On my evening campus walks with Daisy throughout the fall semester, I heard remarkably consistent perspectives from our students. I certainly heard concerns and opinions about the challenges we face as a nation—including our shared imperative to reckon with centuries of racial and social injustice—and the ways the pandemic has disrupted college life and society as a whole. Just as frequently, however, they expressed their optimism for the successful healing of our nation’s wounds; gratitude for the opportunity to be on campus; and appreciation for the extraordinary efforts of our faculty and staff to provide them with the support and resources they needed.
Although this semester was worrisome, to say the least, for all of us in university leadership roles, these conversations affirmed that Butler’s decision to offer in-person learning this fall was the right one. The efforts of our faculty and staff to ensure the safety of our students, while offering the most vibrant academic and extracurricular experiences possible, were indeed worthwhile.
I have been incredibly proud of the Butler University community’s resilience throughout this difficult year. You’ll see for yourself in the pages of this issue some of the ways our people have met the challenges of teaching and learning during a global pandemic with compassion, cooperation, and a great deal of creativity. You’ll read about the ways our students are preparing for the leadership roles they will hold in their careers, communities, and families. And you’ll learn more about the tangible and concrete progress we have made on a number of important strategic initiatives since the public launch of our Butler Beyond strategy and comprehensive fundraising campaign in October 2019.
Butler’s momentum—even in the midst of crisis and loss—gives me hope. The good in our society is reflected on our campus. When I look at Butler students, I see future leaders who will direct discourse and shape policy for the next generation. With guidance from our faculty and staff, and the generous support of our dedicated alumni and friends, I am confident that Butler students will continue to exemplify The Butler Way—now more than ever.
Bethanie and I wish you a new year filled with health, happiness, and Bulldog pride.