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Butler Campus in the Fall

Butler Ranked No. 1 in the Midwest For the First Time by U.S. News & World Report

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Sep 10 2018

For the first time in its history, Butler University has moved into a tie for the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings released today.

After eight years of being ranked second in the Midwest Regional Universities category, Butler tied for first place with Creighton University, thanks to its high percentage of small classes (52 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students), first-year students who were in the Top 25 percent of their high school class (76 percent), and alumni giving rates (22 percent—higher than any of the 165 schools in the Midwest region).

“Butler is an innovative leader in education,” President James Danko says. “This prestigious ranking affirms that Butler is creating learning experiences for students that support their success and well-being—both during their undergraduate experience and throughout their lives.”

Butler was also ranked the No. 1 Most Innovative School among Midwest Regional Universities for the fourth straight year, as well as the top school for its commitment to undergraduate teaching.

“Butler’s recognition for exceptional teaching is particularly rewarding, since this is determined by leaders at our peer institutions,” Danko says. “To have our faculty highlighted in this manner is a testament to their outstanding work.”

Butler was also listed among the best schools in six out of eight academic programs that U.S. News ranks. The lists for first-year experiences, internships/co-ops, senior capstone, service learning, study abroad, and undergraduate research, all categories that education experts, including staff members of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, believe lead to student success, all included Butler.

Here’s some more information on these categories:

  • First-year experiences are seminars or other programs that bring small groups of students together with faculty or staff on a regular basis.
  • More than 90 percent of Butler students have at least one internship before they graduate.
  • Senior capstone are culminating experiences that ask students nearing the end of their college years to create a project of some sort that integrates what they’ve learned.
  • In service-learning programs, volunteering in the community is an instructional strategy and relates to what happens in class.
  • Study abroad programs involve substantial academic work and considerable interaction between the student and the culture.
  • Undergraduate research gives students the opportunity to do intensive and self-directed research or creative work that results in an original scholarly paper or other product that can be presented on or off campus.

Administrators at regional universities and colleges were surveyed about peer institutions within their regions. The colleges and universities named on the list were cited most often by college presidents, provosts, and admissions deans who were asked to identify up to 15 schools.

Regional universities offer a full range of undergraduate programs and some master's programs, but few doctoral programs. These rankings are split into four regions: North, South, Midwest, and West. U.S. News also ranks National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, and Regional Colleges in the North, South, Midwest, and West.

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications

Butler Campus in the Fall

Butler Ranked No. 1 in the Midwest For the First Time by U.S. News & World Report

Butler Also Tabbed No. 1 for Teaching and Innovation  

Sep 10 2018 Read more
Campus in Spring

Butler Makes Princeton Review's 'The Best 384 Colleges' For First Time

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 08 2018

Butler University is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review, which has included Butler in its 2019 annual "best colleges" guidebook for the first time.

“The Butler community takes great pride in being recognized by the highly-respected Princeton Review for the exceptional education we provide our students,” said President Jim Danko. “It is particularly rewarding to have an independent, external endorsement of the effectiveness of Butler’s collaborative, student-centered educational approach, one that is supported by outstanding and caring faculty.”

Butler is one of five schools that the New York-based education services company added to the roster of colleges it profiles in the 2019 The Best 384 Colleges (Penguin Random House/Princeton Review Books). The guide is now available.

Robert Franek, Editor-in-Chief of The Princeton Review, said, “We are truly pleased to add Butler to our widely used college guide, now in its 27th year. Only about 15 percent of the four-year colleges in the nation are in this book. In our opinion, these are ‘the crème of the crop’ institutions for undergraduates in America."

Franek said Butler was chosen for 2019 based on three areas: a high regard for its academic programs and other offerings, institutional data, and visits to the University as well as feedback from students, educators, and parents.

The annual "best colleges" book has two-page profiles on each school. Butler's pages note:

  • Butler’s student-to-faculty ratio, teachers collaborating with students on research and professional endeavors, and a core curriculum that pushes students out of their comfort zones, and allows students to explore interests outside of their major, creating “an atmosphere of driven students.”
  • Professors who support student ideas and make modifications to lectures to support student interests.
  • Student life "is completely sustainable on-campus,” which means that students typically stay there for studying, food, and for socializing. On days with good weather, students can be found out and about on campus.

In addition, the book contains 62 ranking lists of "top 20 schools" in individual categories.

The Princeton Review tallied the rankings for the 2019 edition based on its surveys of 138,000 students (average 359 per campus) attending the 384 colleges in the book in 2017-2018 and/or the previous two school years.

The survey asks students 84 questions about their school's academics, administration, student body, and themselves. The format uses a five-point Likert scale to convert qualitative student assessments into quantitative data for school-to-school comparisons. More information on the ranking methodology is at

The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book hierarchically, 1 to 384, either on academics (the Company believes all 384 schools are academically outstanding) or on any other subject.

The school profiles in the book also feature rating scores (from 60 to 99) in several categories including Financial Aid, Fire Safety, and Green: a rating based on the colleges' environmental commitments. The Princeton Review tallies these scores primarily based on analyses of institutional data the Company obtains from the schools.


Media contact:
Marc Allan MFA '18
News Manager

Campus in Spring

Butler Makes Princeton Review's 'The Best 384 Colleges' For First Time

Butler is one of nation’s best institutions for education, according to The Princeton Review.

Aug 08 2018 Read more

Hi, I’m Blue!

Well, I guess I am Butler Blue IV, but you can call me Blue. I am Butler’s new mascot-in-training!

I was born the lone male in a litter of three on October 30, 2019, at Fall Creek Place Animal Clinic. My vet, Dr. Kurt Phillips ’92, delivered my two sisters and me. Then I went home with my breeders, Jodi and Cameron Madaj, and I have been living with them for the last 12 weeks while growing into this bundle of brown and white rolls you see today.

Oh, and don’t worry, I already bleed Butler Blue. I stuck my head out of the incubator at two weeks old to watch the Men’s Basketball team play on television. I even started barking when the announcer said the rival team’s name.

I was born for this.

I’d love to meet you! My on-campus debut for students, faculty, and staff will be on Friday, January 24. And later that evening, I’ll make my public debut at Hinkle Fieldhouse just before the Butler Men’s Basketball game against Marquette. Be sure you get to your seats early.

For the next few months, I’ll be training, interning, and following around Uncle Trip (Butler Blue III) to learn what it takes to represent Butler. Then, I’ll take over full-time mascot duties after Trip retires at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Other than all of that, I’m looking forward to getting settled at my new home, too. I moved in with my parents, Evan ’16 and Kennedy Krauss, about a week ago, but it feels like I’ve known them forever. They even got to be there when I was born, and they have visited me every week over the last couple of months.

I hope to see you all on Friday. I’ve been waiting my whole life to meet you! I’m so honored to be your next Butler Bulldog.


Go Dawgs!






Butler Blue IV
Butler University’s Mascot-in-Training

P.S.: Please follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @TheButlerBlue. Two words: Puppy Pics.

P.P.S.: I love you.

Blue IV

Hi, I’m Blue!

I am your new mascot-in-training. I can’t wait to meet you. 


Butler Ranked No.1 in Midwest for Second Straight Year by U.S. News & World Report


PUBLISHED ON Sep 08 2019

For the second consecutive year, Butler University has been named the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest, according to the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings released today

Butler also ranked as the No. 1 Most Innovative School for the fifth straight year, the No.1 Best College for Veterans, and within the top-10 schools for Undergraduate Teaching among Midwest Regional Universities.

“I am pleased that our ranking reflects the high quality of education we provide at Butler University,” President James Danko says. “In addition to a highly-engaged educational experience, thanks to our outstanding faculty, we continue to underscore the importance of innovation, which creates an environment that both supports our students and challenges them to succeed.”

In addition to its strong position in the Midwest, Butler ranked within the top-20 among nationally-ranked schools (such as Harvard, Duke, and Stanford Universities) in three key areas identified by U.S. News as critical in providing students with the best possible undergraduate experience: first-year experience (No. 13), senior capstone experience (No. 18), and study abroad opportunities (No. 19).

“We are especially honored that this year’s rankings distinguish Butler University as among some of the most prestigious in the country,” Danko says. “I am so proud of our students, faculty, and staff, whose dedication to excellence has led us to earn this great recognition.”

The U.S. News first-year experience category recognizes schools that help new students feel connected well beyond orientation week. Butler’s First Year Seminar is required for all new students and is taken in a two-semester sequence. There are no exceptions, as all new students reflect on questions about self, community, and the world. 

Senior capstone experiences give students nearing the end of their time at college the chance to create a culminating project drawing on what they’ve learned over several years, such as collaborative research between Butler students and faculty, or recitals put on by graduating art students. 

And the study abroad category highlights universities that allow students to complete a substantial amount of credit hours outside the U.S., while also immersing themselves in new cultures. At Butler, about 40 percent of students travel abroad by the time they graduate, making the University ninth in the nation for undergraduate participation.

Butler also ranked just outside the top-20 on a national level for its focus on co-ops and internships (No. 21) and service learning (No. 23). Schools in the internship category either require or encourage students to apply what they’ve learned in class to a real-world setting, like the more than 90 percent of Butler students who complete at least one internship before graduation.

Universities in the service learning category require students to volunteer in the community as part of their coursework. Through Butler's Indianapolis Community Requirement (ICR), all students take at least one course that involves active engagement with the Indianapolis area.

For undergraduate research and creative projects, Butler ranked No. 59 in the nation for the opportunities it provides students to complete self-directed, formal research, often under the mentorship of a faculty member.

For each of these national categories, U.S. News surveyed higher education leaders from across the country, asking college presidents, chief academic officers, and deans of admissions to nominate up to 15 schools they felt best embraced each type of program. The final rankings include the 20 universities that received the most nominations in each category. 

“It is quite gratifying that our peer academic leaders recognize the quality of a Butler education which is distinguished by the teaching and learning that occurs inside our classrooms, and is further enhanced by the rich experiences offered outside,” Provost Kate Morris says. “I am proud of the high-quality education and experience our students receive thanks to our outstanding faculty and staff.”


Media Contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications


Butler Ranked No.1 in Midwest for Second Straight Year by U.S. News & World Report

The University also ranks within the nation’s Top-20 schools for programs in three key areas.

Sep 08 2019 Read more
Butler University U.S. News Rankings

Butler Ranked No.1 in Midwest for Third Straight Year by U.S. News & World Report


PUBLISHED ON Sep 14 2020

For the third straight year, Butler University has been named the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest, according to the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, released today.

