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After 25 Years at Butler, Provost Morris Named President of St. Lawrence University

By Jennifer Gunnels

Twenty-five years after joining the Butler University faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathryn Morris will be leaving Butler at the end of May to take on a new role as President of St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, on July 1.

As the University’s head of Academic Affairs, Morris has managed more than 65 undergraduate and 15 graduate programs, overseeing Butler’s 380 faculty and 200 academic staff. She joined the Butler faculty in 1996 and served as Chair of the Department of Psychology from 2007–2011. In 2012, shortly after Butler President Jim Danko’s arrival, Morris was promoted to Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, a role that became permanent in 2013.

Danko says he was confident in naming Morris to the role despite a lack of prior administrative experience as a dean or associate provost because of leadership qualities he observed in her during his initial days at Butler.

“Kate demonstrated a number of positive attributes that immediately resonated with me, including academic experience and insights, that counter-balanced my own,” Danko says. “She struck me as someone who was thoughtful, measured in approach, and respected by her colleagues. Over the years, Kate’s leadership abilities have flourished, and there’s no doubt she’ll be an excellent president.”

Though she was surprised at the time to be offered the Provost position, Morris was eager to take on the new challenge and felt encouraged after talking to her father, who himself had served as a Professor of Psychology and Provost at Denison University. Morris says she has deeply enjoyed her work as Provost for the past nine years, and she feels especially proud that her daughter chose to attend Butler.

“I think the most meaningful thing to me is that one of my children chose Butler for their college experience,” Morris says. “When your own child makes that choice and decides this is the place they want to be their collegiate home after you and your spouse have spent so much of your career there and have cared so deeply about the place and the people at that place, that’s a really nice validation of all the work that has been done on behalf of the University across time.”

Morris says she is also proud of the work she has done alongside President Danko and other University leaders through the Butler 2020 and Butler Beyond strategic plans.

“There are a lot of ways in which Butler is different for the better today in terms of the physical footprint, the number of academic programs, and our increased emphasis on high-impact practices for students,” Morris says. “I’d say there’s an awful lot we’ve accomplished through those strategic plans, and it has been very gratifying to be part of that.”

Though Morris has been involved in leading many of Butler’s broad, campus-wide efforts over the past decade, her contributions have also been felt deeply on a personal level by her colleagues and students.

Morris was an Assistant Professor in Psychology in her first year teaching at Butler in the fall of 1996 when Jessica Lakin ʼ98 enrolled in her social psychology course. The course exposed Lakin to an aspect of psychology that sparked her interest, and Morris soon became a mentor, serving as the faculty advisor for Lakin’s senior honors thesis and overseeing her undergraduate research. Lakin recalls dropping off a draft of her thesis for Morris to review, and having it returned covered in edits, notes, and feedback.

“I know it was that kind of feedback, and the fact that someone cared enough to give me that kind of feedback, that made me a very strong writer,” Lakin says. “This is what Kate does for her students, and I take that away as one very concrete example of the way she invested in my life and in the lives of so many others. I know how much time that takes, and I know I wasn’t the only one she was supporting in this way. The payoff from that kind of time and attention on a generation of students is hard to calculate.”

Lakin went on to follow in Morris’s career footsteps, earning a PhD in social psychology from Ohio State University in 2003 and joining the faculty at Drew University later that year. In July 2020, Lakin was named Provost at Drew. At every step of the way, Morris has been available to offer guidance and support.

“She has mentored me through every transition in my professional life,” Lakin says. “What I try to emulate about Kate is the calmness and thoughtfulness with which she approaches problems or challenging issues. The core of that is a respect for other people. She is able to navigate difficult situations and complexities with integrity and a clear commitment to doing what she believes is right. I have benefited greatly from her support and value our friendship.”

Anne Wilson, Professor of Chemistry, was a new faculty member alongside Morris in the fall of 1996, and the two have navigated their Butler careers as colleagues and friends for 25 years. Wilson agrees it is Morris’s ability to listen to diverse perspectives and calmly assess difficult situations that allowed her to transition successfully from being a member of the faculty to being an administrator.

Just prior to Danko’s arrival and Morris’s promotion to Interim Provost, Butler had undergone structural changes, including adding the College of Communication in 2010. Wilson says those transitions came with growing pains, and Morris’s leadership was central to Butler’s ability to successfully navigate that season of growth and change.

“She has a warmth and kindness that is refreshing,” Wilson says. “She’s a calming force. She brought back the voice of the faculty, and through her role being pluralistic and inclusive, she was able to establish trust with the administration. She worked really hard to bring us all together into a united vision of what Butler is and what Butler can be.”

Danko agrees that Morris’s steady leadership has been central to Butler’s success in recent years.

“The stability she has brought to the Provost’s Office has been remarkably advantageous, and certainly instrumental to Butler’s success,” Danko says. “She has a high degree of integrity, which has earned a great deal of respect across the University and allowed us to collaborate between the academic side and the University administration in a very effective way. For me to have an academic partner and a co-leader in the Provost’s Office for almost 10 years has been extremely beneficial.”

Morris also noted her positive working relationship with Danko as a highlight of her years at Butler.

“I am particularly grateful to Jim Danko because he saw in me something that I didn’t know was there by plucking me out of the faculty and asking me to be his partner in the Provost’s Office,” Morris says. “I have learned a tremendous amount from watching him, working beside him, and having him as a mentor.”

