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Butler Adopts Test-Optional Admission Policy


PUBLISHED ON Apr 15 2020

INDIANAPOLIS—In a commitment to provide support and improve access for prospective students during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, Butler University will no longer require applicants to submit standardized test scores. This applies to high school seniors in the Class of 2021, as well as to all incoming classes thereafter.

Beginning with first-year and transfer undergraduate applicants for the fall 2021 semester, the Butler Office of Admission will not require ACT and/or SAT scores for admission to the University. Some graduate programs will also waive requirements for GMAT and/or GRE scores. This change reflects Butler’s commitment to a holistic admission review process, offering flexibility as test-taking opportunities are canceled and future testing dates remain uncertain.

Applicants who still prefer to provide their test scores will be able to do so, and those scores will be considered alongside other application materials. Select undergraduate programs may still require or encourage the submission of test scores.

“As admission officers, we are very aware that the college application process may be stressful in any given year,” says Lori Greene, Butler’s Vice President for Enrollment Management. “Add the complexity of the COVID-19 crisis, and that process can be simply overwhelming. Our goal is to provide some clarity and reassurance to prospective students who are interested in the Butler experience, so they don’t need to worry about when and/or if standardized tests will be offered.”

More details about this change to the application process will be communicated to prospective students in the coming weeks through the Butler admission website. Students are encouraged to contact their admission counselors at any time to receive personalized support. Counselor information can be found here.

Butler’s test-optional admission policy will go into effect starting with the August 1, 2020, application opening for the 2021-2022 academic year and remain in effect for future admission cycles.


Learn more here.


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

test optional

Butler Adopts Test-Optional Admission Policy

Beginning with the fall 2021 incoming class, Butler will no longer require standardized test scores on applications

Apr 15 2020 Read more

Changing Hearts with a Rainbow Sticker

By Katie Grieze

Dominic Conover didn’t see himself as an activist until 10:00 PM on a Saturday night in August 2018. 

He was at work, hosting guests at a Mexican restaurant, when his phone started ringing. The screen showed the name of a classmate he barely knew. 

Hanging up from the call, Conover stepped outside to take a breath and think about what he’d just heard. Shelly Fitzgerald, a counselor at Roncalli High School—the Catholic school Conover attended in Indianapolis—had been placed on administrative leave for being married to a woman. 

Conover decided he wasn’t going to deal with it.

He told his boss he needed to leave early, then rushed home and started a group chat with about 40 students he knew to be allies. Right away, they got to planning. 

In just more than 24 hours, they organized a Monday-morning rally at Roncalli High School. Conover went to church on Sunday, then spent the rest of the day calling every student in his contacts: Will you go buy some flowers and meet me by my car at 7:00 AM tomorrow? We’re going to protest.

The next morning, more than 200 rainbow-clad students flooded the parking lot, grabbed one of the Long’s Bakery donuts Conover had ordered, and lined up single-file as he blasted Pride music from his car speakers. Carrying bouquets for Fitzgerald, they marched to her office. 

Fitzgerald wasn’t there—she’d already been suspended. Still, standing in the flower-filled room, Conover led a prayer for inclusivity. 

God, we ask that you end this division in our Church.

Conover, who is now starting his first year at Butler University, was one of six Roncalli students who launched the LGBTQ advocacy group Shelly’s Voice. While rooted in the original protest against Fitzgerald losing her job, the organization didn’t stop fighting when things died down. Instead, they’ve been expanding ever since to support other members of the Catholic Church who experience discrimination based on sexual orientation. 

Before Fitzgerald was suspended, Conover says he was “so blind to discrimination.” He knew it existed, but he had never witnessed it so directly within the LGBTQ community. Since then, he’s worked toward making sure all students at Roncalli and other Catholic schools feel loved and have access to the support systems they need. 

“It flipped everything,” Fitzgerald says about the work of Conover and his classmates. “It turned the most hurtful situation you can imagine into the most beautiful thing.”

Shelly’s Voice didn’t celebrate an official launch until December 4, but Conover says it started way before that. Between organizing protests and writing letters to Church leaders, the members began the school year by passing out rainbow-colored stickers to students and teachers all around Roncalli. The stickers became marks of encouragement for the school’s LGBTQ community, as students wore them to class and teachers placed them on their doors to show support. Conover, who is now the Chair of Event Coordination for Shelly’s Voice, collected the names of student allies he saw wearing the stickers over the next few days.

“Those were the students who were ready to start fighting, like we were,” he says.

Not long after the news broke about Fitzgerald, Conover and his friends spread the word to get about 300 students to wear rainbow colors to a home football game. He says school administrators had banned the word “Pride” from the event, but this only pushed the students to pass out even more stickers and Pride-themed bracelets up and down the bleachers. One of the football players, who is now a chair member for Shelly’s Voice, carried a rainbow flag onto the field when the team ran out. 



“We went into that football game and just started spreading our message,” Conover says. 

At the time, Conover thought that message was so positive no one would really challenge it. 

“I was mistaken,” he says.

After appearing on The Ellen Show in September and receiving a $25,000 donation from Shutterfly to help support the cause, the students of Shelly’s Voice were on a roll. They held a launch party in December, when Indiana Youth Group became their official fiduciary agent. Conover was at the height of his activism in the start of second semester, gathering letters to the Church and speaking with the media about the organization’s mission. Leaders at Roncalli had warned him to stop, but he didn’t want to keep quiet.

“To the administration,” he says, “I was being a little too loud.” 

In February 2019, Conover was called into a meeting for what he understood would be his last warning: Stop with the public statements, or don’t graduate. 

“They basically hung my diploma over my head for my silence,” he says.

And it worked. For the next three months, Conover didn’t want to jeopardize his chance to graduate and come to Butler in the fall. So he backed off, but he says staying silent was harder than being a voice for the LGBTQ community. 

“Your mental health can get so much worse when you aren’t able to advocate anymore,” Conover says. 

But through it all, Conover and Fitzgerald have been there for each other, reminding each other to always respond with kindness. 

“We’re not changing minds,” Fitzgerald says. “We’re changing hearts. And you can only change hearts by building relationships with people.” 

Almost a year after Fitzgerald lost her job, Indy’s Cathedral High School fired a gay teacher. To Fitzgerald, it was like ripping off a scab, and she started sharing some posts online that reflected her anger. 

One day that week when she was scheduled to meet with Conover and hadn’t replied to his emails, he sent her a text. 

Hey, are you mad? 

I’m okay. I just haven’t had time to respond to your message, she texted back.

No, Conover texted, I don’t mean mad at me. Just in general.

He went on to say that he’d noticed how her posts over those days had been different from normal, and he just wanted to remind her—like she had always reminded him—that they could only win with kindness.

As Conover starts at Butler with a major in Political Science, he’s looking forward to studying at a school that’s not only excited about his activism, but has recognized his work in Shelly’s Voice with a Morton-Finney Leadership Award. The scholarship, which Butler has been awarding for more than 20 years, honors students who have shown leadership in promoting diversity throughout their schools or communities. Receiving the award confirmed the commitment Conover first made to Butler when he saw the Efroymson Diversity Center during a campus visit at the beginning of his senior year. Looking into the room, he saw a sign with a message about Butler’s mission of inclusivity. 

He showed the sign to his mom and said, I think this is the place I want to be.

“I looked in that room, and at that moment I noticed that this University was somewhere I could be me,” he says. “It was a university that would be proud of what I was doing.” grad caps

During the 2019 graduation ceremony at Roncalli, Conover and a friend snuck in large stickers of the phrase “Jesus Loves All,” with the last word printed in rainbow. After taking their seats in the front row, they pulled out the decals and stuck them to their mortar boards—an act that reignited the advocacy Conover had let go for most of the semester. 

And he picked up right where he left off. Over the last year, Shelly’s Voice established PRISM, a gender and sexuality alliance for high school students on Indy’s south side. They’ve hosted trainings to teach people how to be supportive and accepting allies of the LGBTQ community. They’ve held a rally at the building for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. And just a few weeks ago, Conover had the chance to tell his own story—his full story—as the keynote speaker at a Los Angeles event for the Ariadne Getty Foundation, which had provided some legal and publicity guidance to Shelly’s Voice members earlier in the year. 

After describing his months of both speaking out and being silenced, he said he would never forget that late July day in L.A., when he was able to open up about the difficulties he faced while trying to spread a message of equality. 

“It is on this day,” he said to the crowd, “that I can finally say I feel both proud and safe to be doing what I’m doing.”

Fitzgerald says that even though she would love to share Conover with the world, she’s proud he decided to stay in Indianapolis. 

“Our community needs people like him,” she says. “And I really anticipate that Butler is going to be a place for him to thrive. He can be here and feel accepted. But even more than that, he can belong. He’s going to make a difference here—I promise.”


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

Shelly's Voice Advocacy Group

Changing Hearts with a Rainbow Sticker

When Shelly Fitzgerald lost her job for being married to a woman, Dominic Conover helped create 'Shelly's Voice.'

Five Tips for Your First Year of College

By Katie Grieze

Whether you’ve read all those books about what to expect in college or you’re waiting to see for yourself, read on for a few quick tips on how to make the most of your experience.


1. Give yourself space to meet new people.

One of the best things about college is the chance to build lasting relationships. You’ll meet so many people from so many backgrounds. Get to know some of them! Maybe that means joining a club or chatting with classmates. Maybe you even walk up and say hi to other students around campus (while staying socially distanced, of course). College is a unique place where putting yourself out there is the norm, so take advantage of that welcoming atmosphere while you’re here.

BONUS TIP: If you’re starting college alongside close friends from high school, that’s great! But make sure to branch out. If you spend all your time with people you already know, you might miss opportunities to meet more friends.


2. Explore your interests, and fill up your schedule. (But don’t take on too much.)

Over these next few years, you’ll probably have more freedom than ever to learn and do what you want. Even if you’ve already declared a major, don’t stop there. Interested in something different? Consider a minor (or two)! Want to volunteer, join a faith-based community, or explore even more new things? Check out a student organization! (At Butler, you’ll have more than 130 to choose from.) 

College is an ideal time to find what’s right for you. But make sure to also find your limit: know when to say “no,” and don’t feel bad for letting go of things that aren’t a good fit.

BONUS TIP: Early in the semester, many student organizations will host call-out meetings to share information and provide a sense of what the semester will hold. These are great opportunities to “window shop” clubs before you join!


3. Stay in touch with your family.

Many first-year students experience homesickness at some point. And hey, chances are people back home are missing you, too. COVID-19 might make things harder this year, forcing Butler to discourage campus visitors and ask that students refrain from travel during the semester. But even a phone call helps, or you can get creative by holding a family game night over Zoom!


4. Use your campus resources.

As a college student, you have access to so many services and amenities that are either free to you or included with tuition. Take advantage of those now, because after graduation, things like gym memberships and counseling services don’t come cheap. All Butler students can work out in the Health and Recreation Complex, and you’ll have access to a variety of counseling and therapy services. You can also get personalized career guidance from the Office of Career and Professional Success (CaPS), database access and research help through Butler Libraries, and free or discounted admission to several on-campus events. Trust us—it’s cliche, but when it comes to college, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.


5. Pay attention to how you’re feeling.

In the rush of all these new experiences, it can be easy to lose touch with how you’re feeling about all of it. It’s good to stay busy, but don’t forget to check in with yourself. Even good change is hard. Adjusting takes time, but it will be easier if you pause and acknowledge your feelings every day instead of waking up one morning in second semester and realizing how overwhelmed you’ve been all year. And remember that whatever you’re feeling, that’s okay.

BONUS TIP: Find a way to stay mindful that’s enjoyable and easy. Maybe that’s journaling before bed. Maybe it’s keeping a detailed planner, or using a mindfulness app. You might try yoga or meditation—or take a walk through Holcomb Gardens. Find what works for you!


Five Tips for Your First Year of College

Keep these things in mind as you transition from high school to life on a university campus

Melísenda Dixon's Fight to Improve Inclusive Curriculum

By Katie Grieze

When Melísenda Dixon wants something to change, she doesn’t keep quiet. She speaks up, starts a movement, and helps give others a voice—just like her mom taught her. 

Dixon spent her early childhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She grew up in a neighborhood where she witnessed violence and discrimination against racial minorities on a regular basis. Her parents taught her how to live in the world as a person of color—Dixon is Black and Mexican-American. They taught her how to speak up for herself, and when to let things go. 

But she says the lesson that stood out most was the importance of her voice. 

From a young age, she saw her mom advocate for a variety of causes, from teacher pay to gun violence prevention. Dixon would go along to the rallies, watching her mother protest injustices without ever getting too distracted by anger. She decided she wanted to be like that. 

So when Dixon was sexually assaulted during her first year of high school, she did something about it. 

Her family had moved to the small town of Pullman, Washington, the year before. There was only one public high school, which meant she couldn’t escape her two assaulters. After reporting the attack and filing a civil lawsuit, Dixon says all she got was a temporary protection order. That didn’t do much to help her feel safe.

The following year, Dixon wrote a research paper about sexual assault. Part of her paper involved a survey among classmates, which revealed that there was much more sexual misconduct at her school than she ever imagined. She asked some of the other survivors why they hadn’t reported their cases. Many said they had already seen how Dixon’s case was handled, and they didn’t have much hope of getting a different response from the school. Data in hand, Dixon went back to the school’s leaders. 

Look, she said, this isn’t just my voice that’s not being heard. It’s all of ours. You need to do something.

Nothing changed. She went to the school board next. There, she says she just got questions about what the survivors were wearing at the time of their assaults. 

So she applied to the Youth Advisory Council for College Board, which helps students from across the U.S. work toward improving education. When she got accepted, she felt like she could finally use the voice her parents had always taught her to have. 

