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Donors Give $1 Million to Honor Lacy School of Business Visionary Dick Fetter

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Dec 03 2018

The vision for the Butler University Lacy School of Business can be traced back to a drawing of a barbell on a crumpled-up napkin.

Instead of 25-pound weights on each side, there was the First-Year Business Experience and the Butler Business Consulting Group. Each side, then-Dean Dick Fetter would explain, represented a key aspect of what the school’s curriculum would be built around: real life experience. This, Fetter explained to anyone who would listen, was exactly what was missing. In fact, he felt, it was what was missing from most business school curriculums. Nearly 20 years ago and ahead of his time, Fetter thought that the key to taking Butler from a fine business school to a great one was to get students more exposure to the business world from day one.  

A former fertilizer business owner, Fetter entered the academic world and saw a disconnect between what was needed in the business world and what students were getting on campus. So, he wanted to change it. And he took to napkins, whiteboards, scraps of paper, anything, to show people his ideas.

The ideas, explains Dan McQuiston, Associate Professor of Marketing and the man largely responsible for hiring Fetter, had been floating around Fetter’s head for years. But, once he was named Dean of the College of Business in 1999, he started to really put his vision into motion. He would diagram out what a revamped curriculum would look like to solve this dilemma—to turn a fine school, McQuiston explains, into a top-quality one on the cutting edge of experiential learning before it became the go-to-catch-phrase-every-school-touts-themselves-as-being.

About 20 years later, a $22 million Lilly Endowment grant, an overhauled curriculum, and a new building on the way, much of the progress behind the Lacy School of Business, and its national recognition as a result , can be traced back to Fetter’s trailblazing ways. And napkins.

“Dick is a visionary,” McQuiston says. “He really was able to see where education was going, what was needed, and how to get us there. He put into place the programmatic things that we are still doing today, the very things that give us a tremendous competitive advantage.

audience clapping for Dick Fetter“We went from the school no one really knew about to a model school. Now, we cannot fit anyone else in here with a shoehorn. Because of the programs Dick put into place 15 years ago when no one else was thinking about experiential education, we have been able to attract students from all over the place. We would not be putting up a new building if it wasn’t for Dick.”

So, it is only fitting that the new building honor the man friends, co-workers, former students, and business partners say is largely responsible for it. When fundraising for the new Lacy School of Business building started three years ago, recognizing Fetter, who is now an Associate Professor of Marketing, in some way was immediately a priority, says Graham Honaker, Executive Director of Principal Gifts.

Fifty-five donors and $1 million later, the Dean’s Suite in the new Lacy School of Business building will be named in Fetter’s honor. Donations came from members of Fetter’s own family, from individuals representing seven different states, from Butler graduates from the class of 1962 to the class of 2016. There were several first-time donors, long-time donors, faculty members, former students, and some with no connection to Butler except Fetter.

“This was really a grassroots effort and the more people we talked to, it just took off and kept going because Dick has influenced and helped so many individuals,” Honaker says. “There were not a lot of no’s in the process. Everyone gave a different amount, of course, but it all helped us get to our goal. It shows the influence Dick has had and the power of every gift.”

And even more impressive, this fundraising effort was all kept a secret from Fetter the entire time. But those who know him best say that if he knew, he would have attempted to shut the entire thing down.

On a recent Friday evening, a group of Fetter’s family, former students, colleagues, President James Danko, and others gathered in Fairview House to reveal the $1 million surprise. Fetter showed up in a hardhat—he thought he was there to give a tour of the new business school building. He knew something was awry when he saw his four sisters from Ohio in the room.

“Rarely am I speechless, but I’m almost at a loss for words,” said Fetter.

About 95 percent of those who donated to the $1 million were there to celebrate—from Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, to name a few—Fetter’s vision and leadership, and to return the gifts he had given all of them.

**

Dan McQuiston first met Dick Fetter at the copy machine.

Dean's Suite RenderingLet’s be clear. McQuiston had certainly heard of Fetter. Everyone at Indiana University had. McQuiston was a professor and Fetter was a star doctoral student. Professors would seek Fetter out to do their data analysis and research because he was so skilled, says McQuiston.

“I remember when I first actually met him he said, ‘hi, my name is Dick Fetter,’ and I just kind of laughed because of course I knew who he was,” McQuiston says. “But that is the kind of guy Dick is. He is the most humble, unassuming, deferential person you will ever meet.”

The two chatted and right then and there McQuiston was impressed. Shortly after that, McQuiston took a job at Butler and his first mission as department chair: hire Dick Fetter.

“I didn’t think we had a snowball’s chance in Haiti of getting Dick here, but I knew I was going to do whatever I could to try,” he says. “His older daughter was thinking of going to North Carolina for school and I knew Dick had an offer from Wake Forest, so I figured we were done.”

McQuiston was giving his daughter a bath when the phone rang. It was Fetter. He braced for the bad news. But, he will never forget the words on the other end.

“Dick said, ‘I am coming to Butler,’ and I nearly dropped the phone in the bath,” says McQuiston.