Morris says she is excited about the next chapter in her career, but she will miss working alongside her Butler colleagues, especially those with whom she has served on the President’s Cabinet and the Provost Advisory Council.

“Those are the people I’ve worked with the most closely who have really made working together a fun environment despite the challenges we have faced,” Morris says. “There is so much respect and such a strong sense of community in those groups. I also feel especially grateful to the faculty and staff in the Department of Psychology, which always was and will be my academic home at Butler.”

Morris is wrapping up her final weeks at Butler and transitioning her responsibilities to Brooke Barnett, who previously served as Dean of the College of Communication and was recently named to the role of Interim Provost. As she looks to the future, Morris is excited to join an institution that is thinking creatively about how to address the challenges facing higher education and liberal arts education in particular.

“I was impressed by St. Lawrence as an institution that is future-thinking and action-oriented, and approaching things from an innovative perspective,” Morris says. “I think those things are really important for the longer-term success of higher ed institutions at this juncture in time when it’s pretty challenging.”

Lakin believes Morris has all the right qualities for a university president leading in today’s environment.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that becoming a university president is her next step, and she is exactly the type of person we need in leadership positions in higher education right now,” Lakin says. “Her thoughtfulness, her dedication, and her approach to this work is exactly what institutions need in their leaders today. I think she’s going to be a fabulous president.”

Kate Morris

After 25 Years at Butler, Provost Morris Named President of St. Lawrence University

Since she joined the Butler faculty in 1996, Kathryn Morris's steady leadership has been central to the University's success


Butler University to Host Seven Commencement Ceremonies to Accommodate More Guests


PUBLISHED ON Apr 29 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Butler University will host seven separate commencement ceremonies May 8-9 to safely accommodate more guests, and allow for proper social distancing between graduates and guests. All ceremonies will be held in Hinkle Fieldhouse on the Butler campus.

Typically, Butler hosts one commencement ceremony for all of its graduates. This year, the university will host separate ceremonies for each of its six colleges, plus an additional ceremony for the Class of 2020. Butler was unable to host a commencement ceremony in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Each graduate will be allowed to invite two guests to attend the ceremony. Guests will be seated in pods, with at least six feet between them and other guests. Graduates will be seated throughout the arena, and will also have at least six feet between them and other graduates, faculty members, and dignitaries who will be in attendance.

“Given what we have experienced over the past year, I have gained an even deeper appreciation for the importance of social gatherings and the value of celebrating life’s milestones together,” Butler President James M. Danko said. “While I prefer Hinkle Fieldhouse at full capacity, I’m grateful that we are able to safely accommodate guests for this very special occasion.”

There are 1,235 students graduating from Butler in the Class of 2021; 978 students are earning undergraduate degrees and 257 students are earning graduate degrees. Of the 1,348 students who graduated in the Class of 2020, 328 are expected to return to campus to participate in their commencement ceremony.

The ceremonies’ dates, times, and speakers are:

Saturday, May 8

Class of 2021

  • 8:30 AM—Jordan College of the Arts: Faculty address by Dr. Becky Marsh, Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education; student reflection speaker is Daniel Scofield, Dance-Arts Administration major, Business Administration minor
  • 12:30 PM—College of Communication: Faculty address by Dr. Abbey Levenshus, Associate Professor of Strategic Communication; student reflection speaker is Jack Shirley, Strategic Communication major, Digital Media Production minor
  • 4:30 PM—Lacy School of Business: Student reflections by undergraduate Taylor Fisher, double major in Finance and Economics, and graduate student Anna Rader​, Master of Science in Risk and Insurance

Class of 2020

  • 8:30 PM—All Graduates: Faculty address by Dr. Jane Gervasio, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Sunday, May 9

Class of 2021

  • 10:00 AM—College of Education: Faculty address by Dr. Debra Lecklider, Professor and Director of the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP) graduate program
  • 2:00 PM—College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Faculty address by Dr. Terri Jett, Professor of Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies Department, Faculty Director of the Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement and Senior Advisor to the President, Affiliate Faculty—Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; student reflection speaker is Gwen Valles, double major in International Studies and Spanish, with a minor in Chinese
  • 6:00 PM—College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences: Student reflection speakers are Will Grabowski, Doctor of Pharmacy, Class of 2021 President; Megan Becker, Master of Physician Assistant Studies, Class of 2021 President; Eshaan Lothe, Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, Class of 2021 President

Media Contact:
Mark Apple

About Butler University
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 30 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 98 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.


Butler University to Host Seven Commencement Ceremonies to Accommodate More Guests

All ceremonies will be held in Hinkle Fieldhouse on the Butler campus

Apr 29 2021 Read more
Lorraine Ortiz

Lorraine Ortiz to Serve as Vice President, Human Resources at Butler University


PUBLISHED ON Apr 26 2021

Lorraine Ortiz, JD, sHRBP, has been selected to serve as Vice President, Human Resources at Butler University, effective June 1, 2021.

In her new role, Ortiz will lead the transformation of Butler’s Human Resources division into a strategic, trusted campus partner that provides responsive policies, services, and programs for the Butler community. She will lead and implement process and technology improvements to ensure that faculty and staff have access to consistent, high quality HR information, services, and resources; serve as the chief advocate and strategist for issues related to people; and provide inspirational leadership to an evolving team of HR professionals. Additionally, Ortiz will help provide campus-wide leadership in operationalizing Butler’s commitment to the racial and ethnic diversification of the staff and faculty, and further existing efforts to perpetuate equitable and inclusive work environments.