Butler also ranked as the No. 1 Most Innovative School for the sixth consecutive year, and No. 3 for Undergraduate Teaching.

“The 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings confirm Butler’s place as one of the region’s most outstanding, innovative institutions for teaching and learning,” says President James Danko. “These rankings reflect the ongoing excellence of our academic programs and exceptional student experience. As we continue to pursue our goal of expanding student access and success through the Butler Beyond strategic direction, we are committed to extending this valuable, quality education to a broader set of learners for the good of our community.”

In addition to its strong position in the Midwest, Butler ranked within the top 30 among nationally ranked schools (such as Elon, Princeton, and Yale Universities) in three key areas identified by U.S. News as critical in providing students with the best possible undergraduate experience: first-year experience (No. 19), senior capstone experience (No. 23), and study abroad opportunities (No. 28).

The U.S. News first-year experience category recognizes schools that have developed ways to help new students feel connected well beyond orientation week, such as Butler’s required First-Year Seminar, which introduces students to the practice of engaging with complex and unfamiliar ideas.

Senior capstone experiences give students nearing the end of their time at college the chance to create a culminating project drawing on what they’ve learned over several years. At Butler, for example, many students collaborate with faculty members on meaningful research, perform recitals, or complete other capstone projects within their academic programs.

The study abroad category highlights universities that allow students to complete a substantial amount of credit hours outside the United States, immersing themselves in new cultures. While the COVID-19 pandemic has limited travel opportunities throughout 2020, Butler normally offers more than 200 study abroad programs across 60 different countries, including several designed and led by Butler faculty.

“Our rankings are reflective of Butler’s commitment to our students," Provost Kate Morris says. "By emphasizing innovation within our curriculum, we provide students with educational experiences that prepare them to adapt to challenges and changes throughout their careers. I am tremendously proud of our faculty and staff for their dedication to student success, both inside and outside of the classroom.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Butler University U.S. News Rankings

Butler Ranked No.1 in Midwest for Third Straight Year by U.S. News & World Report

The University also ranked among top universities in three national categories

Sep 14 2020 Read more

Meet Butler’s Bulldog Beauty Queens and Kings

By Sarah Bahr

 Butler University’s beauty queens and kings lick the runway, sniff purses for cookies, and do more slobbering than Snapchatting.

But these bulldogs are no pampered pets, though some of them have the (three-dresser!) wardrobes of international pop stars.

They’re there to win.

More than 100 bulldogs are expected to compete for accolades such as “Most Beautiful” and “Best Mean Mug” at Butler’s 18th annual Bulldog Beauty Contest on Saturday, Sept. 29. The competition kicks off at 9:30 A.M. in the west end of the Hinkle Fieldhouse parking lot, and is expected to last around an hour. Admission is free for both spectators and competitors.

The contestants come from all over the country, Butler University Director of External Relations Michael Kaltenmark, who’s emceed the contest for the past 18 years, said, as Butler alumni return to their alma mater for the Homecoming Week kickoff event.

The contest has ballooned from the 50 to 100 people who attended the first event — most, Kaltenmark said, who were tailgating in the Hinkle parking lot and “happened to see us making a bunch of noise and holding bulldog puppies in the air” — to the nearly 2,500 spectators who turned up last year.

A panel of five judges — which in the past has included local celebrities such as Indianapolis Star Butler beat writer David Woods and Fox 59 chief meteorologist Brian Wilkes — selects the top dog in each category.

This year’s event features seven categories, though each dog can only enter two: “Most Beautiful Bulldog,” “Best Mean Mug,” “Best Dressed Bulldog,” “Best Bulldog/Human Tandem,” “Best Bulldog Trick,” “Most Butler Spirit,” and “Mr. & Mrs. Bulldog Congeniality.” A winner and runner-up trophy are awarded in each division.

The category champs will then vie for the top prize, “Best in Show,” which earns the winning dog bragging rights, a trophy, and a year’s supply of dog food from City Dogs Grocery in Broad Ripple.

To impress the crowd — whose “huge laughs” and “big cheers” wield an outsized influence on the judges — a dog must have not only looks, but personality, Kaltenmark said.

Kurt Phillips, the official veterinarian of the Butler Blue Live Mascot Program and longtime judge of the Bulldog Beauty Contest, said judging isn’t a science.

“It’s whatever makes us smile, or makes us laugh, or makes the audience go crazy,” he said.

So if you’ve got a French, American, or English bulldog raring to roll over, don a French Fry costume, or strut the runway, you can show up on Saturday and throw your dog’s hat into the ring.

Just don’t try to backdoor your beagle in. 

“We used to have a ‘Wannabe Bulldog’ category,” Kaltenmark said. “But we had to do away with it when the contest got so big. Now it’s bulldogs only.”


Step 1: Choose a Costume

Things you might see this weekend outside Hinkle Fieldhouse: Minnie Mouse licking a Chipotle burrito. A peacock sniffing a bulldozer.

You never know what’ll turn up, Kaltenmark said. It seems like people get more creative every year.

People have dressed their bulldogs in lobster suits — then donned a matching hat and claws. They’ve affixed a lion’s mane to their dog’s neck and hoisted the dog-cub over their head like Simba. Wrestled them into a shark suit. Made them up like Cleopatra.

Kaltenmark’s favorite? One man donned a red hoodie, placed his bulldog in a milk crate attached to the handlebars of a BMX bike, and covered him in a towel so he looked like E.T.

One entrant, Jodi Madaj, who owns Butler Blue III’s sister Phoebe, even roped Kaltenmark’s sons, Miles, 3, and Everett, 7, into participating in the “Best Bulldog-Human Tandem” category.

“My sons would walk these dogs up on stage in their Han Solo and Chewbacca costumes with Trip’s sister Phoebe dressed as Princess Leia, and it was too much for the judges to handle,” Kaltenmark said.

Madaj, who’s now taken home three category trophies, doesn’t shirk from enlisting strangers in her schemes, either.

When she was walking through the Butler bookstore in 2011, one employee was “getting a little cranky” about one of her bulldogs, Daphne, she said. The logical next step?

“I talked him into being Prince Charming, complete with tux, pillow, and glass slipper, in that year’s contest,” Madaj said. “Phoebe was Cinderella, and they won ‘Best Human-Dog Tandem.’”

So where does one buy a bulldog costume?

Not at Party City or Walmart, Kaltenmark said.

“We know what costume is popular at Target each year because three to five dogs show up wearing it,” Kaltenmark said. “The best costumes are either handmade or pieced together. You can’t just run out, buy a Halloween costume, and slap it on your dog and expect to win.”


Step 2: Master the Mean Mug


A bulldog can be a winner without wide eyes, wrinkly fur, or floppy ears.

“The ‘Best Mean Mug’ category is for the ugliest bulldog at the contest,” Kaltenmark said. “Not all bulldogs are good looking.”

Doug Welks, an English Bulldog breeder who’s participated in the event for the past decade, once brought a green-mohawked puppy, Mojo, who took home the pugnacious prize.

“He was a real sweetheart,” Welks said. “He just looked mean, like a ferocious teddy bear.”

But some bulldogs really are, well, curmudgeonly canines.

Butler alums Kyle Schwipps, 30, and his wife Alicia, 29, entered their 4-year-old bulldog, Beauford, last year.

While Beauford’s snarfing and scowling weren’t affronting enough to take top prize, Kyle Schwipps said his peevish pooch really is a grumpy old man at heart.

“We treated him like an only child for three years — we took him everywhere with us,” he said. “Then we had our son, Grayson, and he got thrown on the back burner.”

“Now he’s mad all the time because he’s not the center of attention anymore.”


Step 3: Play the Cute Card

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the cutest bulldog of them all?

Bow in her hair, a doe-eyed, tan-and-white bulldog in a blue tutu peers at the crowd with quarter-sized, glistening eyes that put Fiona the hippo’s floppy folds of flesh, stubby arms, and slack-tongued grin to shame.

“The ‘Cutest’ category is hilarious because everybody throws their dog in,” Kaltenmark said. “It takes the longest to judge because everyone thinks their bulldog is cute.”

Puppies, unsurprisingly, have a leg up on their more mature competitors.

“The younger dogs are so stinkin’ cute that they’re literally showstoppers,” he said. “But it’s tough for them to repeat as champs.”

The best part? On Saturday morning, the Hinkle parking lot becomes a “quasi-Bulldog petting zoo” for spectators, Kaltenmark said.

“We’ve got around 100 bulldogs milling about behind the stage,” he said. “People who want to pet them can walk right up, snap a picture.”


A Loveable Loser


One dog, for the past nine years, has been neither ugly nor beautiful enough to get the judges’ attention. Like elevator music, he’s been lurking in the background, neither loved nor loathed.

Wilberforce, an English bulldog owned by 2004 Butler grads Daniel Pulliam and his wife, Noelle, entered every year until his death in February at age 9. But he never got so much as a “Best Mean Mug” title.

“They got all their kids involved, but they never took home the trophy,” Kaltenmark said. “It was heartbreaking.”

Daniel Pulliam said Wilberforce — Wilber for short —- enjoyed cheese, sunbathing on the couch, and playing with his buddy Butler Blue II.

“He was kind of like Brain on ‘Pinky and the Brain,’” Pulliam said. “He was pretty laid back, like ‘What are we gonna do today?’”

Daniel and Noelle had entered Wilber in the contest every year since 2009.

“He was a puppy then, so that year was our best chance,” Pulliam said. “But we didn’t win.”

But then the Pulliams’ children entered the equation, renewing their hopes. They entered their 6-month-old daughter alongside Wilber in 2011 in the “Best Bulldog-Human Tandem” category.

“Having a bulldog and a small child is a good way to impress the judges — or so we thought,” Pulliam said.

Alas, no dice. But the Pulliams really thought they had a chance in 2017, when they entered their four children alongside Wilber as characters from “PAW Patrol.”

“It wasn’t enough,” Pulliam said. “The competition was really tough.”

Kaltenmark is considering calling the Pulliams back up to the stage this year to present Wilber with a posthumous lifetime achievement award. Though they no longer own a bulldog, they’re still planning on attending, Pulliam said.

If you too want to watch but can’t make it in person, Butler will be live streaming the contest on Blue III’s Facebook page.

And if you do want to enter, Kaltenmark said those five seconds of fame are an equal opportunity — Butler’s never had a repeat “Best in Show” winner.

“A good costume, plus preparation, plus a good dog, plus kids the past few years is a formula that’s done really well,” he said.


