I came for a tour of the campus, it was everything I remembered. I could see myself here.”  

More specifically: He could see himself as a student athlete here.

“I had an opportunity to play baseball and accomplish my academic goals,” he said.

That’s exactly what Houston has done. After a standout, first-year season, Houston was named second team All-BIG EAST. In spring 2017, he was named first team All-BIG EAST and led the Bulldogs in home runs. However, Houston has developed more than just his athletic ability.

“The first two years were pretty big adjustments,” Houston said. “Once I settled in though, I got better at managing my time.”

“The business program is amazing,” he said. “I’m in a Portfolio Management class right now and I’ve gotten really into investing stocks. Before, I didn’t really understand what that was.”

He has also grown as a leader.

During his first year at Butler, Houston said a senior baseball teammate took the time to mentor him.  “Having that mentor was great,” Houston said. “Now I’m in his shoes and I get the chance to do the same thing for younger athletes.”

In the process, Houston said he has found lifelong friends.

“My favorite part is being around the guys,” he said. “The fun atmosphere is incredible.”

As far as baseball, well he’s not quite done with that either. “Our goal this year is to compete, qualify, and win the BIG EAST tournament,” he said. “And if the opportunity [to play baseball post-collegiately] presents itself, I might pursue that.”

pace temple

Pace Temple ’19

Kailey Eaton ’17

from Fall 2017

Pace Temple always wanted to play Division I football. He also wanted to get a great education that would support him in his postgraduate life. Butler was the perfect fit. 

“Butler offered an opportunity for me to challenge and push myself to play Division I football while allowing me to have a life outside of the sport. It offered an incredible education for life after football,” Temple said. 

In 2016, he started all 11 games for the Bulldogs and was named Second Team All-PFL and Second Team All-Academic PFL. He led the team in receiving yards, receptions, and receiving touchdowns, and surpassed the 100-yard receiving mark in three separate games. 

“My coaches and teammates challenged and pushed me to grow as an athlete and gave me the opportunities needed to succeed,” Temple said. 

Temple, a Lacy School of Business Marketing and Finance double major, chose these majors because he enjoys collaborating with others to create projects and presentations and hopes to pursue a career in Marketing. He served as the Chief Marketing Officer of his Real Business Experience (RBE) group—BU Bands and Accessories—a student-run business that sold Butler wristbands and spirit wear to fans. “I love having the opportunity to work and grow as an athlete while being pushed equally to grow and work as a student.”

pace temple
Athletics

Pace Temple ’19

by Kailey Eaton ’17

from Fall 2017

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