But what came next, he says, was foreshadowing at its finest. McQuiston asked Fetter why he decided on Butler and his answer was simple. Fetter told McQuiston that he is a builder and he wanted to build things. That, McQuiston says, is how it all started. For the next couple years Fetter commuted from Bloomington, often times sleeping in a bed in Robertson Hall.

Fetter became interim dean in 1999 and started to put into play many of the programmatic changes that the Lacy School of Business is known for today, says McQuiston. For example, at the time, first-year students didn’t take any business classes. He changed that by putting into place the First Year Business Experience, which gave students experience working with corporate partners. He implemented the Real Business Experience for sophomores, which is essentially a mini-Shark Tank.

“These were, and continue to be, tremendous competitive advantages for our school,” McQuiston says. “Coming in as interim dean, he could have just kept things status quo and made sure things ran smoothly. But that’s not Dick. He had ideas and knew how to make us go from good to great. He put everything together that you now see as cornerstones of our school.”

Then there was the Butler Business Consulting Group. This was Fetter’s model for how Butler could serve as a place to attract businesses, and in turn, get students more real-life experience. Butler received a Lilly Grant for this to the tune of $22 million.

“Every decision he made was about students. With him, it is always about the students and how to make their experience better,” he says.

**

Dick Fetter embraces donorJulie Hoffmann was set on Drake University. She had been to campus multiple times, her living arrangements were finalized, and there were only three days left before her decision would be official in April of her senior year of high school.

But, there was that scholarship offer from Butler, and she hadn’t visited campus yet, so she hit the road with her dad from Wisconsin just to make sure.

She went through her visit, took a tour, sat in on a class, ate lunch, and was unswayed, she says. The last thing on her schedule was to meet with Dick Fetter. She told her dad to wait outside, she would be out in 10 minutes.

An hour-and-a-half later, she walked out, and on the car ride home she told her dad she was going to Butler.

Fetter knew Hoffmann’s interests, he offered her a job as his student assistant, he gave her his home phone number, and he was well aware of what she did in high school.

“Nobody is better at subtle sales than Dick,” says Hoffmann, who graduated from Butler in 1998 and is now Assistant Director of the IT Help Desk at Butler. “At that age, hard selling wouldn’t have worked. He was a great listener, he remembered what I said, he made me feel like an adult, he read my file carefully, he never was in a hurry. I will never forget my first encounter with him.”

Her second semester on campus she was in a bad car accident and couldn’t get home to Wisconsin. She needed some time to recover and couldn’t use stairs, so the Fetters invited her to stay in their home for a couple weeks. It just so happened to be the exact same day a foreign exchange student arrived at their home, as well, but that didn’t matter to the Fetters, Hoffmann says. Dick’s wife, Peg, stocked the house with all her favorite snacks, like iced animal crackers, and made her grilled cheese sandwiches and mashed potatoes to make Hoffmann feel at home.

Hoffmann went on to work for Fetter for all four years she was at Butler. She roomed with their youngest daughter, Sara, three different times in her life. When Hoffmann needed surgery on her wrist her senior year, the Fetters took her. When a job opened at Butler in 2000 doing marketing research in the Office of Admission that initially brought Hoffmann back to campus, it was Fetter who told her about it. And when her dad died three years ago, it was the Fetters who drove 350 miles each way in one day to attend his funeral.

“The depths of how many different things I am grateful to the Fetters for is limitless,” Hoffmann says. “At every turn in my life when I needed something, they never hesitated. And my story is not unique. There are lots of Butler students who have lived with them for a summer. Their door has always been open, they have always been there for whoever needed them.”

Just ask J.J. DeBrosse.

DeBrosse first met Fetter when he was an undergrad and Fetter became his advisor his senior year. The two developed a relationship and Fetter was someone DeBrosse could go to for financial, personal, and career advice.

But, DeBrosse will never forget the day he lost his first child to SIDS, and the first people at the hospital were Dick and Peg Fetter. DeBrosse still isn’t sure how they found out, the day was a blur, but the Fetters were there when DeBrosse needed them most. The Fetters drove J.J. and his wife home, let their friends and family know, arranged for food at the house, and made sure their cars ended up back at their house.

“You are so helpless in that moment, and for them to drop everything and be there for us at our lowest moment and make sure everything was taken care of, and then just disappear, that is who they are. They are behind the scenes people who are so big hearted, but don’t want any attention,” says DeBrosse.

There isn’t a moment, DeBrosse says, in his life that Fetter hasn’t been a part of. DeBrosse is now the Director of Graduate and Professional Recruitment in the Lacy School of Business, a position Fetter pushed him to interview for.

He meets with Fetter weekly and can count on honest feedback, just as it was when he was an undergrad.

“Dick is so generous and never judges you. I know he will always give advice, and will push back on an idea I might have, but in a way that is thoughtful and smart and you know he is making you better and making you think differently,” DeBrosse says. “If there is one thing in life I fear it is disappointing people I care about and for me that is my parents, my wife, and then Dick is next in line. I have seen him help people in so many different ways, from personal matters, to helping with major business advice.”