“Lorrie has proven leadership and management skills and a record of success developing and implementing HR programs, plans, policies, and procedures,” Butler University President James M. Danko said. “I expect that she will be highly successful at furthering the good work that has already been done in attracting and retaining some of the nation’s top faculty and staff.”

Ortiz arrives at Butler from Riley Children’s Health, where she served as Vice President of Human Resources since 2016. Prior to joining Riley, Ortiz served for four years as Director of Human Resources - Retail Division at Goodwill Industries of Central and Southern Indiana. She also served for four years as the Director of Human Resources for MCL Restaurant and Bakery. She began her career in California, where she held human resources positions with 99 Cents Only Stores, Inc.; County of Orange, Social Services Agency; and Coaster Company of America.

“I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of the outstanding leadership team at Butler University,” Ortiz said. “The transformation that has occurred under President Danko's leadership over the past 10 years is simply amazing, and I look forward to continuing that transformation over the next decade. I can't wait to get started!”

Ortiz earned a B.A. in English from Whittier College in California. She earned a J.D. from Santa Clara School of Law, also in California. She holds certifications from several organizations, including International Coaching Federation, Gallup Cliftonstrengths, Kornferry, and Prosci Change Management.

Media Contact:
Mark Apple

About Butler University
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 30 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 98 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.

Lorraine Ortiz

Lorraine Ortiz to Serve as Vice President, Human Resources at Butler University

Ortiz will lead the transformation of Butler’s Human Resources division into a strategic, trusted campus partner that provides responsive policies, services, and programs for the Butler community

Apr 26 2021 Read more
Butler University

Butler University Welcomes Two New Trustees


PUBLISHED ON Mar 31 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Butler University appointed two new members to its Board of Trustees during its February meeting. Andrew Greenlee ’90 and Chris Miskel ’96 will each serve three-year terms beginning June 3, 2021.

“We are fortunate to have two distinguished alumni from Butler’s Lacy School of Business join our Board of Trustees,” Butler University President James M. Danko said. “They are highly effective leaders who have excelled in their careers, and Butler University will benefit greatly from their presence on our board.”

Chris Miskel ’96

Chris Miskel is president and CEO of Versiti, a midwestern non-profit organization with 2,100+ employees that serves customers nationally in transfusion medicine and esoteric diagnostic testing; conducts internationally renowned blood research; and serves patients in need of blood products, as well as organ and tissue transplant. The organization exceeds $300M in revenue annually.

Prior to joining Versiti, Chris served as Group Vice President and Global Immunology Franchise Head at Shire, helping to bring medicines to patients around the world and shaping the strategy for a $2.5 billion biopharmaceutical franchise. In a previous role at Baxalta, Chris was Vice President of Plasma Strategy and New Product Development.

Chris began his career with Eli Lilly & Company in 1996 as a Business Analyst before going on to hold a succession of positions, culminating in his appointment as General Manager of Lilly Australia and New Zealand.

Chris earned a B.S. in Accounting from Butler’s Lacy School of Business (LSB) in 1996 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2000. He is a member of the LSB Dean’s Advisory Council, and a former member of the Young Alumni Board, the Central Indiana Community Steering Committee, and the Alumni Board. Chris was a member of the Butler men’s basketball team and he and his wife are current season ticket holders. An engaged alumnus, Chris is a past recipient of the Hilton U. Brown Alumni Achievement Award and a joint recipient with his wife, Nicole, of the Foundation Award.


Andrew Greenlee ’90

Andy Greenlee is the President & CEO of US Farathane, LLC, a global leader in the automotive industry. US Farathane is a high-end plastics company offering wide ranging technologies, processes and expertise. When Andy joined US Farathane in 1996, there were 300 employees with $25 million in revenue and two Michigan locations. US Farathane is now a global leader with approximately $1 billion in revenue and 5,500 employees. They have 16 locations in the United States, China and Mexico. US Farathane has garnered the top awards in the industry by being named Supplier of the Year with General Motors, FCA and Honda. Andy has been the President & CEO since 1999. Prior to that, he was in fast-track positions with Honeywell and Cooper Industries.

In 2015, US Farathane partnered with The Gores Group. The partnership has been highly successful, and US Farathane’s organic growth continues to far outpace the industry, and the culture and spirit have remained intact.

Andy earned his Bachelor Degree in Marketing from Butler University’s Lacy School of Business in 1990 and an MBA in Finance from the University of Detroit in 1994. He was named to Crain’s Detroit Business “40 under 40” list in 2005. He is also a past recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Andy is honored to be a Founders Circle Member, contributing to the construction of the new Lacy School of Business building. Originally from Columbus, Indiana, Andy, his wife and children currently split time between Lake Angelus, Michigan and Vero Beach, Florida.


Media Contact:
Mark Apple

About Butler University
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 30 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 98 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.

Butler University

Butler University Welcomes Two New Trustees

Andrew Greenlee ’90 and Chris Miskel ’96 will each serve three-year terms beginning June 3, 2021

Mar 31 2021 Read more
Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh

Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh Named Interim Dean of the College of Communication


PUBLISHED ON Mar 29 2021

Dr. Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh has been named the Interim Dean of Butler University’s College of Communication (CCOM), effective April 1. Geertsema-Sligh has served as Director of the Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media since June 2016.