“I’m going to try to be a voice for people if they feel like they don’t have a voice,” she says. “I had already gone through a lot of abuse in Wisconsin, so when I was assaulted in Pullman, I couldn’t let it just destroy me. I needed to get myself up and continue to push through.”

With the national organization behind her, Dixon started making progress. She helped implement new sexual misconduct prevention curriculum at her school and at more than 500 other schools across the country. She organized for speakers from Alternatives to Violence to meet with students and discuss topics of consent. She advocated for teaching every child and teen, starting in elementary school, how to stay safe and speak up. 

The main message she wants to spread?

“It’s not your fault. I feel like that’s something people think is just so easy to know. People say, ‘Obviously it’s not your fault.’ But so many people blame you. So many people ask what you were wearing.”

And being a survivor of sexual assault doesn’t need to define who you are, Dixon says. 

“Just because I’m a survivor doesn’t mean my personality is made up solely of what has happened to me,” she says. “It’s what I’ve made of my situation. I’ve done so much more than be sexually assaulted. I’ve tried to impact others’ lives, and I’ve done that in multiple different ways.”

Yes, Dixon has made her voice heard in a variety of ways, including with issues beyond sexual misconduct. For example, after classmates told her to go back to Mexico—and that Mexicans were only good for picking fields and cleaning toilets—she realized how many other people in her town were facing racism every day.

Again, she wasn’t going to let it go. Working alongside a few friends, she established a Black Student Union at her school. The members often collaborated with similar student organizations at nearby Washington State University. They organized walk outs. They held discussions and forums. But they mostly just wanted to create a safe space for students to talk. 

“One of the most rewarding things was to see that we can come together if we are organized and we are really trying,” she says. “We can come together, and we can help each other.” 

When it came time to start applying for college, Butler was the only school Dixon applied to. Her brother, Nathaniel Dixon, graduated from the University in 2017, and she had already fallen in love with the campus and its diverse student body during her visits to Indianapolis. Still, her parents told her not to make up her mind so fast. 

“So then I applied to 22 schools,” she said, laughing. “And I got into 20.”

But she knew from the start that she wanted to go to Butler. She’s excited to start this fall as a Management Information Systems major with a minor in Healthcare Management. She eventually wants to help run a children’s hospital, but in the meantime, she plans to make the most of every moment at Butler. 

“At college, I want to make an impact,” Dixon says. “I want to feel like I didn’t just do academics—that I actually made an impact on Butler’s campus and also within the Indianapolis community.”


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

Melísenda Dixon

Melísenda Dixon's Fight to Improve Inclusive Curriculum

After surviving sexual assault and facing racism at her high school, she turned to advocating for others.

Bringing Water to the World

By Cindy Dashnaw

Nine-year-old Madeline Hoskins-Cumbey stood in shock at the local food pantry. She had never known that chicken came in cans or mashed potatoes in a box. Where were the apples and green beans?

How could so many people be in need?

“I just remember thinking that these were people my family might know,” says the Butler University first-year student. “It was a wake-up call: ‘Hey, people need your help. You can’t just sit back and not do anything.’”

So, during a museum trip in seventh grade, Hoskins-Cumbey found herself at a booth for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. She applied to join the organization, which works to make sure children have the resources they need to develop healthy habits, and she became the youngest member of the nonprofit Alliance’s youth advisory board. In this role, she has worked with schools, businesses, and communities to ensure that the places where children learn and play promote good health.

“The Alliance challenged us by asking, ‘What’s a problem in your community, and what can you do about it?’” Hoskins-Cumbey says. “I started with our elementary school and created a community garden. Then things really just grew from there.”

She recruited her brother for help, and they soon found themselves busy starting community gardens, volunteering at food pantries, and coordinating walks to bring water to remote villages. They even taught others how to help. Before Hoskins-Cumbey was even in eighth grade, a friend of her parents asked her to teach an eight-week summer class for younger kids.

“Of course, I said yes,” she laughed. “After a while, it just became easier to combine everything into one organization.”

That organization is SMART2bfit, formally launched by Madeline and Carter Hoskins-Cumbey at ages 9 and 6, respectively. The service-learning nonprofit is still going strong a decade later. SMART stands for Service, Multipurpose, Activity, Real hope, and Teaching.

Though they began with three main activities—camps, community gardens, and walks for water—they now focus on Walk4Water events, in which school, church, and community groups carry gallons of water on walks to raise funds for building wells in remote areas around the world.

Now in its 10th year, SMART2bfit has just completed its 10th well. In all, SMART2bfit has given 929 people access to water they never had before.

“It’s a very big milestone for me and my brother,” Hoskins-Cumbey says. “Our first project was for a tank extension in Kenya, and now we’re drilling actual wells. It’s so inspiring how water can completely change a community.”

She hasn’t been to visit any of the wells, but not for lack of desire.

“Because they’re in such remote locations,” she says, “we’d be able to drill three more wells for the cost of us to visit one, and we just can’t bring ourselves to spend the money like that.”

But if her educational and career plans work out, perhaps she’ll get closer to a well. Hoskins-Cumbey is starting this semester with a major in international business, and with a wish to enter the Peace Corps.

“I applied to 11 colleges,” she says. “Butler was the school I visited the most. The campus feels community-esque, the dorms are near each other so people can enjoy time with friends, and there are a lot of ways to get plugged in. I am looking forward to connecting with others who have similar interests, who know you can be business-minded and still be service-oriented.”

Hoskins-Cumbey believes that young people today are highly aware of social issues like climate change and the suffering of others, and they want to know how to help.

“It’s not so much that you do it because you need service hours,” she says. “I think people today are good at heart.”

And to make a difference, she says, you just need to start small.

“With time and effort and hard work—that’s how we got to where we are now,” she says.

Hoskins-Cumbey believes in a lifelong commitment to helping others.

“Sometimes as you get older,” she explains, “it becomes, ‘This isn’t my problem. I’ve done my part. The next generation will have to figure it out.’ But as a global community, we’re all in the same boat. One person’s impact cannot completely change patterns. A combined effort is where the most change will be seen.”

Madeline Hoskins-Cumbey

Bringing Water to the World

At 9 years old, Madeline Hoskins-Cumbey launched a movement to bring food and water to those in need.

Hidden Study Spots on Butler’s Campus

By Grace Gordon

Grace Gordon is a sophomore at Butler University, where she majors in Strategic Communication and minors in Creative Writing.


Butler is known for its beautiful campus, and it doesn’t fall short on having a surplus of great places to study. Some of the most popular areas include the Starbucks at Atherton Union, the private work spaces available in the building for the Lacy School of Business, or the third floor of Irwin Library. But due to the popularity of these spots, it isn’t uncommon to find yourself scrambling for a table at Starbucks or disappointed that all the Business Building study rooms have been filled. Despite the crowds at some of the more obvious areas on campus, Butler is filled with hidden gems that are sure to satisfy your studying needs.

Business Building Rooftop Deck

I, unfortunately, didn’t discover the joys of working outside until colder days started slipping into my week, but next year I will be sure to spend more time on the rooftop deck of the building for the Lacy School of Business. This area on the top floor is filled with comfortable furniture and great views to add to your studying experience. When the weather is nice, you’ll have a beautiful view of campus while sitting outside in the sunshine.

Atherton Union Floor 1 ½

This spot is located up the stairs near the Reilly Room in Atherton Union, on what I like to call “floor 1 ½.” Technically, I think this is the second floor, but it is very small and only has a set of large windows and a quiet little nook that is perfect for curling up with some reading for class. The views through the windows that overlook the iconic stone bulldog statue and West Hampton Drive add even more character to this cozy location. It’s also in a convenient spot to grab a meal downstairs during the day. In the evening, if you’re lucky, the melodies of someone practicing piano in the Reilly Room will drift up to keep you company while you work.

South Campus Main Building Basement

This hidden spot is more of a hike, but if you’re looking for a unique and private place to study for an extended time, the South Campus Main Building basement is an excellent spot to settle in for hours. This room has a window overlooking the beautiful Central Canal and plenty of study space for you and your friends. The room has a large table and a few white boards that have always satisfied my studying needs. If this spot is already occupied, there are plenty of alternative places around South Campus, so your trip won’t be wasted!

Third Floor of Jordan Hall

This spot took an entire semester for me to find, but it quickly became one of my favorites. This room is located on the top floor of Jordan Hall. The ceiling and almost all the walls are covered in windows (this can be seen from the outside area of Starbucks.) A lot of light always fills this room, but my favorite days are when it rains, and I feel as though I’m secluded in a small igloo during a storm. Along with the excellent views of campus, this room was just newly furnished with couches, tables, and whiteboards.

These spots are just a few of my personal favorite discoveries after a semester and a half on campus. Be sure to continue exploring our beautiful University and uncover what could soon become your ideal study space!

Q&A: What's it Like to Stay Close to Home for College?

Megan Strait ’23
Majors: Oboe Performance and Music Education
Hometown: Greenwood, Indiana


Thinking about sticking close to home for college, but don’t know if applying to Butler is right for you? You might be surprised to learn that many students from Central Indiana choose to attend college in or near their hometown, but they still can very much have that college experience... and not feel like they haven’t left their own backyard.

We chatted with sophomore Megan Strait, who grew up in Greenwood, Indiana, just 20 minutes away from campus. Learn more about her experience choosing a college that’s close to home.


What first attracted you to Butler?

I grew up going to see The Nutcracker at Clowes, so I already knew a lot about Butler. I’d been there many times before, and it was just a beautiful campus that I really loved. I definitely wanted to be able to spend more time there.

What were your initial thoughts about attending a college close to home?

I talked to my parents a lot about the proximity (most of the colleges I applied to were fairly close to home), so I just worked with them to set boundaries for them and for myself about the amount of time I would come home. Just because I was on a campus close to home didn’t necessarily mean that I had to go home all the time.

Did you have any concerns that it wouldn’t feel like you were going away to school?

I did have some concerns: That my parents would want me to come home all the time, and that because I’ve spent so much time in the Indianapolis area, it wouldn’t feel like I was branching out. But when I got to Butler, I started meeting people from all over the place (I’m the only one from my high school graduating class attending Butler), so it really felt like a whole new environment.

Even with your prior familiarity with Butler, did anything surprise you about your experiences?

I was surprised that I didn’t go home as often as I thought I would. But I was so busy with my classes, activities, and friends, I didn’t even notice the distance from home because I was so wrapped up in everything I was doing at school. It kind of shocked me.

You mentioned you were afraid your parents would visit too much. Did that happen?

Yes. Well... a little bit. But because of my major, the short distance has allowed my parents to come to every one of my performances on campus, and honestly, I wouldn’t trade that. My friends will come to my performances, and that’s great, but it’s not quite the same as having my mom who’s heard me since I was a sixth-grade oboist squeaking out, to now on stage.

What would be your advice to a local student who has your same concerns?

My advice is, if you feel Butler is the right school with the right professors and the right majors, then make the most of the Butler experience. Butler has so many different activities, ensembles, and majors to offer that I feel anybody could have a great time, even if they grew up 10 minutes away.

Any other benefits that you could pass along?

Being able to go home for holidays and family gatherings that aren’t during a long break. Oh, and my roommate, who is also from the area, likes to be able to go home to see her dog.

Megan Strait ’23

Q&A: What's it Like to Stay Close to Home for College?

Megan Strait ’23 chats about her experience attending Butler, just 20 minutes away from her hometown

A New Perspective on Service

By Larry Clow

In the summer of 2018, Hannah Kelly got an up-close look at the life she might have led. She and her sister, Grace, were adopted from China as young children. After growing up in Lexington, Kentucky, the siblings were back in their home country for a week of volunteering with OneSky for All Children, a children’s home in Beijing.

Each day, Kelly and her sister walked from their lodgings to the orphanage, where they spent hours playing with the kids. Despite the barriers that came with differences in languages and age, Kelly and her sister developed a rapport with the children in the home.

“We made a strong connection with them just by giving them attention and love,” Kelly says. “It definitely gave me a different perspective on myself, too. I could see what my life is like versus what it could’ve been. Seeing how the culture is in China, and what those children have to deal with versus my life here, it caused me to take a step back.”

Making connections with others and learning to see the world—and herself—from different perspectives are two of the many reasons Kelly loves volunteer work. 

“Volunteering is fun, especially when you do it with friends,” Kelly says. Throughout high school, she volunteered at local food pantries, the Lexington Humane Society, and other organizations. “Helping out in the community is a really important thing to do. I definitely want to keep up my volunteering while at Butler and help out the Indianapolis community.”

It’s something she will continue to pursue during her time at Butler as part of the 2019-2020 class of Morton-Finney Leadership Program Scholars.

“I’m honored to be part of the Morton-Finney Leadership Program,” she says. “I’m excited to promote diversity and inclusion on campus, just as I did in high school. Dr. John Morton-Finney had an amazing legacy that I hope to honor and respect through my time here at Butler.”

Kelly believes her outlook is a great fit for Butler. She visited campus for Butler Business Day and Butler Scholars Day, where she was able to meet other Bulldogs and fall in love with the community.

“Butler was everything I wanted.”


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

Hannah Kelly

A New Perspective on Service

Volunteering at an orphanage in China helped Hannah Kelly see her own life in a different way.

Q&A with a Butler Commuter Student

Thinking about applying to and commuting to Butler? First, make sure you’re eligible to do so.

Then, keep reading to hear from Huda Mahmood, a current junior with a double major in biology and chemistry. Since starting at Butler, she has lived with her family in Carmel, Indiana, and commuted about 25 minutes to campus each day.


What brought you to Butler?

The small class sizes. I went to a pretty big high school, but in a college setting, I like only having about 20 people per class. That gives you more time with your professors, which I cherish.

Why did you decide to commute from home?

