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Perseverance and Patients: A 23-Year Journey to Graduation

By Rachel Stern

When Trent Tipple was at his low point, living in Indianapolis, Indiana, experiencing nose bleeds during class, suffering memory loss while trying to study for tests, juggling pre-med classes with daily dialysis treatments, little did he know this was just the first of three major low points in his life.

There was the lymphoma diagnosis. Then the kidney failure. Again. And a kidney transplant. Again.

But to hear Tipple tell it, these are all moments that have shaped an amazing life. So far. Because, let’s be honest, Tipple has defied death approximately three times. And, in his words, he feels “full of gratitude.”  

“I have learned to treasure each day and never ignore what is right in front of me,” Tipple says. “I try to remember that the relationships and memories are what actually matter and, as cliché as it is, tomorrow really isn’t guaranteed.”

But there is one thing nagging at Tipple. He hasn’t technically graduated from Butler University, where he was an undergraduate biology major. All of those dialysis appointments didn’t stop him, though, let’s make that clear.

It was that darn beeper.

Tipple, who enrolled at Butler in the fall of 1991, was on track to graduate in 1995. He was 19 credits shy and had applied to Indiana University’s School of Medicine. But, then, that beeper started going off and he had to answer it.

Because Tipple was on the kidney transplant list, he always had a beeper on in case a transplant arrived. After three years, his beeper went off. It just so happened to be during his last semester, senior year. So, technically, he never graduated.

That’s all about to change.

 

Always Interested in Medicine

Tipple grew up in Wabash County, Indiana. Farm country as he refers to it.

Long before the constant trips to the doctor, he had an interest in helping people by being a physician. Pretty ironic, he says. He was always interested in the ability to help others, and working in medicine gave him the opportunity to blend his interest in science with that desire. 

When Tipple was a sophomore in high school he stepped foot on Butler’s campus for the first time as part of a youth event. He was drawn to the campus’ small size and intimate setting.

“Everyone I came across was just nice,” Tipple says. “That first encounter made me familiar with the school and gave me a certain comfort level. I was attracted to the smaller size and the opportunity to get a well-rounded education beyond just science-based courses.”

Turns out the smaller setting would be crucial for many reasons. Tipple was diagnosed with chronic renal disease before his freshman year at Butler. He applied early to Butler, was accepted, and enrolled. With his disease came several trips to the doctor every week. Tipple knew going to Butler would enable him to continue down his desired pre-med path, while also being physically close to the downtown campus of IU Medical Center, as a kidney transplant was what he would eventually need. Tipple felt a school the size of Butler would be more willing to accommodate his specific needs.

“I knew I would be in and out of certain classes due to doctor’s appointments and, at any point, might need to miss class or assignments,” Tipple says. “At a smaller school, it is much easier to form personal relationships and communicate about my specific needs and situation. I think that would be much harder to do at a larger university.”  

 

Determined to Follow His Dreams

Trent at Butler with fraternity brothers.

Jim Shellaas remembers laying eyes on Tipple for the first time. Tipple was a freshman. Shellhaas was Tipple’s academic advisor, and, right away, something was different.

“He showed up to our first meeting with his mother,” says Shellhaas, who retired two years ago after working at Butler as a biology professor. “Now don’t get me wrong, his mother was a lovely person, but most freshmen don’t come to their appointments with their parents. She was there to explain Trent’s medical condition.”

From that first meeting, Shellhaas says, it was clear that Tipple was a determined young man. And Shellhaas’ first impression never changed over the course of four years.

“He had a dream and he was focused and no matter what, he wasn’t going to let go of it,” Shellhaas says. “It is hard enough to be on a pre-med track when a student is fully healthy. But to do that with a health condition like Trent’s, you have to be special and he is special. He had a goal in mind, plugged along, and never lost sight of it.”

Barb Howes recalls a student who was extremely responsible and always showed up to work at the Science Libraries with a work ethic that stood out. Howes has interacted with thousands of students during her time at Butler, but Tipple stands out.

“No matter what was asked of him, he did it, and he always had a wonderful attitude,” she says. “You never would have known that he was dealing with all of the dialysis, and the pain. It amazes me that he was able to remain so positive, despite having to face so much and juggle so much as a young person.”

 

Nothing Could Stop Him

After being on dialysis for two-and-a-half years, and after seven surgeries due to dialysis-related complications, Tipple’s beeper finally went off. He would later learn that a woman named Shiela, who’s family decided that she would be an organ donor, enabled him to become a kidney transplant recipient that January day in 1995. But, it wasn’t that simple.

Though he walked in his commencement ceremony, technically, Tipple did not graduate from Butler because of the timing of the transplant surgery and the recovery associated with it. He was 19 credits short.

He did, however, make the most of his time spent around the physicians he still hoped to one day be. “You meet tons of patients and they all impact you in different ways, but Trent stuck out and always will stick out,” says Sharon Moe, professor of nephrology at Indiana University School of Medicine, who first met Tipple when he was a patient at IU Medical Center. “He was just a smart, inquisitive, sharp young man.”