**

Dick Fetter claps for speakerLaura Yurs was frustrated. She knew something was wrong with the financials of her family business, but she couldn’t get a straight answer from her accountant. She knew exactly who to call.

“I knew I could trust Dick. I knew he wouldn’t beat around the bush about it, I knew he would be direct,” says Yurs, who graduated from Butler in 1998 and worked for a professor down the hall from Fetter as a student.

So, Yurs met Fetter for dinner, explained what was going on, and a week later, the two met at Barnes and Noble to go over the financials. Fetter kept asking questions as he poured over the papers, as Yurs fed her eight-month-old daughter. Fetter calmly asked for the weekend, and said he would be in touch on Monday.

Monday came and Fetter confirmed Yurs’ hunch. The financials were not in good shape. But, he also had a plan. He identified the problem, had steps to take to turn things around, and suggested Yurs sign on with the Butler Business Consulting Group (BBCG).

“He changed our lives,” Yurs says. “He could have turned and ran and said I cannot help you, but he stood by us. A lot of people would have run for the door. Now, 10 years later, we are still in business and it is because of that pivotal moment. If we hadn’t called him, if he didn’t help, I think we would no longer be in business.”

Laura and her husband, Kevin, signed up with the BBCG. Student interns sat in on their business’ meetings, their situation was used as a case study, and while the Yurs participated in MBA classes at Butler, Peg Fetter babysat.

“Dick understood what we were facing very quickly, and he had the desire to see us get through it,” Kevin says. “Whenever we have had something pivotal—kids, business—he has been the critical difference and been there for us. But if you ask him, he will say he didn’t do anything. He is really great at understanding a situation, analyzing it for what it is, but then caring enough to help.”

**

Butler has also been there for the Fetters.

Alli, Dick’s oldest daughter, got her master’s degree from Butler’s College of Education in 2002. Sara, Dick’s youngest daughter, graduated from Butler with a degree in Anthropology in 2001. Peg has taken many classes at Butler over the years.

“My dad’s students and peers have meant so much to our entire family over the years. We have met so many amazing people because of Butler,” Alli says. “My dad would say the advancement of the College of Business over the last 30 years has been the product of the work of so many.”

When Alli found out about the 55 donors, she broke down for about 10 minutes. She started thinking about all that has taken place. There was the time Bob Mackoy gave up his sabbatical so Fetter could be with his family during a really difficult time. There are the lifelong friends that she met when she was a teenager that stayed in their home over the summer.

“Butler instantly became family when my dad accepted the job and since then my dad’s colleagues and students have meant so much to our entire family,” Alli says. “We are so grateful and moved and feel humbled by the whole thing.”

**

When Steve Standifird became Dean of the Lacy School of Business, he had to go out of his way to track Dick Fetter down.

“I had to seek him out and convince him that I wanted his feedback,” Standifird says. “He didn’t want to be in my way, or impose his vision. He is so wonderful about stepping forward any way he can and supporting you however he can. It is a rare gift to have a colleague like him.”

And so, it made perfect sense to honor Fetter with the naming of the Dean’s Suite, explains Standifird. The pivot point of the school can be traced back to when Fetter served as dean. But more than that, Standifird explains, as Fetter exemplified, a dean leads best by supporting others.

In the new building, the Dean’s Suite is intentionally on the fourth floor in a back corner because it is not the star of the show.

“A leader is doing the best job when leading by developing others and that is exactly how Dick leads. He leads by empowering others. The Dean’s Suite is a support center for the rest of the school and that is exactly how Dick leads, out of the way, not on the main floor, supporting and developing others,” says Standifird.

And Standifird is not the only University administrator to seek out Dick Fetter. When Jim Danko became Butler’s 21st president, it didn’t take him long to understand the value of Fetter’s input and counsel. 

“I’ve always appreciated the wisdom in his advice as I’ve worked to move the University forward. He’s been tremendously helpful to me, and I know the same is true of countless others at Butler and in the Indianapolis community,” says Danko. 

**

Jeff Blade remembers the napkin. It seems to him like that was one of the first things Fetter showed him when the two met back in 1996.

Blade, who graduated from Butler in 1983, had just joined the College of Business’s Board of Visitors and Fetter was eager to show him the barbell model. A napkin was all that was available. So, Fetter got to sketching.

“Next thing I know, he is drawing his barbell, and explaining, essentially, the future of education on a napkin,” Blade says. “He’s graphically depicting experiential education, but at the time that was not the hot phrase that it is now. He was talking about getting students involved in real life projects and his vision for how the curriculum would work.”

Blade worked for Kraft Foods at the time, and he worked closely with Fetter to make real marketing data from Kraft available for Butler students. The two became close friends, and Blade turned to Fetter for career advice later on.

As a business person, Blade thought Fetter’s model made a ton of sense. He was energized by the idea of hiring students who had more real-life business experience during college and tailoring the curriculum toward that.