Bulldog Beauty Contest

Meet Butler’s Bulldog Beauty Queens and Kings

With more than 100 bulldogs competing, the Bulldog Beauty Contest is the cutest pageant around.   


Butler Blue IV, next live mascot for Butler, revealed, ready to report to work

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Jan 22 2020

It’s a cold December morning in downtown Indianapolis, and the Fountain Square Animal Clinic is about to open.

A red jeep pulls into the parking lot, and out hops a 14-week-old french bulldog. He trots with his owner into the Clinic. A few more cars pull in. Two cats head inside, followed by a lab mix.

Then, a white Toyota RAV4 pulls right up to the Clinic’s front door, bypassing the whole parking thing. A man and a woman emerge from the car, grab a plastic Bella Storage Solution 67-liter bin, and hurry inside. It’s impossible to see through the bin, as layers of blankets cover the sides.

No one knows it at the time, but about an hour later, it becomes official: The bin is holding the next Butler University live mascot, Butler Blue IV.

That day in December, Butler Blue IV was a six-week-old, five pound, American Kennel Club-Registered English Bulldog puppy in a bin with his two sisters. After full-body x-rays, shots, and a close examination by clinic owner Kurt Phillips ‘92, it was determined that the next live mascot would be this dog. Phillips, who delivered the three siblings on October 30, 2019, was in the room with breeders Jodi and Cameron Madaj, as well as current mascot handler Michael Kaltenmark (who owns Butler Blue III “aka Trip”), and the next live mascot handler, Evan Krauss.

The decision marked the end of a process much longer than a one-hour vet appointment. It was a journey that technically started in December 2018, when Kaltenmark, Krauss, and Phillips determined it would be best for Trip to retire at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year due to his older age and long tenure on the job.

But it also marked the beginning of the next phase of preparations for introducing a new live mascot. Now, about a month later, the puppy who snuck into the clinic in a plastic bin has grown into a 12-week-old, 20 pound dog. He has experienced more of the mascot lifestyle—posing for photo shoots, growing out of two Butler jerseys, and listening to a cranked-up Butler fight song on repeat to simulate a raucous Hinkle Fieldhouse. He’s also been exposed to many different people, taken trips to Home Depot, and grown used to the sound of banging pots and pans.

But Blue has also been adjusting to, well, life. He moved away from his two sisters and mother into his new home at 10 weeks old. He’s learning to go to the bathroom outside, and how to walk on a leash.

Butler Blue IV has lived in near anonymity since he was born in October. But as the new mascot-in-training until he takes over full-time when Trip retires in May, the days of being toted around in secret bins are about to be long gone.


How it all began

It was December 2018, and Butler Blue III “aka Trip” had recently turned seven. Kaltenmark and Krauss took him to the vet’s office to see Phillips. Trip was in good health, but Phillips said it would be best if they didn’t push him past his eighth season.

“Trip has been great, and he had no chronic or recurring health issues, but we wanted to make sure we didn’t push him too far,” Phillips says.

In May, Kaltenmark and Krauss sat down and solidified a succession plan. But it didn’t exactly start with talking about Trip and the next dog. Instead, the plan focused on Kaltenmark—the man who has overseen Butler’s live mascot program for 16 years.



At first, Kaltenmark was excited to start again with Butler Blue IV. But the more he thought about it, the more he realized it might be best for him to take a step back.

“I have been married for 16 years, and I’ve been the mascot handler for 16 years,” he says. “My boys are getting older, and they have schedules that compete with the mascot’s schedule.”

Then there was the kidney diagnosis. Kaltenmark was first told in December 2018 that his kidneys were failing. He needed a transplant. He received one from his brother in early January 2020.

“It just made sense to get out of my own way and hand this on to someone who is extremely prepared and ready for this, and that is Evan,” says Kaltenmark, who still plans to stay very involved in the live mascot program after the 2019-2020 academic year.

Once the team settled on a handler, it was time to start looking for the next dog.

Kaltenmark and Krauss relied on Phillips to identify potential litters of bulldog puppies. Phillips interviewed several breeders. He also conducted pre-breeding exams that took health, temperament, and timing into consideration.

They went through about four or five litters, but none of the puppies quite fit what they needed in terms of health and timing. Then, the Madajs entered the picture.


How to find a dog

Jodi Madaj has always been a dog person.

Growing up in Danville, Illinois, she would find stray dogs and bring them to her grandparents’ house. At times there would be eight, nine, even 10 dogs there, all courtesy of Madaj.

That love of dogs has not waned. Madaj, her husband, and their two kids have had basset hounds, boxers, and german boxers, but her son always wanted a bulldog. So, in 2003, Madaj and her husband bought a bulldog puppy, put it in a box with a bow on top, and gave it to their son as a Christmas present. In 2011, they got another: Phoebe, also known as Trip’s sister. Phoebe had puppies in 2013, and the Madajs, of course, kept two of the puppies.

“I am more of a collector than a breeder,” Madaj says.

One of those puppies, Trixie, had a litter of seven in 2016. One of those puppies, Violet, would end up becoming the mother of Butler Blue IV.

Madaj also has a love for Butler. Her kids grew up going to camps at the University, and her son played soccer there. Sixteen years ago, her love of Butler and bulldogs led her to strike up a conversation with Kaltenmark, and she has been bringing pre-game treats for Butler’s live mascots ever since.

When Madaj heard that Trip was retiring, she thought about donating a puppy from Violet’s litter.

“I wanted to donate a dog if I had a healthy dog,” Madaj says. “I wanted to do it because I thought it was the right thing to do.”

Violet gave birth to three healthy puppies on October 30, 2019. But, it was not immediately clear if one would be the next Butler mascot.

The puppies were fed every two hours around the clock for the first three weeks. Madaj slept right next to Violet on the couch every single night. For the first six weeks, Madaj never left the puppies alone.

Then, there was the secret part of it all. Madaj told her kids, but not her mother, hiding Violet in the bedroom when her mother came over.

“She has a big mouth,” Madaj says.

All three of Violet’s puppies ended up being healthy. But during the six-week-old visit with Phillips is December, he decided that one of them stuck out. One of the puppies had a respiratory problem, and the other was a bit aggressive. The third was just right.

“There’s a lot to consider with bulldogs, and we looked at everything,” says Phillips, who has been involved with caring for the Butler mascot since he volunteered to give back to his alma mater in the form of vet care for the first bulldog. “He will be awesome. He is a super cool puppy. He is super easy going and not aggressive at all. Everything fell in line with this dog.”

Madaj agrees.

“He is special,” Madaj says. “When you spend basically 24 hours a day with a dog for three months, you get to know him really well. It will be really hard to leave him, but I know he is going to a great cause—to represent a wonderful institution.”

Madaj, who ended up keeping one of the three puppies, texts Krauss all the time, reminding him not to pick up Blue by the back legs. When Krauss came to pick up Blue in mid-January, she gave him a laminated binder full of instructions, and she cried. About 20 minutes after Krauss left, Madaj texted to see how everything was going.


Everything is new

Butler Blue IV isn’t the only one adjusting to a new life. Krauss, the new mascot handler, is adjusting, too.

Krauss has never owned a dog in his life. When he was growing up, the Krausses were—you guessed it—cat people. Krauss is allergic to dogs, which sometimes even causes him to throw up.

But that didn’t stop him. He would ask his parents for a dog for his birthday, Christmas, New Year’s—every single holiday. Then, when his older sister became a Butler  cheerleader and Krauss started going to every basketball game, the team he fell in love with had a dog as their mascot.

“It was the coolest thing ever,” Krauss says. “My Verizon flip phone background was Blue II.”

In his sophomore year at Butler, Krauss applied to join the Butler Blue Crew. The student group helped Kaltenmark with the mascot program, filming video of Trip or assisting at events. Krauss had to lie during his interview when asked if he was allergic to dogs.

After graduation, Krauss joined Kaltenmark’s team permanently to manage the day-to-day operations of the Butler Blue live mascot program.

Now, he is taking over handler duties. The spare bedroom of his apartment is stocked with dog toys, a crate, and food. He checked all his house plants to make sure they weren’t poisonous for animals.

And then there’s the whole new parent thing. Krauss called Kaltenmark when he thought Blue’s stool was a little soft. Kaltenmark assured him it was normal for a puppy, but he brought it to the vet to be sure. Then there was the time Blue’s face turned a bit red after some shots. So, Krauss called the vet, who assured him it was normal, and Kaltenmark brought benadryl over.

“This is my dream come true,” he says. “It is certainly an adjustment, but I couldn’t be more grateful and honored to have this opportunity.”

Butler Blue IV will officially be introduced to the community at his first basketball game on Friday, January 24. Until taking over as full-time mascot at the end of the academic year, he’ll be meeting students, adjusting to his home, and learning how to be the Butler Bulldog.

But behind the scenes, he will focus on going to the bathroom outside, socializing with other dogs, and the adjustment to life without his siblings. It’s an adjustment for everyone.

Media Contact:
Tim Brouk
Senior News Content Manager
765-977-3931 (cell)


Butler Blue IV, next live mascot for Butler, revealed, ready to report to work

12-week-old English Bulldog set to take the reins as Butler’s fourth live mascot

Jan 22 2020 Read more
esports rendering

Butler Ready to Launch First Esports and Gaming Space, but Much More to Come

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Oct 24 2019



A new space on Butler University’s campus dedicated to esports and gaming is in the works. But it will be about much more than one of the world’s hottest industries.

The Esports and Gaming Lounge is set to open in late November. It will be located in Atherton Union, adjacent to the newly designed Plum Market at C-Club, which will open around the same time. Open to the campus community, the space will have stations dedicated to esports, or competitive, organized video gaming. There will be 16 gaming PCs, an area of gaming consoles, and an area for tabletop gaming.

But this is just the beginning. Plans for a much larger, 7,500-square-foot multi-use space in the Butler Parking Garage are in the works, says Eric Kammeyer, Butler’s new Director of Esports and Gaming Technology. The space is slated to open fall 2020, and it will build upon the Atherton Union space, featuring 50 gaming PCs, an area of gaming consoles, and room for technology-infused corporate trainings and events or youth STEM and esports camps. It will also have broadcasting production capabilities for live events such as podcasts or esports competitions, a coworking space, a cafe, and a small office space available for lease to support new ventures.