Moe learned that Tipple wanted to attend IU School of Medicine when he was a patient. Tipple also worked in Moe’s lab when he was a student at Butler. She decided to arrange a meeting between Tipple and the head of the Medical School’s admissions committee.

“I learned later that those conversations I had, thanks to Dr. Moe, were key for me ever getting in to med school and achieving my dream of becoming a physician,” says Tipple. “I am so thankful for people like Dr. Moe who believed in me and went out of their way to vouch for me and look out for me. They changed the course of my life.”

“Trent was networking, so to speak, or creating strong relationships, before that was even a thing,” Shellhaas says. “Instead of feeling sorry for himself when he was in the hospital, he was thinking about his next move and how he could achieve his dreams. He is an amazing person.”

He was accepted into IU’s School of Medicine in the summer of 1995, even though he didn’t have an undergraduate degree.

 

The Struggles Continue

When it was time to head to medical school, Tipple had to, well, learn how to learn again, he says. A fraternity brother from his Butler days, Doug Towriss, was already a medical student at IU. He tutored Tipple for well over a year.

“He taught me what it was to know something, versus being familiar with it,” Tipple says. “If you can’t write it down, you don’t know it. That was his big thing. A lot of time was spent at the chalk board with me writing down pathways, lists, and that type of thing from memory. He didn’t have to do that but he wanted to help me get caught back up.”

Tipple ended up graduating from medical school in 2000. He completed a general pediatrics residency in 2003 and a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine in 2006 at The Ohio State University. By 2006 he was an attending neonatologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

But, things weren’t all smooth sailing.

In 2008, he was in Vienna for a conference with his wife and two children. In retrospect, he had been experiencing headaches for a few months, but that is just in retrospect. They wandered through the Swarovski store looking at all the jewelry. Then, all Tipple remembers is his world went black and the loud store went silent. He was 35 and experienced his first seizure.

He was rushed to the hospital, eventually made his way back to Ohio, and on Christmas Eve 2008, he was officially diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. Technically speaking, he had post-transplant lymphoma. It is a kind of lymphoma only seen in transplant patients. The cruel irony? While Tipple took powerful medications to prevent his body from rejecting his kidney transplant 13 years earlier, those same medications kept his body from recognizing the cancerous cells and eliminating them. Those same cells actually allowed the tumor to form in the first place.

Trent with his cousin who donated a kidney.

This type of lymphoma carries an average 2-year survival rate of less than 10 percent around the world. But, Tipple’s oncologist at OSU had developed an experimental therapy that showed promise in the six patients who used it prior to Tipple.

Three weeks after starting the therapy, the tumor that had been the size of a walnut was gone. And within six months, there was no evidence of the active disease at all. Tipple was in remission. “It was honestly a miracle,” Tipple says. “I really thought I was going to die. I thought that was it and I just could not believe I was in remission. It is impossible.”

But, Tipple’s story does not end there.

One year after his seizure in Austria, the kidney that he had received about 15 years earlier failed. Tipple was back on dialysis.

“I was feeling devastated. I was angry and frustrated. But yet again, I had the amazing support of those around me,” Tipple says. “My wife put everything in perspective when she reminded me that a year earlier we thought I was going to die and said we will do whatever it takes.”

After 15 months of daily dialysis in their home, Tipple was back in the hospital for his second kidney transplant in 2011. This time, he knew the donor. “My cousin is a police officer outside of Seattle. She called me one day and said she was coming to Columbus to finish testing because she was informed that she was a match,” Tipple says. “How do you thank someone who says that?”

She was a match and Tipple had his second transplant on Aug. 2, 2011. Since then, things have been great, he says. But then there is that elusive degree from Butler.

 

Getting that Piece of Paper

Travis Ryan met Tipple about five years ago. He didn’t know much about him, but invited him to Butler’s campus to speak to a seminar class about potential opportunities to pursue research projects. “I had no idea about his background, but I knew he had a ton of experience in the research field and thought, as a Butler graduate, he could inspire our students,” says Ryan, who is the Biological Sciences Department Chair at Butler. “When we spoke after his talk and I learned about his background, and I remember thinking we should really look into trying to get Trent his official degree. He embodies everything Butler is about.”

Tipple was extremely excited about the idea.

“It always came up in job interviews and things like that,” he says. “But more than that, I know it is just a piece of paper, but it really means something important to me. My time at Butler was extremely valuable and meant a lot to me and to know that I officially graduated would mean a lot.”

Ryan worked with many people at Butler to make it official. Many courses that Tipple completed at IU’s School of Medicine, it ended up, could be counted toward the credits he was missing at Butler.

After 23 years, Tipple will be officially graduating from Butler.

 

Full Circle

Trent with his family on a trip to Germany in 2008.

Tipple tries to get back to Indianapolis, and specifically, Butler’s campus at least once a year. He usually returns for a basketball game or two, and comes each May for the Indianapolis 500.

Unfortunately, he won’t be here for the spring commencement ceremony on May 11. It is a bit harder now. In 2014, he started working at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as an associate professor. He is Director of the Neonatal Redox Biology Program and his work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2007. Tipple also serves as the Director of Neonatology Faculty Development and Program Co-Director of Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Program.