“I remember thinking then much of the same things I think today—Dick is a transformative leader and someone who thinks big thoughts and has a vision of where things should go,” Blade says. “But he also has the unique ability to draw people in and relate to people. At his core, he is an individual who wants to make a difference in the lives of everyone he meets.”

GivingPeople

Donors Give $1 Million to Honor Lacy School of Business Visionary Dick Fetter

$1 million gift was raised from 55 donors, including Fetter’s family, friends, colleagues, and former students.

Dec 03 2018 Read more

A Season for Gratitude and Hope

by Jonathan Purvis

Jonathan Purvis, Vice President for University Advancement, with Blue III.
Jonathan Purvis with Blue III

The holiday season has always been a special time of year for me and one rich with memories. As a young kid I could barely contain the feeling of excitement for what presents I might receive. The year I was old enough to stay up late and watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve was a much anticipated rite of passage. As I grew into young adulthood, I remember the feeling of trepidation the first time I brought a girlfriend home for Thanksgiving lunch. And, somewhere along the way, I slowly became aware of the special time with family that the holidays afford.

I’m married now with three kids, and the holidays have become a time of both nostalgia and of making new memories. I find myself simultaneously reflecting on the past with my parents and adult siblings and seeing the world anew through the eyes of my children. For everyone, I think the holidays serve as a wonderful nexus between what has been and the promise of what is yet to be.

“Through philanthropy, donors powerfully express gratitude for what they have received while investing in their highest hopes for what the future will be.”

Through that lens, it seems only natural that most of us also view the holiday season as a time of giving. This annual convergence of past and future perfectly encapsulates the two conditions necessary for generosity – gratitude and hope. Through philanthropy, donors powerfully express gratitude for what they have received while investing in their highest hopes for what the future will be.

As Vice President for University Advancement, it’s a tremendous privilege to help donors express their feelings of gratitude and hope through giving to Butler. In my role, donors share with me stories of how their life was transformed thanks to their Butler experience. They also share their excitement for how Butler is preparing the next generation for the future opportunities and challenges that await them. And through giving, they put those feelings of gratitude and hope into action.

It’s for this reason that I’m proud Butler has joined the Giving Tuesday movement which harnesses the power of social media and the generosity of people from around the world. Since 2012, millions of donors from more than 150 countries have banded together to make gifts on Giving Tuesday to affect change in causes that matter to them. For me and my family, the transformative impact Butler makes in the lives of our students and in our community is that cause. So, on this Giving Tuesday, I invite you to join my family in putting gratitude and hope into action through a gift to Butler University. 

ThanksGiving

A Season for Gratitude and Hope

Through philanthropy, donors express gratitude for what they have while investing in their hopes for the future.

Hardesty with Dean Shelley
Giving

College of Education receives $1.25 Million Gift for Scholarships

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Sep 24 2018

Myrtle Hardesty '54 left Butler University before graduating, but the two years she spent as a Bulldog always meant something to her and her family.

So when she died in 2017, at age 95, she left the University a gift of $1.25 million to go toward scholarships in the College of Education.

The Myrtle Browning and James E. Hardesty Endowed Scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate students who have financial need, are majors in the College of Education, and have a GPA of 3.0 or better.

"She was one of those people who realized that she had been given a lot in life, and when you're given so much, you should turn around and give back," said Ena Shelley, Dean of the College of Education.
"That was very much what she was about—giving back. We will make sure we do a good job with the gift she has given to us."

Mrs. Hardesty told Dean Shelley she wanted the College of Education at Butler University to have the gift because her mother and father had been so proud of her for getting to Butler and for later becoming a teacher.

Myrtle Browning spent two years at Butler. She married an engineer named James Hardesty—they were together more than 40 years—and moved to New Jersey. She earned her bachelor's and master's in teaching and counseling from Montclair State University, and spent her career as a guidance counselor at the Hubbard Middle School in Plainfield, New Jersey.

In her retirement, she liked to spend time in the art studio in her home. In addition to her monetary gift, she also left one of her paintings to the College of Education.

Dean Shelley visited Mrs. Hardesty at her home in New Jersey in early 2017 and described her as "absolutely darling. I'm so glad I got to meet her. She was such a sweet, sweet woman."

The Dean said the Hardesty gift is going to make it possible for Butler to educate more teachers.

"This is a great step forward in meeting the teacher shortage demands and for us to have some resources to offer students," she said. "This helps our ability to bring more students in to teacher education."

This gift supports the Butler 2020 Strategic Plan which was approved by the Board of Trustees in the fall of 2013. Butler 2020 charts a bold course for Butler’s future through which it will preserve the University’s unique character, distinguish Butler as a school of choice for exceptional students, and increase its national prominence. In support of Butler 2020, the University has invested in new campus facilities, academic programs, and co-curricular offerings. In the past five years, Butler has built the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts and two undergraduate residential communities, Fairview House and Irvington House. In the fall of 2019, the Andre B. Lacy School of Business will open a new 110,000 square foot building. Additionally, Butler is actively fundraising to complete a $93 million Science Complex expansion and renovation. To learn more, visit butler.edu.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan MFA '18
News Manager
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

Hardesty with Dean Shelley
Giving

College of Education receives $1.25 Million Gift for Scholarships

The Myrtle Browning & James E. Hardesty Endowed Scholarships will be awarded to students with financial need.