The residence halls are beautiful, but I wanted to stay close to family. I love being able to go home and have my parents there. And since I already lived so close, I didn’t see a reason to stay on campus.

What does your day-to-day schedule look like?

I usually get to campus more than an hour before my classes start. I hate being late. If I have breaks between classes, I either go to Starbucks, sit outside, or study somewhere in Gallahue Hall. Sometimes I stay late to study or attend club meetings, so I’m usually on campus until about 6:00 PM. When I get home, I finish up any homework I didn’t get done during my time on campus.

At first, I was worried I would feel left out. But I’ve ended up spending a lot of time on campus for clubs (I’m president of the Biology Club and on the executive board for the Butler Muslim Student Association) and study sessions with friends.

What would you say to #ButlerBound students who are thinking about commuting?

It might take some time at first to feel like you’re truly a part of the campus community, but you are. And commuting isn’t as hard as it seems. I know I sometimes complain about the drive back and forth, but I always appreciate being able to come home every day.


Applying as a commuter:

If you want to apply to Butler as a commuter, first apply using the Butler application or the Common App. After receiving your admission decision, you should fill out the "Commuter Request" form in the housing application. You can also contact your admission counselor if you have more questions about applying or commuting to Butler.

Huda Mahmood

Q&A with a Butler Commuter Student

Junior Huda Mahmood commutes to stay close to family, but she's still very much part of the campus community

Meet the Class of 2024 - Ashton Franklin

Ashton Franklin
Hometown: Canton, Michigan
Intended Major: Strategic Communication


Butler University is excited to welcome an exceptional group of first-year students this coming fall. Read on to get to know Ashton Franklin, one member of the Class of 2024.


What was your first impression of Butler?

I’m a huge sports fan, especially the NBA, so I first heard of Butler through Gordon Hayward, basketball, and the University’s history of competing in the NCAA. Although that’s how I first heard of Butler, what really caught my attention was the positive testimonies from faculty and staff. Everyone I talked with on campus seemed like they really wanted me to be here, which meant a lot.

What made you choose Butler?

I felt so welcomed whenever I would come for campus visits. My first visit was at the end of a long string of college visits in Indiana. Once I stepped foot on Butler’s campus, I knew if I was going to go to school in Indiana, it would have to be at Butler. The campus is so serene, but also so full of life. I love how the campus is surrounded by nature, and the size is perfect.

What are your plans once you start classes?

I’m planning to major in Strategic Communication, and I hope to get involved in a bunch of clubs and intramural sports. I’m also really interested in community service, studying abroad, and completing internships, which is perfect because I know Butler really places an emphasis on that type of learning.

What do you hope you’ll get out of your college experience?

During my time at Butler, I hope that I am able to give others the opportunity to express themselves and to help tell their stories. I really believe that the world can become a brighter place if we all try to understand one another. And by the time I graduate, I’m confident that I’ll be the very best version of myself because of the opportunities that Butler has given to me.

Meet the Class of 2024 - Tom Sullivan

Tom Sullivan
Hometown: Columbus, IN
Intended Major: Finance


Butler University is excited to welcome an exceptional group of first-year students this coming fall. Read on to get to know Tom Sullivan, one member of the Class of 2024.   


What were you involved with during high school?

In high school, I was involved in Key Club, Student Assembly, National Honor Society, and I played hockey and lacrosse. I was a captain on my hockey team, and I absolutely loved the relationships that I built over all four years. We actually won the 2A state championship in 2018, and it was one of my favorite days of high school.

How did you initially hear about Butler?

I heard about Butler when I was in middle school, but what interested me in Butler was when one of my neighbors decided to go there because of all the good things she had said. A few of my friends’ parents also attended Butler, and they all had wonderful things to say, as well. After hearing so many good things, I thought, 'why not visit?'

What is your favorite part about Butler?

I love the small school aspect the most because I feel like I can get to know both my professors and my fellow classmates. I also love its location in Indianapolis and all the opportunities that it brings.

Why did you choose Butler?

I chose Butler because of the internship opportunities in the Lacy School of Business, and just the overall feel of the school.

What do you hope to major or minor in?

I hope to major in Finance.

What are you most excited about?

I am very excited to start classes, begin learning, and to just be on campus.

Meet the Class of 2024 - Matea Radovic

Matea Radovic
Hometown: Montenegro, Europe and Evansville, Indiana
Intended Major: Biochemistry


Butler University is excited to welcome an exceptional group of first-year students this coming fall. Read on to get to know Matea Radovic, an international student and one member of the Class of 2024.


What were you involved with during high school?

In high school I was involved in theatre, cheer, Key Club, choir, co-curricular committee, National Honors Society, and tutoring. I truly liked being involved in different activities because it allowed me to be part of them and learn a lot of new things. It was also a great way to spend time with my friends and make endless memories.

What interested you most in attending college in the United States?

Being a foreigner and knowing how the universities work in Europe, I felt like colleges in the U.S. were a better fit for me. The way that I think is that, ‘If I am going to be paying for my education, I better have good relationships with my teachers and others on the campus, and a lot of opportunities that would make me grow into a highly educated person.’ On the other side, I can always go back to Europe, so then why not challenge myself?

What is your favorite part about Butler?

I think the feeling that it is a smaller school, but offers a lot of things that you can be involved in. It seems like it is much bigger than it is, so it’s the best of both worlds.

Why did you choose Butler?

I went through a process of basically grading each college that I considered and Butler had the highest grade, and there was nothing that I didn’t like about it. It really just seems like it has everything you can imagine a college to have–great location, perfect size, beautiful campus, great academics. It checked every box.

What do you hope to major or minor in?

I hope to major in Biochemistry and maybe minor in Spanish or some form of art.

What are you most excited about?

I am mostly excited to finally meet my roommate and make new friends and memories. I am also excited to focus on creating my path of becoming a doctor.

A Student’s Guide to Indy

By Kennedy Broadwell

Kennedy Broadwell is a senior from Toledo, Ohio, with a major in Sports Media and a minor in Sports and Recreation.


When coming to Indianapolis for the first time, I was both excited and nervous. Back home in the Toledo area, I had my favorite restaurants, places to go with friends, and hubs for studying, and I would have to start fresh in getting to know a new city. But after a few years here, I’ve discovered so many things to do around town.

One thing you’ll hear about all the time is the “Butler Bubble”—the term for when you get stuck on campus, or in the very close surrounding areas, and never venture out into the city. But Indy is full of great places to explore, so I encourage you to get a group of friends together and visit some of these spots on your nights out.


Royal Pin

With three locations around the city, Royal Pin is the place to be if you love bowling. They also have laser tag, arcade games, and seriously awesome food for a bowling alley.

Punch Bowl Social

Exploring downtown Indy is a blast, and Punch Bowl Social is one of the most popular spots due to its unique setup. Located on S. Meridian Street, the place is more than just a restaurant. The food is great, but you can also play all types of games—from skeeball to bowling to giant Connect 4. Looking to get an Instagrammable pic on your night out? The “I love you so much” wall is no stranger to a Butler student’s Instagram feed!



Studio Movie Grill

For a more relaxing outing, Studio Movie Grill serves full meals, snacks, and refreshments in a click of a button while you kick back in a luxury recliner to watch the big screen. What’s better than dinner and a show with some of your closest college pals?

Indy Fuel Hockey

The Indy Fuel hockey team represents the city in the ECHL. Tickets are fairly inexpensive, and the games are exciting—don’t miss the flame-filled pregame show.



•    •    •


Though nights out on the town are fun, at some point you will need to study. Make studying relaxing and grab a great cup of coffee at one of my favorite local spots.


Monon Coffee Company

This shop in the heart of Broad Ripple is almost always packed, but if you can snag a table to study at, do so. Their lattes never disappoint—the Flaming Mocha is my personal favorite—and they sometimes have fun seasonal flavors!

Nine Lives Cat Cafe

If you’re an animal lover like I am, then Fountain Square’s Nine Lives Cat Cafe is your spot! Not only can you watch adorable kittens play and nap while you sip and study, but for a $5.00 cover fee, you can visit the Cat Lounge to play with the adoptable cats. The fee helps cover the cost of caring for the animals until they find forever homes, and you can also choose to make a donation to IndyHumane—a favorite non-profit of mine.

Bovaconti Coffee

If you like to get adventurous with your coffee, this is the place for you! After trying a Spanish Latte at this beautiful shop that opened just last fall in a restored historic building, I never want to go back to a normal latte again. Along with my favorite latte, they have possibly the cutest interior ever, from the turquoise ceiling to the patterned tile floor. You’ll definitely have a new favorite study spot!


•    •    •


When it comes to my favorite eats in Indy, I could go on for hours. But for this list, I decided to include restaurants with the most college-friendly prices. With the help of my friends, I’ve narrowed it down to these top spots.


Ripple Bagel & Deli

I cannot put into words the love that Butler students have for this place. I don’t know a single person who dislikes Ripple Bagel & Deli—seriously, it’s impossible. With every kind of bagel, spread, cheese, vegetable, and meat you could imagine, your sandwich options are countless.

Blue Sushi Sake Grill

This spot inside Ironworks Hotel is a personal favorite for my friends and me. Their sushi is divine, if you're into that sort of thing. Even if you’re not, you’re sure to find something you love. For my fellow vegans: This place has perfected the craft of vegan sushi, with ingredients like vegan “salmon” made of tomato. No more boring cucumber rolls for you!

Canal Bistro

Broad Ripple’s Canal Bistro has the best Mediterranean food around. Their lunch and dinner are amazing, including complimentary fresh bread and oil, but they really hit it out of the park with brunch. As a brunch enthusiast, I am hard to impress. However, Canal Bistro has cracked the brunch code with favorite dishes like the garden hummus sandwich, stuffed French toast, and the best breakfast potatoes. The thing is, no one knows it yet! Indy loves brunch, and all the other top spots in the city have hour(s)-long waits on weekends, but not Canal Bistro. (Shhh—this can be our secret!)

Gallery Pastry Shop

Speaking of brunch, that mid-morning meal doesn’t get any cuter than at this stylish bakery nestled in a row of cozy shops along the Monon Trail. I love watching chefs create their food art, so I head straight for the bar, where I can watch the magic happen. Who knew crepes could be so beautiful?


•    •    •


Thrifting has become my all-time favorite weekend festivity. If you’re into sustainable fashion, these are the places for you.


Naptown Thrift

If you’re looking for comfy vintage threads, Naptown Thrift is the spot. All of my favorite oversized sweatshirts, tees, and high-waisted jeans are probably from here.

Hot House Market

This is a hidden gem within the Fashion Mall at Keystone. Seriously, I’ve had to introduce all of my friends to it. Hot House Market curates classic 1970s, 80s, and 90s pieces that are high-quality: No more settling for stained thrifted clothes! Their store also features home goods, vintage tech, and a record collection.

Chief Indigo Vintage

If you’re looking for awesome band tees or vintage Guess, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, and so on, look no further than Chief Indigo! With items from every brand you can think of, you’re sure to find your next favorite piece to add to your closet.


Learn more about living in Indy here.


A Student’s Guide to Indy

In addition to providing rich hands-on learning opportunities for Butler students, Indianapolis is home to plenty of places where Bulldogs can have a little fun


A Student’s Guide to Indy

By Kennedy Broadwell

Meet the Class of 2024 - Paulina (Isa) Sanchez

Paulina (Isa) Sanchez
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Intended Major: International Business and Strategic Communication


Butler University is excited to welcome an exceptional group of first-year students this coming fall. Read on to get to know Paulina Sanchez, one member of the Class of 2024.


What were you involved with during high school?

I was a member of my high school’s pre-professional dance company, where I choreographed multiple works and learned from many professional choreographers. I was also heavily involved with an international organization called Best Buddies, which fosters friendships with students with disabilities within our school community. I founded the Habitat for Humanity Club at my school and led a trip to Punta Gorda, Florida, to build a house. I also participated in Dance Marathon for Lurie Children’s Hospital, worked part-time during the school year at Altitude Trampoline Park, and worked as a Gymnastics Coach with the Chicago Park District during the summer.

What drew you to Butler?

I initially heard about Butler in regards to the dance program. When I was younger, I was training to become a professional ballerina, and a teacher told me to look into their program. After I started high school, I decided I wanted to focus more on my academics and change my career path. I later became interested in economics and business. When I was researching schools, I came across an ad for the new Lacy School of Business building. I decided to go take a tour, and I immediately fell in love with the program!

What is your favorite part about Butler?

My favorite part about Butler is the school pride that the student community takes on. I am a member of Butler University’s Dance Team for the 2020-2021 season, and I am so excited to perform, bring spirit to sports games, and represent Butler University.

Why did you choose Butler?

I chose Butler because it was clear that out of all of my school choices, Butler wanted me to attend. The staff reached out to me constantly with information, surveys, and invitations to apply to the Honors Program and scholarships. I wanted to make sure that I would get the most out of my investment in my education, and I realized that Butler would provide exactly that with the Honors Program, scholarship opportunities, smaller class sizes and a more personal learning environment, a promising placement rate for post-graduation, and the community that makes Butler feel like home.

What do you hope to major or minor in?

I hope to double major in either International Business or Marketing and Strategic Communication with a focus on Public Relations.

What do you hope to get involved with at Butler?
I hope to get involved with Best Buddies, Dance Marathon for Riley Children’s Hospital, possibly Greek Life, and continue with the Butler University Dance Team, Honors Program, and Lacy Scholars.

What are you most excited about?

I am most excited about diving deep into the business curriculum at Lacy and game days at Hinkle!

Five Ways We See "The Butler Way" in Your Application

By Erin Scott - Admission Counselor


The Butler Way demands commitment, denies selfishness, accepts reality, yet seeks improvement every day while putting the team above self.