“After everything, I am doing what I love. I am teaching, I have a research lab, and I also see patients. I love doing all of that and it is exactly what I always wanted to do,” he says. Tipple plans to be back in Indianapolis at the end of May for the Indianapolis 500. He will be stopping by Butler’s campus. And this time, he will be picking up a diploma.

“It feels great to just come full circle after everything,” Tipple says. “I appreciate everything Butler did for me and with all I have been through and all the people who supported me and were there for me, everyone really made this happen.”

 

Images
Feature: Trent with his wife at medical school graduation (left). Tren with his son at a Butler Basketball game (right).
Top: Trent at Butler with fraternity brothers.
Middle: Trent with his cousin who donated a kidney.
Bottom: Trent with his family on a trip to Germany in 2008.

 

Trent Tipple MD
CommencementPeopleCampus

Perseverance and Patients: A 23-Year Journey to Graduation

After two kidney transplants and a battle with cancer, Trent Tipple M.D. will finally receive his bachelor's degree from Butler.

 

A Bulldog Abroad

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

Only a few weeks after graduating from Butler University, one student will travel halfway across the world to serve in the Peace Corps in Malawi, an impoverished country in southeastern Africa. During her nearly two-and-a-half-year service, senior Bulldog Alex Gabor will work in the education sector and teach English to children. Although she’ll be far away from Butler University and her home in Wilmette, Illinois, Alex is excited for what life and service across the world has in the future; she thanks Butler for helping her along the way.

“I hope to form relationships with the people in my village that I will be living with,” she said. “Hopefully, I can gain their trust and respect because I feel like without that it’s hard to learn from someone.”

Alex hopes to become fluent in the village’s language and fully immerse herself in the culture. Her transition from Indianapolis to the small village will be a familiar change. Alex was born in the Philippines and lived there for nine years before traveling to the states; she’s used to moving around.

“Moving around is such a big part of me that I will be able to manage well compared to other people that haven’t had that experience,” she said. “So, I feel like it won’t be that bad, but I will definitely be homesick.”

Nearly four years ago, Alex didn’t know what she wanted to study or where she wanted to go. She stumbled upon Butler’s name and decided it was the one - she hadn’t even stepped foot on campus. After enrolling in an exploratory course, she sat in on an upper-level psychology class and discovered her passion for research. From then on, Alex threw herself into undergraduate research any chance she could.

“Being involved in research has given me such good experience, not only for my professional self, but for my personal self,” Alex said. “Butler has opened so many doors for me.”

Alex had experience in undergraduate research early in her college career which prepared her for future presentations across the country. Along with presenting at the Undergraduate Research Conference on Butler’s campus, Alex has traveled to Chicago, Milwaukee, Maryland, and, soon, San Francisco to share her knowledge.

“My research in psychology, I think, made me a really competitive applicant to serve in the Peace Corp.”

During her time at Butler, Alex took full advantage of the resources available to her on campus, from receiving resume help at the Internship and Career Services office to going to as many events, with free food, as possible. Along with taking courses for her two majors in psychology and Chinese and her minor in neuroscience, she was involved in Student Government Association, a sorority, volunteer work, and the Asian Culture Enthusiasts club. Alex kept herself busy and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“When I leave Butler, I’ll miss seeing the same people,” she said. “I’ll miss being around the people. It’s the vibe, the energy. You know when you’re on campus, you know?”

 

Alex Gabor
CommencementPeopleCampus

A Bulldog Abroad

Senior graduate Alex Gabor will fully immerse herself in a new culture, far away from her second home on campus.

Alex Gabor

A Bulldog Abroad

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

15 Things You May Not Know about Spring 2018 Commencement

  1. The Real Deal
    Every single graduate receives their actual diploma (if they have completed their degree requirements) as they walk across stage. For logistical reasons, most universities issue fake diplomas on the day of graduation.
     
  2. Like a Pro
    The stages in Hinkle are built in less than 24 hours. Professional stage hands and sound engineers from Clowes Memorial Hall do the set up and tear down for commencement each year.
     
  3. So You Think You Can Walk?
    Michelle Jarvis, Associate Provost and a dance faculty member, helped to choreograph the processional on to Hinkle’s main floor.
     
  4. Crowded House
    Hinkle Fieldhouse’s floor can seat up to 1,200 graduates, 80 musicians, and up to 65 VIP for the ceremony.
     
  5. Take a Seat
    All the chairs set up on the main basketball floor and in the Efroymson Family Gym are zip tied together for safety, and each will contain a bottle of water and a program for the graduates and guests.
     
  6. “I Majored in Love. No, really.”
    There is a member of the class of 2018 who majored in Love as part of the individualized major program.
     
  7. Kellies E. Murphy
    This year’s graduating class has 963 participants, two of whom are named Kelly E. Murphy.
     
  8. All In the Family
    There are more than 17 Butler faculty and staff members who have family members graduating (spouses, children, and in some cases multiple children).
     
  9. The Year of the Symphony Orchestra
    Every other year, the Butler Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and the Wind Ensemble take turns performing at each Spring Commencement. This year will be BSO’s turn under the direction of Richard Auldon Clark.
     
