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Butler Beyond

Butler University and Elements Financial Partner to Provide New Student Financial Literacy Program

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Apr 08 2021

Butler University and its credit union partner, Elements Financial, are teaming up to promote student financial literacy through a new online training program called FinancialEdu. The program, which launched in January, is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge on topics such as student loans, credit cards, budgeting, and saving. The program is just one piece of an overall suite of financial wellness offerings provided by Elements to the Butler community as part of a robust corporate partnership, which began in 2016.

The student financial literacy training is the latest addition to the Career & Life Skills module of BU|BeWell, Butler’s holistic student experience framework built around eight dimensions of overall well-being. The new program was born out of conversations among a group of leaders in the Butler community determined to address the root causes of financial stress among students. After brainstorming discussions and a joint financial investment, Elements and Butler joined forces to offer the FinancialEdu training library to all Butler students, faculty, and staff. Beginning this academic year, the basic training module is now required for all first-year students.

“BU|BeWell is a proactive approach to well-being, not a reactive approach, so having this tool allows us to get out in front of this issue of financial stress for students,” says Josh Downing, Butler’s Director of Recreation and Wellness. “If we can get this training to first-year students and make it a requirement, we can provide them with foundational tools that will help them along their journey at Butler and through the rest of their lives. We’re grateful to be able to lean on the expertise provided by Elements Financial to bring this program to the Butler community.”

Kara Fischer, Elements’ Relationship Manager at Butler, already offers in-person financial wellness workshops, guest lectures in classes, and one-on-one consultations for Butler students and employees on a variety of financial topics including financial life after college, understanding credit, investment fundamentals, and more. Downing says BU|BeWell stakeholders across campus are becoming familiar with the additional training modules available within the FinancialEdu program, and he foresees the online training modules building upon the in-person offerings to better prepare students for life after Butler.

The financial literacy training works hand-in-hand with other efforts across campus to address student financial stress, including the Office of Financial Aid’s commitment to educating students about over-borrowing to finance their education, the Butler Emergency Assistance Fund, a recent freeze on tuition, and a new scholarship established by Randy and Libby Brown to provide support to current Butler students who are financing their education primarily through student loans. Together, Butler and Elements aim to prepare students for a lifetime of financial wellness.

“We’re proud to partner with Butler University in multiple ways,” says Ron Senci, Executive Vice President at Elements Financial. “Most important to us is working with faculty, staff, and students in the area of financial wellness education. This connection allows us to empower the Butler community to achieve personal financial success, which is our core purpose at Elements Financial. It’s been exciting to see our relationship grow year over year, since it formally began in 2016, and we look forward to creating new initiatives with Butler.”

The partnership exemplifies the purpose and potential of the University’s efforts to forge new collaborative relationships in the community through its Butler Beyond comprehensive campaign and strategic direction. Along with the new financial literacy training and the existing financial wellness workshops, Elements has invested extensively in Butler’s educational mission through sponsorships and philanthropic donations that have touched nearly every part of campus life.

In total, Elements is investing more than $400,000 in the Butler community through a range of initiatives including an endowed scholarship for students studying in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and capital support for the new facility housing the Andre B. Lacy School of Business. Elements Financial also serves as sponsor of the Butler Magazine, the annual faculty staff picnic, and Bulldog Boulevard during Homecoming, and is the exclusive provider of the Butler-branded VISA® debit card and the Butler University Rewards VISA® Credit Card.

“Butler University is fortunate to have such an engaged and committed partner in Elements Financial,” says Butler Vice President for Advancement Jonathan Purvis. “Since our partnership began in 2016, Elements has become increasingly invested in the Butler community, not only financially, but also through their support of a broad range of initiatives across campus. It has been gratifying to see this relationship grow to the point of co-developing this financial literacy training for students. We are extremely grateful for the holistic nature of our partnership with Elements Financial.”

 

About Elements Financial
Elements Financial is a diversified federal credit union with assets of more than $2.0 billion and 100,000+ members in all 50 states and 50 foreign countries. As a financial wellness provider, Elements serves individuals through our original sponsor, Eli Lilly and Company, and more than 150 companies across Indiana and nationally. Beyond our Elements branches in Central Indiana, we provide access to more than 5,000 shared branch locations nationally and 78,000 surcharge-free ATMs globally. Elements Wealth Management is a full-service investment management and financial planning firm with $900 million in assets under management. Elements is known for higher deposit rates, lower loan rates, and fewer fees. Join us at
elements.org to learn more. Federally Insured by the NCUA

About Butler Beyond
Butler Beyond: The Campaign for Butler University is the University’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, with a goal of $250 million to support student access and success, innovations in teaching and learning, and community partnerships.

Elements Financial
Butler Beyond

Butler University and Elements Financial Partner to Provide New Student Financial Literacy Program

FinancialEdu is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge on topics such as student loans, credit cards, budgeting, and saving

Apr 08 2021 Read more

2010/2011 Final Four Teams Inspire $2 Million Planned Gift to Butler Men’s Basketball Program

By Jennifer Gunnels

Ten years ago, the Butler men’s basketball team was on its way to a historic second consecutive NCAA title game appearance. Tom ʼ70 and Deborah Slaton were following along closely from their home in Lexington, Kentucky, where Tom had recently retired from a 40-year career as a financial advisor, and Deborah had just retired after 26 years as a professor and associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky (UK).

The couple was so inspired by the back-to-back title game appearances, and by the quality of the student-athletes on those 2010 and 2011 teams, they decided to include a gift to the Butler men’s basketball program in their estate plans. Ten years later, that gift is now valued at approximately $2 million, and the Slatons say they’ve only become more convinced their decision to invest in Butler basketball was the right one.

“We saw how the success of the basketball program in 2010 and 2011 propelled Butler into the limelight,” Tom says. “It allowed people to know about Butler both academically and athletically, and it helped showcase the many things that Butler has to offer. We think that a strong athletics program can support a strong academic program, and success for athletics can unquestionably lead to success for the entire University.” 

Tom graduated from Butler with a business degree in January of 1970, just a few months before Tony Hinkle retired as the Bulldogs’ head coach. As the years passed by and he was busy with his financial career in Lexington, Tom lost track of Butler basketball. The games were rarely on television, and he didn’t have many occasions to return to campus.