Sep 24 2018 Read more
Carillon
Giving

Butler University’s Most Prestigious Donor Society Inducts 248 Honorees

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Sep 13 2018

Butler University celebrated the launch of the inaugural Carillon Society on Wednesday, September 12, honoring those individuals whose cumulative giving reached $100,000. Two hundred and forty-eight honorees were inducted into the university’s most prestigious donor recognition society, representing more than $73 million in total philanthropic support for the University.

In addressing the honorees, President James M. Danko reflected that “woven through our history are the names of individuals who saw a bright vision for the future and invested in the innovative ideas of their time and place making that vision a reality. Those generous philanthropists from Butler’s founding have passed the torch to each of you in the room tonight. Together, you have accepted the challenge to continue moving Butler forward.”

Carillon Society honoree giving has impacted nearly every corner of the University. Collectively, they have established more than 50 endowed scholarships and provided significant support for the Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse, the Butler Fund, the Bulldog Club, the Butler Arts Center, the new Lacy School of Business Building, the Science Complex expansion and renovation, and each of the six academic colleges.

This influx of philanthropic support has been a critical element to Butler University’s dramatic growth under the leadership of President Danko. Pursuant to the Butler 2020 Strategic Plan, the University and donor partners have invested in new campus facilities, academic programs, and co-curricular offerings.

In the past five years, Butler has built the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts and partnered with American Campus Communities to build the Fairview House and Irvington House residential communities, in addition to renovating Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Andre B. Lacy School of Business will open the doors to its new 110,000 square foot home in the fall of 2019, and fundraising is underway to complete a $93 million Science Complex expansion and renovation.

The Carillon Society celebration will be an annual event honoring those who reach status in the previous year.


About Butler University

Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,500 undergraduate and 541 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 46 states and 39 countries. Ninety-five percent of Butler students will have participated in some form of internship, student teaching, clinical rotation, research, or service learning by the time they graduate. Butler students have had significant success after graduation as demonstrated by the University’s 97% placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.

 

Media Contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

Carillon
Giving

Butler University’s Most Prestigious Donor Society Inducts 248 Honorees

Butler University celebrated the launch of the inaugural Carillon Society on Wednesday, September 12.

Sep 13 2018 Read more
ThanksGiving

Impact of Philanthropy | Dr. Jeremy Johnson

BY

PUBLISHED ON Aug 19 2018

ThanksGivingPeople

Honor My Father: Jay Sandhu and his Gift to Butler

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 01 2018

Jay Sandhu '87 wanted to honor his father, Chain. So when the opportunity arose to name the garden terrace in Butler's new Lacy School of Business building for his father, he and his wife, Roop, said yes.

"The reason I am where I am is in no small part due to his hard work and guidance," said Sandhu, chair of Butler's Board of Trustees and CEO of NYX, an automotive supplier his father purchased in 1989, which has grown from 30 employees and $2 million in sales to 2,400 employees in four countries and nearly $600 million in sales. "He allowed me to come to Butler even after I said I wasn't going to be a doctor. He was my boss, mentor, father, and his hard work since the family emigrated from India is reason we live the life we do. He loves gardens, he loves business, so the garden terrace space seemed like a beautiful spot."

Sandhu, a Biology and Physics major at Butler, got his first look at the new building during a tour in June. He found himself "totally blown away" by what he saw—from the majestic atrium to the serenity of the view from the top-floor garden terrace. He expects the finished product, which is scheduled to open in fall 2019, to be transformative for business education at Butler, and he hopes to inspire others to contribute.

"It's not so much the number," he said. "As a trustee and chairman, obviously I'd like the number to be as big as possible, but I think it's more about having that connection with Butler, supporting Butler, to the extent that feels good. I know supporting Butler in this way has given me more happiness than I can describe. It feels good to support the school that I think so much of."

ThanksGivingPeople

Honor My Father: Jay Sandhu and his Gift to Butler

Jay Sandhu, and his wife, Roop, wanted to honor Jay’s father through a gift to the Lacy School of Business.

Aug 01 2018 Read more
Atherton Union
GivingPeople

Board of Trustees Adds Four New Members

BY

PUBLISHED ON Jun 18 2018

Butler University’s Board of Trustees welcomed four new members during its annual board meeting in June.

Jeffrey A. Blade ’83, Nick Musial ’02, Stephen Sterrett, and Amy E. Wierenga ’01 were appointed. The new trustees began their appointments at board meetings that took place June 7 and 8 on Butler’s campus.

“We are excited to welcome our new trustees to the board," Chairman Jay Sandhu said. "We look forward to their combination of talent, varied experiences, insights, and enthusiasm for Butler. We know these four individuals are extremely well qualified and well positioned to further strengthening our institution.”