  10. Butler Sing
    Every year, the School of Music’s Chorale performs at all three Academic ceremonies: Convocation during Welcome Week, Winter Commencement, and Spring Commencement.
     
  11. Jaguars Helping Out
    The IUPUI ROTC will serve as the color guard at this year’s ceremony.

  12. One in Three
    Of the students receiving their graduate degrees at this year’s ceremony, 34% already hold a bachelor’s degree from Butler.
     
  13. How Do You Pronounce That?
    More than 40 staff and student volunteers will help to make commencement a success this year. Two of the volunteers–Professors Scott Bridge and Ann Bilodeau–will serve as Announcers of Names by reading each graduate’s name as they walk across stage. Bridge and Bilodeau prepare by practicing for days from an excel spreadsheet with phonetic pronunciations. If they are uncertain, they have been known to contact the graduate to confirm how they’d like to be announced.
     
  14. Harry Potter-esque
    The flags that are part of the Commencement processional are called Gonfalons and are modeled after heraldic banners used by city states and guilds in medieval Italy (and by the houses in the Harry Potter series).
     
  15. Go Dawgs! No Really, You Gotta Go!
    Butler Baseball plays at 2:00 PM on Commencement day. Senior players will graduate first, then go suit up for their game. 
Commencement
CommencementCampus

15 Things You May Not Know about Spring 2018 Commencement

What do Harry Potter and the class of 2018 have in common? Read on. 

Pursuing Her Passion

By Meg Liffick

Graduating Senior Mariam Saeedi grew up in Fishers, Indiana, just up the road from Butler University. Like a lot of kids, she really loved being creative and especially loved art. In high school at Hamilton Southeastern, she took all the art classes they offered and pursued as many opportunities as she could to be creative.  

While she has a passion for artmaking and an obvious talent, when Mariam chose her major before starting her first year at Butler, Art wasn’t even on her radar. “I originally came to Butler because I wanted to be a teacher. I had heard great things about the College of Education. After my first semester, I realized that it wasn’t the right path for me. I felt like I was missing something.”

Like so many college students, Mariam switched her major her freshman year. This time, she chose Marketing.

But again, after taking a few classes, she still wasn’t confident she was on the right path. She had a nagging feeling that wouldn’t go away. One day as she was browsing through the course list for the Art+Design major in the Jordan College of the Arts things became clear. “I wanted to take all of those classes. I realized what I was missing was an opportunity to be really creative and express myself, and I found it in those classes.”

In the Art+Design program, Mariam was able to take coursework that explored different mediums of expression, and in doing, so she found her voice.

“During my time here, I’ve learned about myself. I don’t want to be somewhere where I’m creating what everyone else is doing. I want to create for myself and be an individual.” At Butler, Mariam found the courses, mentors, and opportunities to do just that. She forged strong relationships with her classmates and her instructors, and these relationships inspired her and challenged her to be her best.

“When I was younger, I knew I always liked art, but I never imagined it would turn into something I’d do all of the time. I was more interested in finding a `practical, reasonable career path.’ It all grew on me as I found myself more,” says Mariam.

After graduating this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art+Design, Mariam will begin a prestigious Orr fellowship. After interviewing for months, she was selected with other top seniors from Indiana and Ohio to join the post-graduate experience dedicated to creating a foundation of career success through coursework, professional mentoring, and a full-time, salaried position. Awarded each year to an elite group of graduates, the Orr fellowship has launched the careers of some of the most accomplished young professionals in the city and beyond.

“People don’t think of the arts as a stable field, and I think they are scared to pursue creative paths.” But in finding her major, Mariam found herself. She proved that creativity and a practical career path are not mutually exclusive, and in fact, passion is critical to long term success.

“Loving what you do it the best motivation. It’s so much easier to succeed when you are really passionate about something.”

 

Mariam Saeedi
CommencementPeopleCampus

Pursuing Her Passion

When Mariam Saeedi '18 found her major, she found her voice.

Mariam Saeedi

Pursuing Her Passion

By Meg Liffick

A Snapshot of Something Bigger

By Brittany Bluthardt '20

“This story is only a snapshot of something bigger, genuine, and unique” Butler University senior, and soon to be graduate, Nikki Miceli said as she introduced her capstone project, “Up North.” The video follows with snapshots of her smiling family members, days in the water, and some traditional campfire singing. Clip after clip, Nikki captures the little moments her family celebrates every summer at their cabin in northern Wisconsin. Two years ago, Nikki didn’t know the random footage she took while on vacation would turn into a 16-minute short documentary about her family’s history and legacy. When Nikki came to Butler University, she wasn’t sure what to expect or where to go first. She just jumped in.

Nikki came to Butler because she loved the feel and energy of campus, and it was the first college campus she didn’t get lost on. Beginning as an exploratory major, she tried a little bit of everything and strayed away from everything she knew she didn’t like. Nikki was certain of one thing: she loved to make videos.

“I like video because it’s a more detailed photograph,” she said. “My family makes fun of me because I always have a camera out, but I tell them, ‘In 10 years, you’re going to really like this footage and see how you acted, what we looked like.’ You see so many more intricate, small, wonderful moments with video than you do with photography.”