Geertsema-Sligh joined Butler in August 2005 as an Assistant Professor and received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2011. She was promoted to Professor in 2017 and holds the Richard M. Fairbanks Chair of Communication. She served as Director of Global and Historical Studies for four years before her appointment as Director of the Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media. Geertsema-Sligh’s teaching and research focus on global media, gender and news, and global women’s issues. 

“I am delighted that Margaretha is stepping into this new role as Interim Dean and I know that she will provide excellent leadership for the college during this time of transition,” says Dr. Brooke Barnett, the current CCOM Dean who was recently named Butler’s Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “She has already made a tremendous impact as Director of the Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media and I look forward to seeing the ways she continues to shape and support the CCOM community.”

During her time as Director of the Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media, Geertsema-Sligh provided leadership for majors in Creative Media and Entertainment, Journalism, Music Industry Studies, Sports Media, and Web Design and Development. She worked closely with faculty in each of these programs to implement curricular changes over the past years. In addition to her work as Director, Geertsema-Sligh served as chair of CCOM’s Professional Standards Committee, International Committee, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Intercultural Development Committee. She was also a member of President James Danko’s Faculty Advisory Committee.

Geertsema-Sligh earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from North-West University in South Africa, where she worked for five years in journalism and public relations before coming to the United States to attend graduate school. She received her master’s degree in Communication from Washington State University and her doctorate in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

“I am excited to serve CCOM as the Interim Dean until a permanent Provost has been appointed,” Geertsema-Sligh says. “I definitely have some big shoes to fill with Dr. Brooke Barnett’s move to the position of Interim Provost. I look forward to working closely with the talented faculty and staff of our college to ensure the best experiences for students in all the CCOM majors and across the University.”

Media Contact:
Mark Apple

Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh

Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh Named Interim Dean of the College of Communication

Geertsema-Sligh had served as Director of the Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media since 2016

Mar 29 2021 Read more
Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib to Serve as Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence

BY Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

PUBLISHED ON Mar 17 2021

Hanif Abdurraqib seems to be everywhere these days—online and in bookstores with his new collection of essays; articles in The New York Times Magazine; on his podcast, Object of Sound; on social media; and on his music website,

And, for the 2021–2022 school year, you’ll find him at Butler University, where he will serve as the Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence, teaching both graduate students in the MFA program and undergraduate English students. He’ll also present his work as part of the Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series.

“I was at Butler in 2019 and loved the program,” says Abdurraqib, 37, who taught a poetry workshop. “I love the kind of writers the program focuses on and caters to, and I really believe in the vision and the work of everyone running the program. It’s a very writers-first program; it focuses on the writers. And there’s a real curiosity and eagerness in the students that I have not found anywhere else.”

Over the past five years, Abdurraqib has made a huge name for himself in literary circles as a poet, essayist, music critic, and cultural critic. The Washington Post called his book They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us “a definitive meditation on contemporary Black dying” and described his writing by saying “paragraphs open with piercing salvos, with sentences that move with hammering force and finish with finesse and flourish.”

But before that, he was a kid in Columbus, Ohio, the youngest of four, being shaped by his siblings and his hometown. His siblings exposed him to all kinds of music (among his favorites are The Clash, Sleater-Kinney, X-Ray Specs, A Tribe Called Quest, The New York Dolls and Little Richard), and he absorbed it all.

His hometown taught him warmth—“the way the people are with each other, the way people interact with each other, the generosity that people show toward each other has allowed me to look at the world with the type of gentleness that I desperately need.”

He started his writing career as a music critic, working for anyone who would pay him, and developed the ability to write passionately about what he heard.

“I learned to express excitement for the way music makes me feel and for the way music allows me to access and see the world differently than I do,” he says. “I think I approach my investment in music with a sense of wonder, and I want to take that approach always.”

In 2011, Abdurraqib fell in with the Columbus poetry crowd. “I felt for the first time that I was accessing work that was interesting and exciting to me and that I could touch on my own and do on my own,” he says.

His first book of poetry, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, came out in 2016, and by 2017 he could put the word “writer” as his occupation on his 1040 form. His book They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us came out that year, followed by Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest and A Fortune for Your Disaster in 2019, and on March 30, 2021, A Little Devil in America.

The new book is about the many modes of Black performance throughout U.S. history, Abdurraqib says.

“It feels like I wrote a book that feels celebratory,” he says just before the book launch. “It was so fun to write, and I’m excited that it’s coming out in the world, but I’m a little sad that I had to let it go because I had such a good time writing it.”

Abdurraqib describes himself as “curious, always seeking and excited about the potential for what can be. That defines me and defines my work, too. I’m always seeking and attempting to find my way toward something that makes sense—not necessarily on a search for answers but in a search to better understand the kind of happy predicaments that I stumble into.”

One of those is teaching. Abdurraqib taught briefly at the University of Iowa last year until COVID-19 hit. Then he moved back to Columbus. Meanwhile, Butler was looking for its fourth Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence (Michael Dahlie, who later joined the faculty, Alix Lambert, and Justin Taylor were the first three) and reached out to Abdurraqib.

“Right now, Hanif is a rock star of literature, and my suspicion is that in the next year or two, he’s going to get even bigger,” English Professor Dan Barden says. “So we’re grateful that he enjoys being part of our community.”

As a professor, Abdurraqib says, he’ll be interested in breaking down the hierarchy between educator and student and seeing what everyone can teach to one another.

“It’s important for me to stress that we’re going to have to push each other to be good, and it’s not just going to be me telling people what to do or what to write,” he says. “Hopefully, we’re going to be more thoughtful than that. That is my hope for being at Butler for the second time around.”

Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib to Serve as Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence

During Butler's 2021–2022 academic year, the well-known writer will teach undergraduate English and graduate MFA classes

Mar 17 2021 Read more

The History of Hinkle Fieldhouse

By Jennifer Gunnels

Hinkle Fieldhouse is one of six Indiana venues proudly serving as a host site for the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Affectionately known as “Indiana’s Basketball Cathedral,” Hinkle Fieldhouse has played host to many memorable basketball games, community events, and notable public figures during its illustrious 93-year history. The construction and upkeep of this National Historic Landmark has been made possible by a long line of generous and visionary philanthropists who hoped this building would be a gift to the Central Indiana community.

1928: Hinkle Fieldhouse, originally known as Butler Fieldhouse, was built and financed by the philanthropic contributions of a corporation of 41 Indianapolis businessmen. With a seating capacity of 15,000 at the time of its opening, it was the largest basketball arena in the country, a distinction it held for 20 years.

Hinkle Fieldhouse, exterior construction

March 7, 1928: Butler played its first basketball game in the Fieldhouse on March 7, 1928, defeating Notre Dame 21-13, in overtime, before 12,000 fans. Since the Fieldhouse was not entirely completed at the time, the building dedication was held at a later date. Completion of the Fieldhouse was guaranteed when Butler signed a lease agreement with the Indiana High School Athletic Association, which allowed the high school state tournament to be played in the new facility.

December 21, 1928: The Fieldhouse was officially dedicated at a game against Purdue University, which the Bulldogs won 28-27.

October 28, 1932: President Herbert Hoover delivered a speech to an estimated overflow standing-room only crowd of 23,000 at the Fieldhouse in his bid for re-election in the upcoming presidential race. The speech was broadcast to a national radio audience. Hoover lost the November 8 election to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1933: The removable hardwood basketball court, which originally ran east–west, was changed to a north–south orientation to provide additional arena seating and to keep the sunlight, which streamed in from the large west-facing upper windows, out of the players’ eyes.

east-west court at Hinkle

March 1935: Future Olympic Gold Medalist Jesse Owens ran 60 yards in 6.09 seconds during the Butler Relays intercollegiate event, tying a world record. He had to crash into an improvised barrier of hay bales to prevent his momentum from carrying him into the stands.

Jesse Owens at Hinkle

May 3, 1936: To open National Music Week, Sigma Alpha Iota, the national professional music sorority, sponsored a grand piano recital. 125 pianos were brought to the Fieldhouse, where 825 pianists played a variety of songs and accompanied the combined choirs of Butler University and the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music. Admission was 50 cents, and proceeds were used to aid the sorority’s scholarship and student loan funds. Approximately 25,000 spectators attended the recital over two performances.

February 1937: The Fieldhouse hosted a six-day bicycle race that lasted for 11 hours and 45 minutes each day. Riders rested in bunks arranged in the infield of the track between races, and approximately 30,000 spectators attended over the course of the six-day race.

six-day bike race at Hinkle

March 1937: Fred Perry defeated Ellsworth Vines in a three-set tennis match in the Fieldhouse.

March 1938: Elephants, ponies, and horses paraded through the Fieldhouse during the Shriner’s Indoor Circus, which also included a trapeze and high wire act.

March 1940: Butler hosted the 1940 Eastern Regional of the NCAA basketball tournament, which featured Indiana, Duquesne, Western Kentucky, and Springfield. Indiana won the Regional, advancing to the finals in Kansas City. This was the only other time Butler has hosted NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship tournament games.

1943-45: The Fieldhouse was utilized as U.S. Army and Navy barracks during World War II. Sailors and Army Air Corps recruits were stationed in the Fieldhouse while attending training courses on campus. Sleeping quarters were constructed in the main gym, and a kitchen and mess hall were also installed.

military at Hinkle

October 1952: The Fieldhouse was transformed into an ice rink to host an ice show headlined by Sonja Henie and a cast of 200 ice skaters.

March 1954: The "Milan Miracle" occurred at the Fieldhouse when tiny Milan High School's basketball team defeated the much larger Muncie Central High School in the state high school basketball championship. Milan’s Bobby Plump made the last-second shot to win the game and went on to become a star player at Butler. Two other players, Rollin Cutter and Ray Craft, also went on to play for Coach Hinkle, as had the Milan coach, Marvin Wood.

September 23, 1954: Then-Vice President Richard Nixon delivered a speech in the Fieldhouse for a GOP Rally event in the lead-up to midterm elections.

October 15, 1954: President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave a speech at the Fieldhouse about farm policy and the state of agriculture.

March 1955, 1956: The Crispus Attucks High School basketball team, led by Oscar Robertson, became the first all-Black team in the nation to win a state championship in an integrated tournament. The team defeated Roosevelt High School 97-64 in the Fieldhouse, and went undefeated the following year to win a second consecutive title.

Crispus Attucks High School

October 1959: Evangelist Billy Graham visited Hinkle Fieldhouse and delivered a speech to students. Afterward, he visited with students and faculty of the nearby Christian Theological Seminary.

November 1965: The Butler Board of Trustees voted to change the name of the facility from Butler Fieldhouse to Hinkle Fieldhouse in honor of Butler’s legendary coach and athletic director Paul D. “Tony” Hinkle, who contributed to the University’s athletic success for nearly 50 years. Hinkle is also known for originating the orange basketball. Until the late 1950s basketballs were dark brown. Hinkle worked with the Spalding Company to create an orange version that was more visible to players and fans. It was formally adopted by the NCAA after a trial use at the 1958 Final Four.