In addition to welcoming new members, the board celebrated the service of three outgoing trustees. Craig Fenneman ’71 and Jim White retired after 15 years of service on the board. Outgoing Alumni Association President Beth Morris left the board, as her two-year appointment ended.

“We are grateful to Craig, Jim, and Beth for their service, dedication, and generosity to Butler University,” President Jim Danko said. “The entire Butler community has benefitted from their leadership and investment as trustees.”

Blade
Blade

Blade graduated from Butler with a B.S. in Accounting. He received his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1991. While at Butler, he was the founding President of the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. He is also a past member of the Lacy School of Business Board of Visitors and currently serves on the Advisory Board for Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business. Blade is the CEO of Matilda Jane Clothing LLC in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Musial
Musial

Musial received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Butler. As a student, the Indiana Certified Public Accountants Society recognized him as the outstanding senior accounting major. He served on Butler’s Young Alumni Board from 2007 to 2010, and he and his wife, Elizabeth ’05 MBA '08, received the Ovid Butler Society’s Foundation Award in 2013. Musial is the incoming Alumni Association President and serves as the Vice President of Finance at Allegion in Carmel, Indiana.

Sterrett
Sterrett
 

Sterrett earned a B.S. in Accounting and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University in 1977 and 1983, respectively. He serves on the boards of the Indiana Golf Foundation, the Indiana State Seniors Golf Association, and Tindley Accelerated Schools. He also is a member of the Advisory Board for IU’s Benecki Center for Real Estate Studies, and he is a former board member of the Simon Youth Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Christian Theological Seminary, Catholic Youth Foundation, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Sterrett retired as the CFO of Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. in 2014.

Wierenga

Wierenga graduated from Butler with a B.S. in Economics and Music. She was a Top 100 Outstanding Student, as well as a member of Resident Life staff, Butler Symphony Orchestra, Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, and the track and cross country teams. She earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and is currently a partner and chief risk officer at Blue Mountain Capital Management LLC in New York.

Butler has a 35-member board. Trustees are selected by the committee on trusteeship, and then voted on by the full board.

 

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
317-940-9257

 

Atherton Union
GivingPeople

Board of Trustees Adds Four New Members

Board also says goodbye and thanks to Craig Fenneman, Jim White, and Beth Morris.

Jun 18 2018 Read more
Dinner

Dinner with 10 Bulldogs

Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

It’s not about the location or the menu for that matter. I mean, let’s not kid ourselves—college students are all about a home-cooked meal. But, what a Dinner with 10 Bulldogs is really about is the energy and connections made between students and alumni. 

Just ask Bryan Brenner ’95, CEO of FirstPerson and current Butler Trustee, who was hooked after hosting a dinner. “I’ve hosted a few of these because they inspire me—the eagerness of students to connect ... It reminds me to go for big goals in my own life and to encourage others.” 

Curious how Butler students feel about Dinner with 10 Bulldogs? Look no further than Logan Schwering ’18, who has engaged with alumni in various contexts, but says the Dinner with 10 Bulldogs is the most memorable. “It’s motivating and inspiring to see how much success Butler alumni have achieved. The dinners lead to connections that last a lifetime.” 

In Schwering’s case, it also led to an internship with FirstPerson. As Brenner puts it, 

“[The dinner] gives us access to great future talent! It’s also a great opportunity to reconnect to the purpose and values of Butler. I’ve instilled those values in my company. ” 

These values—trust, collaboration, and innovation, to name a few— are important to Butler students and many seek those values in an employer. It should come as no surprise, then, that FirstPerson has seven Butler alumni on staff and several Butler interns. 

So what kind of company is FirstPerson? It’s an Indianapolis-based strategic business advisory that helps organizations of all sizes become better businesses by developing smarter people strategies. Their core solutions—benefits and compensation, leadership and infrastructure, and community and culture—help organizations design meaningful employment experiences, resulting in healthier employees and a more productive business. 

“I do market research, benchmarking, sales support, and build community partnerships,” Schwering explained of his internship role, where he assists the small group team (clients with less than 200 employees). And with so many Butler alumni on staff, I wasn’t shocked to learn that Schwering reports to one—Alli Isaacs ’10, who is a Strategist in the organization. 

His connection to Butler alumni at FirstPerson doesn’t end there. Schwering was introduced to FirstPerson by Mark Minner ’12, a Managing Director with the company. Minner and Schwering met through their mutual involvement in Phi Delta Theta. Schwering’s role in Student Government Association (SGA) also gave him opportunities to speak with and present to Butler Trustees, including Brenner. 

About a year later, FirstPerson hosted a Dinner with 10 Bulldogs event and Schwering attended. He interacted with Brenner and Minner at the dinner and, as they say, the rest is history. 

For those of you thinking about hosting a Dinner with 10 Bulldogs, Brenner has some advice: “Do it! You’ll be energized by the rich personalities of Butler students, and their capacity for understanding the world around them. You’ll remember why you love Butler, and discover new ways to engage with your alma mater.” 