In addition to the Butler esports team that competes in the BIG EAST and will start practicing in the new space, gaming and innovative technologies are being incorporated into the wider Butler curriculum, as the new spaces will enable campus to serve as a sports hub for the greater Indianapolis community. These new spaces will foster student access, community partnerships, and innovations in teaching and learning—all key aspects of Butler’s new strategic direction.

“While competitive and recreational esports is a key driver of this new space, our vision is larger,” says Butler’s Vice President for Strategy and Innovation, Melissa Beckwith. “Our goal is to create a space that will ultimately support curricular innovation, serve the K-12 community, and align with two of the city’s economic engines—sports and technology. Integrating these efforts is the key to creating maximum impact for our students, faculty, and broader community.”


Future Esports & Technology space in the Sunset Avenue Parking Garage, expected to open in fall 2020


Why invest?

In 2014, more than 70 million people across the globe watched esports on the internet or television, according to Newzoo, the leading provider of market intelligence covering global games, esports, and mobile markets. That same year, a single esports event retained viewership that surpassed the NBA’s Game Seven.

Newzoo expects that esports viewership will increase to 427 million people and top $1 billion in revenue in 2019.

“Gaming is extremely popular among students, and its popularity will only continue to grow,” says Butler’s Vice President for Student Affairs Frank E. Ross. “Universities must be responsive to students’ changing needs and interests, identifying innovative and meaningful ways to engage them on campus. This investment in Butler students is important as we continue to enhance the student experience.”

It is also an area exploding with job opportunities. 

Butler Assistant Professor of Creative Media and Entertainment Ryan Rogers just published a book on esportsUnderstanding Esports: An Introduction to the Global Phenomenon. The book explores the rise of the esports industry and its significance, and is the first comprehensive look at an industry that has risen so quickly.

Because of that accelerated growth, the industry needs employees.

“It is incumbent on us, as an institute of higher learning, to prepare students for jobs and get them thinking about new jobs they may not have previously thought about, or may not even know exist,” says Rogers, whose research has explored the ways video games influence their audiences and users. “It is imperative to serve students, and this is a growth field. There are opportunities for students in this field, from competing, to working, to conducting research. As a higher ed institution, we should work to understand why, like anything else, this is happening and how it is happening.”



Rogers teaches an esports class. He also teaches a class that works with FOX Sports. This semester, that class is working closely with Caffeine, a new broadcasting service that is mostly geared toward streaming video games.

But it is about much more than just integrating esports into the Butler curriculum. There is a much broader, cross-disciplinary effort being made toward integrating gaming into pedagogy across campus.

James McGrath, Professor of Religion and Classics, says: “There is real educational value in the mixing of gaming and learning because, I remember at one point in my life, learning was fun.”

McGrath says as educators, it is easy to fall into old habits such as talking at people, or doing “other boring things like that.” But, he says, there is a reason that students spend hours playing video games. These games give people the freedom to fail and try again.

“We often forget the need to incorporate failure in any educational experience that is ultimately going to lead to success and learning,” he says. “The only way to become good at something is to do it repeatedly, and fail, and if you get penalized for failing, you will never get the chance to ultimately get very good at it.”

Incorporating game-like elements, such as a point-based system, into higher education sparks learning, McGrath says. This is the gamification of higher education. 

For McGrath, this started when he was teaching a course on the Bible. The second day of class, he knew he had to teach his students, essentially, a history lesson about why Bibles are different and where the table of contents comes from, for example. He decided to create a card game, Canon: The Card Game

“People like to game,” McGrath says. “Faculty are starting to recognize the value of these types of things as part of culture and things we can harness for good in terms of learning outcomes. The fact that institutions such as our own are being more aware that people need to be well-rounded and that involves different things, even gaming, is a huge step toward true innovation.”

Jason Goldsmith, Associate Professor of English, quite literally studies video games. 

He offers a course called Video Game Narrative, which looks at how video games tell stories and what they can do differently from a standard novel or film. One iteration of the course studied Lord of the Rings. The students read the novel, watched the film, and then played online with people all over the world. The class looked at how the narrative shifted based on environment.

“These kids grow up playing video games much more than watching movies, so it is vital that we teach them to think about this medium critically with the same attention we ask of them when reading Shakespeare,” he says. “If they are playing these games, and if they will one day produce these games, we must encourage them to think more deeply about the relationship between story, game, and what players want out of a game.”

Goldsmith has also gamified aspects of classes he teaches, such as a course he recently taught on Jane Austen. Austen played many games when she was younger, and games play a crucial role in her novels. Students had to create a Jane Austen game, complete with a character sheet that reflected the characteristics Austen valued in her main characters.

Goldsmith says he looks forward to studying the broader cultural significance of gaming, while also making sure Butler continues to evolve and prepare students for emerging career opportunities. 

Butler is working University-wide to do just that. 


Future Esports & Technology space in the Sunset Avenue Parking Garage, expected to open in fall 2020



When John George ‘18 started at Butler, he had two passions: sports and video games. But he had never heard of esports.

He was watching ESPN one morning and heard something about competitive video games and esports. His mind was blown. He started Googling like crazy, and he found there was this whole world out there with teams and leagues. He started playing League of Legends and was hooked.

By the time he was a senior, he heard about Rogers and his esports class. After the first class, he ran up to Rogers, and the two decided to start the Butler esports student organization. There wasn't much interest that first year, and George was the only senior at the meeting. There were a handful of others.

“I can’t believe we went from having some interest, to now being on the brink of an actual space on campus,” says George, who worked for Echo Fox, an esports organization in Los Angeles, running a podcast and producing video after graduation. “We used to all practice in our dorm rooms apart, so the chance to all be together will be amazing.”

Interest has grown quite a bit, too. In 2018, the esports team started competing in the BIG EAST. The team competes in two titles in the BIG EAST now—Rocket League and League of Legends

“The BIG EAST Conference and our members have been formally exploring the esports space since 2017,” says Chris Schneider, Senior Associate Commissioner for Sport Administration and Championships at the BIG EAST. “It’s exciting to see growth on each campus, and Butler University is certainly one of the leading programs in the conference.”

Growth on Butler’s campus over the last few years has really skyrocketed. There is discussion around Butler-sanctioned scholarships, Kammeyer says.

“Interest on campus has mirrored the explosion of this industry at the global level,” he says. “We continue to work with our partners at the high school level to develop advancement opportunities much like traditional sports. We want to provide an end-to-end solution for those that want to pursue anything that falls under the umbrella of esports and innovative technology, from music and production, to competition, to developing the games they are playing.”



Butler is not the only member of the Indianapolis community active in the esports and gaming space. 

Ryan Vaughn, Indiana Sports Corp President, says esports is no longer an emerging phenomenon, but rather something that the wider community is very much engaged in. However, Indianapolis lacks the physical space to bring this sport to life.

“With basketball or swimming, for example, it is easy for us as a city to demonstrate we have the infrastructure here to compete with other cities to host major events. But for esports events, it is different,” Vaughn says. “It will be a game changer for us to now have a community space and a University to partner with.”

Esports also differ from other sports in their clear connection to STEM fields and tech, Vaughn says. To continue to grow in these areas as a state, it is important to recognize and develop that connection.

Scott Dorsey agrees. Dorsey, Managing Partner at High Alpha and Past-Chair of the Indiana Sports Corp, sees Butler’s new esports and tech space as key to developing Indiana’s workforce.

“Esports is an excellent example of the collision between sports and technology in Indianapolis,” Dorsey says. “We are a city that embraces our sports legacy and is well positioned to leverage our explosive growth in technology and innovation. Butler’s planned esports and technology park will be an important asset in our city as we build on our unique strengths and further develop, recruit, and retain top tech talent to the state.”

Potential partnerships with professional sports teams, other universities, K-12 schools, and start-up companies are all part of Butler’s larger plan, says Kammeyer. 

This past summer, for example, Butler partnered with NexTech, an Indianapolis-based organization committed to elevating the technical, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills of K-12 students, to host their Explorers Camp and provide programming for the Catapult Program—an intensive summer experience for high school students interested in exploring careers in technology.

“The investment Butler is making in innovative and transformative technology will be a tremendous asset for our city as we work to open doors for youth to explore opportunities in related fields,” says NexTech President Karen Jung.

Partnerships could lead to potential internship opportunities for Butler students, summer camps for community members, and mentorship programs for the esports team, for example.

Take the Indiana Pacers, for example. In 2017, Cody Parrent was hired to be their Director of Esports Operations. That year, they were one of 17 inaugural teams in the NBA 2K League. The league drafts players 18 years old or older from all over the world. 

Since that inaugural year, the league has added six new teams, including one from China. 

“We have seen interest grow exponentially,” says Parrent, who coaches the team, serves as the general manager, and works on partnerships.

As part of his partnership work, Parrent has spent time guest lecturing in Butler’s esports classes. And that has led to the Pacers having multiple Butler interns—a multimedia intern and a business operations intern.

“A lot of people know about the gaming side of esports, but there is a whole other side, which is the business side of things, and that is what I see as the most exciting part of what Butler is doing,” Parrent says. “The sport itself is open to everyone, as is the business side of things. We are ecstatic about finally having a hub that will bring everything together. The possibilities are endless.”


Media Contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications


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

esports rendering

Butler Ready to Launch First Esports and Gaming Space, but Much More to Come

The new space in Atherton Union will open in late November, with a second Parking Garage space planned for 2020.

Oct 24 2019 Read more
Chatham Tap

Chatham Tap to Fill Vacant Restaurant Space on Campus


PUBLISHED ON Sep 12 2019

INDIANAPOLIS—Chatham Tap, a family-friendly restaurant and pub with two locations in the Indianapolis area, will soon open a third location on the Butler University campus. The addition will fill the space at the intersection of Sunset Avenue and Lake Road, which previously housed Scotty’s Brewhouse before the chain closed in July 2019.

Chatham Tap opened its first pub 12 years ago on Mass Ave. Three years after that, a second location launched in downtown Fishers.

“And we have been searching ever since for the right place to open a third one,” says David Pentzien, one of three Chatham Tap owners.

Pentzien says the restaurant is designed to feel like a friendly neighborhood pub. Rooted in English culture, it caters especially to soccer fans looking for a place to watch their favorite games.

“We intend to warm up the space so you get the true feeling of an English pub,” he says.

But with an extensive offering of craft and import beers, along with a menu focused on a wide range of sandwiches and starters, Chatham Tap draws all kinds of guests through its doors. Offerings also include soup, salad, award-winning wings, pizza, burgers, and the house speciality—fish and chips.

Bruce Arick, the Vice President of Finance & Administration at Butler, says the owners of Chatham Tap have been delightful to work with throughout the whole process.