Tony Hinkle

January 9, 1968: Hinkle Fieldhouse hosted the inaugural American Basketball Association (ABA) All-Star Game. Larry Brown, who would later become Head Coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1993-1997, was named the game’s MVP.

1975-76: The inaugural season for the Butler Women’s Basketball program took place in 1975-76 with the team’s home games being played at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Hinkle Fieldhouse also hosted the first girl’s high school state basketball championship in March 1976.

April 22, 1976: President Gerald Ford spoke at Hinkle Fieldhouse before a crowd of approximately 15,000 as part of the Butler University Student Assembly Lecture Series while fending off a Republican primary challenge from Ronald Reagan.

1986: The final scenes of the movie Hoosiers, loosely based on the 1954 “Milan Miracle” state championship, were filmed at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

filming for movie "Hoosiers"

1987: The Fieldhouse was declared a National Historic Landmark.

August 1987: Hinkle Fieldhouse served as the volleyball host venue for the 1987 Pan American Games. The United States defeated Cuba in the men’s gold medal match before an estimated crowd of 15,000.

1989: Renovations reduced the Hinkle Fieldhouse seating capacity from 15,000 to 11,000.

November 28, 1993: Under then-Head Coach and current Director of Athletics Barry Collier, Butler defeated Bobby Knight’s No. 11 Indiana Hoosiers 75-71, the team’s first victory over the Hoosiers since 1958. Many consider the win to be a turning point in Butler basketball history.

March 1, 2003: Avery Sheets hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to beat Milwaukee for the Horizon League Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, where the Bulldogs went on to achieve their first-ever appearance in the Sweet Sixteen.

November 6, 2005: Former President Bill Clinton spoke at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Bill Clinton

March 2, 2006: Former President George H.W. Bush spoke at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Both former presidents spoke as part of Butler’s Sesquicentennial Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series.

President George H.W. Bush, 2006

May 6, 2008: Future President Barack Obama delivered a speech at Hinkle Fieldhouse while campaigning against his Future Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in that day’s Indiana Democratic primary election for President.

November 2011: Butler announced a $16 million fundraising campaign to preserve and update Hinkle Fieldhouse, “Indiana’s Basketball Cathedral.” The renovations included extensive exterior work, improved stadium accessibility, and upgraded areas for sports medicine, strength and conditioning, academics, locker rooms, and athletic department offices. Game day upgrades for fans included new chairback seating (reducing capacity to 9,100), a video scoreboard, and more concessions and restrooms.

January 19, 2013: Hinkle Fieldhouse hosted ESPN’s national College GameDay broadcast. Fans rushed the court after Roosevelt Jones hit the game-winning shot as Butler defeated Gonzaga 64-63.

2014: Butler surpassed its fundraising goal for the Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse, ultimately raising more than $17.1 million for improvements aimed to “Keep Hinkle, Hinkle.” In honor of the largest gift to the campaign, a $1 million gift from the Efroymson Family Fund, the practice gym was renamed the Efroymson Family Gym. Renovations were unveiled to the public in fall 2014.

Photo by Lindsay Martin, Hinkle Fieldhouse

April 2015: Hinkle Fieldhouse received the Cook Cup Award for Outstanding Restoration from Indiana Landmarks.

January 4, 2017: Butler defeated defending national champions Villanova 66-58. It was the first time the Bulldogs beat a No. 1 team at home.

October 2018: Butler University announced a second phase of renovations to Hinkle Fieldhouse. Donors collectively gave more than $10.6 million to fund updates including the installation of air conditioning for all public areas of the Fieldhouse, extensive work to the men’s soccer locker room, and a complete renovation of the Efroymson Family Gym.

March 2021: Hinkle Fieldhouse serves as one of the host sites of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, held entirely within the state of Indiana.

Hinkle Fieldhouse, 2021


Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler University

The History of Hinkle Fieldhouse

Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse has seen nearly a century of basketball, community events, famous visitors, and other historic memories

Humans of Hinkle: Mr. Kinetik, a man always in motion

By Kobe Mosley


Mr. Kinetik

Humans of Hinkle: Mr. Kinetik, a man always in motion

From The Butler Collegian: The story behind how Mr. Kinetik got the gig as emcee is a simple one: A classic case of asking a question to the right person at the right time

Humans of Hinkle: The trailblazing career of Sharon Clark

By Henry Bredemeier


Sharon Clark

Humans of Hinkle: The trailblazing career of Sharon Clark

From The Butler Collegian: As one of the first Black head coaches at Butler, Clark is making an impact on and off the volleyball court

Butler Blue IV, Mayor of March

Butler Blue to Become Mayor of March, Presiding Over City’s Hoops Madness

BY Michael Kaltenmark

PUBLISHED ON Mar 01 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—He is the Butler Bulldog, Indy’s four-legged ambassador, the undisputed State Dawg, a model among all live mascots, and now, Butler Blue IV has assumed yet another title: the Mayor of March.

As the entirety of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament descends upon the city and state this March, including games at Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse, Blue is stepping up to make sure his followers around the country don’t miss a minute of the Madness.

“Blue already represents all of the best parts of NCAA Basketball,” said Evan Krauss, Blue’s handler and Senior Marketing Manager at Butler. “Combine that with the love of his hometown, Indianapolis, and you have a slam dunk.”