The Butler Way is a motto that Butler students live by. When reviewing your application for admission, we can see examples of how students already embody this motto before even arriving on campus. Below are a few of the many ways we see The Butler Way demonstrated in a student’s application.

1. Leadership

We are very interested in learning about your involvement and leadership opportunities. This could be clubs and organizations inside and outside of your school, athletics, jobs, volunteer work, or any extracurricular activities. And if you’re very involved in high school and want to continue that in college, Butler has over 130 student organizations on campus.

2. Commitment

We understand that high school can be challenging, but a great way to show your commitment to your education is through the grades you earn in your classes. You may have a rocky start getting adjusted to high school, or grades might slip at another time, but showing you bounced back and have an overall upward grade trend lets us know you worked hard to overcome the challenges.

3. Hard-Working

There are several ways throughout your application that you can show us you’ve worked hard to get to where you are now. One way is to see that you have challenged yourself through the classes you have selected each year. This can be shown by taking AP or IB classes, college credit courses, or even a fourth year of math or science.

4. Character

One of the best ways for us to learn more about you and your character is through letters of recommendation. The letters you submit with your application can come from anyone you choose, but we recommend hearing from a teacher, coach, mentor, or boss. Letters of recommendation give us the opportunity to learn about your strengths from a different perspective.

5. Perseverance

We understand that standardized testing (ACT/SAT) isn’t for everyone, which is why we have a test-optional policy for most of our programs. But, if you do choose to take the ACT or SAT, we recommend trying it more than once to see how you can improve and how it may benefit your future.


Erin Scott is an Admission Counselor within Butler’s Office of Admission. Erin works with students living in Northwest Indiana; Michigan: Ann Arbor, the Capital District, Detroit's Northern suburbs, and Wayne County; and Ohio: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, and Lake Counties, Northeast Ohio, and Southeast Ohio. 




Five Ways We See "The Butler Way" in Your Application

By Erin Scott - Admission Counselor

Meet the Class of 2024 - Nathan Barney

Nathan Barney
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Intended Major: Sports Media


Butler University is excited to welcome an exceptional group of first-year students this coming fall. Read on to get to know Nathan Barney, one member of the Class of 2024.  


What were you involved with during high school?

I played baseball through sophomore year and then discovered crew. After my team won gold at Midwest Rowing Championships, I was chosen to row for the Olympic Development program last summer. I was also a retreat leader for freshmen and seniors this past year and have been a volunteer coach for the Chicago Blackhawks’ Special Hockey team for the past five years.

What drew you to Butler?

I went on a campus visit as a sophomore, and I felt early on that this might be the place for me. From that very first time I set foot on campus, I felt like I belonged at Butler. Everyone has been so welcoming. Smaller class sizes mean your professors will know your name, but there are still a ton of opportunities you would typically only see at bigger schools.

What is your favorite part about Butler?

I love that Butler is a smaller school with really big school spirit.

What do you hope to major or minor in?

I am currently enrolled in the College of Communication as a Sports Media major. I’m also thinking about minoring in Strategic Communication.

What are you most excited about?

I’m most excited to meet new people, explore internship opportunities, and go to basketball games at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Making Butler your Student’s Home Away From Home

By Anne Denz - Admission Counselor

So–your student is ready to leave the nest, but is thinking about going to a school that isn’t close by. We know that can be a bit scary and overwhelming, so here are the top 10 things you need to know about making Butler’s campus your child’s home away from home.

1: Community

Your student will join a community that supports students in every aspect of their lives. From current students, to faculty members, to alumni, to members of the surrounding community, your student will join a group of people who are proud of being a Butler Bulldog. Students lift each other up, faculty members challenge their classes, and campus provides a safe place to explore various interests and passions. 

2: Housing

So much of creating a home revolves around having a comfortable space to work, sleep, and socialize. Students live on campus for the first three years, which helps establish a strong community and build connections. The Community Assistants organize programs and events so students are able to meet the new people and Residence Life is committed to helping support students during their transition to college.

3: Dining

Nothing feels more like home than a made-from-scratch meal. Butler’s Dining Services provides plenty of healthy and delicious options for students. Bon Appetit, our campus dining partner, is focused on wellness, sustainability, and catering to the needs of students. There’s a dietitian on staff to assist with any special dining accommodations like food allergies. There are also several dining options across campus, so students can choose between a sit down, all-you-can-eat meal in the Marketplace at Atherton Union or get a quick grab-and-go meal at Plum Market

4: Safety

All students, faculty, and staff are connected to our Dawg Alert system that keeps campus up-to-date on any important safety information such as fire alarms, power outages, suspicious activity reported on or near campus, and more. Emergency call boxes are also located throughout campus, and are actively monitored by the Butler University Police Department.  

5: Dedicated Faculty

Butler University has an 11:1 student to faculty ratio, and these dedicated faculty members care about your student’s well-being in and out of the classroom. With an average class size of 21, faculty members know their students by name and notice if they have missed a class or are struggling with the material. They all provide office hours throughout the semester, and are willing to make extra time for a student if they need help on a paper, project, or just want to discuss a lesson. Each student is paired with a faculty advisor from their specific major’s department, so they have an expert guiding them through their class selection and academic career.

6: Health Services

The first time getting sick away from home is the worst, and as family living far away, you can sometimes feel helpless. Butler University Health Services understands that and places an emphasis on treating the medical, emotional, and educational needs of students. Whether your student has a sore throat or would like to talk to one of our mental health professionals, they can head to the Health and Recreation Center to get the help they need.

7: BUBeWell

The overall well-being of all Butler students is top-priority. The BUBeWell Model is an eight dimension model that builds a foundation for a transformative and holistic student experience. The eight dimensions include: Mind and Body, Diversity and Inclusion, Intellectual, Social, Service and Community, Career and Life Skills, Meaning and Purpose, and Sustainability.

8: Involvement

While students are often eager to gain some independence, homesickness can sometimes still creep in. Luckily, we have plenty of ways to help keep that feeling at bay. With over 130 student organizations, there are plenty of ways for students to get involved. Butler has 20 Division 1 athletic teams, and our students thoroughly enjoy attending these athletic events. In fact, experiencing a Men’s Basketball game in Hinkle Fieldhouse is a must. Students also have the opportunity to attend various concerts, musicals, lecture series, and more in Clowes Hall and other performance spaces around campus.  

9: Family Events

Families are always welcomed and encouraged to visit campus. Homecoming is the perfect way to see our beautiful campus in the fall and reunite with your child. From tailgating at the football game to the Bulldog Beauty Contest, the weekend is packed with fun-filled activities. If you can’t make it to Homecoming, we also host a Family Weekend later in the semester.

10: Location

Even if you aren’t just down the road, visiting your student is quite easy, due to the University’s location. Butler’s campus is located only 20 minutes from the Indianapolis International Airport and hotels are easily accessible near campus. Downtown Indianapolis and Broad Ripple provide great entertainment. There are plenty of restaurants to try out, walking and biking paths to explore, shops to peruse, and more. 


It is important that each student feels like Butler is the right fit for them, but we also want to make sure that each family also feels comfortable and welcomed. We highly recommend visiting campus as a family before your student moves in. Whether you join us for an official visit during the college search process, (see Eight Things to Know Before your Official Visit to get the scoop on how best to prepare for your tour of campus) or make a special trip over the summer before classes start to walk around campus on your own, seeing campus for yourself can be extremely helpful.


Anne Denz is an Admission Counselor within Butler’s Office of Admission. Anne works with students living in Illinois’ South and Southwest suburbs; Kansas; Kansas City and St. Joseph, Missouri; Minnesota; and Wisconsin.

Making Butler your Student’s Home Away From Home

By Anne Denz - Admission Counselor

Meet Incoming Transfer Student—Kyle Pendleton

Kyle Pendleton '22
Hometown: Lafayette, IN
Major: Criminolody

Why are you transferring to Butler University?

Butler has always been a dream school of mine. The academics here are unbeatable, the atmosphere is great, it offers my major of interest and many choices of clubs and activities to do around campus. It's located close to Broad Ripple and downtown Indy, and overall Butler is just a beautiful campus and is the best fit for me in every aspect!

What were you involved with at your last institution? 

At my previous college I was on the baseball team and I also played intramural sports. I was recruited to play baseball, but that was cut short due to me getting injured (twice) during my freshman year and also because of COVID-19 complications in my Sophomore year.

How did you initially hear about Butler and what interested you in the University?

I’ve always followed Butler basketball, so that’s how the school first caught my attention. Then as I got older, some of my older friends decided to go to Butler and they all recommended I should go on a visit and check out Butler. My freshman year of college is when I was really interested in Butler. My best friend, who plays on the baseball team, really talked me into coming to Butler and he invited me over on the weekends to hang out and meet some of the people around campus. I’ve enjoyed every weekend I’ve spent at Butler with my friends here. I also found out that my major, criminology, is one of the top criminology programs in the state as well—so that really got my attention. Once I went on an official visit, I just knew Butler was the best fit for me!

What is your favorite part about Butler?

It’s the perfect transition for me. Butler accepted all of my credits and coming from a small college it won't be too big of a change in regards to the student population—and also just how nice the facilities are here. The campus is so beautiful and the facilities are so well kept. Just knowing I’m getting a top-notch degree from a well-known school is something I love about Butler as well. The academics here are outstanding.

What are you most excited about?

I’m the most excited about living with my best friend and two other baseball players in Apartment Village! They will be a fun group of guys to be around and I’m excited to live with them. I’m also looking forward to meeting new people on campus as well, in class and out of class. I do know quite a bit of people on campus already, but I want to meet more people in my major and just in general. I'm also super pumped to go to Hinkle and watch some Butler Basketball—I’m really looking forward to that!

Q&A: What’s it Like to Commute to Butler?

If you’re thinking about applying to Butler as a commuter, know that you are not alone. Any student who lives with parents or guardians within 30 miles of campus is eligible to commute. So, is commuting right for you?

We chatted with Marissa Klingler, a junior Arts Administration major who drives to campus from her family home in the Indianapolis area, to learn more.


Why did you choose Butler?

It was my dream school. I loved the small class sizes—I do really well with that kind of close-knit interaction. It was also close to home, so it checked all my boxes.

Why did you decide to commute?

I personally struggled with the decision to commute because I wanted to be close to my family, but I didn’t want to be alienated by not living at school. But commuting doesn’t have to inhibit your college experience in any way.

My main reason for commuting is that it saves money. And I figured if I didn’t go home right after class—if I still spent time on campus by getting jobs or joining clubs—it would feel the same as if I lived there.

Commuting has allowed me to stay home, sleep in my own bed, see my pets and family every day, and not pay for a meal plan. But I’m still going to my top-choice school and having a full experience.

What does your day-to-day schedule look like?

My commute is about 15 minutes. I try to schedule my classes for later in the morning because I’m not really an early riser, and you never know what traffic or weather will be like.

When I have gaps between classes, I don’t go home: staying on campus helps me feel more connected. I work shifts at the Clowes Hall box office and tutor students in the Writers’ Studio. When I have extra time, I study at Irwin Library or have coffee with friends at Starbucks.

What advice would you give to new students who are thinking about commuting?

Don’t go straight home after class. I know the temptation is there, especially if you only have one or two classes that day. But do your best to stay on campus and find a few comfortable places to spend your time. And don’t overwhelm yourself, but find a community to join.

Don’t think of commuting as a limitation or restriction: I think I spend more time at school than I do at home.


Applying as a commuter:

If you want to apply to Butler as a commuter, first apply using the Butler application or the Common App. After receiving your admission decision, you should fill out the "Commuter Request" form in the housing application. You can also contact your admission counselor if you have more questions about applying or commuting to Butler.


Q&A: What’s it Like to Commute to Butler?

Junior Marissa Klingler shares her experience of commuting to Butler

Meet Incoming Transfer Student—Julia Hoff

Julia Hoff '23
Hometown: Houston, TX
Major: Multilingual Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies

Why are you transferring to Butler University?
My previous university wasn’t a great fit for me; it was incredibly small and isolated. I knew I wanted a college that was academically engaging, but where I wouldn’t have to sacrifice all the other aspects of college that make it feel like your home and community. As I learned about Butler, I felt that it had everything I wanted: interesting (and relatively niche) majors, lots of extracurricular opportunities, engaged faculty, thorough pre-professional counseling, an urban location, and a mid-sized student body.

How did you initially hear about Butler and what interested you in the University?
Both of my parents graduated from Butler, and my grandmother worked there for several years. I was especially drawn to Butler because of its Multilingual and Peace and Conflict studies majors. I didn’t want to have to choose between the several languages I was interested in pursuing and many institutions only offer Peace and Conflict studies as a minor, not a major. Butler’s location in a small city is also really nice!

What is your favorite part about Butler?
My favorite part about Butler so far is definitely my majors! I’ve selected my courses for  the upcoming semester, and I’m really excited about and interested in all of them. I’ve also already had a meeting with my advisor and she was really helpful and supportive.

What were you involved with during high school and/or your first year of college?
I’ve always been really involved with volunteering and service. In highschool, I helped run my school’s community service program by managing funds, leading projects, and helping students find ways to get involved. I spent my summers as a camp counselor at Camp M.I. Way, a day-camp for individuals with multiple disabilities. 

At Butler, I’m really looking forward to getting involved with service organizations, especially ones that go out into the city of Indianapolis. I’m also planning to study abroad, and am excited about the opportunity to get complete language and cultural immersion.

Meet the Class of 2024 - Anisa Cobb

Anisa Cobb
Hometown: Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Intended Major: Dance Performance


Butler University is excited to welcome an exceptional group of first-year students this coming fall. Read on to get to know Anisa Cobb, one member of the Class of 2024.


What were you involved with in high school?