But Tom and Deborah both remember when they started paying more attention to the team. It was March 16, 2001, and the couple was on vacation in Florida, where they vividly recall watching Butler beat Wake Forest in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

As Butler basketball rose in prominence through the early 2000s, the Slatons began following the team more closely. By the time the Bulldogs were facing Duke in the 2010 championship game in Indianapolis, they were hooked. And, as they began to enjoy retirement and make plans for their estate, those back-to-back Final Four appearances inspired a desire to support the team in a more concrete way. Since formally documenting their estate gift in 2012, the Slatons have started making the drive from Lexington to Indianapolis a few times each year to watch games at Hinkle Fieldhouse and to visit with the Butler friends they have gathered along the way.

“Tom and Deborah Slaton have been incredibly generous and loyal friends to the Butler men’s basketball program for many years,” says Barry Collier, Vice President and Director of Athletics. “Their planned gift will positively influence the lives of future student-athletes and will support the program’s long-term goals of consistently competing successfully in the BIG EAST Conference while representing the best of Butler University on and off the court. On behalf of Butler Athletics, I am grateful Tom and Deborah have chosen to invest so generously in the future of the Butler men’s basketball program.”

Along with Tom's fond memories of his own days as a Bulldog, the Slatons say the thing that makes Butler most special to them is the spirit of The Butler Way.

“When we read the five guiding principles [of The Butler Way], we agree that these are key for education, teamwork, and success,” Tom says.

Deborah says her career at UK made her feel especially confident in the far-reaching impact of a philanthropic investment in higher education. Along with the Slatons’ planned gift to Butler basketball, they also have plans for an equal gift to support doctoral students in special education at UK. The Slatons have no children of their own and say they are pleased to be able to leave legacy gifts at UK and Butler that will have a positive effect on student lives for many years to come.

“We think higher education is life-changing,” Deborah says. “I think about the many people who invested in my education through scholarships at Texas Tech as an undergraduate and the University of Florida, where I earned my PhD, and it makes me want to give back.”

Following its back-to-back Final Four appearances, Butler made a move to the BIG EAST Conference, renovated Hinkle Fieldhouse, and, in 2017, hired Head Coach LaVall Jordan ʼ01. Meanwhile, the University was growing in national prominence and moving up in rankings like the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges annual listing. Each move has reinforced the Slatons’ instinct that an investment in the basketball program will benefit the entire University.

“We have been impressed with President Danko’s leadership,” Deborah says. “We see the rankings and all of this recognition coming to Butler, and we think that President Danko has pulled together a team to accomplish all of this that is forward-thinking and student-oriented, and we like that. We see this close dynamic between athletics and academics, which makes us want to invest in it.”

Tom says the future of Butler basketball looks bright, and not just because of the program’s consistently high rankings or next year’s strong recruiting class. Tom says he sees something more important happening in the lives of the student-athletes.

“Under Coach Jordan’s leadership, we think we’re seeing what the future holds for Butler basketball,” Tom says. “Not only is he an excellent coach, but he also prepares his student-athletes for life after college. We’re impressed by how he communicates with the players and gives them opportunities to engage with the world outside of basketball. I know he’s been talking to them about all the events that have been going on in the world in the past year, and we think that really develops a well-rounded person when you have a student-athlete graduate who has learned about more than just basketball.”

The Slatons say their engagement with Butler has led to deep and meaningful friendships with Butler staff and fellow fans, as well as to friendly conversations with strangers anywhere they go while wearing a Butler shirt or hat. The couple says they are happy they were able to find a way to translate their passions for basketball and special education into meaningful gifts at Butler and UK. They hope their gift will inspire others to be generous, too.

“We think Butler students, faculty, and staff are doing an amazing job,” Tom says. “Anyone who wants to support Butler can find a program that reflects their interests and make a positive impact for now and into the future.”

Slatons
Butler Beyond

2010/2011 Final Four Teams Inspire $2 Million Planned Gift to Butler Men’s Basketball Program

Ten years later, Tom ʼ70 and Deborah Slaton say they’ve only become more convinced their decision to invest in Butler basketball was the right one

Butler University
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives Nearly $10 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc.

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 25 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Butler University will receive nearly $10 million from Lilly Endowment, Inc. (the Endowment) as part of the Endowment’s Charting The Future of Indiana’s Colleges and Universities (CTF) education initiative, Butler President James M. Danko announced today. The grant will help fund initiatives in the University’s Butler Beyond strategic direction.

This is the third phase of funding from the Endowment’s CTF initiative, launched with the hope that it will help the leaders of Indiana’s 38 colleges and universities engage in further thoughtful discernment about the future of their institutions and advance the speed of their strategic planning and implementation efforts to address their key challenges and opportunities. The Endowment has made a total of more than $138 million available to schools across Indiana through the initiative. Butler received $2.75 million during the first two phases, bringing the total received from the Endowment to nearly $13 million over the past 12 months.

“Indiana’s colleges and universities face myriad challenges as they work to fulfill their educational missions while adapting to growing financial pressures, rapid demographic and technological changes, and evolving needs and demands of students,” Ted Maple, the Endowment’s vice president for education, said. “We are pleased with the creative and collaborative approaches the colleges and universities are taking to address these challenges and seize opportunities to better serve their students, institutions, communities and the state of Indiana.”  

“I am extremely grateful for Lilly Endowment’s generous investment in Butler University’s strategic direction,” Danko said. “Despite the pandemic, Butler is making significant progress in implementing its current strategy, Butler Beyond. When an organization of Lilly Endowment’s stature and prestige recognizes and rewards our vision and progress, it is quite motivating. It affirms that Butler is making a difference in higher education, and that we can have an even greater impact in the future.”

The Butler Beyond Strategic Direction, launched in 2019, was premised on a dual transformation strategy for the University. It is focused on both enhancing the traditional, high-quality residential undergraduate education for which Butler is known, while also expanding its capabilities to create new educational models and ventures aimed at serving a non-traditional student population.