Nikki and her freshman year roommate made lip sync covers to popular songs in their dorm room, then she would edit the footage with iMovie and upload it to their Youtube channel. At the time, Nikki didn’t think much of it until one video of her singing to “Hakuna Matata” gained over 4,000 views. With the help of her counselor who urged her to pursue video work, she eventually found a home in the college of communication.

Flash forward three years and Nikki will soon be graduating with degrees in digital media production and strategic communication. She’s completed multiple internships with companies like the Big East Digital Network and Webstream Productions, but her greatest experience was found in the heart of campus. As a video intern for Butler University’s Marketing and Communications office, Nikki connects with people and tells their story through Instagram.

“These people at Butler are so dang incredible,” Nikki said. “They are, honestly, the most passionate and caring people you’ll ever meet. I’ve seen that through this internship the most. I’ve learned about everyone’s true, genuine story and excitement about why they love Butler. I just love it.”

Although Nikki pushed herself to complete multiple internships, study abroad in Australia, complete two majors, and have room for a social life, her biggest challenge was gaining self-confidence. Her parents, one an accountant and the other a physical therapist, have supported her throughout her career but couldn’t help. Nikki’s creative side is unique, and she knew she had to work hard to be successful and find a job after college. Rather than change her major or redefine herself, Nikki took the challenge and reached her goals.

“I know what makes me happy,” she said. “Some people told me you go to school to find out who you are, and I thought, ‘No, college only solidified who I was.’ I knew who I was beforehand.”

Nikki took advantage of any opportunity presented to her. She helped create the newest Butler commercial through her internship on campus, and although it was stressful and a lot of work, she doesn’t regret taking on the challenge.

“The commercial project kick-started my confidence and made me realize I have a place here,” she said. “I think Butler and the community of care will stick with me for the rest of my life.”

She said she’ll miss Butler’s tight-knit community, the people, and her experiences, but she is ready to move on. Nikki is unsure where she’ll land after college, but knows she’ll continue making videos and telling stories.

 “I’m confident now -- watch me kill it.”

 

 

Nikki
CommencementPeopleCampus

A Snapshot of Something Bigger

Senior Nikki Miceli uses her experience on campus to tell the stories of others. 

Nikki

A Snapshot of Something Bigger

By Brittany Bluthardt '20
Life Lessons

Life Lessons Found in Philanthropy

Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

With less than a decade of professional work experience under his belt, Matt Lally ’10 has ventured into territory many might postpone until closer to retirement. He’s the Founder of a nonprofit dedicated to bettering educational outcomes for at-risk youngsters; in addition, he’s funded a global effort to create a sustainable food source. Yet it’s clear his youthful enthusiasm is paying off for those individuals and communities in the crosshairs of his altruistic dreams.Matt Lally ’10

While he is optimistic about his efforts, he is also in touch with the realities of running a not-for-profit and a start-up business.

As Nielsen’s Associate Director of Growth and Strategy, Lally refers to himself as a market research consultant by day and nonprofit volunteer evenings and weekends. “Philanthropic work has always been important—it’s a value instilled from an early age,” he said. “My father ran his own charity for a decade (saving outcast dormitory furniture from landfills and delivering to Appalachia, the Caribbean, and Central America). I’ve always had exposure and interest in philanthropic activities.”

Networking led to meeting other young professionals with similar aspirations. One such acquaintance was exploring how he could have an impact on educational systems. The two were shocked at the statistic that one out of every eight students misses a month of school per school year. In 2012, when Chicago was the focus of national attention with high school graduation rates hovering around 50 percent, the duo began researching the issue—speaking with educators, administrators, and those with experience with existing programs and their shortcomings. “I believe education is the foundation and background for a successful life,” he said. “It was an area in which I wanted influence.”

Ugandan ParticipantsThrough research, they narrowed their focus to an approach that had little or no attention: A partnership geared toward elementary school parents that they named, “Goods for Grades.” In 2014, they attained their 501c3 and launched the inaugural program in 2015 with one school on Chicago’s southside. There, regular attendance (and later they added good behavior) results in rewards to the parents of actual goods or open-ended opportunities like a gift card to a restaurant or for purchasing clothes.

As happens through altruistic efforts, he’s learned more than he’s given over the course of three years. What he found was that the lackluster attendance of children was not because it was inconvenient to get them to school or that parents didn’t believe school was important.

“For some of them, it’s a matter of ‘I have to be at work at 6:00 a.m., so I rely on an older child to get them to school.’ We have to take into account all the different circumstances and then what would it take to place importance on overcoming that barrier,” he said. “We have learned a lot—most importantly, understanding the problem from their perspective. No one wants someone from the outside telling them how to raise their kids.”

As if one such effort wasn’t enough, Lally more recently became an investor in a sustainable chicken farm in Uganda. The relationship formed as he sat on the Chicago board of Accumen, “a global community dedicated to changing the way the world tackles poverty” by employing business practice and models and changing the traditional charity approach to something more sustainable. A business plan, cost analysis, and proforma led to Lally providing them with capital. 