In high school, I was a member of the National Honor Society, an English and math tutor, and a member of the Mitchellville Drifters Coral Mentoring Program, where we participated in various community service projects. I was also really active in dance and was part of the Baltimore School for the Arts, where I performed in The Nutcracker each year in addition to various other spring performances.

How did you initially hear about Butler, and what interested you in the University?

In August, I visited a friend who attends Butler and toured the school. I also attended Butler Blue Scholars’ Day and toured the school again. Each time I was on campus, the friendliness and openness of all the students and faculty was wonderful. Also, the dance department is top-rated, and I really wanted to attend a strong program in order to enhance and expand my dancing abilities.

What do you hope to major or minor in?

I plan to double major in Dance and Health Sciences. If not a double major, I hope to minor in Health Sciences. The great thing about Butler is that there are so many options that it’s possible to be involved in so many different things.

What do you hope to get involved with or be a part of at Butler?

I am really looking forward to being a part of the Butler Dance department. I am also looking forward to being a Morton Finney Scholar. And, of course I can't wait to attend the Butler basketball games!

Meet the Class of 2024 - Marissa Flannery

Marissa Flannery
Hometown: Fairport, NY
Intended Major: Middle/Secondary Social Studies Education


Butler University is excited to welcome an exceptional group of first-year students this coming fall. Read on to get to know Marissa Flannery, one member of the Class of 2024.


What were you involved with during high school?

During high school, I was involved with my school’s National Honors Society, as well as our Spanish National Honors Society (SNHS). I also wrote for my school’s newspaper during my time there, and was an Asset Leader (a community volunteer) in the Fairport Schools. When I wasn’t at school or clubs, I was dancing at my studio. I was dancing five nights a week and couldn’t have been happier.

How did you initially hear about Butler?

I heard of Butler through my older brother. He is two years older than me, and when he was choosing a college, he took a great interest in Butler, so much so that he went there! Once I learned more information about the University, I began to feel like this was a place where people weren’t just another face in the crowd. Butler approaches students and families in such a personal and individualized way, and that is what I found so interesting about it.

What is your favorite part about Butler?

My favorite part about Butler is the on-campus environment. Yes, the nature at Butler is beautiful, but I’m talking about the community there. You can’t walk into Butler and feel like a little fish in the ocean, or feel like there’s no one to notice if you need help with something. The people at this school are there to support each and every one of us. From professors and administrators, to advisors and fellow Bulldogs, the sense of community and family is undeniable, and that is my absolute favorite part of Butler. Positivity is everywhere.

Why did you choose Butler?

There are so many reasons! One is the College of Education. The resources available and the plan to prepare me for my future in my profession blew me away! Another reason is the size of Butler. It’s a school that isn’t so big that you feel overwhelmed, but isn’t too small to the point where I’m reliving my high school classes! Lastly, I chose Butler because when I walked on other college campuses, I didn’t get the same feeling that I did at Butler. It may sound cheesy, but there definitely was that moment of, “Yup, this is the one.” 

What do you hope to major or minor in?

I will be majoring in Middle/Secondary Education in Social Studies with a minor in Spanish.

What do you hope to get involved with or be a part of at Butler?

I definitely want to take part in a volunteer club. Within the College of Education, I know there are a lot of volunteer tutoring opportunities within the Indianapolis Public School system, which I am looking forward to! I would like to take part in Greek Life and join clubs that keep me active and allow me to meet new people. Maybe the Dance Team could be an option, too!

What are you most excited about?

I’m most excited about starting this new chapter of my life in a community that is so special. I’m eager to meet new people and learn from Butler professors! The memories and relationships I’ll make is what makes me so excited for my time there. Also, I’ve met Trip but have yet to meet Butler Blue IV, so I’m looking forward to meeting that little guy!

My Butler Story | Kylie Mason

Kylie Mason ‘19
College of Education
Major: Elementary Education

Butler University almost didn’t work out for Kylie Mason.

On paper, it was almost too perfect: her sisters studied here, the campus was only a few hours away from home in northern Indiana, and the College of Education (COE) came highly recommended.

“My first semester was filled with thoughts of transferring. I felt homesick despite all the reasons why I shouldn’t have,” she said. “But then the right professor came along and helped me realize that I was meant to be a teacher. And that I needed to change as a person, not the place where I was.”

It was the lightbulb moment that every student seeks when stepping onto campus. Kylie has been moving forward ever since.

Every semester, COE ensures its students interact with classrooms throughout the larger Indianapolis community. This immediate, consistent exposure to the reality of education is what Kylie attributes to the high caliber of the College’s curriculum.

“At other colleges, especially larger ones, undergraduates won’t spend time in actual classrooms until their third or fourth year. That’s crazy to me,” she said. “Students at Butler still feel overwhelmed at times, for sure. But the professors here are making sure we can manage it, rather than fear and avoid it.”

Now, in her final year, Kylie sees a College around her that is more equipped to prepare teachers for the future than ever before. This year, the College of Education moved away from its confined corner in Jordan Hall to the brand new South Campus. Formed following Butler’s purchase of 40 acres of land and buildings from the Christian Theological Seminary, COE now enjoys state-of-the-art facilities to explore new ways of delivering knowledge in the 21st-century.

“I wish we had this space all four years that I’ve been here,” she said. “I’ve always felt like the professors and students in COE were one big family, so it’s nice to finally have our own place to call home.”

Home. It’s still one of the most important things on her mind. It’s why she plans on returning to northern Indiana next year. But this time she’s moving toward her future rather than away from it. Kylie Mason is ready to teach.

Watch more My Butler Stories


My Butler Story | Kylie Mason

Butler almost didn’t work out for Kylie Mason. But then, the right professor came along.

Q&A with Transfer Student: Zoie Lowe '22

Zoie Lowe '22
Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders
College of Communication
Hometown: Greentown, IN

Why did you transfer to Butler University?
Originally, I applied to Butler as a high school senior, but I did not get accepted. From a very young age I had always wanted to go to Butler because I have a brother who also went to there, so my family and I visited him frequently. I remember visiting campus and just being there felt like home to me, even at such a young age. When I was in high school my family and I would go to Butler basketball games and that feeling of “home” when I was on campus still remained. Although I did not get accepted my first time around, I decided to re-apply to Butler after my first semester of freshman year because I knew that Butler was where I was meant to be.

What extracurriculars have you participated in? What sparked your interest to join?
I am currently involved in Greek life (a member of Alpha Chi Omega), an executive member of Butler Ambassadors for Special Olympics (BASO), a Butler Student Orientation Guide (SOG), and a member of the club Dawgs Serving Dogs. I became interested in Greek Life because I knew that it would be a great way for me step out of my comfort zone, meet new people, and help others through service. I decided to join BASO and hold an executive position because I have always had a passion for working with those who have disabilities. I have an older brother, Zack, who was diagnosed with Autism when he was around 18-months-old. The way Zack can light up any room that he enters and not let negativity ruin his spirit is inspiring.

I decided to become a Butler SOG because I saw it as another great leadership opportunity, as well as a way to show incoming students why I love Butler and why it is an awesome school full of amazing people. Lastly, I decided to join Dawgs Serving Dogs because I love animals and saw this club as a great way to volunteer and raise money for the local humane society. 

What hands-on learning experiences have you had and/or what internships have you completed?
I have not completed any internships or hands-on learning yet. However, through Butler's Communication Sciences Disorders clinical practicum, in the near future I will get the opportunity to experience working in a clinic and provide therapy to people in the community. This is something that is very unique about Butler's CSD program and I am very excited for the experience and skills that I will gain from it. 

What is your favorite thing about Butler?
My favorite thing about Butler is how everyone cares. The professors only want what is best for their students and are always there to help them succeed. Along with this, the students at Butler care too. Throughout my time at Butler, I noticed a sense of community. Whether it’s holding the door for someone they don’t know or looking out for one another, the people of Butler truly care and are considerate of each other.

What is the most unique experience you've had while attending Butler? 
I think that the most unique experience that I have had while at Butler was transferring at the start of my spring semester of freshman year. It was very hard for me to adjust and there were times when I called my parents a lot throughout the week crying and I would often go home on the weekends. Everyone else was already well-adapted to the school and atmosphere, while I had no idea what to expect. Although it was a difficult change for me, what kept me going was how caring everyone is at Butler. I was blessed with amazing roommates that were always there for me and were the first people to show me around campus and help me find where my classes were—they are now my best friends. At the time I was a Biology major and was struggling with it, but my then advisor, professors, and the Center for Academic Success and Exploration were incredibly uplifting and helpful for me. Everyone cares for each other at Butler and there is a special feeling of community here. 

What tip(s) do you have for incoming transfer students?
One big tip that I have for transfer students is to put yourself out there. When I transferred, it was during the spring semester, so clubs had already began and it was hard for me to get involved. However, I made it a priority of mine to attend the block party at the beginning of the fall semester so that I could find what clubs interested me and go to call-out meetings for them. I think that it is also important to be open to change. I came into Butler as a Biology major and thought I had my life figured out. After a few months, I realized that I did not enjoy being a Biology major and I found myself under a lot of stress. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, my strength was not Biology and it took me awhile to realize that and I didn’t want to at first. I decided to take an Exploratory class my first semester of sophomore year and it was probably the one of best things that I could have done for myself. With the help of my professor in that class, I was able to continue to learn my strengths and weaknesses, and how to better develop my strengths.

Meet the Class of 2024 - Maggie Conlon

Maggie Conlon
Hometown: Brookfield, Wisconsin
Intended Major: Marketing


Butler University is excited to welcome an exceptional group of first-year students this coming fall. Read on to get to know Maggie Conlon, one member of the Class of 2024.


Tell us a little bit about your high school experience.

In high school, I participated in lots of extracurriculars. I played tennis for three years, I led Best Buddies and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and I also loved being a part of DECA and volunteering clubs!

How did you initially hear about Butler, and what interested you in the University?

I first heard about Butler from my sister because she attends the University. What really interested me in Butler was when Trip came to our house and surprised my sister after she was admitted! It wasn’t only Trip’s cuteness that intrigued me, but also how personable Butler was to surprise my sister with a visit!

Then, I first visited Butler in August 2017 on the day that my sister moved into her residence hall. It was such an amazing atmosphere to be in because everyone was so excited to be at college. What really impressed me was how helpful the University was with the move-in process and the activities and events for families to attend over the move-in weekend.

What is your favorite part about Butler?
What I love most about Butler is the Lacy School of Business. Not only is the brand-new building incredible, but also the opportunities for students are unique. I am so excited to take the First Year Business Experience and Real Business Experience classes because instead of just listening to a lecture, I’ll be able to be hands-on in class and run a business.

Why did you choose to attend college here?
When I was going through the college search process, I would look at key features that each school had, such as the location, class sizes, opportunities for my major, and the friendliness of students and staff. When I would talk to my parents about the schools I was looking at, they would all fall short of something in one of those categories except for Butler. I compared every school to Butler, and no other school had what Butler had: a campus located near a big city, small class sizes allowing for connections with professors, an incredible business program, and a place where students would hold the door open for me as I explored the campus.

What do you hope to major or minor in?
I am planning on majoring in Marketing and minoring in Creative Media and Entertainment.

What are you most excited about?
I look forward to joining a faith-based organization, Special Olympics or Best Buddies, Greek Life, and some other extracurriculars. I am also excited to join the caring Butler community on campus with the new friends I make and with the professors I have for class. And of course, I am also excited to see Butler Blue IV around campus!

Meet the Class of 2024 - Megan Gorsky

Megan Gorsky
Hometown: Tampa, FL
Intended Major: Environmental Studies


Butler University is excited to welcome an exceptional group of first-year students this coming fall. Read on to get to know Megan Gorsky, one member of the Class of 2024.


What were you involved with during high school?

I was involved in marching band, jazz band, and the rowing team at my high school. I continued participating in band all four years of high school, and I was a drum major for three of those years.

What put Butler on your radar?

I have a lot of family near Butler’s campus, and every summer we would drive by the University. I always had the thought that maybe I would go to Butler. When it came time to start getting serious about my search, I took some college trips (Butler being one of them), and I was drawn to Butler more than any of the other schools I visited. Butler puts an emphasis on not only the academic side of college, but also on being a well-rounded person who really gets to experience life outside of classes.

What do you hope to major or minor in?

I am looking forward to majoring in Environmental Studies with a possible minor in Biology in the future.

What do you hope to get involved in at Butler?

I like to be involved with anything outdoors and adventurous. I would like to join the crew team and maybe join a few other clubs, ideally something environmental or an outdoor adventure group that does some cool things around Indy. I would also love to study abroad—I've spent a LOT of time researching that on the Butler website.

What are you most excited about?

I can’t wait to meet new friends and live in a beautiful area that has seasons. I can't wait to see what it's like to be a bit more independent in a different city.

Eight Things to Know Before your Official College Visit to Butler University

By Katie Pfaff ’19 - Admission Counselor

The first time stepping on a college campus for an official visit can bring unexpected nerves and excitement as you imagine what the future could look like. Make the most of your upcoming campus visit to Butler by knowing these eight things.

1. Arrive Early

Give yourself plenty of time to make it to campus the day of your visit. Once you find a parking spot, you’ll want to make your way to Robertson Hall, where you will have a chance to mingle with current students and look over your schedule for the day.

2. Meet your Admission Counselor

Your first visit to campus provides a great opportunity to meet your admission counselor. Take the time to introduce yourself to and become familiar with this person, as they play an important role in visiting your hometown and reviewing your application.

3. Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, as finding the right college fit is important. Your questions and concerns are valid, and Butler students, staff, and faculty are eager to share their experience with you.

4. Visit Butler Blue IV

Perhaps one of the most memorable highlights of visiting is seeing the Official Mascot, Butler Blue IV. Keep your eyes open—you never know where you might see Blue exploring campus.