Danko said the grant will enable Butler to:

  • expand its educational impact beyond traditional, full-time residential students, primarily to include adult and professional learners;
  • invest in the creation of new academic programs and alternative credentials—often in collaboration with corporations and economic development initiatives—that align with the region’s workforce development needs and offer greater opportunity to attract diverse learners;
  • support the creation and success of emerging postsecondary and workforce-related organizations poised to transform education, both within the state and across the country; and
  • maintain its position as an educational leader, despite the long-term challenges higher education is experiencing, through the generation of new sources of revenue.


“Expanding our efforts to better serve adult and online learners will support our undergraduate efforts by strengthening our ties with the regional business community, bringing a wider audience—both physically and virtually—to Butler, and increasing the educational impact of the University,” said Danko.

Butler will use grant proceeds to create a Division of Professional Studies, which will deliver a variety of new, high-quality non-traditional programs focused on professionally-oriented learners.

Beyond program development, Butler will use funding to spur entrepreneurial activity among the postsecondary and workforce-aligned organizations positioned to transform higher education. This includes the creation of collaborative, statewide effort between universities, venture capitalists, education-focused entrepreneurs, and technologists. 

“Institutions of higher education must reinvent themselves if they want to remain relevant and thrive in the 21st century,” Danko said. “Whether through the development of new programs or new, mission-aligned ventures, we will expand our reach and, ultimately, our impact. This grant from Lilly Endowment will help us achieve our goals more quickly.”
 

Media Contact:
Mark Apple
mapple1@butler.edu
317-519-8592

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.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Butler University
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives Nearly $10 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc.

The grant will help fund initiatives in the University’s Butler Beyond strategic direction

Mar 25 2021 Read more

An Attitude of Gratitude

As the world marked the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bulldogs came together to honor friends, colleagues, and loved ones and give back to Butler University during the sixth annual Day of Giving on February 24 and 25. Donors raised a record-breaking $614,710 during the event, and almost 300 of the 1,803 gifts made during the event were in honor or memory of colleagues, friends, and loved ones.

“The fact that so many donors chose to make gifts to Butler during this year’s Day of Giving in honor or memory of others is truly inspiring,” says Vice President for Advancement Jonathan D. Purvis. “This gesture demonstrates the true spirit of The Butler Way as Bulldogs joined together to make a difference in the lives of our students out of their sincere love for one another.”

In just 1,855 minutes… $614,710 raised; 2,013 donors; 294 gifts in honor or memory; 243 first-time donors; 396 Butler employee donors; $170,779 in challenge fundingWhether donors made a gift in honor of the friends and colleagues from whom they’ve been separated for the last year or in memory of departed loved ones, all gifts made during Day of Giving’s 1,855 minutes (in honor of Butler’s founding in 1855) support current and future students.

“One of the best investments you can make in yourself is coming to Butler University. I want to say thank you to all of the alumni out there—I would not be here without your support!” says Paco Beltran Rodriguez ’23.

Donors supported 140 different funds representing a variety of programs, departments, and initiatives across the University. Among the initiatives supported most generously by Day of Giving donors were the Butler Fund for Student Scholarship, the Sciences Expansion and Renovation Project, the Ayers Student Assistance Fund, and a newly created College of Education Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fund.

Student scholarships are particularly critical to fulfilling Butler’s commitment to embracing and supporting learners of all life stages and backgrounds. Every dollar given to the Butler Fund for Student Scholarships goes directly back out the door to students in the form of scholarships. The average first-year student receives $22,000 in financial assistance.

The total amount raised includes $170,779 in funding from donors whose gifts were offered as challenges to inspire others to join in giving. Among the challenges was a $50,000 gift to the Butler Fund for Student Scholarship from Ken Massaroni ’83 and Lori Ziemba ’82, and Lynne Zydowsky ’81, which was accomplished when 1,500 gifts were received.

“Butler donors have always been incredibly generous, but the outpouring of support and record-breaking contributions during this year’s Day of Giving are particularly noteworthy given the circumstances of the past year,” Purvis says. “These philanthropic gifts represent many lives that have and will be changed for the better by a Butler education.”

The funds raised during Day of Giving support several of Butler’s key strategic priorities under the Butler Beyond strategic direction. Butler is nearing $200 million raised toward its $250 million goal for the Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign, which concludes on May 31, 2022. As of March 22, Butler has raised $198 million in support of initiatives aimed at advancing the campaign’s three pillars: Student Access and Success, Innovations in Teaching and Learning, and Community Partnerships.

Day of Giving recap
Butler Beyond

An Attitude of Gratitude

Donors give $614,710 during Butler’s record-breaking Day of Giving

COPHS building, Butler University
Butler Beyond

Major Gift to College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Provides Updated Teaching Labs

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Mar 16 2021

Decker Family
Decker Family

Butler University recently received a $500,000 memorial gift from Margery “Midge” Decker ʼ66 and her family in memory of the late John W. Decker II ’67 that will provide renovations to two labs in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS) building this summer. The gift will fully fund the renovation of the Anatomy and Physiology lab and the Pharmacy skills lab to bring both spaces up to date with current technology and equipment and simulate professional healthcare settings. Fixed furniture in the labs will be removed to make the spaces more flexible for mixed-purpose use, with equipment that can be rearranged as needed. Both labs will now be permanently named in honor of John W. Decker II ʼ67.

“Our programs in the College have a strong reputation, and that comes both from dedicated faculty and the students we attract, but there also has to be the physical facilities that match the talent of our faculty and our students,” says Bob Soltis, COPHS Dean. “We always have to be reinvesting in physical facilities as much as we are in the faculty and the students, so this renovation is going to be very beneficial. Investing in our facilities continues to be just as important as investing in student scholarships and faculty development, and I’m very grateful for donors like Midge Decker who see the value in that investment.”

The Deckers’ gift has prompted conversations with other donors about further enhancing the Anatomy and Physiology lab through the addition of another 3D virtual dissection table, which would not have fit in the lab without the renovation—a stroke of fortuitous timing and generosity that will allow significantly more students to have access to this valuable advanced technology.

Decker family touring COPHS building

Meanwhile, the Pharmacy lab renovation will allow the space to be used to replicate a hospital pharmacy clean room, a retail pharmacy, and a compounding pharmacy, preparing students with a more realistic vision of what they might encounter in their professional practice.