Blue will employ a four-paw’d approach as the Mayor of March, acting as part host, part ambassador, part reporter, and part college hoops fanatic. So, in addition to his prolific presence on social media, the young English bulldog will be readily visible around Indianapolis during the month. 

As a Dawg about town, Blue will attend fan rallies hosted by Indiana Sports Corp., participate in community events organized by Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, extend hospitality to guests and visiting media with Visit Indy, and much more.

But the I-465 loop won’t be fencing this Dawg in. With opening-round games in Bloomington and West Lafayette, Blue will also load up the BlueMobile and hit the road. From north to south, Blue will be out to get the scoops on hoops while capturing the sights, sounds, and smells of March from the Hoosier state.

“Our live Bulldog mascots are no strangers to road trips,” Krauss said. “We’ve covered thousands of miles over the last several years on the heels of the Butler Basketball team to surprise prospective students, visit alumni, and spread some Butler cheer. This is a continuation of that, but with a special focus on our own backyard. I think Blue was born for March in Indy!”

And born not long ago, Blue made his campus debut before a Butler Men’s Basketball game on January 24, 2020, with a sold-out Hinkle Fieldhouse crowd in attendance. Now, that same historic hoops cathedral will play host to first- and second-round games, as well as a share of the Sweet Sixteen matchups for this year’s NCAA Tournament. 

One of just six game sites, Butler University is proud to have Hinkle serve in such a prominent capacity for this year’s Tournament. And known for its NCAA Tournament success in recent years, including consecutive Final Four and national championship game appearances in 2010 and 2011, Butler is embracing it’s latest role as a host of Tournament play.

Fans are encouraged to follow @TheButlerBlue and #MayorOfMarch on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for additional Butler Blue IV content.

About the Butler Blue Live Mascot Program
An idea was born the first time a bulldog shimmied into the offices of the Butler Collegian in 1919. The idea would lift the spirits of the student body and instill pride in alumni for decades. Today, the idea is stronger than ever. Since 2000, Butler Blue has been the face of Butler University, a champion of education, an advocate for the arts and sciences, a fervent supporter of student-athletes, and cultural influencer. Butler Blue is, and always will be, the four-legged embodiment of The Butler Way.

Media Contact:
Mark Apple
Interim Director of Strategic Communications

Mayor of MarchButler Blue IV, official mascot of Butler University, proclaims himself the Mayor of March


WHEREAS, the State of Indiana, and primarily the City of Indianapolis, will host the entirety of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, thus becoming the epicenter of March Madness®.

WHEREAS, I, Butler Blue IV, am an AKC-registered, live English bulldog mascot representing Butler University, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the fourth in succession among a line of nationally recognized Butler Bulldog mascots.

WHEREAS, I, Butler Blue IV, am the host of hosts; the heartwarming host of Hinkle Fieldhouse, and the honorable hoops host to hardwood hobbyists around the globe.

WHEREAS, I, Butler Blue IV, am an ambassador, or Ambassa-Dawg, officially representing my school, my city, my state, and my game as doggy diplomat.

WHEREAS, I, Butler Blue IV, am a reporter, or repawter, offering scoops on hoops, along with ears-up, eyes-wide, nose-to-the-ground, and tail-wagging observations of collegiate mascot life.

WHEREAS, I, Butler Blue IV, a bone-a-fide college hoops fanatic, a beast of brackets, mongrel of madness, Dawg of dunks, rover of rebounds, pupper of put-backs, and bully of buzzer-beaters.

WHEREAS, Butler University, home of historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, is a nationally recognized university, rated by U.S. News as the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest and No. 1 Most Innovative School, featuring six academic colleges, and known for small class sizes, student access to faculty, real-world internships experiences, research opportunities, and an educational experience that provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in life after college.



On the campus of Butler University, in the City of Indianapolis, throughout the State of Indiana, and wherever college hoops are revered and celebrated, I ask all fans of basketball to join in this observance.






Butler Blue IV, Mayor of March

Butler Blue to Become Mayor of March, Presiding Over City’s Hoops Madness

Butler’s live bulldog mascot is seizing the opportunity to be more than just host of Hinkle

Mar 01 2021 Read more

Live Mascot Team Aims to Unveil Trip’s Official Portrait on Butler’s Day of Giving

By Katie Grieze

FEBRUARY 24 UPDATE: We did it! Watch the unveiling of Trip's official portrait.

In 2001, Butler University Interim President Gwen Fountain decided to hold the school’s first live bulldog mascot, Butler Blue I, as she posed for her presidential portrait that now hangs in Atherton Union.

That was the start of a tradition. When Butler Blue II retired in 2013, his handler, Michael Kaltenmark, contacted local artist James Kelly of Mad Lab Studios to create a painting of the bulldog that resides in Robertson Hall.

Now it’s Blue III’s turn. Better known as ‘Trip,’ Butler’s third live mascot retired in the spring of 2020, and his official portrait has been painted by Anthony J. Padgett of Red Truck Productions. The Live Mascot Program just needs to raise $5,000 during Butler’s 2021 Day of Giving on February 24–25 for the painting—which currently hangs under a curtain in Robertson Hall—to be unveiled.

Leading up to the fundraising challenge, we touched base with Trip’s dad to learn more.