5. Take the Campus Tour

Dress for the weather, and put on your sneakers because you won’t want to miss the tour of campus! Butler Student Ambassadors are eager to give you the inside look of campus from Irvington House to Hinkle Fieldhouse.

6. Peek at your Surroundings

Notice the way people greet one another with a “Go Dawgs!” Or, get a glimpse of the action of someone who stops to hold the door for the person trailing behind them. Catch a conversation between students and professors between classes. This culture you witness is often referred to as The Butler Way, and it is what makes this campus community different from anything else you’ll see.

7. Snap a Picture

Capture your visit with a memorable picture with the stone Bulldog, the BU sign, or any other memorable spot on campus. Don’t forget to share it with us by tagging @butleru on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

8. Visit Again!

Know that your first visit to campus doesn’t have to be your last. Keep a look out for the many different visits and events available to dive deeper into campus and specific programs. You are always welcome at Butler!


Katie Pfaff is an Admission Counselor within Butler’s Office of Admission. Katie works with students living in Alabama; Texas; West and East Indiana; and North West, North Central, West Central, and Central Ohio. 


How to Spend 24-48 hours in Indianapolis for your Butler College Visit

Kelsey O’Shaughnessy ’14 - Admission Counselor

You’ve made the great choice to visit Butler University, and while you’re in town, we want you to check out some of our favorites places in the city. You will be able to explore our streets, eat like a local, and maybe spot some Butler students out and about.


Where to Stay

If you’re staying overnight, you’ll want to arrange your hotel accommodations. We don’t have hotel options within walking distance to campus, but you’ll find a handful in close driving distance. We partner with many national brand and boutique hotels to provide our visitors great recommendations and rates that can be viewed here. Hotels downtown will give you plenty of options for exploring within walking distance. The Northside (along 86th street) is where the major mall is located and is accessible by car.

Butler Campus Visit

When you’ve arrived in town, make your way to Butler for your visit. Enjoy your time on campus and make sure to check out our suggestions for things to notice during your tour. Once you’ve wrapped up your visit, it is time to tackle our highlights in Indianapolis.

Broad Ripple

Head to nearby Broad Ripple Village for lunch. This is where many Butler students spend time when they aren’t on campus. Some local favorites include 3 Sisters Cafe (once featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives), La Piedad, Bazbeaux Pizza, or Nicey Treat for a popsicle. The Monon Rail Trail allows you to explore different parts of Broad Ripple at a casual pace. Grab a cup of coffee at Monon Coffee Company and walk along the path to see a bit more of the Broad Ripple neighborhood.

Downtown Indianapolis

If you’re up for an afternoon adventure, make your way downtown and rent a bike from the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare, and ride on the Cultural Trail to see the Indianapolis Canal, NCAA Hall of Champions, and Victory Field. When you’re ready to eat again, stop along Massachusetts Avenue (or Mass Ave. as locals call it). The Eagle, Bakersfield, or Bru Burger are all great lunch or dinner options and will allow you to explore shops along the way.

Other Must-See Destinations

It may be time for you to head home, but if you’re staying in Indy a little longer, spend some time at Newfields, which houses the Indianapolis Museum of Art. This is located just west of Butler’s campus and is easily walkable from campus via the Canal Towpath trail. If it is a beautiful day outside, take a walk through the 100 acres of outdoor space that is free and open to the public.

Your last stop is a fan favorite: Cafe Patachou. Known for their great breakfast and lunch options, this is always a staple on an Indy tour. Located a few blocks east of campus, end your trip here with a side order of cinnamon sourdough toast. You will thank me later.

We think Indianapolis is a great backyard for Butler students to explore. Visiting the surrounding city during your college visits will allow you to determine if it could be a good fit for what you’re looking for in your college experience. We are so glad you included Butler and Indianapolis in your plans!


Kelsey O’Shaughnessy is an Admission Counselor within Butler’s Office of Admission. Kelsey works with students living in Iowa; New York state; “The Region” in Indiana; and the Quad Cities, Peoria, Decatur and Champaign, Illinois.


How to Spend 24-48 hours in Indianapolis for your Butler College Visit

Kelsey O’Shaughnessy ’14 - Admission Counselor

Navigating the College Search as a Student Athlete

By Andy White - Associate Director of Admission

Finding a college that is the perfect fit can be an overwhelming experience, but navigating this process as a prospective student athlete can easily add a layer of complexity that can leave students frustrated and confused. With the shared insights from our Butler University coaching staff, we are sharing several tips that may help as you zero in on the ideal academic and athletic experience.


Introduce Yourself

What is the best way to introduce yourself to a coach? In most instances, the first step is to complete a team-specific prospective student-athlete questionnaire. Once submitted, coaches recommend that you follow up with a bio containing academic and athletic information, links to highlights or skills videos, and upcoming competition schedules. Most coaches will agree that it is perfectly acceptable to reach out, but depending on the timing of your contact, NCAA recruiting rules might prohibit a coach from communicating with you.

Take Ownership in the Process

Without question, coaches want to hear directly from prospective student-athletes, so it is important to own your part of the conversation. Being your own advocate is the most effective way to show sincere interest in a program, especially if coaches don’t have you on their radars early in the recruitment process. On a related note, recruiting services can be beneficial, but they should never be a replacement for personal outreach.

Be Realistic

Coaches look everywhere as they work to build a roster. While it varies by sport, high school competitions, club events, national tournaments, identification camps, and unofficial campus visits are just a few ways to showcase your abilities. That being said, be patient and realistic about your talent level and expectations. Additionally, it’s a good idea to research a team’s roster needs and the likelihood that you will have an opportunity to compete right away.

Ask the Right Questions

Ask questions, even if they are difficult ones, simply because you owe it to yourself to find the right fit.

  • Academically: Be familiar with admission standards, as well as the teaching and learning environment of the campus.
  • Financially: Remember—most student-athletes are not on a full athletic scholarship, so openly communicate with the coaches about the possibility of athletic money and utilize the Net Price Calculator on each school’s financial aid website.
  • Athletically: make sure the coaching style, chemistry with potential teammates, facilities, and support services are all a good match.

After you have done your research, coaches recommend three to five schools as the ideal number to actively communicate with.

Have Fun

Above all else, this process should be fun. While some stress is inevitable, the search for the best academic and athletic fit will be one of the most exciting undertakings of your life, and we wish you all the best in your journey.


Andy White is an Associate Director of Admission within Butler’s Office of Admission. Andy works with students living in Colorado, Florida, and Hamilton County, Indiana.

Navigating the College Search as a Student Athlete

By Andy White - Associate Director of Admission

My Butler Story | Libbie Rammage

Libbie Rammage ‘21
College of Communication
Major: Strategic Communication, Web Design and Development
Hometown: Wataga, IL

Like any Midwestern child, Libbie Rammage grew up with the warning that it was curiosity that killed the cat. But how true that can be when curiosity is what has her well on the way to a career.

She grew up in a place called Wataga, which is in the part of Illinois more familiar with cornfields than it is with skyscrapers. With just 800 other residents in the town and only 40 other students in her graduating class, it’s no wonder she had dreams of living in a bigger city.

“That’s why Butler was a perfect choice. It was so close to downtown Indianapolis but didn’t have an overwhelming amount of students. It just felt right, even though I didn’t really know what I wanted to study yet,” she said.

Then, as is with many first-year Butler students, a key professor entered her life and pointed her to a passion she hadn’t yet discovered.

“My honors first-year seminar, Resistance and Revolution with Dr. Carter, changed the way I thought about life. I was introduced to so many new ideas and important lessons about the world we live in,” she said. “All I had known before was my small community. This class made me realize how large the world truly is, as well as how education and letting your voice be heard can make a positive impact.”

Then everything started to unfold. She switched over to the College of Communication and entrenched herself in honors courses. Learned about all the internship opportunities at non-for-profits and ad agencies all throughout Indianapolis. Joined the Public Relations Student Society of America, became a Butler Student Ambassador, and can now be found cheerleading on the sideline during home games.

It’s exactly what she could have hoped for back living in Wataga surrounded by a sea of corn. And even though she’s come so far, it still only feels like the beginning.

“I’m already getting exposure to a huge alumni network that could lead to any number of jobs. It’s exciting. Everything just keeps building on what I’ve already done,” she said. “If you want to feel like you have an active role in a community that’s also pushing you where you need to go, there’s no better place than Butler.”

What comes next, despite the uncertainty, drives Libbie forward.

Watch more My Butler Stories


My Butler Story | Libbie Rammage

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but for Libbie, curiousity set her well on the way to a career. 

Three Ways to Improve your College Essay

By Tim See - Admission Counselor

Too often, a student submits an essay that recounts an event, step by step, without providing enough of their own voice. Remember—what happened is not nearly as important as your perspective on what happened. How did it make you feel? What did you learn? Did you change? How did this impact you, not just immediately, but in a broader sense?

Not only does writing this way make for more effective and illuminating essays for an admission counselor (because we can learn more about you), it also opens up a world of potential topics. An interesting story does not make for an interesting essay if you have nothing to say about it.


Before even reading a word, the form of your essay can set an expectation for the reader. As someone who reads a thousand essays a year, my heart drops when I scroll to the writing sample section of that Common App and see one long block of text. It is not a welcoming sight, and I become less excited to read its content.

By simply providing a title for your essay, and organizing your thoughts in paragraphs, your essay immediately becomes easier to digest and enjoy. This will also show that you meet a level of writing proficiency a college or university expects from its incoming students.

Beyond the basics, though, form can also be a way to grab a reader’s attention immediately. If you feel comfortable doing so, get creative with how your writing sample is formatted and presented. Lists, dialogue, lyrics, and poetry—if used effectively—can all pay off by differentiating an essay from the rest.


Play to Your Strengths
A college essay can have personality: Just make sure that it is yours. Do you love to make people laugh? Go ahead and add some humor. If not, steer clear of the knock-knock jokes because they will feel out of place. Does your extensive vocabulary allow you to beautifully wax-poetic about a given topic? Then wax on (a Karate Kid reference too old for anyone reading this, I know!). However, if you have relied heavily on the thesaurus to ensure that your essay sounds smart, those big words will probably stick out like a sore thumb, distract the reader, and lower the overall quality of your writing.

Basically, don’t write about what you think we want you to write about, and don’t write the way you think we want you to write (without ignoring basic rules of grammar). Play to your strengths, and let them work for you.


Tim See is an Admission Counselor within Butler’s Office of Admission. Tim works with students living in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and West Central Indiana.


Three Ways to Improve your College Essay

By Tim See - Admission Counselor

My Butler Story | Bailee Dodson

Bailee Dodson ‘20
Jordan College of the Arts
Major: Art + Design, Psychology
Hometown: Zionsville, IN

It took a little looking back for Bailee Dodson to find her way forward.

She grew up in Zionsville, Indiana with a brother who struggled with a learning disability. The medication he was prescribed didn’t help as much as it was supposed to.

“In fact, it kind of totally changed him. He became tired all the time, even to the point that he no longer wanted to connect with anyone around him,” she said. “It was tough for all of us. But luckily, when I was a junior in high school, my teacher told me about art therapy.”

Using creative and self-expressive means to therapeutic ends sounded like the perfect career choice for Bailee. It combined her passion for the arts and helping others with her curiosity of how the mind works, but there was a catch.

Not many universities offer art therapy as an undergraduate degree. Not even Butler University, where she was set to attend in the fall of 2016. But fortunately for her, the Jordan College of the Arts encourages its Art + Design majors to earn a secondary major.

“I needed a little direction, and it only took one meeting with my director to realize I could also get a Psychology degree at the same time to make my own art therapy degree,” she said. “And other schools in the area offered courses I could enroll in on a part-time basis to prepare me for grad school. All the right opportunities just started falling into place.”

By the time her first year year ended, Bailee would need no further proof that she was exactly where she needed to be.

She was awarded best in series at the Art Now showcase for the way she expressed an array of different emotions by painting with watercolors, a technique she’s found effective in helping people just like her brother.

Next semester, she plans to volunteer with kids and families at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, before eventually earning a graduate degree in art therapy across town at the Herron School of Art and Design. As Bailee’s exciting future continues to unfold, it’s not something she takes for granted.

“My professors and classmates haven’t just helped me find my voice; they’ve helped me find its purpose. Being vulnerable isn’t easy,” she said, “but sometimes it’s the only way to heal. It's amazing how choosing our own paintbrush, canvas, or color can help us open up and find the help we need.”

Watch more My Butler Stories


My Butler Story | Bailee Dodson

It took a little looking back for Bailee Dodson to find her way forward.

My Butler Story | Namitha Vellian

Namitha Vellian ‘22
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Major: Pharmacy
Hometown: Campbell, CA

Namitha Vellian spent her Thanksgiving break back in San Jose, California, a little different than yours.

Seated opposite from five of her mother’s sisters, they took turns asking questions that Namitha expected to answer on a test once she returned to Butler’s campus after the long weekend.

She’s a junior Pharmacy major in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Her aunts are pretending to be patients. A role familiar to each of them because her five aunts are pharmacists in real life.

“Coming to Butler was a big leap for me even though I’ve known for a while what I wanted to be,” Namitha says. “Not only was it tough to be so far away from my family, but I also had a rocky start in my first semester because of the workload.”

But out of the 12 universities she applied to, she chose Butler because of the supportive community she felt right away as she stepped onto campus. And once she was confronted with that workload, the campus around her did not disappoint.

“Other students in my classes and in the pharmacy fraternity are always willing to help me gain new insights on what classes to take, which professors to go to first, and how to apply what I study to my life, both in the present and future,” Namitha says.