“Healthcare education in general tends to move fast with adopting new technologies, so it’s always a challenge to stay up to date both with the equipment and the physical facilities that simulate either patient encounters in the exam room or what students might see in a hospital pharmacy clean room or in a retail pharmacy,” Soltis says. “What this gift has done in terms of impact is renovating those spaces to really make them relevant to the teaching and to the simulation of current professional settings our students will encounter in practice.”

Midge and John met at Butler in the 1960s when they were both studying to be pharmacists. After earning their degrees, the couple settled in Huntington, Indiana, where they built a life together, including raising their sons, J.R. and Brad. Along with extensive involvement in the community, they also owned their own independent drugstore, where they worked side by side as pharmacists. After selling the store, Midge and John both continued their work in retail pharmacy in the Huntington area and stayed engaged with Butler by serving as externship coordinators for Pharmacy students completing rotations in the area. One of their sons, J.R., also graduated from Butler with a Pharmacy degree, deepening the family’s connection with the Butler Pharmacy program.

John passed away in 2007, and Midge, now retired, moved back to Indianapolis in 2018. She says giving back was always a core value of their marriage and their life together, and they both credited Butler with preparing them for the careers they loved.

“The thought has always been in the back of my mind that I want to contribute to Butler, and with the campus being right in my backyard now, my attention turned more closely to Butler in recent years,” Decker says. “My time at Butler was really a good part of my life, and I say it was the springboard for the rest of my life. I’m really glad to be able to give back.”

The COPHS building was originally constructed in 1950 and received an addition in 2008-2009. There are no immediate plans for further renovations to the COPHS building, though Soltis has a number of projects in mind when funding becomes available. As the University undergoes a $100 million expansion and renovation of its Sciences complex as part of its Butler Beyond campaign, capital projects like these are designed to advance Butler’s strategic initiative to integrate business, science, innovation, and technology, preparing students with workforce-aligned skills for these high job-growth sectors of Indiana’s economy.

Decker says she and her family are glad to be able to contribute to a project that will benefit a broad number of students over many years. She says they are especially proud that future Pharmacy students will get to learn in a space that bears John’s name.

“That means the world to me, and to my family, because he was my world for 40 years. And the Pharmacy education that Butler gave us really gave us such a great start in life and enabled us to earn this money that we’re now able to give back to Butler,” Decker says. “It has worked out perfectly with the timing of the new Sciences building, and it’s dovetailed in so nicely with what was already going on at Butler. I’m very pleased with how it is all coming together.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
Senior Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403 (mobile)

COPHS building, Butler University
Butler Beyond

Major Gift to College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Provides Updated Teaching Labs

The $500,000 gift from Margery “Midge” Decker ʼ66 and her family will fully fund the renovation of the Anatomy and Physiology lab and the Pharmacy skills lab

Mar 16 2021 Read more
Clowes Hall plaza project rendering
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives $1M Grant from Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation for Modernization of Clowes Memorial Hall

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Feb 26 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation (AWCCF) has awarded Butler University a $1 million grant to support the modernization of Clowes Memorial Hall, the anchor performing arts venue of the Butler Arts & Events Center (BAEC). The grant will enable the BAEC to address contemporary safety and security concerns for patrons and performers while honoring the building’s original architectural integrity. The modernization project is part of a larger plan to enhance and remodel the exterior plaza of the venue, which was built in 1963.

While the original design for Clowes Memorial Hall envisioned the entrance of the building as a “temple of light” with a very open feel, allowing visitors to enter from all three sides of the lobby, current security measures have limited the use of exterior doors for guest entry. The redesigned entrance will honor the building’s original vision through a reimagined entry facade with a glass-enclosed marquee and second-level event space that will link the east and west sides of the second-level lobby. The new design will also remove the current existing wall between the box office and the lobby, allowing natural light to flow into the lobby and increasing the size of the lobby by 12 feet. The new entry will increase the number of metal detectors from four to 10, more than doubling the speed with which visitors can enter the building for major events and providing a vast improvement for visitor experience, particularly during inclement weather.
 

Clowes Hall plaza rendering


“I think the biggest complaints we have heard from visitors when they have come here in the past is how long it takes to get into the building, or that intermissions have been a pain to try to move through the lobby to get to the restrooms. Accessibility has also been a bit of an issue for some, and this redesign takes all of those concerns into consideration,” says Aaron Hurt, Executive Director of the BAEC. “Ease of getting into the building in a safe way and flow once you’re inside will all be vastly improved by this redesign, and I think that’s really going to improve the experience a lot for our guests.”

The new entryway is the first phase of a larger plan to redesign the entire exterior plaza of the venue to be more secure and functional. The new plaza will be paved with a small outdoor stage for hosting pre-show events, outdoor concerts, and student performances. The plaza will also include new concrete bollards—short, flat posts that will serve as both seating around the stage as well as a protective perimeter for the venue and guests gathered outside. The new paved plaza will provide a central rallying point for student events and an additional versatile gathering space for the community, enhancing student life on campus.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the BAEC to cancel all in-person performances and events for the time being, the unexpected extended closure along with the AWCCF grant will allow Butler to begin the planned renovations and upgrades during the coming months. Construction on the entryway project will begin May 1 and should be complete by the time students return to campus at the end of August. The University hopes to raise an additional $3.5 million to help fund the exterior plaza project in the coming months, as well, taking advantage of the window of time provided by the pandemic to complete the renovations in advance of an anticipated grand reopening when in-person performances are once again viable.

Clowes Hall plaza renderings“We’ve really tried to approach this with an attitude of, ‘How can we come out of this period of time as an even better venue for our patrons and performers?’ Our booking staff has still been working really hard while the venue has been closed, and we have lots of big names lined up for when we can re-open,” Hurt says. “We’re excited for the chance to welcome guests back to Clowes, and we feel confident they’re going to have an even better experience than the last time they were here.”