How would you describe the purpose of creating the mascot portraits?
Michael Kaltenmark: Just as is the case for our University Presidents, these official portraits of our live mascots both honor their service to Butler and preserve their likeness on canvas for the campus community to enjoy for generations to come.

How did you choose Anthony J. Padgett to be the artist for Trip’s painting?
MK: It was a case of Anthony choosing us! Anthony’s business partner in Red Truck Productions is Neal Stock, who has Butler ties. Knowing our history of capturing our live English bulldog mascots in oils and acrylics, Neal pursued the opportunity to have Anthony produce this piece. I was glad he did. Anthony’s work speaks for itself, and I was honored that he wanted to focus his talents on Trip. The fact that he’s local to the Indianapolis area, and that he wanted to pursue this project at a steep discount, made the partnership even better. I couldn’t be happier with how this all worked out.

What does the process of creating the portrait look like?
MK: Anthony and Neal came to campus to shoot some photography of Trip, as well as various landscapes for potential backgrounds. They also referenced photos we already had. After giving them some input, we left the creative vision to Anthony, and we didn’t see the portrait until it was nearly finished.

Why do you have a fundraising goal of $5,000 for this project?
MK: That covers everything, including the commission fee, materials, framing, etc. An original work of this size and scope would typically cost much more, but Anthony and Neal wanted to do this at a discount for Butler’s sake. Now we are inviting the Butler community and our fans to help us cover the cost. When they come to campus to see Trip’s portrait, they can take some satisfaction in knowing that they helped make it happen.

How can Butler community members watch the portrait unveiling?
MK: Under normal circumstances, we’d hold an unveiling event with Trip in attendance, much like we did with Blue II back in 2013. But given the health and safety protocols related to the pandemic, this unveiling will be all virtual. And if we meet our fundraising goal on Butler’s Day of Giving, we’ll do the unveiling live via social media that day!

To support this initiative and help us unveil Trip’s official portrait, you can make a gift to Butler’s Live Mascot program on February 24–25. To see other available Day of Giving challenges, click here.

Some call it giving back. We call it the Butler Way.
On Butler's 6th annual Day of Giving, we invite you to join us in celebrating the best of Butler by making a gift to support the areas of your choice. Our goal is to reach 1,500 gifts across the Butler community before 12:55 PM on February 25. Hitting our goal will unlock $50,000 in student scholarship support. Day of Giving is special because it brings together Bulldogs near and far to achieve a shared goal: putting a Butler education within reach of all who desire to pursue it. There’s strength in numbers, and your gift—of any size—will make a difference for Butler students. Thank you for supporting Butler University!


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
Senior Content Manager
260-307-3403 (mobile)

Trip portrait teaser graphic

Live Mascot Team Aims to Unveil Trip’s Official Portrait on Butler’s Day of Giving

If the mascot fund raises $5,000 on February 24, the new painting of Butler Blue III will be revealed

Alicia Garza Talks with Students on the Power of Working Together for Change

By Katie Grieze

After the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the spring of 2020, Butler University junior Annie Ventura wanted to address the anger she felt in a meaningful way.

“I was mad, sad, and disappointed about the acts of police brutality and the murders of people of color, particularly Black people,” says Ventura, an International Studies major with a minor in Criminology. “I knew that if I was mad, then there were millions of other people who were, too, because they were personally and directly affected by what was happening. It was a type of anger, disappointment, and sadness that I would never be able to fully understand. So, I wanted to do something that could serve as a beacon of hope and support.”

By early 2021, Ventura and other members of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board (DEIB) of Butler’s Student Government Association had organized for #BlackLivesMatter co-creator Alicia Garza to speak with the campus community during the University's Founder's Week. Ventura helped moderate the conversation on February 9, along with Butler senior and DEIB Director Roua Daas. Co-sponsors for the virtual event included the Black Student Union, the Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement, Bust The B.U.B.B.L.E., the Efroymson Diversity Center, and the Department of Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

In addition to helping launch #BlackLivesMatter, Garza founded the Black Futures Lab to help Black communities be more powerful in politics. She is the Strategy & Partnerships Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the co-founder of Supermajority, and author of the book The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart—which was available free for Butler students leading up to the event.

During the discussion, Garza focused on her desire for more people to believe in their own power to create change, especially if they work together.

“The story that is told so often about #BlackLivesMatter is that we took a hashtag and turned it into a global movement,” she said. “But that’s not at all how change happens. Movements don’t originate from hashtags. They come from people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired—as [civil rights activist] Fannie Lou Hamer was known to say—and they join together to create a force that is bigger than themselves as individuals so that we can all access the world that we deserve.”

Organizing is powerful, Garza explained, but there can also be things that stand in the way of success. She said social movements can be messy because the people who build them are messy, complicated individuals. Even within the same organization, members come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. That’s why in building a movement, Garza said, it’s crucial to take an intersectional approach that doesn’t leave anyone behind.

“I love how Alicia tells her story and situates her own world view in an ever-shifting political and economic U.S. context, where there has been a constant backlash to any hard-fought progress that Black people gained decade after decade,” said Dr. Terri Jett, Professor of Political Science and Faculty Director of the Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement. “Her never-ending passion for staying in the midst of the struggle, and yet carving out a space for centering intersectional voices, has been remarkable because it allows for leaders to emerge who would have otherwise been silenced.”

Click here to view a recording of this event.

Alicia Garza

Alicia Garza Talks with Students on the Power of Working Together for Change

The #BlackLivesMatter co-creator spoke with the Butler community during a student-organized event on February 9