Still on the fence? Schwering reassures me that Butler students want to hear about your Butler experience. He also added, “If it’s the food selection that has you worried, fear not. Anything homemade or from a restaurant is likely better than what we would have eaten in the dining hall or made on our own.” 

See, I told you it wasn’t about the menu. 

We Need You!

Collaborate with and inspire Butler students while making connections that will last a lifetime. To host a Dinner With 10 Bulldogs, please visit butler.edu/busf/dinner-10-bulldogs. You will be energized to reconnect with Butler while encouraging students to “go for big dreams.” 

Dinner
GivingPeopleCommunity

Dinner with 10 Bulldogs

On the menu: trust, collaboration, innovation, and connections

by Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

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Marc Williams

A Philanthropic Vibe

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

As a student, Marc Williams ’07 spent as much time as possible in Fairbanks, Room 050, working on his music and learning audio production. 

“I just threw myself into that,” he said. “Admittedly, I didn’t think of what it would be like for me after college. I was just so in love with having the opportunity to be hands-on with equipment I could never afford in my entire life. I thought that was such a great opportunity. I was all-in when it came to that.” 

What it’s been like since college has been a mix that takes advantage of Williams’ many talents. He is, depending on the time of day: A special-education teacher at Fishers (Indiana) High School; the on-court emcee at Butler Men’s Basketball home games; a recording artist and deejay (known as Mr. Kinetik; his latest record is called Voyager); event producer and promoter (Fam Jaaams, a family-oriented dance party, is his newest event); and Adjunct Professor at Butler, where he teaches “A World of Hip-Hop,” a course on the global impact of rap culture. Not to mention husband and father. 

The through line for all of this? Butler. 

“Butler is where I was able to figure out who I really wanted to be,” he said. “As I was learning new information, I was able to form a more detailed perspective about myself and my place in the world. I met people from all over the world, had support from incredible people, and was able to experience things in ways I really never imagined.” 

Williams came to Butler from Dayton, Ohio, in 2003—two years after his sister Danielle—for the Engineering Dual Degree Program. When that major didn’t fit, he switched to Recording Industry Studies. 

“Best decision I made in college in terms of academics,” he said. 

After graduation, Williams went back to Dayton to work for a car dealership management software company, then returned to Indianapolis in 2008 for a job with a company that sold copy machines. “I hated every part of it,” he said. 

He saw an ad on Career Builder for a transition-to-teaching program. “I thought, I like young people and I like working with people and watching them become better,” he said. “I thought it would be nice to do because there were so many educators who had helped teach me. I thought it would be a cool thing to do and give back. A philanthropic vibe. I thought I was going to save the world from a classroom.” 

Williams is now in his 10th year of teaching at Fishers, where his classes include Algebra 1, English 10, and a basic reading/writing skills class—and he has found his niche. He approaches teaching this way: Students are like plants. Some of them will grow fast, some will take a while, some will take more work than others, some might not grow the way you want them to. 

He approaches his role as on-court emcee—a position he pioneered during the 2009–2010 season—with the same kind of thoughtfulness. “I’m not really the center of attention, as much as it may seem like it. I just want people to be engaged and have a good time and establish an environment that helps the team play better.” 

And just as Williams enjoys helping to excite the Hinkle Fieldhouse crowd, he’s just as happy to have a chance to spend time at his alma mater. 

“Butler is my home away from home,” Williams said. “I hope I’ll always have a way to be somewhere around 4600 Sunset Avenue for the rest of my life.” 

Marc Williams
GivingPeopleCommunity

A Philanthropic Vibe

"I thought I was going to save the world from a classroom.”

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Read more
Chad

Engine of Opportunity

Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

Why would a man who graduated cum laude with three job offers accept the one that didn’t quite match either of his two Butler University degrees? 

Because this offer came from Google, and “I think I would’ve been kicking myself if I hadn’t taken it,” said Chad Pingel ’16. 

The Des Moines, Iowa, native hasn’t allowed himself many chances to kick himself for passing up opportunities in his life—or for failing to make the most of them. And though he earned degrees in Finance and Marketing with an Ethics minor, Pingel may have found his activities outside Butler’s classrooms the most educational. 

“I was interested in forming relationships with folks who had unique and varied experiences. One of the core pieces to my time at Butler was how the campus fostered relationships from chance encounters and random experiences.” 

Effective keywords 

Taking his parents’ lifelong advice to always make the most of the chances he’s given, Pingel quickly became a Student Ambassador and a member of the Student Government Association, eventually becoming Student Body President. 

“Being in SGA was the perfect opportunity to serve as a liaison between groups. We were hearing students’ concerns directly and then championing them to staff, faculty, and administration,” he said. “Some of my proudest accomplishments happened in SGA.” Chad Pingel at Google

Pingel led initiatives to persuade IndyGo to reroute city buses through campus, and to court student input and buy-in around plans for new student residences. 

“The plans were a bit of a shift in perspective for students who had lived in Ross Hall, like I did, and we didn’t want to lose the community feeling we had created there,” he said. 