With the help of the AWCCF grant, Butler has now raised more than $196.4 million toward its $250 million goal for its Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign. One of the pillars of the Butler Beyond campaign is Community Partnerships, which highlights the University’s efforts to expand its impact beyond the current student body and beyond the borders of campus by contributing to the wellbeing of the broader Indianapolis community. Butler President Jim Danko says the AWCCF has been an extraordinary partner in supporting the arts education and cultural offerings provided by the BAEC, which are important aspects of the University’s role in the community.

“I am extremely grateful to the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation for its support and partnership in preserving and enhancing Clowes Memorial Hall for future generations of students and community members,” Danko says. “As a result of the critical upgrades supported by this gift, Butler will continue in its leadership role, enriching the Central Indiana community through arts, culture, and entertainment.”

Clowes Memorial Hall serves more than 300,000 patrons annually through a variety of events and programs ranging from Butler University’s own The Nutcracker to national touring companies through Broadway Across America. With 2,148 seats and a rich history of hosting some of the world’s greatest talents and personalities, Clowes also serves as one of Central Indiana’s leading providers of arts education services, welcoming school corporations in more than 85 counties across the state and serving more than 35,000 student participants annually. Since 1991, more than one million students, teachers, and guests have attended education matinee performances at Clowes.

“Clowes Memorial Hall has a lot of significance in the Indianapolis community historically as a hub for arts and culture,” Hurt says. “We are constantly asking ourselves, ‘How do we make sure this flagship venue continues to be relevant for the community? How do we take it to the next level in terms of the value we can bring to our city?’ This project is an example of Butler’s commitment to being a place for everyone.”


Renderings by Browning Day


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
Senior Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Clowes Hall plaza project rendering
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives $1M Grant from Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation for Modernization of Clowes Memorial Hall

The project is part of a larger plan to enhance and remodel the venue's exterior plaza

Feb 26 2021 Read more
Butler University
Butler Beyond

Inspired by Time at Butler, John Oberhelman Gives Back to Student-Athletes Through New Scholarship

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Feb 01 2021

John Michael Oberhelman ’64, MS ’67 was a standout football player for Evansville Central High School when he first visited Butler University for a campus tour with his parents in the late 1950s. Legendary Butler Coach Tony Hinkle, who coached football, baseball, and men’s basketball at the time, drove the Oberhelman family around campus in his car that day. Hinkle made such an impression on the young student-athlete that Oberhelman chose to attend Butler to play football under Hinkle’s leadership despite initially receiving no scholarship money to attend.

“The fact that Coach Hinkle was willing to meet me personally on a weekend and give me a tour made a big impression—it made me feel special and that I was going to be a part of the team,” Oberhelman says. “In addition to our tour, I felt it was the right size school, the right distance from home, and I was struck by the beauty of the campus as well as the facilities.”

Tony Hinkle and John Michael Oberhelman
Tony Hinkle and John Oberhelman

During his first year, Oberhelman went on to make the football team at Butler and picked up a part-time job serving meals at the sorority and fraternity houses to help pay for tuition and living expenses. He eventually was offered a scholarship beginning his sophomore year, a gift he has never forgotten.

“Having the scholarship enabled me not to have to work during the football season. More meaningfully, it signaled to me that I was an important part of the team and worth the investment,” Oberhelman says.

Now retired, Oberhelman is paying that gift forward by establishing a new endowed scholarship for Butler student-athletes through an estate commitment. The John Michael Oberhelman ’64, MS ’67 Endowed Athletics Scholarship will exist in perpetuity at Butler, providing support for student-athletes in good academic standing. Thanks to the Oberhelman gift and others like it, Butler has now raised more than $45 million toward its $55 million scholarship goal for the Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign.

“Scholarships make an enormous long-term impact on the lives of the student-athletes who receive them, as demonstrated through John Oberhelman’s successful and meaningful career and his desire to offer this gift to future generations of Butler student-athletes,” says Vice President and Director of Athletics Barry Collier. “I am grateful for scholarship donors like John who are making the Butler Athletics experience available to future students through their generous gifts.”

During his football career at Butler, Oberhelman played on both offense and defense as center and linebacker. He continued to be deeply influenced by Hinkle’s mentorship, describing him as an honorable man who rarely raised his voice to motivate and who helped advise students on their career plans.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 1964, Oberhelman was inspired to follow in Hinkle’s footsteps by becoming a teacher and coach. After earning his graduate degree in guidance and counseling from Butler, Oberhelman began his career as a teacher and coach at Tipton High School in Tipton, Indiana. He went on to become a college admissions director and later transitioned into human resources, eventually becoming the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Citizens National Bank, which became part of Fifth Third Bank in Evansville.

Oberhelman has supported Butler Athletics throughout his adult life, and decided to concentrate his legacy giving on providing future student-athletes with the same opportunities that were made available to him through scholarship support. Oberhelman credits his experience at Butler, and particularly his experience as a student-athlete, with preparing him for his career and life. He says he and many of his Butler teammates have remained lifelong friends. The experience was one he is pleased to be able to offer to future students through the Oberhelman Scholarship.

“My parents established a scholarship at another university, and I continue to support it. Meeting those students, knowing their stories, and gaining an awareness of college costs for young people today informed my decision to be helpful,” Oberhelman says of his decision to establish a scholarship at Butler. “The student-athlete focus reflected my experience at Butler. Enabling a scholarship can allow a student to attend who may not normally be able to afford it.”

 

Student Access and Success
At the heart of Butler Beyond is a desire to increase student access and success, putting a Butler education within reach of all who desire to pursue it. With a focus on enhancing the overall student experience that is foundational to a Butler education, gifts to this pillar will grow student scholarships, elevate student support services, expand experiential learning opportunities, and more. Learn more, make a gift, and read other stories like this one at beyond.butler.edu.

Butler University
Butler Beyond

Inspired by Time at Butler, John Oberhelman Gives Back to Student-Athletes Through New Scholarship

The 1964 grad, who played football under the leadership of Coach Tony Hinkle, has supported Butler Athletics throughout his adult life

Feb 01 2021 Read more
Butler University

Last fall, Butler University was awarded a $2.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to fund its new Butler Beyond Transformation Lab. The creation of the Transformation Lab is a significant step in advancing the University’s new strategic direction, Butler Beyond, which seeks to build upon Butler’s strengths in delivering an exceptional undergraduate residential education while expanding opportunities for lifelong learning and new educational pathways that are more accessible and affordable. The Transformation Lab will serve as a hub of resources, expertise, and activity to accelerate the development of future-oriented models of education and related ventures that contribute to the long-term success of the University and the learners it serves.