“We are excited to welcome Chatham Tap to our campus,” he says. “Both for the Butler community and our neighbors, I believe this space will be a great environment for people to create valuable connections and build relationships—all while enjoying meals from a quality menu. We’re also thrilled to be supporting the Indianapolis community by embracing local ownership.”

Butler and Chatham Tap finalized a lease for the space in late August, and if all goes as planned, Pentzien expects to be open for business by the end of October. They anticipate employing approximately 50 people at the restaurant, with at least two of the General Managers having an ownership interest at the location.

The space will maintain the same indoor footprint as Scotty’s had, but Chatham Tap plans to increase the amount of outdoor seating. The location’s conference room will continue to be available for private parties and business meetings.

“We think this can be a great nexus between the neighborhood and the university,” Pentzien says. “We’re going to come in with a game plan, but we’re going to evolve quickly to meet the needs of the people who come to call Chatham Tap at Butler their place to gather.”


Hours for the new location:
Monday–Thursday, 11:00 AM–midnight
Friday, 11:00 AM–1:00 AM
Saturday, 11:00 AM–1:00 AM
Sunday, 11:00 AM–11:00 PM
As is tradition for Chatham Tap, the location will also open early (and serve breakfast) for key weekend soccer matches and stay open late for Butler cultural or athletics events.


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Chatham Tap

Chatham Tap to Fill Vacant Restaurant Space on Campus

Local pub’s third location will encourage connection between Butler and surrounding neighborhood.

Sep 12 2019 Read more

Dear Bulldogs

Dear Bulldogs, 

After eight years of greeting potential students with the news of their admission to Butler University, running down bones at Hinkle Fieldhouse to officially get basketball games started, and serving as Butler’s all-around ambassador, I will retire at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

There comes a point in life when it’s time to move on to the next chapter and now such a milestone is upon me. So, on account of my increasing age, long tenure on the job, and eagerness to enjoy life outside of the spotlight, I’ll soon be wrapping up my official mascot duties. It turns out, I am a lot like humans in that regard.

However, before I hang up the leash, I will be embarking on a farewell tour dubbed, One Last Trip. Throughout the remaining academic year, I will be appearing at Butler games, various events on campus, and even following the men’s basketball team to a handful of destinations around the country to surprise prospective students and to see alumni. Not to mention, several items of One Last Trip merchandise have been commissioned and will be available in the Butler Bookstore and The Shop so that fans can commemorate the occasion. 

So, I hope to see you around campus, Indianapolis, and elsewhere as we set out for Chicago, Washington DC, Milwaukee, and New York before the close of the academic year. First up, however, is Butler’s Homecoming celebration THIS weekend. I look forward to seeing you at Butler’s Biggest Tailgate, including the 19th annual Butler Bulldog Beauty Contest, as well as at various other events.

Oh, and to address the 65-pound bulldog in the room, I know right where your head is going here, and yes, there is a puppy in the works. 

My humans, Pops and Evan Krauss ’16, are working hard with my vet, Dr. Kurt Phillips ’92 to identify my successor, Butler Blue IV. And speaking of Evan, for the past six years Pops and I have been grooming him as a secondary “Dawg Guy,” which is perfect since Blue IV will be going home with him and his wife, Kennedy. This will relieve my Mom and Pops, after devoting 16 years to the care of Butler Blue II and me. 

In the meantime, I can’t wait for Blue IV to arrive so that I can personally show him/her the ropes! Don’t worry I’ll keep you updated on when that is coming. 

And finally I want to thank you, Bulldog Nation, for eight remarkable years. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Butler Bulldog. 

President Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” 

Representing you, the best students, alumni, faculty, and staff in the world was without a doubt work worth doing.

So thank you, and as always, GO DAWGS!




Butler Blue III (Trip)
Official Mascot, Butler University

Follow my  #OneLastTrip experiences on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.



Dear Bulldogs

A message from Butler Blue III: "I will retire at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year." 


Butler Names New Vice President for Advancement


PUBLISHED ON Mar 07 2018

Jonathan Purvis, a respected leader in higher education advancement with 19 years of experience, has been named Butler University’s Vice President for Advancement. He begins his duties at Butler on April 16, 2018.

Purvis comes to Butler from Indiana University where he has served as Vice President for Development and Regional Campuses. Prior to that, he served as Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations for the Indiana University School of Education and Senior Director for Capital Projects at Washington University in St. Louis. He has also held varied positions at the IU Foundation ranging from Executive Director of Special Gifts and Annual Giving to Assistant to the President.

“Jonathan possesses an exceptional depth of experience within higher education advancement,” said Butler University President James Danko. “His proven success in development, and demonstrated leadership in higher education, make him the right person to help us to achieve our ambitious fundraising goals.”

Purvis holds the Certified Fund Raising Executive credential (CFRE) and has taught a variety of fundraising courses at Indiana University. He is a frequent presenter with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and is a contributing author to the third edition of the acclaimed Achieving Excellence in Fundraising. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in Public Affairs, both from Indiana University Bloomington.

Having grown up in Noblesville, Indiana, in a family of Butler alumni, Purvis is excited to return to Central Indiana to be part of the Butler community. He is joined by his wife Brittany, daughter Sophie, and son Joshua.


Media contact:
Rachel Stern


Butler Names New Vice President for Advancement

Jonathan Purvis comes to BU from IU.

Mar 07 2018 Read more

Hinkle Magic in Unexpected Places

by Sally Perkins

From December 2018:

As we celebrate 90 years of Hinkle, we asked professional storyteller and adjunct professor Sally Perkins to share a few stories from its illustrious history. Sally is the creator and performer of “Keeping Hinkle Hinkle,” a story commissioned by Storytelling Arts of Indiana and Indiana Landmarks in honor of Butler receiving the Cook Cup Award for its historically accurate restoration of Hinkle Fieldhouse in 2014.

* * *

What six-year-old wouldn’t want to see Hinkle’s center court from a bird’s eye view?

After all, from one of the 10 trusses that hold up the building, you could see so many “Hinkle Magic” moments: Bobby Plump’s famous last shot in the 1954 Milan High School championship game; the 1955/1956 Attucks High School back-to-back championship games; Butler’s buzzer beater win over Gonzaga in 2013; Butler’s upset win over Villanova in 2017.

And so many not-so-famous “Hinkle Magic” moments: when the women’s team had to fight for their fair share of court time in 1976; when a Butler cheerleader’s boyfriend proposed to her on the Bulldog on center court; when average fans and hundreds of their children got to play on the court, no questions asked, after basketball games.

So many “Hinkle Magic” moments have occurred on that legendary court. But “Hinkle Magic” moments have occurred in other less-expected spaces of the fieldhouse, as well…

Up High

Tony HinkleCountless people can tell you they’ve run around that track on the second level of the fieldhouse. But not everyone can say that from that track they successfully distracted Tony Hinkle from his work.

Back in the 1920s, through the 1970s, when Tony Hinkle was the basketball coach … and the football coach … and the baseball coach … and the Athletic Director … and a teacher … he was un-distractible. After all, it takes a person of focus to manage all those roles.

But one day he got distracted.

In the 1930s, Tony Hinkle typically came to the fieldhouse on Sunday afternoons to review film from the previous day’s game. Often, he brought his daughter Patty with him. She thought the fieldhouse was her private playground.

One particular Sunday when Patty was about 6 years old, she roller skated up and down the ramps, got bored with that, then decided she wanted to see what center court looked like … from a bird’s eye view.

So Patty went up to the track on the second level and started crawling up one of the trusses, getting herself halfway to center court. That’s way up there.

Now, every so often, Mr. Hinkle thought he should probably check up on his daughter Patty. So he started looking around the fieldhouse. When he couldn’t find Patty, he stepped into the arena.

Maybe he heard a sound; maybe he just moved his head the right way, but he looked up and there he saw his 6-year-old daughter, like a sloth crawling out to center court. Gulp.

Lucky for Patty, her father wasn’t, well, Bobby Knight. Mr. Hinkle knew that yelling at Patty would likely scare her to her death. So he called the fire department, who raced over to the fieldhouse with a net.

But Patty thought to herself, “Eh, if I can get myself out here, I can get myself back.” So she started crawling backwards along the truss, sliding down its arc until she landed on her feet, on the track … right across from her father. Patty stared at her father’s feet.

They stood in silence for a long time.

Until finally Mr. Hinkle said, “You got guts, don’t ya, kid?”  

He never said another word. And he never told her mother. A secret “Hinkle Magic” moment Patty and her father shared for the rest of their lives.

But that wasn’t the only time something on that track distracted Tony Hinkle.

On Track

In 1946, Charlie McElfresh—a man who was tiny enough to be a horse jockey—came to the fieldhouse when Mr. Hinkle hired him to be his equipment manager. Frankly, it was a low-paying job, but Charlie knew it meant his kids could come to Butler tuition-free. So he took the job and spent the next 33 years of his life down in the bowels of the fieldhouse in the equipment cage, which isn’t so unlike a jail cell: crowded, dark, cramped … odorous.

But Charlie rather preferred life down there. He always had a six-inch cigarette holder hanging out of his mouth as he washed and dried every football, basketball, and baseball uniform, game after game after game.

Now if you met Charlie, you might wonder if he liked the athletes. Or any humans, for that matter.

His rather crass nature was especially obvious one day in the 1970s when the men’s basketball team went to Omaha for a game against Creighton. On this rare occasion, Charlie got to travel with the team.

The coaches and Charlie stayed up a little too late on Friday night in Charlie’s room playing poker. The next morning, all the team members and coaches were gathered for breakfast in the hotel lobby as the players all stuffed themselves with scrambled eggs and bacon before the game. But Charlie was nowhere to be seen.

One of the players asked, “Where’s Charlie?”

Knowing how small Charlie McElfresh was, one of the tallest players on the team, John Dunn, joked, “Heh. Heh. Maybe he couldn’t figure out how to jump out of his bed this morning!”

They all laughed and hollered until John Dunn happened to turn around, and there he stood face-to-face (well, chest-to-face) with Charlie, who barked, “Wash your own damn clothes, Dunn.”

And John Dunn did have to wash his own clothes for the next three weeks until Charlie was ready to forgive him. Charlie was nobody’s servant down there in the equipment cage.