Chicken Coup“The chicken farm is a supply/demand opportunity for eggs. At the beginning of 2015, five families were selected to participate to be the caregivers and owners of the project,” he said. “It’s been a tremendous success. They’ve followed their revenue forecast and already payed back the loan. Structuring it as a loan—versus a charitable donation—brings a greater sense of responsibility.”

These sorts of bold endeavors take a little chutzpah, and Lally credits his days at Butler with building that trait. “Something that has always stuck with me that I learned at Butler: It never hurts to ask. That can play out in a lot of different ways, but it’s a mentality. If there’s something that you want, the worst that can happen is you get a ‘no.’ Being vocal about what you want is going to have a positive impact. Also, if you have a real passion, you need to share that with as many people as you can.” 

 

To learn more about these respective projects and how to support them, visit GoodsForGrades.org or gofundme.com/emmy039s-empathy.

Life Lessons
PeopleCampus

Life Lessons Found in Philanthropy

Market research consultant by day—nonprofit volunteer by night. 

by Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

Read more

In The News

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Anderson Cooper rips Sean Hannity for not revealing legal ties to Trump lawyer
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talks to USA Today about the ethics behind Sean Hannity not disclosing his ties to Michael Cohen.

VICE | March 2018
I Used a 'Human Uber' Surrogate to Do My Job for Me
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talks to Vice about the ethics behind AI. He sees no ethical dilemma when it comes to the use of a Human Uber, provided you pay fairly for their time.

USA Today | February 11, 2018
OxyContin maker says no more promoting opioids
Kevin Tuohy tells USA Today that discontinuing the sales information pipeline to prescribers will most likely not affect the prescribing of these drugs.

The Wall Street Journal | February 11, 2018
Who's at the Door? College officials delivering your acceptance with a dog
The Wall Street Journal reports on Butler's Butler Bound campaign, which aims to visit as many prospective students as possible and deliver their acceptance news in person, with Trip in toe.

The New York Times | February 9, 2018
Butler undergrads write coverage for dogs and pianos
A story in The New York Times reports on Butler's student-run insurance company and how it not only gives students real world experience, but also is working to address the national insurance shortage.

WPSU | January 29, 2018
Pennsylvania Patients Ready For Medical Marijuana
Jake Peters
tells NPR that medical marijuana may make patients feel better in the short-term, but can make disorders, like anxiety and depression worse in the long run.

The New York Times | December 29, 2017
Looking at Blue-Collar Factory Jobs in the Rearview Mirror 
President Jim Danko
talks to The New York Times about what the role of higher education institutions is when it comes to globalization and the job market.

USA Today | December 21, 2017
Coin tosses, picking names out of a hat? Yep, that's how some races are decided
USA Today
talks to Greg Shufeldt about quirky election law when it comes to ties and the fact that it will likely never change.

USA Today | December 10, 2017
Freedom still elusive for much of the world
An article is USA Today about International Human Rights Day quotes Fait Muedini, who says the U.S. still has a lot of work to do in this area.

meg haggerty

Meg Haggerty moved around frequently as a kid.

Being the daughter of an Air Force officer meant Haggerty and the rest of her family didn’t stay in one place for too long. It also meant that, at a very young age, she learned how to quickly build relationships and fully immerse herself into a community—two traits that have allowed her to make lifelong friends in every place she’s lived. 

“Meg is a true inspiration,” Addie Barret ’17 said of Haggerty, who is the Staff Advisor for Barret’s sorority, Alpha Chi Omega—the same one Haggerty was a member of when she attended Butler as an undergraduate. 

From co-advising the Student Government Association’s (SGA) Marketing and Communications Board, and coordinating student events, like Winter and Spring Commencement and the Top 100 Most Outstanding Student Recognition Program, to working with interns, Haggerty makes it her mission to be a mentor to Butler students like her mentors were to her. She makes herself available 24/7 and she tells students, “Any aspect of your life you want to invite me into, I’ll invite you into mine as well.”

“She is there for students in every aspect: academic, personal, and professional,” Barret continued. “She is always asking questions about others and wanting to know how we are doing. Every memory I have of her consists of that same incredible attitude.” 

Levester Johnson, Vice President for Student Affairs for Illinois State University, worked with Haggerty closely as Butler’s former Vice President for Student Affairs. He also knew Haggerty during her undergraduate years and explained that she is Butler through and through—epitomizing Butler via its mission and values. 

“Meg has a youthful flair about herself when she advises,” he said. “She doesn’t see her job as a nine-to-five and she understands the importance of working with students hand-in-hand to achieve their dreams.” 

Johnson believes it’s Haggerty’s quality of going the extra mile that separates her from other administrative professionals. While interviewing Haggerty, this characteristic was revealed when she commented, “just say yes.” She added that if people are willing to say yes and step outside their comfort zones, they will have opportunities they never could have imagined. 

When she graduated from Butler in 2004, Haggerty’s next opportunity was at Florida State University (FSU) where she would earn a Master of Science in Higher Education Student Affairs. While attending FSU, and prior to coming back to Butler, she worked in the FSU College of Education coordinating programming and events for her master’s cohort. She remembers feeling the graduate assistantship was not what she pictured herself doing long term. 