The Transformation Lab will work with faculty, staff, and the external community to identify, design, and pilot future-oriented education initiatives that align with both the University’s strategy and the needs of learners across the state. This will include exploring emerging concepts designed to create greater access to education, adapting the educational experience to those who want to continually upskill and reskill, and pivoting higher education to an increasingly digital experience. Co-creation of innovative solutions will be a primary tenet of the Transformation Lab’s work, achieved through collaboration with a robust local and national network of education experts, corporate leaders, workforce and economic development organizations, non-traditional education providers, and other forward-looking universities.

For instance, one early focus area for the Transformation Lab is a unique new program combining the strengths of a public and private university through a collaborative fellowship program between Purdue University and Butler University called the Learning Innovation Fellows Program. Each University will name as many as three fellows with joint appointments at each university during their terms, for the purposes of advancing undergraduate teaching and learning in the digital age. Jointly, the fellows will identify the best opportunities to pilot the creation of transdisciplinary programs at each university and create related programs, courses, and experiences. Together, Butler and Purdue aspire to share their learnings from the fellowship program with other colleges and universities in the state.

Along with establishing a $500,000 seed fund to support select pilot projects and ventures, funding from Lilly Endowment will be used to enhance a physical space on campus for the Transformation Lab, convene higher education experts and university faculty and staff for discussion and collaboration, and add additional personnel to support the University in moving ideas to viable solutions.

The $2.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment to establish the Transformation Lab is a meaningful step toward the University’s goal to raise a total of $25 million for initiatives that drive transformation throughout the University and within the broader landscape of higher education as part of its $250 million Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Butler University
Butler Beyond

Transformation Lab Accelerates New Educational Pathways

Funded by a $2.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the Transformation Lab is a significant step in advancing the University’s new strategic direction

by Jennifer Gunnels

from Winter 2021

Read more
Randy Brown

Mentor Minded

Jennifer Gunnels

from Winter 2021

In his role as an Executive Career Mentor in the Andre B. Lacy School of Business, Randy Brown occasionally encounters students who are preparing to graduate from Butler who are concerned with the financial burden of student loans they’ve taken out to finance their education. As the recipient of unexpected financial support while he was a college student, Brown understands the long-term impact of scholarship aid on a student’s life. Now, along with helping students to begin successful careers, he and his wife Libby have determined to pay forward the support they once received. 

“Both Libby and I came from families whose parents had never gone to college, and we understood the importance of people helping us along the way,” Brown says. “I think now it’s that time in our lives where we get to do something similar for others.” 

The Browns decided to respond to the need they witnessed by establishing the Randy and Libby Brown Scholarship, which is awarded to high-achieving rising seniors who have financed their education largely with student loans.

The Browns aren’t alone in their concern for students’ financial well-being. Melissa Smurdon, Butler’s Director of Financial Aid, says she is constantly thinking about how to make Butler more affordable and to ensure that every Butler student is able to complete their degree and thrive after graduation.

Butler already engages in a number of best practices for student financial wellness, and University leadership is further exploring new ways to incorporate additional financial literacy training into Butler’s nationally recognized BU|BeWell student experience model. But perhaps most importantly, Butler aims to limit as much as possible the option of over-borrowing in the first place through a robust financial aid program.

“Butler has made a strong and consistent commitment to financial aid, but there’s more work to do,” Smurdon says. “We need partners to come alongside us in supporting our students to make this transformative learning experience available to more people.”

This year, Butler invested $82 million in student financial aid. Of that total, just $3.4 million was paid for through donor-funded scholarships, resulting in more than $78 million of the University’s annual operating budget going back out to students in the form of financial aid. Student Access and Success is one of the pillars of the Butler Beyond campaign, with a particular goal of raising $55 million for student scholarships.

While the Browns plan to continue funding their scholarship annually, they have also committed to generously add an additional gift through their estate to ensure the scholarship exists in perpetuity at Butler, continuing to launch students into their post-graduate lives with less debt.

“The only thing I hope is that any recipient of our scholarship uses it to become the best version of themselves,” Brown says. “Whatever their aspirations and goals are, if it helps them move forward with a little less worry about the education they’ve had to finance and they can focus more on what they can achieve, that’s fantastic.”

Randy Brown
Butler Beyond

Mentor Minded

The Randy and Libby Brown Scholarship is awarded to high-achieving rising seniors who have financed their education largely with student loans

by Jennifer Gunnels

from Winter 2021

Read more
Butler University
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives $2.5 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Fund New Butler Beyond Transformation Lab

BY

PUBLISHED ON Oct 08 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 8, 2020)—Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded Butler University a $2.5 million grant to fund its Butler Beyond Transformation Lab. The creation of the Transformation Lab is a significant step in advancing the University’s new strategic direction, Butler Beyond, which was unveiled last October.

Lilly Endowment made the grant through Charting the Future of Indiana’s Colleges and Universities, an initiative designed to help higher education institutions across the state develop new strategies to address challenges to financial sustainability and help them better prepare students for successful, meaningful lives.

The Butler Beyond strategy builds upon Butler’s strengths in delivering an exceptional undergraduate residential education, while expanding to offer opportunities for lifelong learning and new educational pathways that are more accessible, affordable, and flexible. The Transformation Lab will serve as a hub of resources, expertise, and activity to accelerate the development of future-oriented models of education and related ventures that contribute to the long-term success of the University and the learners it serves.

“Butler University is extremely grateful to Lilly Endowment for its support of our efforts to expand access to higher education through creation of new educational models and ventures within the Butler Beyond Transformation Lab,” says Butler President James M. Danko. “In keeping with our founding values of diversity, inclusivity, and equality, we are driven by an aspiration to put higher learning within reach of all who desire to pursue it by creating new, high-quality educational pathways and options that will prepare students for long-term success.”