But Charlie McElfresh was looking out for those boys. Whenever he thought Mr. Hinkle’s practices had gone on too long, or that Mr. Hinkle was being too tough on the boys, Charlie would put on a giant cowboy hat he had in his equipment cage. Then he’d hop onto an old banana seat bicycle that was hanging around in the fieldhouse. He’d ride that bicycle up the ramp to the second floor, where he’d ride around and around the track, wearing that huge cowboy hat until everyone would look at him and laugh. Finally, Mr. Hinkle would say, “Alright, alright Charlie. I get it. I get it.” And practice would end.

So once again, the un-distractible Tony Hinkle was distracted by a “Hinkle Magic” moment on that track on the second floor.

Down Low

Charlie McElfreshThere are a lot of Charlie McElfresh “Hinkle Magic” moments. Most occurred away from public view, deep down in the equipment cage, in the depths of Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Back in 1976, when the United States was celebrating its bicentennial, Barry Collier was a student athlete at Butler, mourning the loss of his final basketball game his senior year. It was an away game. So when the team got back to Butler, the bus pulled into the fieldhouse parking lot, and the boys were told to go turn in their uniforms.

The team members all trudged down, down, down to the equipment cage. Barry lingered behind the rest of the team. Finally, with his chin sagging to his chest, he tossed his uniform into the bin and took some melancholy steps out of the equipment cage.

Suddenly he heard a raspy voice behind him say, “Check the ice machine before ya leave.”

Barry spun around. “What? What, Charlie?”


“Uh, alright. Alright. Sure, Charlie.”

So Barry walked over and opened the refrigerator door. In the ice box sat a single item: a brown paper bag with a six-pack of Stroh’s beer.

Barry spun around to say, “thank— but Charlie was gone. He smiled, took out the six-pack, and went to find a fellow senior teammate to share it with.

A “Hinkle Magic” moment from Charlie McElfresh.

Four years after Barry Collier graduated, on a September Sunday in 1980, Charlie McElfresh was washing and drying football uniforms when he had a heart attack and died in that equipment cage. That cigarette holder hanging out of his mouth.

He wouldn’t have wanted to have been anyplace else.

Why? Because Hinkle Fieldhouse is filled with “Hinkle Magic.” If you look hard enough and listen to enough stories, you’ll find that magic not just on the court, but in the nooks and crannies, the bowels and cages, the tracks and bleachers … and mostly in the hearts of the people who dedicate their souls to one another in that special space we call Hinkle Fieldhouse.


Hinkle Magic in Unexpected Places

From December 2018: If these walls could talk…oh, the stories they would tell

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.”


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

Perseverance and Patients: A 23-Year Journey to Graduation

After two kidney transplants and a battle with cancer, Trent Tipple M.D. will finally graduate.


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. 

15 Things You May Not Know about Spring 2018 Commencement

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


Commedia Dell'Arte is Like the Pork

BY Marc Allan MFA `18

PUBLISHED ON Oct 22 2018

Italian actor, director, and theatre teacher Marco Luly is trying to explain commedia dell'arte, the art form he has worked in since 1980, and The Servant of Two Masters, the play he is directing for Butler Theatre, October 31 through November 4 at the Schrott Center for the Arts.

He says the show, which was written by Carlo Goldoni in 1745 and has been performed steadily in Italy since 1949, is a comedy with some funny and some serious parts. Some parts develop the story, some parts advance the story, and some parts play the lazzi—the jokes, the fun. There's improvisation, so the actors need to listen to each other. They need to understand how to share the space and pace. To learn action and reaction. To control their body, their body language. To establish contact with other people. To pick up the vibe of the crowd and play with the audience, rather than to the audience.  

"Everything can be used," he says. "Everything. It's like the pork, where everything gets used. We can title this interview, 'Commedia dell'arte is like the pork.'"

And so we have.

Luly, who is spending nine weeks at Butler teaching two classes and directing the show, is the 2018 Visiting International Theatre Artist (VITA). Butler Theatre established the program in 2010 to give students the opportunity to learn from a theater professional from another country. Past VITAs have come from Russia, India, England, and elsewhere.

Luly chose to have the students perform The Servant of Two Masters, a classic in commedia dell'arte, a 500-year-old comedy art form that will be instantly recognizable to today's audiences through its resemblance to Shakespeare's comedies, silent movies, sketch comedy, and TV sitcoms. Actors wear leather masks that exaggerate facial features and identify them as stock characters. There are mistaken identities, lovers' triangles, class struggles, and more.

"Commedia dell'arte is at the root of almost every form of comedy that we know today, whether it's a TV commercial or Saturday Night Live, or Seinfeld and Cheers," says Diane Timmerman, Chair of Butler Theatre. "All these shows have stock characters, situations, physical comedy that is all derived from comedia. So it's fun to go to the source and experience what the original comedy was."

Luly brought with him four masks for the student-actors to portray character types. There's Brighella, who is a high-status servant like an innkeeper; Arlecchino, a servant character looking for money, power, and position in the world; Il Dottore—the Doctor—who bluffs his way through every situation; and Pantalone, an old merchant who's often in love with young girls.

The masks, he says, "are the magic of this form of theater. The masks are important for the actors. The mask does not hide. The mask amplifies. The mask is a tool that can help me show the audience my emotions, my sentiments, my lines. And I don't need to use too many words, too many moves. I can project my emotions just by one movement of my mask."

Taylor Steigmeyer, a junior Theatre/Psychology double major from South Bend, Indiana, is playing Arlecchino, the servant of two masters—and having a great time squatting and jumping and inhabiting this sprightly, sparkly, physically demanding character.

Arlecchino, she says, is a character with two basic needs. He wants food—he's always hungry—and affection from Smeraldina, the maid.

"He's someone who doesn't care about anyone but himself, so while I have to worry about what the other characters are doing, I'm in my own little world sometimes," she says. "I wonder when I'm going to get to eat again. I wonder if Smeraldina wants to kiss me too."

Steigmeyer said working with Luly has been a great experience, one she initially was unsure she was going to be able to fit into her packed schedule. But she found time to take one of Luly's afternoon classes, and then was cast as the title character.

"I was like, this is going to be such a great experience," she says. "When and where would I get an experience like this again?"

Rehearsals for The Servant of Two Masters have been running 6:30-9:30 PM five days a week, and Luly says he's been impressed with the students' work ethic and the way they've come to understand the characters.

As a director, Luly is a taskmaster, but benevolent. During a rehearsal in early October, when an actor missed a line, he told her, "If you don't speak, she might speak, so you have to speak." When the cast is trying to grasp the rhythm of a particular scene where everyone has a couple of words, he explained, "This is a staircase – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – with each line getting progressively louder. He'll walk over to tilt an actor's head, correct the emphasis of a particular line, and instruct one of the actors to carry a prop on a different shoulder so the audience can see his face.

"He's intense, but he's very definitive," says Isaiah Moore, a junior Theatre/Psychology double major from Fishers, Indiana, who plays Florindo Aretusi, who is in love with Beatrice Rasponi and has run away from his hometown because he killed a man in a duel and has relocated to Venice. "He knows what he wants. We have to make sure we're ready to present what he wants."

To put it another way, they have to deliver the pork.


Marc Allan MFA '18
News Manager


Commedia Dell'Arte is Like the Pork

Visiting International Theatre Artist Marco Luly directs Butler Theatre's The Servant of Two Masters.

Oct 22 2018 Read more

The Untold Story of the #ButlerBound Program

BY Kristi Lafree

PUBLISHED ON Oct 23 2018



It was so obvious.

Michael Kaltenmark remembers the exact moment the plan was hatched to begin delivering Butler University admission decisions with a 65-pound, heavy-breathing, slobbery bulldog.

“I immediately thought ‘Yes. Duh. Of course we should be doing that!’” says Kaltenmark.

It was 2014 and Kaltenmark, Director of Community and Government Relations and caretaker to official live mascots Butler Blue II and III (better known as Trip) had been traveling with bulldog in tow to different cities alongside the men’s basketball team. The duo would make stops at some of the city’s main attractions and called their treks the Big Dawgs Tour.

“We had already set this precedent of taking Trip on the road,” Kaltenmark says. “Matt Mindrum, our Vice President of Marketing at the time, suggested we should bolster those efforts and go see prospective students in each market who were waiting for their admission decision.”

Light bulb moment. The #ButlerBound program was born.

“I knew it was a great idea, and that was validated after the first few visits we made,” Kaltenmark says. “We saw each family’s reactions, and watched the ripple effect made in social media and in each community we traveled to.

“I knew we were on to something good.”

Every year since, Trip and his team have been surprising high school seniors at their homes, schools, and places of work to let them know that they’ve been admitted to Butler–in person and live on social media, with thousands of followers sharing in the moment. Now entering its fifth year, the initiative has grown rapidly and delivered surprises to hundreds of high schoolers across 17 states.

These carefully crafted visits require days of preparation, cooperation from co-conspiring admission counselors, parents, teachers, and a full gas tank to keep the Butler Blue Mobile trekking. But the efforts are worth it, as students who receive a visit from Trip are more likely to enroll at Butler than those who don’t. And the reach extends beyond just those who receive a personal surprise. The goal, Kaltenmark says, is to capture student and family reaction and then feature it on social media so prospective students miles away might be inclined to apply.

The decades-old tradition of checking the mailbox for the large envelope is slowly changing. In fact, 92 percent of high school seniors now say they prefer to receive most communications from colleges–including the “you’ve been admitted’ announcement–online. And in an ever-competitive market, where the number of college-bound high school students is declining, university admissions and marketing departments must get creative to stand out.

Enter Trip.

Six years in, the #ButlerBound program has completely changed the “I got in!” daydream for hopeful Butler applicants. That daydream now includes a knock on the door and a little bit of dog drool.

The Impact

Students who receive a personal visit from Trip are 25-30 percent likely to end up enrolling—much higher than the University’s standard 10-15 percent yield rate.

“We know a visit from the dog probably won’t take a ‘no’ to a ‘yes’,” Kaltenmark says. “But it causes families to take a closer look at Butler. We’ve had parents tell us that we went from fifth on their son’s list to first, just because of our visit.”

The visits create a reason for some lighthearted celebration–much needed during what can otherwise be an extremely stressful time, says Director of Admission DJ Menifee.

“We know how serious the college decision-making process is for families,” Menifee says. “This campaign lets them put their guard down and just enjoy the experience.”

The program is also a morale booster for the admission staff. Whitney Ramsay, Assistant Director of Admission, has helped coordinate many student visits.

“I feel like I’m a Publisher’s Clearinghouse employee,” she laughs. “I’m able to truly witness a student’s admission to Butler University, in a way that only a Butler admission counselor can. It’s so rewarding to see students who I’ve come to know through the application process receive that big surprise.”