“My passion, and my love, was still working with undergraduate students,” Haggerty explained. She looked for positions at various universities, but Haggerty says her “heart yearned for Butler.”

With a stroke of luck and good timing, Haggerty’s mentor and friend, Caroline Huck-Watson, reached out to her about a position in Butler’s Programs for Leadership and Service Education (PuLSE) Office. As an undergraduate, Haggerty had met Huck-Watson through the Ambassadors of Change (AOC) Program as a team builder and as a student staff member of the Volunteer Center. Huck-Watson had been an influence in her life at Butler and a significant inspiration to pursue Higher Education Student Affairs as a profession. By summer of 2006, Haggerty was back at Butler as an Assistant Director co-coordinating Welcome Week and Orientation programs as well as advising the Program Board of SGA with committees like films, the speaker’s bureau, Out and About in Indy, and events like Homecoming and Spring Sports Spectacular. 

Since then, Haggerty has been a key player in student event programming for Butler. She has an innate ability to connect with each student she meets, and because of that, over the past 10 years she’s been able to build some amazing relationships with students—meeting them during their first or second year, and staying in touch with them during life’s biggest milestones like marriage and children. To her, it’s amazing that she gets to create and be a part of those relationships. 

These relationships are shown through students like Emma Edick ’17, who remembers meeting Haggerty her first year on campus for a class project. 

“Meg has been such a large part of my Butler experience,” Edick said. “She pays attention to what students on campus are doing, what they are working on, and what they are excited about.”

Edick continued by explaining that even if the two of them pass by one another at Starbucks, Haggerty always puts her work aside to sincerely ask the question: “How are you?” 

“I never expected I would be here as a student and as a staff member for as long as I have, but it’s because of the people. People are the most important part of the work that I do—and I don’t think I could have done the work that I’ve done without the people in my life.” 

College and Greek Life—Be Who You Are

Krisy Force

#DeltOfTheWeek postSenior Andrew Thompson ’18, who is a brother in Delta Tau Delta and the chapter’s Director of Recruitment, believes a lot of students go to college with negative perceptions of what Greek life is about.

He’s one of several people working to change that.

Social media campaigns showcasing the real side of Butler’s Greek Life have caught on over the course of the last year, tackling the negative stigmas associated with fraternity and sorority life.

“Social media is an easy medium to get a glimpse into what Greek life is all about,” Thompson said. “Our campaigns can provide a window into what the chapter looks like to those who are on the outside.”

Thompson’s campaign, #DeltOfTheWeek, showcases individuals within the chapter each week doing amazing things like studying abroad or working at an internship. Similar campaigns include Sigma Nu’s #SNUOfTheWeek, Phi Delta Theta’s #PhidayFriday, and Beta Theta Pi’s Founding Father Spotlight.

Public Relations Chair for Sigma Nu Dave Mizsak ’20 said that he took a more comedic approach to the campaign by utilizing another fraternity’s photo that included a brother of Sigma Nu in the background. It's a way to “bring a different eye to the person of the week, put fun into it, and show people the real side of Sigma Nu.”#SNUOfTheWeek post

As for the sororities, most showcase their chapter by having the sisters utilize a hashtag on their individual accounts so that it can feed into the sorority's main Instagram or Facebook account. Hashtags include: Kappa Alpha Theta’s #ThetaThursday; Kappa Kappa Gamma’s #TravelTuesday, Delta Delta Delta’s #TDTuesday; Delta Gamma’s #WhyIWentDGWednesday; and Phi Beta Phi’s #UniquelyPiPhi and #PiPhiFriday.

Laiyla Grayson ’18, Director of Formal Recruitment for Alpha Phi, took their campaign one step further by creating a “Sisterhood of the Traveling Jacket” of sorts.  An oversized jean jacket that says: Alpha Phi Doesn’t Define Me, I Define Alpha Phi, travels from sister to sister every day, and members write one word describing what Alpha Phi means to them.

“When we were looking for recruitment ideas we were trying to think about the negative stereotypes that people use to define us, but we stopped and realized we weren’t going to let other people define Alpha Phi, and we also weren’t going to let Alpha Phi define us—which really ties into the whole Butler experience,” Grayson said.

Once a sister gets the jacket and writes one word, she then posts to social media with the hashtag #AlphaPhiToMe and shares the one word. Posts on #AlphaPhiToMe have included compassionate, bold, lady bosses, and even edgy.

Butler’s Greek life social media campaigns and Alpha Phi’s jacket project are ways to show students that college and Greek life are what you make it, and each fraternity and sorority will encourage you to be exactly who you are.#AlphaPhiToMe post

“There are so many different experiences you can make your own,” Grayson said. “You can be a part of something bigger than yourself—whether that’s Greek life, Alpha Phi, or Butler—but you’re still an individual and you still fit in to this bigger experience.”