The Transformation Lab will work with internal and external constituents to advance opportunities to identify, design, and pilot future-oriented education initiatives that align with both the University’s strategy and the educational needs of the community. This will include exploring emerging concepts designed to create greater access to education, adapting the educational experience to those who want to continually upskill and reskill, and pivoting higher education to an increasingly digital experience. Co-creation of innovative solutions will be a primary tenet of the Transformation Lab’s work, achieved through collaboration with a robust network of education experts, corporate leaders, workforce and economic development organizations, non-traditional education providers, and other forward-looking universities.

“We look forward to partnering with other institutions and organizations that share our sense of urgency and optimism in searching for solutions to the challenges facing higher education,” Danko says. “Butler is committed to being a leader in the development of new forms of education, thereby generating solutions not only for ourselves, but for higher education, students, and society more broadly. This grant to fund the creation of the Butler Beyond Transformation Lab is a significant milestone in Butler’s history.”

Along with establishing a $500,000 seed fund allocated to supporting select projects and ventures, funding from Lilly Endowment will be used to enhance a physical space on campus for the Transformation Lab, convene local and national higher education experts and university faculty and staff for discussion and collaboration, and add additional personnel to support stakeholders in moving ideas to viable solutions.

The Transformation Lab is modeled after practices often used for navigating transformation and change in industries outside of higher education. Benefitting from Butler’s collaborations with several major technology companies, venture studios, and other leading universities, the Transformation Lab will bring together the resources, expertise, and network necessary to move quickly from idea to pilot, and, ideally, to a scalable solution for some of higher education’s most pressing challenges.

The $2.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment to establish the Transformation Lab is a meaningful step toward the University’s goal to raise a total of $25 million for initiatives that drive transformation throughout the University and within the broader landscape of higher education as part of its $250 million Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign.

This implementation grant was awarded as part of the second phase of Lilly Endowment’s three-phase Charting the Future initiative. In the first phase, Butler received a $250,000 planning grant in 2019 to prepare the implementation proposal. Grants under a third phase, which is competitive, will be awarded in 2021. Those grants will support collaborative efforts that seek to have a large-scale impact on the ability of higher education institutions in Indiana to fulfill their educational missions.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

 

Butler Beyond: The Campaign for Butler University is the University’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, with a goal of $250 million to support student access and success, innovations in teaching and learning, and community partnerships.

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Butler University
Butler Beyond

Butler Receives $2.5 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Fund New Butler Beyond Transformation Lab

The Transformation Lab will serve as a hub of resources, expertise, and activity to accelerate the development of future-oriented education models

Oct 08 2020 Read more
Major Gift from Diane Meyer Simon
Butler Beyond

Major Gift from Diane Meyer Simon to Support Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Oct 07 2020

Diane Meyer Simon ՚68 recently made a $500,000 estate commitment to Butler University, which will be used to create the Mikhail Gorbachev Fund for the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability (CUES) and to name the CUES office and teaching space in Gorbachev’s honor in the renovated and expanded sciences complex on Butler’s campus.

Meyer Simon and Gorbachev have worked together on environmental sustainability issues for more than 25 years and in 1994 co-founded Global Green, the United States affiliate of Green Cross International (GCI). The new endowed fund will provide ongoing support for the work of the CUES, whose vision is to be a national leader in the engagement of undergraduate students in the study, research, and practice of urban ecology and sustainability through established local leadership in urban ecology research, sustainability best practices, and community engagement in Indianapolis.

“Both Butler University and Mikhail Gorbachev are beloved influences in my life. I wanted to honor both in an appropriate way,” Meyer Simon says. “It is my hope that this gift will engage more students to study urban ecology as well as strengthen the study of sciences aided by the new Sciences Renovation and Expansion at Butler.”

The CUES was formally founded in 2008 and includes The Farm at Butler, a one-acre sustainable agriculture project on the west side of Butler’s campus. Led by Director Julia Angstmann, the CUES connects students, faculty, staff, and community partners for collaboration on interdisciplinary research and education through place-based projects and public discourse. One such current project is a partnership between the Department of Sociology and the CUES, along with a number of local nonprofit organizations, to understand how organizational structure influences approaches to solving food access and food justice challenges in Indianapolis.

“Adequately mitigating global challenges such as climate change and social injustice require the engagement and participation of a multitude of perspectives, expertise, and experiences,” Angstmann says. “The Center brings together students from every College on campus, as well as faculty, staff, and community stakeholders to research and devise innovative solutions to local challenges on our campus and in our city.”

Meyer Simon’s lifelong passion for public service and activism began during her years at Butler. While working toward an undergraduate degree in psychology, Meyer Simon was in attendance at Robert F. Kennedy’s famous Indianapolis speech on April 4, 1968, during which he announced the assissination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Meyer Simon calls that experience a turning point in her life, and she promptly joined Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign as an aide to Kennedy’s press secretary, Dick Drayne. Meyer Simon went on to serve on Indiana Senator Birch Bayh’s staff for more than 12 years, and later co-founded Eco Partners, an all-female ecological consulting firm.

In 1993, Meyer Simon learned that Mikhail Gorbachev, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President of the USSR, was establishing GCI in response to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit’s call to create a “Red Cross for the environment.” Meyer Simon wrote Gorbachev a letter of support and congratulations and mentioned her work with Eco Partners. In response, Meyer Simon was invited to attend the second meeting of GCI in Moscow. At the conclusion of the meeting, Gorbachev asked Meyer Simon to found the American affiliate of GCI and to serve on the GCI Honorary Board. With help from her friends Pat Mitchell, Marianne Williamson, and Matt Petersen, Global Green USA was born.

Meyer Simon sees the work of the CUES at Butler as an important local expression of the work she and Gorbachev have sought to promote on a national and international scale. Angstmann says the gift will help to engage the next generation of leaders in the work of environmental sustainability.

“This gift will allow the CUES to increase opportunities for student leadership positions in our Sustainability Leadership Cohort program, which will also allow us to expand partnership projects with campus and community partners,” Angstmann says. “Both will impact student experiences and learning, as well as further progress sustainability and urban ecology in our city.”