The broader Butler community of students, alumni, and faculty and staff support the campaign each year, helping to welcome each student on social media. Kaltenmark doesn’t think the original idea caught any of them by surprise, though.

“I think Butler folks almost expected this sort of thing from us,” he says. “It’s just indicative of who we are as an institution.”

But outside of Butler?

“People were immediately captivated,” he says. “It’s a really simple concept, but the idea was fresh and innovative in higher education. We started turning heads and got the attention of a lot of people.”

The heads that turned included those at local and national media outlets. In 2017, the campaign was featured on NBC Nightly News and the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Indianapolis Star. The initiative has also won two Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) awards for its innovative use of social media, a prestigious honor in the world of higher education marketing.

And remember that “ripple effect?”

Since 2014, applications to Butler have increased by nearly 70 percent, with particularly significant out-of-state growth. In the last three years alone, the University has welcomed its two largest incoming first-year classes ever.

“We leave these families in awe. They go tell five other families about their experience. Each student shares it on his or her own social media platforms and their classmates all see it,” Kaltenmark says. “Each visit is about much more than just the student we’re seeing.”

The Planning

The number one question about the program is a tough one to answer.

“People want to know how we select students for visits,” Kaltenmark says. “And there are a lot of factors at play. It’s very time-consuming.”

Geography plays a huge role in the planning process, he says. The team seeks to visit as many students as possible on any given day, to maximize resources. So. students who live near Indianapolis or in highly-populated areas with lots of other applicants have a natural advantage. Those who happen to live in a market that coincides with an away basketball game or a Big Dawgs Tour stop also have better-than-average odds.

In many ways, Kaltenmark says, some luck and a certain amount of randomness is involved.

But over the years, the level of sophistication behind-the-scenes has grown, too. Butler’s admission and marketing teams work side-by-side to make this seemingly grassroots campaign operate like a well-oiled machine. A massive amount of student data is collected and combed through, with flagging processes set up to identify prospective students who could be good candidates for a personal visit. Admission counselors know which cues to look for as they spend time reading each student’s application individually (yes, all 16,000+ of them), and inbound requests from alumni, current students, and faculty and staff are documented and shared at a rapid pace, so that the let’s-go-visit-this-student alarm can be sounded as quickly as possible.

And while the team gets to enjoy watching each visit unfold online alongside the rest of the world, their work doesn’t stop when the livestream ends. There are social media posts to draft and videos to edit and metrics to collect and report out.

And more students to visit.

“We enjoy the moment, for sure,” Kaltenmark says. “It’s personally very rewarding to play such an active role like this. But then we get back to work.”

The Hurdles

Just like all well-orchestrated events, the #ButlerBound campaign presents its own unique challenges.

“Once, we went to the wrong home,” Kaltenmark says. “We were at the neighbor’s house knocking on the door until he came out and pointed us in the right direction. Of course, that was the year we had started using Facebook Live, so thousands of people were laughing at us.”

The team has learned to troubleshoot other issues over time.

“Five years in, Trip has this drill pretty much down pat,” he says. “But we still try to keep him away from balloon bouquets. And cats.”

In 2016, the program suffered its greatest challenge to date. Trip was sidelined with an ACL injury and couldn’t make the rounds. But rather than cancel visits, the team called in for backup from Trip’s great nieces and nephews, 10-week old English bulldog puppies who shared the same lineage. Some particularly lucky students opened their doors that year to find upwards of six puppies on their front porch, sporting oversized Butler gear, overexcited personalities, and more puppy rolls than one can imagine.

The one challenge that’s remained constant throughout the years? Operating on a shoestring budget.

“We’re really frugal in this campaign. We have to be,” Kaltenmark says. “We drive ourselves or try to hitch a ride on the team charter when we’re traveling with the team. We all share one hotel room, Trip included. We have to be really creative.”

Looking Ahead

A lot has changed since year one.

“After the first round of visits, President Jim Danko asked me if we could ‘just get 30 dogs’,” says Kaltenmark, laughing.

And while the number of mascots didn’t change, the number of student visits has. In 2015, the team delivered nearly 100 surprises in multiple states, more than three times the number visited in 2014. That pace has remained steady ever since.

In 2017, a Marketing Specialist was added to the team to help with the live mascot program’s growing needs. Butler graduate Evan Krauss now handles the bulk of the planning efforts and joins Kaltenmark and Trip on the road.

Later that year, Facebook Live became a part of the equation, allowing social media followers to join in on each and every surprise.

In September 2018, the team began visiting graduate students admitted to the Lacy School of Business’s new Master of Science in Risk and Insurance program.

But with all of these enhancements, the team has made sure the bread-and-butter of the concept remains unchanged.

“We’re two guys who graduated from Butler, rolling up with a dog in an official mascot sweater to deliver exciting news in person,” Kaltenmark says. “We’re like Butler missionaries spreading the Bulldog gospel.”

Looking ahead, Kaltenmark says people can expect the annual tradition to continue. The program has become an integral component of the University’s enrollment and brand awareness strategies.

“If anything, we’re now just looking for ways to continue to evolve things and one-up ourselves,” he says. “Who knows what’s next?”


Media contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications

Butler Bound


The Untold Story of the #ButlerBound Program

How a Bulldog changed the “I got in!” moment for Butler students.

Oct 23 2018 Read more
Class of 2023

Butler continues upward trend, set to welcome third-largest class ever

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Aug 26 2019



INDIANAPOLIS—Butler University will welcome its third-largest class ever this fall when approximately 1,125 first-year students begin classes on August 28.

The Class of 2023 is hardly an anomaly—Butler has been experiencing a surge in interest and enrollment during the last decade. The Class of 2022, with 1,336 first-year students, is the largest class in the University’s history. The second-largest is the Class of 2020. 

Since 2009, the number of applications to the University has increased by about 140 percent. This year, Butler received 14,896 first-year applications—the second-highest number ever received in an admission cycle. In 2018, the University received the most applications ever (16,431). Comparatively, in 2009, Butler received 6,243 first-year applications.

“Our growth aligns with the overall Butler 2020 strategic plan,” Vice President for Enrollment Management Lori Greene says. “We were asked to enroll 4,700 full-time undergraduate students by 2020. We are ahead of schedule. We hit 4,726 in fall 2018. Now, it is really more about sustainability and trying to determine what our ideal size is as an institution in terms of meeting the expectations of the student experience.”

So, how has Butler been able to achieve a prolonged increase in interest and enrollment when, across the nation, the benefit of a college degree is in question, college is more expensive than ever before, and private institutions face increased competition from several directions?

Greene credits Butler’s awareness of the changing landscape, as well as the University’s ability to increase its potential applicant pool.

“We have to be very mindful of all of the different choices a student has,” Greene says. “It is important that we try to engage students in deeper conversations about where they are, what they are looking to do and achieve, and how we can play a role in that on a much deeper level than ever before. Then, it comes down to expanding our markets and growing our pool to new areas.”

Expansion beyond the Midwest—where Butler has historically pulled most of its students from, Greene says—is reflected in out-of-state versus in-state application and enrollment numbers. 

The recruitment team has grown its efforts in Colorado and the Mid-Atlantic, for example, building on increased student interest, and utilizing other resources such as graduate connections. There are a select number of institutions that can truly say they have a full national reach, Greene says. There are pockets where Butler can grow when it comes to awareness, and that is what the focus is on now.

There is also the fact that high school graduates in the Midwest are declining, and students have many more choices when it comes to career paths, Greene says.

“Our out-of-state number will have to grow,” Greene says. 

For the Class of 2023, 55 percent come from out-of-state, and 45 percent of the class is from in-state. The majority of this year’s class is from Indiana and Illinois, but New York, Minnesota, California, and Colorado round out the top 10.

Since 2015, out-of-state applications to Butler have increased by 47 percent. There has been an increase in applications from Connecticut, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Texas, for example.

Incoming first-year students represent 35 states and eight countries (Mexico, Sweden, Brazil, Germany, Spain, South Korea, South Africa, and China).

Despite the increases in class size, quality has not shifted, Greene says.

This year’s incoming class has 39 valedictorians, 24 Lilly Scholars, and 41 21st Century Scholars. About 20 percent graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school classes. The average GPA is 3.86.

“When you see schools go through a growth pattern, you might see quality drop,” she says. “But if anything, we are getting stronger each year. The typical Butler student is involved and is someone who is interested in raising their hand and being part of the conversation. That hasn’t changed at all.”

This year’s incoming class is also diverse, with 19 percent of the total class identifying as multicultural. This is a proportional increase from last year’s class, of which 17 percent identified as multicultural.

“That is very intentional,” Greene says. “We hope this continues to grow and we can attract students who are interested and willing in being part of a dialogue and conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion. This doesn’t just stop with admission: This is very much about retention, as well.”


A group of activists 

The Class of 2023 has also stuck out for another reason: They take an active role in the community around them and strive to shape the world they are living in.

Butler Admission Counselor Tim See visits about 100 high schools each fall. Most are on the West Coast, covering California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, and Idaho. 

This class in particular, he says, had a common theme of activism and awareness of what was going on around them. 

“They had a much larger view of their role in a community and were ready to hit the ground running in terms of doing something to enact change instead of searching for their voice or their role,” See said. “This was seen over and over again in essays and letters of recommendation.”

Students were leading marches, protests, and walkouts. They were starting social advocacy groups and nonprofits. Many students talked about leading or taking part in The Women’s March, as well as organizing protests in response to school shootings. 

One Butler incoming first-year student, for example, volunteered at an orphanage in China, where she had been born and adopted from as a young child. One has helped bring healthy food and clean water to people in need, and another has been an advocate against racism and sexual misconduct. Right here in Indianapolis, one incoming student helped build an organization to defend his high school guidance counselor when she was fired for being married to a woman. 

In so many ways, the Class of 2023 has already made an impact across the country and the world.

“Students are much more globally minded and aware,” See says. “With social media and access to knowledge and news, they understand what is going on and want to be a generation that plays a major role in making change.”

Greene says a major difference she has seen is the idea of being very involved, but not just for the sake of involvement. Students are no longer just filling up their resumes with a laundry list of activities.

“I have seen much more meaningful involvement with this generation,” Greene says. “It is typically around issues that are core and central to them as individuals.”

Class of 2023

Butler continues upward trend, set to welcome third-largest class ever

About 1,125 students make up the Class of 2023, part of a surge in enrollment over the last decade.