From the President

James Danko

from Spring 2017

When North Western Christian University—later to be renamed Butler University—opened its doors in 1855 with only two professors, natural science was a foundational part of the curriculum. As courses of study evolved in later years, the science track was in high demand among students. And in the mid-1940s, as Eli Lilly and Company was achieving success with the production and distribution of penicillin, Butler took over the Indianapolis College of Pharmacy, becoming one of only two colleges in Indiana to confer pharmacy degrees.

Now, as then, Butler University is dedicated to providing world-class academic programs in pharmacy and in life, physical, and health sciences. Demand among students and employers for these programs, as well as for Butler’s engineering and technology programs, is high, and many—including the Science, Technology, and Environmental Studies program featured in this magazine— prepare students for medical school and other graduate programs. Butler is dedicated to all these programs not only because they are central to its academic mission, but because the University has an important role in supporting economic development in the Hoosier state.

Over the past decade, Butler’s undergraduate enrollment in the sciences within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has increased by over 56 percent. As applications to the University reached an all-time high last year, 10 percent of those applications were for Biology. Applications to the Computer Science and Software Engineering major have jumped 67 percent over the past two years alone. Because science and technology are integral to economic and social progress locally and worldwide, they are central to Butler’s educational mission. As Butler prepares a diverse, socially responsible generation of students to excel in these fields, I hope you will join me in celebrating the success stories highlighted in this edition of Butler Magazine.

AcademicsCampus

From the President

Butler University is dedicated to providing world-class academic programs in pharmacy and in life, physical, and health sciences.

by James Danko

from Spring 2017

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It was out with the shovels and in with the Sharpies at the beam-signing ceremony in early May to dedicate the construction of a new 647-bed student residence hall to replace the old Schwitzer Hall at 750 W. Hampton Drive.

Instead of a traditional groundbreaking ceremony, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University signed a beam that will be used in the construction of the four-story facility. 

The new housing, built in partnership with American Campus Communities (ACC) and open in fall 2018, will feature suite-style living units, with two double-occupancy rooms linked by a shared lavatory. Amenities will include gaming alcoves, study rooms, a fitness room, an interior bike room, and a large meeting room that supports the residents, student organizations, Greek chapters, and campus programming.

“The addition of this new facility is a critical step toward advancing Butler’s educational mission through superior campus amenities, and the ultimate realization of Butler’s 2020 Vision as an innovative national leader in undergraduate residential education,” Butler President James Danko said. “By the time this new housing opens, we will have added almost 1,300 new beds to campus in two years and given prospective students yet another reason to choose Butler.”

oncfchb announcement

Butler Unveils New Business Center

Marc D. Allan

from Fall 2017

In May, Butler announced a $5 million financial commitment from Old National Bank to create the Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business, which will provide privately owned businesses with training, education, mentoring, and networking opportunities to help them succeed.

The Center, located in Butler’s Andre B. Lacy School of Business, will place special emphasis on serving the unique needs of this core segment of the economy. The Center will advance the Lacy School of Business’s commitment to experiential education by extending the definition of the Butler student to include the individuals at the businesses that they have the opportunity to work with.

“We are grateful not only for the tremendous financial contribution, but for the partnership with Old National Bank (ONB),” said Stephen Standifird, Dean of the Lacy School of Business. “ONB has been, and continues to be, a strong advocate for supporting closely held businesses.”

The Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business will initially concentrate on two core areas: helping organizations understand how to manage transition strategies, a challenge that is unique to closely held businesses; and identifying stage-appropriate advisors who can help businesses grow in areas such as accounting, legal, risk, and insurance. 

The Center’s leadership team will design its initial programming. The team consists of Administrative Director Dennis Wimer; Academic Director and longtime Butler Business Professor Dick Fetter; and Dean Standifird. Much of the ongoing programming of the Center will be determined by client feedback and consultation with appropriate experts. If you want to learn more about how you or your business could be involved in this organization at Butler, connect with Wimer at dwimer@butler.edu.

Wimer and colleague Jennifer Dewitt spent the summer meeting with members of the Indiana Business community as well as attending The Alliance Conference, an organization consisting of leaders of family and closely held business centers across North America. “The first step is to understand our customers’ needs and this summer has helped us identify the critical topics that drive organizational growth and value,” Wimer said. “We have started to build relationships with key partners that we know our members will be able to count on.”

ONB Chief Credit Officer Steve McGlothlin ’87 will chair the Center’s Advisory Board. Lacy School of Business Senior Advisor Andre Lacy will serve on the board as well as Elaine Bedel MBA ’79, President of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation; Bill Neale, Senior Partner Krieg Devault LLP; and JP Engelbrecht, CEO South Central Inc. Additional board members who bring a diverse perspective on today’s critical business issues will be added.

“Old National is thrilled to partner with Butler University to help advance the success of privately owned businesses throughout our great state,” Old National Chairman and CEO Bob Jones said. “As the largest bank headquartered in Indiana, Old National is deeply committed to ensuring that Hoosier businesses get the training, education, and other resources they need to grow and thrive.”

oncfchb announcement
GivingCampus

Butler Unveils New Business Center

In May, Butler announced a $5 million financial commitment from Old National Bank to create the Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business, which will provide privately owned businesses with training, education, mentoring, and networking opportunities to help them succeed.

by Marc D. Allan

from Fall 2017

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