Along with the endowed fund to provide ongoing programmatic support for the CUES, a portion of Meyer Simon’s gift will go toward the Sciences Expansion and Renovation project, which is currently under construction. Named in Gorbachev’s honor, a portion of the project will include new, expanded office space for the CUES in Gallahue Hall, as well as a multi-functional space that will serve as a teaching and gathering space for learning, partnership, collaboration, and project development. Butler recently surpassed $30 million raised toward its $42 million fundraising goal for the project, which will add nearly 44,000 square feet of new space for teaching, research, collaboration, and study, plus a 13,140-square-foot atrium connecting Gallahue Hall to the Holcomb building.

“On behalf of Butler University and my colleagues in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I am extremely grateful to Diane Meyer Simon for this meaningful gift to support the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability at Butler,” says Jay Howard, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Through the CUES, our students and faculty are engaged in valuable collaborations with community partners in searching for solutions to real-world challenges facing our city and broader global community. This support for the Sciences Expansion and Renovation project and interdisciplinary initiatives like those happening in the CUES will have a broad impact, enhancing the learning experiences available to every Butler student.”

 

Butler Beyond: The Campaign for Butler University is the University’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, with a goal of $250 million to support student access and success, innovations in teaching and learning, and community partnerships.

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

Major Gift from Diane Meyer Simon
Butler Beyond

Major Gift from Diane Meyer Simon to Support Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability

The $500,000 estate commitment will be used to create the Mikhail Gorbachev Fund

Oct 07 2020 Read more
COE sign
Butler Beyond

Honoring A Mother’s Legacy: Donor Gift Supports College of Education Faculty

BY Jennifer Gunnels

PUBLISHED ON Sep 09 2020

As John Steele ’92 approached the 25th anniversary of his mother’s death earlier this summer, he discussed with his wife and father how the family might mark the occasion in a way that would honor her memory.

A lifelong learner and dedicated educator, Shirley Luhn Steele, MS ’82 died of cancer in 1995 at the age of 56. At the time of her death, she was working at The Orchard School as Head of Support Services and pursuing a PhD in neuropsychology at Indiana State University. This year, through a major gift to the College of Education (COE), John Steele established the Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Endowed Fund in honor of his mother’s continuous efforts to further her own education for the benefit of her students. The gift is the first of its kind at Butler to specifically support faculty in the COE.

The fund will support faculty research, leadership development, scholarly engagement opportunities, and other specialized continuing education with a particular focus on supporting faculty in the area of special education and learning disabilities. The $125,000 gift will be matched over the next several years at a 1:1 ratio by John Steele’s employer, Eli Lilly and Company, doubling the impact of the gift.

Shirley Luhn Steele taught for nearly 20 years at The Orchard School, beginning as a teacher’s aide and taking on roles with increasing responsibilities as her own training grew. She earned her master’s degree in Education at Butler in 1982 and later earned a certificate in Special Education in 1991. Steele was especially dedicated to helping students with learning disabilities succeed.

“This was a sad milestone, but a milestone nonetheless. We wanted to find a way to honor her and also meet a need for Butler, which has a special place in my heart as a graduate myself,” John Steele says. “This fund is a good reflection of what my mom did as an educator for students with learning disabilities, continuing her training so she could pass that knowledge on to her students. The stars kind of aligned, and this seemed like the right thing to do at the right time.”

Dr. Brooke Kandel-Cisco, COE Dean, says the fund will support faculty research in the area of Special Education, such as a project on which Dr. Suneeta Kercood and Dr. Kelli Esteves are currently collaborating with faculty who specialize in English as a Second Language. Within the project, Kercood and Esteves are investigating barriers and supports that dual-identified students and their families encounter in special education, English language development, and K-12 inclusive settings, and identifying practices that will promote equity and access in these settings. Kandel-Cisco says research studies such as this one allow faculty to collect pilot data, which enhances their ability to secure large federally funded grants to support research programs.

“Faculty support funds such as the Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Fund are so important because they enhance faculty excellence and innovation in teaching, research, and curriculum development, which in turn has a positive impact on students and practitioners,” Kandel-Cisco says.

Along with research support, other possible uses for the fund include support for Butler’s community partnership with Special Olympics of Indiana, which involves COE undergraduate and graduate students and aims to increase inclusion efforts on campus, international opportunities that allow faculty to learn about and conduct research on special education practices from around the world, and engagement and leadership development connected to faculty involvement with professional associations focusing on Special Education, such as the Council for Exceptional Children.

The fund will also provide support for COE faculty to offer professional development and instructional coaching for local K-12 educators working with students with special learning needs. Thanks to the Steele fund, this training can be provided at little or no cost for schools with limited resources.

John Steele is proud the fund will bear the name of a woman he says embodied all the qualities of a great educator. Even while battling multiple myeloma, Shirley Luhn Steele continued to show up for her students in spite of her pain.

“I can’t think of a better role model in terms of a person of strong faith, humility, and just hard work and perseverance,” Steele says. “She came from very poor beginnings, and was the first person in her family to go to college. Through her own educational efforts and determination to continue improving herself, she influenced many lives with her dedication to her students.”

Innovations in Teaching and Learning is one of the pillars of the Butler Beyond $250 million comprehensive fundraising campaign. The University aims to raise $20 million in new funding for faculty through endowed faculty positions and funds like the Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Endowed Fund, which will help Butler to attract and retain the nation’s top scholars.

“The Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Endowed Fund is a tremendous gift to the COE faculty, the Butler students they teach, and the thousands of children our COE graduates will educate in their classrooms throughout their careers,” says Kathryn Morris, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Investing in the excellence of our faculty will have ripple effects well beyond our imagination.”

 

Innovations in Teaching and Learning
One of the distinguishing features of a Butler education has always been the meaningful and enduring relationships between our faculty and students. Gifts to this pillar during the Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign will accelerate our commitment to investing in faculty excellence by adding endowed positions, supporting faculty scholarship and research, renovating and expanding state-of-the-art teaching facilities, and more. Learn more, make a gift, and read other stories like this one at beyond.butler.edu.

 

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
kgrieze@butler.edu
260-307-3403

COE sign
Butler Beyond

Honoring A Mother’s Legacy: Donor Gift Supports College of Education Faculty

The Shirley Luhn Steele Faculty Support Endowed Fund is the first of its kind at Butler to specifically support faculty in the COE

Sep 09 2020 Read more

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