Another reason the program at Butler stood out from the others she applied to was the fierce competition that Butler’s curriculum avoided. Instead of requiring students to take a Pharmacy College Admission Test after a few years into classes like the majority of programs, Butler only has its students pass an initial interview, complete a written exercise, and maintain a certain GPA to guarantee placement.

“So I knew that they would have my back right away rather than potentially turn me away after I put in so many semesters of work,” she says. “That’s why I felt it was so supportive—not only academically, but also emotionally and mentally as well. Everyone checks in with me because they actually care.”

Being off at school is still the big leap she always knew it would be, but at Butler it’s a lot less daunting.

“I am 100 percent glad I made this choice to be what I always wanted to be at Butler,” Namitha says. “I think that’s why I’m always so excited to return.”


Watch more My Butler Stories


My Butler Story | Namitha Vellian

Namitha Vellian spent her Thanksgiving in San Jose, California, a little different than yours.  

Meet Incoming Transfer Student—Chloe Dluger

Chloe Dluger '22
Hometown: Crystal Lake, IL
Major: Strategic Communications

Why are you transferring to Butler University?
I am transferring to Butler because of the feeling I got while on campus. It just felt like I was in the right place. I also love its close location to downtown Indy from campus, and the support that Butler provides its students.

What were you involved with during high school and/or your first year of college? 
In college, I worked for the Center of New Students as an orientation leader, where I enjoyed meeting a variety of students. I was involved in the Student Activity Board, planning various student events, and the Honors program/Phi Theta Kappa, where we volunteered within the community and worked to expand our perspectives through classes or discussions. Additionally, I helped provide tours to local elementary and middle schools to motivate them to seek experiences in higher education.

If you’ve visited Butler, when did you first visit? 
My first visit to Butler was a transfer student guided tour. I liked that I was given an appointment with a transfer advisor before the tour because I was able to get all my questions about the transfer process answered. Other schools that I had visited did not offer something so tailored to transfer students, and it really showed me that Butler was the school for me.

What is your favorite part about Butler?
My favorite part about Butler is the instant feeling of being a part of the Butler community. Right after I visited campus, I received letters from the transfer advisor I met with and the student tour guide. It showed that Butler went above and beyond to make me feel welcomed.

What do you hope to get involved with or be a part of at Butler?
I hope to be involved in organizations like the Pre-Law club, but I am also looking forward to expanding my interests and seeing what else Butler has to offer.

My Butler Story | Rieser Wells


Rieser Wells ‘21
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Major: Biochemistry

Rieser Wells knew as soon as he discovered Butler University, it was the place for him. “I wanted a small school with a big campus feel,” he says. And being only five miles from downtown Indianapolis was also a perk. “I knew, being close to Indy, that I’d always have something to do.” 

It also helped that Butler had his major of choice: Biochemistry. Wells knew that after graduating from Butler, he was interested in attending either graduate school or dental school, and after doing some research, he found that Biochemistry most directly paralleled the information and courses that he would need for an advanced degree. 

Not only that, but as a Biochemistry major, Wells has access to a number of undergraduate research opportunities. In fact, he’s participating in two research projects concurrently—one with a Biology professor and one with a Chemistry professor. 

And it’s that personalized attention that makes all the difference. 

Although Wells knew that Butler’s class sizes were small (the student to faculty ratio is only 11:1!),  he still says that he was surprised with the close relationships that he has formed with many of his professors. 

“I learned really quickly that I’m not just a number,” he says. “I can go to them anytime. I even have a couple of their phone numbers if I’m ever in a big jam and need some help. They’re always there and I can always rely on them if I need help.” 

Not only are they there to help academically, but they’re also there to ensure that students are taken care of on a personal level. 

“My Organic Chemistry professor, Dr. Wilson, invites all of her students to come to her house for a big barbeque that she cooks herself,” says Wells. “There are forty or fifty kids who show up at her house and she feeds us all and even has to-go containers so we can take food back to our other friends. It’s really unreal that a professor would do that for her students.” 

It’s that level of personalized attention from his professors that Wells knows he just wouldn’t get anywhere else but Butler. 

Watch more My Butler Stories


My Butler Story | Rieser Wells

The University's close access to Indianapolis is just one the reasons Rieser choose to attend Butler.

My Butler Story | Jen Barton

Jen Barton ‘21
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Major: Health Sciences
Hometown: Brownsburg, IN

Jen Barton comes from a long line of Bulldogs—both her parents and both her older siblings attended Butler University. 

Because of that, Jen grew up coming to campus frequently, both with her parents and to visit her older siblings. So, when the time came for Jen to begin her own college search, she always knew that Butler would be high on the list. 

“It had majors I was interested in, and it also had the small community feel that I was looking for,” she says. 

When applying, she declared Health Sciences as her major because she wanted a well-rounded healthcare experience, knowing her future plans will hopefully include dental school. 

“This major gives me the flexibility to take other classes and prerequisite courses that I need for applying to dental school,” she says. It’s also the perfect mixture of staying in the healthcare field—which I’m passionate about—but also giving me the flexibility to take classes outside of my major.” 

In addition to her classes, Barton says that the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS) provides ample opportunities for experiential learning with a diverse array of organizations. 

One of Barton’s particularly memorable experiences was volunteering with the Christian Healthcare Providers Organization. Through that organization, she was able to travel to the Dominican Republic over the summer with a group of other COPHS students. While there, Butler students were able to provide essential health services to those living in the local communities, giving students a first-hand opportunity to put their skills into practice. 

That combination of academic coursework with experiential learning is what makes a Butler academic experience unique, and is one of the many reasons that Butler was nationally ranked in the top 25 universities for internships, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 rankings. 

Jen agrees. “One of the best decisions you’ll make is sticking to it and becoming a Bulldog,” she says. 

Watch more My Butler Stories


My Butler Story | Jen Barton

Jen's parents and siblings went to Butler. See why she decided to follow in their footsteps.

Meet Incoming Transfer Student—Ethan Sickels

Ethan Sickels '22
Hometown: Carmel, IN
Major: Accounting

Why are you transferring to Butler University? 
At my previous institution, I felt like I was just a number. It was very difficult to develop relationships with professors and get individual attention or make meaningful connections with people in your classes. I am transferring to Butler because of the relationships that I will be able to develop. I went to a small high school where relationships with students and teachers were valuable, and I believe Butler is the place for that.

How did you initially hear about Butler and what interested you in the University?
Growing up only about 30 minutes from Butler, it was always a school I had on my list of colleges. The main thing that interests me is the size of the school and the campus. Having an interconnected community is something that I really enjoyed about my high school and I see a lot of that in Butler.

What were you involved with at your previous institution? 
During my first two years at my last college, I was involved in intramural basketball and two clubs through the business school. Getting involved early helped show me what I want to do after college and helped me meet some like-minded people.

What is your favorite part about Butler?
My favorite part about Butler is the fact that everyone is actually interested in being a part of the community in whatever role that is. During my interactions at Butler so far, everyone has been invested in helping me, and students are much more engaged in classes. Butler’s smaller size contributes a lot to that.

What do you hope to get involved with or be a part of at Butler?
I’m most excited about meeting new people and doing things like club sports or going to basketball games. So I hope to get involved in some clubs that can connect me with people that have the same interests as me. I’m hoping to be a lot more involved in the school than just going to classes and getting work done.

Top 5 Things to Look Forward to at Virtual Open House

Open House is Butler’s cornerstone event for high school seniors and transfer students in the college search process. This year, we’re going virtual on three different dates so you can connect with current students, faculty, and staff, all from the comfort of your own home and in only two hours. This evening will include lots of breakout sessions featuring highlights about everything from living on campus to academics to health and wellness, and much more. So, what are the top 5 things to look forward to at Open House

1. Halftime show with Butler Blue IV 
That’s right—halfway through the event, we’ll take a break for you to meet and greet with Butler Blue IV, our new official live mascot, and his handler, Evan Krauss ’16 in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. Blue and Evan will take your questions via Instagram about life at Butler, academics, and even about Blue himself. This is your opportunity to meet the famous puppy mascot and learn more about life on campus. This brings us to the second thing to look forward to...

2. Giveaways 
If Blue and Evan pick your question and answer it live, you’ll win a prize package from the Butler Bookstore. The giveaways are a surprise, but expect some pretty great, future Bulldog swag. You’ll have to tune in to see exactly what is in the giveaway, and to submit your questions via Instagram for a chance to win. 

3. Dive deeper into our six academic colleges 
The first sessions of the evening will feature our academic colleges. Led by faculty and current students, you can get a firsthand look at what it’s like to be a college student in any one of our six colleges. Choose from the College of Communication, the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the Jordan College of the Arts, and the Lacy School of Business. Browse the list of Butler’s majors and minors ahead of the event to get a feel for our programs.

4. Get a glimpse of what life’s like on campus 
There is no doubt that this year is unprecedented, extraordinary, uncommon, and just plain weird. While we wish we could have this event on campus, we’re bringing you the next best thing through our breakout sessions focused on student life. You can choose to learn more about student involvement, living on campus, the Efroymson Diversity Center, or health, well-being, and recreation. These 25-minute sessions will give you a taste for what your life could be like next year. 

5. Ask admission counselors your burning questions 
We know the college admission process can be overwhelming and you probably have questions. To close the event, our admission counselors will be available to answer your questions about anything, including our test-optional admission policy, scholarship availability, important dates, or the admission process as a whole. 

We hope that you’re excited to join us for one of our Virtual Open House dates on either Wednesday, September 16; Wednesday, October 14; or Wednesday, November 4, from 6:30–8:30 PM ET. Register and learn more here. See you then! 

Meet Current Student Josiah Lax ’22

Josiah Lax ’22
Major: Dance Pedagogy
Hometown: Santa Monica, California
Co-Curricular Activities: Butler Ballet, Sigma Rho Delta Dance Fraternity, Movement Exchange


There are so many opportunities at Butler because of the community. Everyone is so welcoming and kind, and you’re able to make friends with so many people—those who share your passions as well as people who will teach you new things.

There are also no shortage of activities to keep you busy. As a Dance major, I have a really full schedule, just with my classes alone. A typical day starts with my academic courses in the morning and then my first dance class, which is either modern or jazz. Later, we have a group ballet class, then men’s allegro or pointe class, and then finally rehearsals for whatever show we’re currently working on.

I love every minute of dancing in the Lilly Hall studios and exercising in the Butler Ballet conditioning room. We even have access to our own physical therapists. Life as a dancer can be hard on the body, so it’s really amazing that Butler provides all of these resources for us.

Outside of dance, being a student at Butler provides so many unique experiences. Last year, I received a Fulbright Award and was able to study arts, activism, and social justice in Bristol, United Kingdom. I would never have known about this opportunity if not for the help of Dr. Dacia Charlesworth, Butler’s Director of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships.

I never expected to have the breadth of experiences that I’ve had as a Butler student. This community, and the opportunities you have as a result, are truly unique.

My Butler Story | Colton Haymon

Colton Haymon ‘20
Lacy School of Business
Major: Marketing
Hometown: Forest Park, IL

For Colton Haymon, Butler University was never the destination. It’s his gateway to the globe.

“I want to help small businesses connect with global markets and give them the confidence to compete,” he said. “I believe there’s a lack of strong morals and ethics in the business world, which can turn people away from it. But successful opportunities are out there waiting for small businesses to take advantage of, and where I will fit in is helping them get there.”

Let’s back up.

As he grew up in Forest Park, Illinois Colton’s interest in a business career began at a young age. Once his high school advisor told him about a small school in Indiana that might be the perfect fit for him, he applied to be a Bulldog and was on campus the following fall.

“A lot of people say that Butler felt like a second home right away, but for me it was more than that,” he said. “This felt like a place where I was going to be set up for success. Professors asked me what I wanted to accomplish and the rest of the conversation was always how they could help make it happen.”

Gaining experience beyond campus was near the top of his list. Fortunately, the Lacy School of Business’ prioritization of internships fed right into that, and before long he was in the offices of Smart Moves Pediatrics, Inc.

There, he was able to spend valuable hours working directly with professionals while gaining hands-on accounting and web development experience, which shed a new light on what he was learning in class.

“What’s been great about Butler’s curriculum is that, in the classroom, you’re given the tools and knowledge you need to go out and succeed,” he said. “And once you do, you come back to class with a fresh perspective and an eagerness to apply what you’ve learned.”

That’s why Colton is ready for the global stage. He knew he had the potential to be a leader in the business world and timely encouragement from his professors was the exact push he needed.

He wants to help businesses in the same way by showing them they can accomplish whatever they want to. And, most importantly, do so without losing their essence.

“We can all make a bigger impact than we think,” he said. “I’m ready to make mine.”

Watch more My Butler Stories


My Butler Story | Colton Haymon

For Colton Haymon, Butler University was never the destination. It’s his gateway to the globe.

Meet Incoming Transfer Student—Amelia Ball

Amelia Ball '23
Hometown: Nashotah, WI
Major: International Studies

Why are you transferring to Butler University? 
I decided to transfer to Butler because of their small student-to-faculty ratio and the ability to explore different academic interests with ease. I also loved the campus location and the dedication Butler has to volunteering around Indianapolis and beyond. 

How did you initially hear about Butler and what interested you in the University? 
I was looking for a smaller school that had similar ideals to my own such as a dedication to service and academics. I also really liked the high ranking business school, as well as the study abroad program. The emphasis that Butler places on the arts (such as through the Butler Cultural Requirements) shows me that they are interested in giving students a well-rounded education that is not just limited to their field of study. 

What is your favorite part about Butler? 
I really enjoy the dedication that the professors and advisors have to the students. I feel they really try to get to know me as an individual, not just as a student, and work to help me achieve the best experience possible at Butler. 