Intelligent search 

Pingel threw himself into the Lacy School of Business with the same sense of purpose. He cites three specific sources of the business mentality and work ethic he took to Google: The Real Business Experience (RBE), a financial portfolio management class, and the Butler Business Consulting Group (BBCG). 

RBE teaches students how to finance and market a project, take informed risks, and manage a real business “just like out in the real world.” In the financial portfolio management class, Pingel and his team were allowed to invest and manage $2 million of the University’s endowment money. (They finished 80 basis points up.) 

“I knew I was interested in assessing companies and the quality of an investment, but we got to go beyond that and develop higher-level skills by looking at overall business values,” he said. 

Finally, Pingel said joining the BBCG was “one of the most exciting and valuable chances of my life. We got to help the NCAA better align their internal feedback and approach to setting goals. It was a dream project.” 

Then came a job at one of the most successful companies in the world. 

Results returned 

Google receives two million resumes every year. Pingel’s first position was in Human Resources, diving into that enormous stack of candidates to recruit for finance positions. Itching to get back to actual Finance a year later, he became a Finance Automation System Administrator, the position he holds today. 

Though he said Google is such a leader in automation that no university could have fully prepared him for what he’s doing now, Pingel said he left Butler knowing how to assess information and maintain a work-life balance. 

“I learned a lot about professional life, but also how to show yourself as someone who can have fun and relate to people,” he said. “And professors like Dr. Paul Valliere taught me the importance of staying intellectually curious. The ability to think creatively helps me every day—at Google and in life.” 

Giving Back by Giving Chances 

Working at Google in California puts Chad Pingel ’16 far from his Iowa family and his Butler family, too. He decided to stay connected and give back to the University by funding the Pingel Family Scholarship. 

“I created a scholarship in my family’s name because I recognize all the sacrifices my parents made to put themselves through school. They worked two and three jobs, and I am so lucky that I could attend a great school like Butler without having to worry about finances,” he said. “Now, I get to give a similar chance to another student every year that could make the difference for them being able to attend Butler’s business school.”

Chad
AcademicsGivingPeople

Engine of Opportunity

Why would a man who graduated cum laude with three job offers accept the one that didn’t quite match either of his two Butler University degrees? 

by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

Read more

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
sellick bowl

The Butler Bowl became the Bud and Jackie Sellick Bowl on September 16, thanks to a gift from the estate of Winstan R. “Bud” Sellick ’47 and Jacqueline (Blomberg) ’44.

Also as part of the $9.6 million gift, the Champions Room in the Sellick Bowl was renamed the Bud and Jackie Sellick Room, and the Registrar’s Office is now the Jacqueline Blomberg Sellick Registrar’s Suite. 

The Sellicks had asked longtime friends Dan Yates and Bob Wildman to assist in the transfer of this gift to Butler. Wildman noted that the Sellicks “were special people with a special place in their hearts for Butler.”

“During their long history with the school, they saw it grow and prosper, and I know they were quite happy and proud to be a part of its success,” he said. “They would be extremely grateful to Butler for this recognition by the University of their generous gift.”

The Sellicks were married for 69 years. A Marine Corps veteran, Bud served on Okinawa and Korea. His association with Butler University was long and deep. When Bud was born, his father was the Treasurer of Butler University in Irvington, as well as a Professor of Economics at the school. In 1939, when he came to Butler as a student, an aunt was Assistant Registrar and a second aunt was a Librarian. 

Bud’s pursuit of a degree was interrupted by World War II. He returned to Butler following the war, earned his degree in Economics, and married his college sweetheart, Jacqueline Blomberg. As a student, he was involved in the band, Kappa Kappa Psi band honorary, and Delta Tau Delta fraternity. In 1947, he began his successful career as an insurance agent in the Indianapolis area.

After fighting in Korea, he returned to Indianapolis where he served as President and Owner of Bud Sellick Insurance Agency and the Blessing-Sellick Insurance Agency for several decades until his retirement. He was also involved in a successful real estate business in the Indianapolis area with his wife and brother-in-law.

Bud died March 30, 2015. He was 93.

Jackie was a lifelong resident of Indianapolis. She attended Shortridge High School, then went on to become a graduate of Butler University. During her Butler days, she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, a member of the Debate Team, and a recipient of the Ovid Butler Award.

Her career included over 20 years on the Industrial Board. She also owned and operated commercial real estate for 40 years.

Jackie died October 20, 2012. She was 89.

Consistent donors to Butler for more than a third of a century, the Sellicks endowed three scholarships: The Winstan R. Sellick, Jacqueline Sellick, and Herman W. Blomberg Scholarship; the Sellick, Deming, and Schuler Scholarship; and the Winstan R. Sellick and Jacqueline B. Sellick Business Scholarship. 

They also made gifts to the Butler Fund and several athletic funds, including the restoration of Hinkle Fieldhouse. In 2007, Bud and Jackie Sellick received the Ovid Butler Society Mortarboard Award. In 2014, Bud was honored when he received the Butler Medal. He also was a donor and strong supporter of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity.

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