If you’ve visited Butler, when did you first visit? Was it a planned event, a guided tour, or just an informal walk around campus? 
I first visited in Spring 2020 with an informal walk around campus before committing fully to the university. The location—set in the suburbs, close to a college town, but also near the larger city of Indianapolis—was perfect for me.

What do you hope to get involved with or be a part of at Butler? 
I hope to be involved in the Student Government Association, Club Climbing, Greek Life, and various volunteer opportunities. I’m really excited to meet new people through classes, clubs, and other extracurriculars.


Current Student Q&A | Brittany Bluthardt ’20

Brittany Bluthardt ’20
Majors: Journalism, Strategic Communication
Hometown: Antioch, Illinois
Co-curricular activities: Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, Butler Honors Program, CHAARG, Greek Life, The Odyssey

Q: What’s your favorite spot on campus?
A: Holcomb Gardens, because of its beautiful scenery and proximity to the Indianapolis community. From the gardens, I can walk along nature paths, visit The Farm at Butler, travel to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, or spend time studying outside.

Q: What’s your favorite hidden-gem in Indianapolis?
A: A small marketplace called Locally Grown Gardens, which is pretty close to campus. Every time I walk through the doors, I’m excited to see what new produce they’ve received from the day before. And I get to see my little furry friend who greets every visitor with a “meow!”

Q: What’s your ideal day look like?
A: My best days are busy because I thrive under a little stress and excitement. I love starting my day with a quick blog post, going to class, fitting in a workout, and winding down by studying with my roommates. Each day is new and different, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

My Butler Story | Olivia Allen

Olivia Allen ‘21
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Major: Exploratory Studies
Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Growing up in a family on the move, Olivia Allen always had to find her own ways to call new places home. But that was never easier for her to do than at Butler University.

“One of the biggest reasons for that is my advisor, Jan Ruston. I’m seeing her almost every week now,” Allen says. “When I felt too overwhelmed, I went into her office and said: ‘You’re my mom away from home now. Help me get my life into shape.’”

Originally an Austin, Texas native, Olivia attended high school in North Carolina. An avid swimmer most of her life, she's now making a splash on Butler's swim team. 

But how can a Division-I athlete who set two school records within her first year on the team feel as if she needs help to get her life into shape?

“I have no idea what I want to do for a career,” Allen says.

And she’s okay with that for now. After turning to resources on campus for guidance, such as Internship and Career Services, or her advisor-mom hybrid Jan, she’s realized that most people around her don’t know what they want to do, either.

Even, or most especially, if they pretend to.

“What I do have now that I didn’t have a year or two ago is a much clearer sense of what I don’t want to do, and I credit the way Butler throws you into different classes for that,” Allen says. “They give you the freedom to explore interests while also introducing you with new ideas in a first-year seminar course, for example.”

So far, it’s working. Her increasing interest in the sciences has inclined her to choose the Healthcare and Business major with a Spanish minor. Between athletics and academics, each day is filled with a new set of demands and challenges.

“My family and teammates keep me grounded by reminding me it’s okay to be uncertain and to fail,” Allen says. “Test scores don’t define me as long as I don’t let everything come crashing down.”
Which means it is time for the analogy that every reader knew was coming: no matter what life throws at her, Olivia, just like Dory, keeps on swimming.

Watch more My Butler Stories


My Butler Story | Olivia Allen

Growing up in a family on the move, Olivia Allen always had to find her own ways to call new places home. 

Curent Student Q&A | Tim Winter ’20

Tim Winter ’20
Majors: Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science
Hometown: Decorah, Iowa
Co-curricular activities: Butler Student Ambassador, Butler Symphony Orchestra, Engineering Dual Degree Club, Student Orientation Guide

Q: What’s your story?
A: I love to learn. When I’m not doing homework, my nose is in a book about airplanes and the science behind flight. One day, I hope to design the next generation of rockets that take us deeper into space. I’m also an avid cellist. I take lessons and play in the orchestra, and set aside time to play my cello every day.

Q: Why did you choose to become a Bulldog? 
A: This is a place where I can be serious about both my cello and engineering. My cello professor, Dr. Grubb, was the first person I ever met on campus. His kindness and passion really set the tone of my Butler visit.

Q: What do you like most about your academic career here? 
A: I like that I can double major. I chose Mechanical Engineering because I grew up on a farm fixing everything in my path. I chose Computer Science because my grandfather was a pioneer in the programming world with his software company.

Q: Which faculty member has inspired you the most? 
A: My Introductory Physics Instructor, Dr. Dan Kosik. His class pushed me to my limits and helped me grow as a student. I could walk into Dr. Kosik’s office whenever I had questions—even if they didn’t pertain to what we were doing in class.

My Butler Story | David Sexton

David Sexton ‘20
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Major: Political Science, Human Communication and Organizational Leadership
Hometown: Richmond, IN

For David Sexton, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) has been a lot like a pool.

Sometimes it’s a neighborhood’s only basin of water in the heat of July, home to dynamic classroom discussions on any given subject matter. At other moments, it looks like a synchronized swimming match, with students’ nodding in agreement as a professor walks them through the intricacies of public policy.

But no matter what, David and his peers are learning what it means to always keep their heads above water. To tread together, despite personal politics, is to grow.

"I think our professors' biggest metric for success has been the honesty we put forth when writing about or discussing the issues they present to us," he said. "This has created a whole environment of discussion-based courses across the College, which is probably why we typically leave each class more encouraged than when we entered it."

Though David's passion for democracy came later in life, his love of Butler started early when his grandparents took him on walks through campus. So when his interest in politics began to rise, Butler emerged as the perfect fit.

Why? The campus is located in the capital city of a state that remains a sticking point on the national political stage. But internally, Butler makes it a priority to engage its students with their eventual field as soon as possible.

Whether it's by pursuing internships at the statehouse or at local non-profits, or by working internally on policy matters within student government, David’s experience has been as hands-on as he hoped for.

"I've always felt educated, never preached at," he said. "People always expect me to start complaining about my classes because of how intense things are nationally. But it's the opposite. Some of the strongest relationships I have made are with people I usually disagree with."

As he gears up for the final legs of his Butler education, David feels more and more prepared for the world beyond the campus than ever before.

"What separates Butler from other colleges is the cohesiveness between all the different courses and disciplines that are offered here," he said. "It's why they call it 'The Butler Way,' I guess. This place really is helping us all grow, both as individuals and as a community."

That's because Butler students don't dip their toes in the pool. They dive right in.

Watch more My Butler Stories


My Butler Story | David Sexton

For David Sexton, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) has been a lot like a pool.

Meet Current Student Karlye Sopczak ’22

Karlye Sopczak ’22
Major: Political Science and History
Hometown: Crown Point, Indiana
Co-curricular activities: Butler Student Ambassador, Butler University Dance Marathon, Greek Life, Pre-Law Society


The best thing about being a Butler Bulldog is being part of a community that truly cares about you, your success, and your happiness. Your professors are always willing to help talk through postgraduate plans every step along the way. I’m a Pre-Law student, and my faculty advisor has been an invaluable resource to me, helping me with everything from advising which classes to take to discussing various law school options. The guidance you receive and the independence you will gain at Butler is priceless.

Outside of academics, there is so much to do on campus. Butler does a great job of planning on-campus programming, providing a variety of lectures, shows, and performances that are free or very affordable. One of my favorite traditions is attending Butler Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker every year.

I’ve also become really involved with the Butler University Dance Marathon (BUDM), which is an organization that raises money for Riley Children’s Hospital. It has been the most rewarding experience to be part of a service organization that donates all of its proceeds to children’s health and pediatric research. It’s just a bonus that I’ve been able to meet so many other passionate, dedicated, and inspirational individuals through BUDM.

Meet Current Student Marcos Navarro Garcia ’23

Marcos Navarro Garcia ’23
Major: Critical Communication and Media Studies
Minors: Creative Media and Entertainment, Spanish
Hometown: Lafayette, Indiana
Co-curricular activities: Student Government Association, Latinos Unidos, Multicultural Student Mentor, Efroymson Diversity Center


At Butler, we have access to an incredible network of students and faculty, as well as endless opportunities to get involved both on campus and in the Indianapolis community. My time at Butler began at Dawg Days, a Pre-Welcome-Week orientation program led by the Efroymson Diversity Center. I met some of my closest friends in that program and we’ve had each other’s backs since day one. This year, I was able to serve as a mentor for the very same program, which was incredibly rewarding as I was able to welcome a new group of first-year students.

My involvement isn’t limited just to on-campus activities either. Butler really encourages its students to get out in the community, and I’ve definitely taken advantage of that. Over the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to other Latinx students at a few local high schools and elementary schools about my own personal experiences, including my time at college. Every single time, I walk out with my cup filled, knowing that the kids that I speak with can now see that successful people do look like them and come from a similar background.

When I graduate, I would love to take the skills I’ve learned as a student in the College of Communication and become a motivational speaker. I want to speak about the importance of self-love, passion, heart, and grit, and help empower future generations to fight for their dreams and what they believe in.

Curent Student Q&A | Maddy Jensen ’22

Maddy Jensen ’22
Majors: Sociology and Psychology
Minor: Youth and Community Development
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Co-curricular activities: Butler Student Ambassador, Butler University Student Foundation, CRU, Radiate Bible Study Leader

Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a Bulldog? 
A: The community and passion that you find on this campus is really second to none. When you come here, you enter a unique family that would be hard to find elsewhere. At Butler, I feel seen, loved, known, and cared for.

Q: How do you get involved on campus? 
A: Definitely attend Block Party during Welcome Week! There are more than 130 student organizations and Block Party brings them all together during the first week of the fall semester. No matter where your interest or passion lies, there is a place for you to find your niche and your family at Butler.

Q: Which service-related activity have you found most satisfying?
A: Bulldogs Into The Streets is one activity that I make sure to attend every year. Students, faculty, community members, and families join together on a Saturday to complete service activities in Indianapolis. It’s a really special (and large!) event that embodies the service-oriented attitude you find at Butler.

Curent Student Q&A | Jack Dicen ’23

Current Student Q & A with Jack Dicen ’23
Major: Exploratory Business
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
Co-curricular activities: Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance, Dawg Pound, The Diversity Center, Men’s Club Basketball

Q: What’s your ideal Butler day look like? 
A: I usually wake up and do a little bit of homework or studying before my 10:00 AM class. I’ll always make time to grab lunch with my friends in between classes and catch up on everyone’s day. I’ll usually spend part of the afternoon in the Diversity Center and then end the day working out or playing basketball at the Health and Recreation Complex (HRC) on campus.

Q: What’s your favorite spot to work out on campus?
A: Definitely the HRC. It has a ton of options, so I never get bored. There’s a large variety of cardio equipment and weight machines, plus a swimming pool. And, my favorite part: basketball courts that are almost always available for a pick-up game.

Q: What’s your favorite spot on campus? 
A: My favorite spot is the Diversity Center. Everyone there is so welcoming and kind and accepts you for who you are with no judgment. A close second would be cheering on the Dawgs at Hinkle Fieldhouse. There’s just nothing that compares to watching a game in such a historic place.

Curent Student Q&A | McKenzie Greene ’22

McKenzie Greene ’22
Major: Biochemistry 
Minor: Psychology and Spanish
Hometown: Strongsville, Ohio
Co-curricular activities: Butler Student Ambassador, Multicultural Mentor, Morton-Finney Scholar, Track & Field Athlete

Q: What’s your favorite spot on campus? 
A: When the weather is nice, I love to sit in my hammock on the Butler Mall. I can catch up with friends as they’re walking to class, join a game of Spikeball, or just relax and reflect on the day.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: I definitely want to work in the healthcare field, specifically with children. I’m still deciding if this means I want to be a doctor, or something else. The great thing about Butler is that it provides so many resources—shadowing, career fairs, pre-health advisors, and more—to help you figure out what career might be the best fit.

Q: What’s your favorite activity at Butler? 
A: There are so many activities available on campus for students that it’s hard to pick a favorite. There is never a dull moment and all the activities pull in a wide range of people from all different walks of life. Some of my favorites though have been watching movies on the lawn, line dancing at the Reilly Room, Bingo Night, and of course, basketball games at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Q: What’s the social event of the year?
A: Homecoming is the place to be every year, no question! There is so much school spirit and unique things to do, like the Bulldog Beauty Contest. I look forward to it every year.

My Butler Story | Colin Harts

Colin Harts ‘23
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Major: English

What would Colin Harts tell his younger self? “Don’t have any doubts in yourself. You can pursue whatever passion you want to pursue.” 

It’s that passion that ultimately brought Colin to Butler University to study English. 

“I chose English as my major because I had always had a natural inclination for it. I excelled at it in high school, so I thought ‘why not’?,” says Harts. “Before I scheduled my classes for my first semester, I found that I was really intrigued by the kind of literature that we’d be reading as well as the historical context that goes along with it.” 

It’s that variety of literature—as well as the interpretive aspects and creative expression—that Hart says have been some of his favorite parts of his major. 

“I have the freedom to explore topics,” Harts says. “I’m not just sitting in a classroom getting lectured to. I have a variety of projects that I can freely choose from. I have essays where I can delve deeper into the literature that we read.” 

And the faculty relationships in the English department are just another bonus. Harts is able to lean on his professors for guidance, whether that is help scheduling which classes to take the following semester or tips on how to improve his writing. 

That community, whether it’s with his professors, classmates, or other students living in his unit, has made a huge difference for Harts. 

“What makes Butler unique is its emphasis on building community,” he says. “I feel like I have this really strong network of people that I can rely on for friendship, laughter, and support. It’s really nice to know that I have this core group of people that I’m not only living and studying with, but also going through life with.” 

Watch more My Butler Stories


My Butler Story | Colin Harts

Colin found that he had the freedom to choose what he wanted to learn at Butler. Hear how.