Aug 26 2019 Read more
Ena Shelley at Commencement

‘Meant to Be’: Ena Shelley’s 37-Year Career at Butler

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON May 30 2019

Ena Shelley doesn’t have to watch the news to know the weather. Headache, oh, that means a cold front is coming through.

So, on January 9, as she ate her usual toast with peanut butter and honey, showered, put on her earrings—like always—she noticed a headache, but thought nothing more than Indianapolis must be experiencing a temperature shift. It was just her body’s way of giving her a quick weather report before she headed to work.

Like most days, Shelley got in her car, drove 14 minutes to Butler University listening to the TODAY Show, parked in the South Campus lot, and walked into her office in Room 163. She quickly headed downstairs to room 001M for a meeting with her leadership team.

A few minutes into the meeting, she was mid-sentence, when she realized something was very wrong.

“I had this pain like I have never felt before in my entire life. It was shooting down the right side of my head and felt like someone put a knife right through my eye. I knew something was wrong,” Shelley says. “The last thing I remember was wondering why the EMT team was carrying the stretcher down the stairs, as opposed to using the elevator. I remember thinking it would have been much simpler for them to use the elevator.”

Three brain surgeries later, Ena Shelley, Dean of Butler’s College of Education, hasn’t missed a beat. About four months removed from the hospital, she is sitting in her office, surrounded by children’s art work, walls of books, a cardboard cutout of a colleague based in Sweden, and Norman Rockwell’s The Problem We All Live With. It’s a rainy May morning, and Shelley has already had two meetings. She has a full schedule of them ahead of her, and the energy to match.

Shelley will complete a 37-year career at Butler at the end of May, but much like the physical wounds she has amassed since January, it is tough to tell. Those who know her best aren’t surprised.

“Ena is a person with great determination,” says Ron Smith, who is now principal at the IPS/Butler University Laboratory School 60 and was a student of Shelley’s. “I am sure this isn’t the way she would have mapped out her final semester, but if anyone would be back in the office, it would be her. She doesn’t let anything slow her down. She is someone who can endure anything.”

She is still undergoing tests to find out why she had a spontaneous brain bleed that January morning. But, she says, there may never be a definitive answer. She lived in fear for awhile, wondering if headaches were the sign of a weather pattern, or, something that only 3 percent of patients survive, as her doctors warned her husband and children as she was rushed into her first emergency surgery. But now she focuses on living in the moment, not looking back. Instead of getting up each morning thinking about all the tasks she should accomplish, she thinks about how lucky she is to have another day.

With retirement around the corner, though, it turns out everyone else is looking back, and thinking about all the things Shelley has done over her decades of work not only at Butler, but in the Indiana education arena.

She oversaw the infusion of the Reggio Emilia philosophy throughout the COE and the city, and then created two Indianapolis Public School/Butler Lab Schools. She shifted the model of the COE to one centered around student teaching and site-based instruction, established partnerships with several area schools, has been involved in state and national legislation and policy around the education of young children, and established a new physical space for the College on South Campus.

But more than all of that, when Shelley arrived at the COE, there was no clear collective mission or vision, colleagues say. She is, largely, behind a major shift, hiring and looking for collaborative, forward-thinking colleagues who now engage in joint decision making and responsibility, and who now rattle off the College’s mission on demand, they say.

Not bad for someone who never wanted to be a dean.


Always a teacher

Born to a funeral home owner and a stenographer, Ena Shelley always knew she wanted to be a teacher.

She loved playing school. She would teach anything to anyone. But, to be specific, it all started with baton twirling. Shelley is a baton twirler, so she would gather anyone who was interested in learning the craft and give baton lessons.

Her older brother and older sister are teachers, too. Her mom was secretary of the school board. Her sister is now president of the same school board back in Shelley’s hometown of Cloverdale, Indiana.

When Shelley reached high school she signed up for a Cadet Teaching program and became hooked on elementary education.

“I was instantly drawn to how children think,” she says.

She looked at Butler when it was time for college. But, ultimately, chose Indiana State University. There was one main difference between the two schools, she says.

“They had a Lab School, Butler did not,” she says. “That was what I was looking for—that hands-on experience where we would watch teachers working with kids and learn directly in a classroom.”

Another draw was a professor she met during her first visit, Jan McCarthy. McCarthy would later become Shelley’s academic advisor, and during one of their first advising appointments, Shelley told McCarthy that she was interested in teaching young children, but was really fascinated by what professors do.

Dr Ena Shelley's name plateMcCarthy never dismissed that, Shelley says.

After graduating, Shelley started teaching kindergarten in Perry Township, while getting her master’s degree at Indiana State. Then, one day, a call came from McCarthy.

“She’s on the other line saying, ‘Do you still think you want to do what I do?’ and I couldn’t believe she even remembered because I mentioned that so many years ago,” Shelley says.

McCarthy offered Shelley a doctoral fellowship. It started in three weeks.


Ideals are formed

The house had caught on fire, and the family could not afford to rebuild it. The floors were now dirt. The back walls were made of stapled-up cardboard refrigerator boxes. Taped to the cardboard boxes were the children’s art work, spelling lists, and graded tests.

This, more or less, was the scene that played out every other Saturday when McCarthy, Shelley, and the rest of the doctoral students traversed the state of Indiana as part of the doctoral program. From downtown Indianapolis, to Gary, to Terre Haute, they hit all corners of the state as part of the Head Start Program—a federal program that promotes school readiness for low-income families.

“When you see that kind of poverty it has a huge impact,” Shelley says. “I learned from the teachers in those towns that that is why you never say a parent doesn’t care. You don’t know what is going on. In spite of all that is in that parent’s life, she cares, and she is doing the best she can do. People are so quick to group people. And I say you don’t know those people. By the grace of God you aren’t in their shoes. Don’t make assumptions about that. Every time, no matter where I was, it was parents wanting better for their children, and wanting to do right by their children. That lesson has stayed with me.”

Shelley says she was 26 when she first walked into an IPS classroom. All the teachers were African American, old enough to be her mother, and wise beyond her years. After her first day she called McCarthy.

On the phone, Shelley expressed doubt about what she could possibly bring to the table as a teacher. The other teachers had experiences Shelley didn’t.

“Jan stopped me mid-sentence and explained that was the entire point, I had already learned the lesson. I was there to learn from them,” Shelley says. “And boy, they taught me. Those women really, really shaped what I thought about what we have to do to help all children, and how to understand adversity in a deep, profound way when it comes through the school door. What what can we, as teachers, do, and how do we prepare teachers to be able to work with that? How do you lift a community up, especially when I saw what I saw?”

Shelley also traveled the country with McCarthy during her doctoral program, watching her mentor testify at the state level and national level.

At the time, Indiana had next to no regulations regarding people who work with young children, and McCarthy was the president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Essentially, anyone could teach young children.

So, McCarthy traveled the state, at first, talking to legislators about the importance of supporting improved quality of programs for young people. And Shelley would tag along. Then they took their gospel to Washington DC. Summer after summer after summer.

“A lot of people have the ability to teach,” says McCarthy, who is 90-years-old, has been in the education field for more than 30 years, and keeps in touch with Shelley via group text. “But often, they don’t have that extra dimension. That vision side. Ena has that. She sees needs in our field and wants to find ways to meet those needs. She is an idea person and a person who solves problems. She has that extra dimension that allows her to make real impact.”

When it was time to graduate from her doctoral program at ISU, Shelley wondered about applying for a job at Butler—the school she turned down as an undergraduate—because she heard good things about it from teachers at Perry Township.

She applied, and got a call back. But, the news wasn’t so positive. It was the outgoing dean. He called to tell her a new dean was coming in, there were no openings, and they haven’t hired anyone in seven years.


‘It was meant to be’

Ena Shelley teaching 2005.After a 37-year career at Butler that included two stints as Interim Dean, that then led to Shelley becoming Dean in 2005, she says it was all ‘really crazy and meant to be.’

That’s because, after applying and being told there were no openings and no new hires in seven years, Shelley crossed Butler off the list. She started looking at IUPUI and the University of Indianapolis.

Then, a month later, her phone rang. It was the new Dean of the College, and there was an opening. Shelley interviewed, and started at Butler as an Assistant Professor in June 1982.

But, things weren’t exactly as she thought they would be, or should be.

“When I first came to Butler, and I don’t mean to sound critical, but I was taken aback,” Shelley says. “Most of our students were placed in very white privileged schools when it came to student teaching. They came from white privilege, and they student taught in white privilege, then they went back to white privilege. I thought to myself, there is this whole other world out there that we need to be placing our students in. there are students who need our great teachers. It was eye opening for me. There simply wasn’t enough rigor in our program. It was very traditional of teacher education and it wasn’t what I had experienced and I wondered why.”

So, Shelley did what she was wired to do: worked to make change.

She felt like Butler students weren’t seeing the bigger picture. From her experiences, she knew partnerships with public schools, and a Lab School, were essential pieces of the bigger picture. But, Shelley was also the lone voice.

Until Arthur Hochman came to interview.

“I was really thinking, I don’t know if I see Butler as the place I see staying,” Shelley says. “I just didn’t know if I saw myself there for the long haul because philosophically, it wasn’t working. Thank heavens, six years after I started, Arthur interviewed, and everything changed.”

Hochman came to Butler from New York City. He had never been to Indianapolis before his interview. But, he vividly remembers interviewing in the basement of Jordan Hall. Shelley was there, and after his interview, he called his wife immediately.

“I told her I met someone who is really, really smart, really funny, and has a wonderful heart,” says Hochman, who has been at Butler now for 31 years. “I asked my wife how she would feel about moving from New York City to Indianapolis. There was dead air.”

Hochman eventually convinced his wife. They moved to Indianapolis because of Shelley, he says. Shelley calls Hochman her ‘kindred spirit,’ the reason her career flourished at Butler. Hochman’s daughter often asked him, ‘can we go see the laughing lady,’ referring to Shelley.

The two of them got to work. They added a couple other ‘kindred spirits’ to the elementary education team who were philosophically aligned.

One of the first things they did was establish a full year of student teaching. Butler became one of the first programs in the country to have that. They also built partnerships with IPS, Lawrence, Washington, and Pike Townships, placing Butler student teachers all over.

Then, there was the master practitioner program, which still exists today. A master teacher would come to Butler and be part of the College for a year, and the College would pay a first-year teacher salary as a replacement. The master teacher would look at the College’s curriculum, teach, and share relevant information with students.

Butler professors also started teaching their classes in schools.

“This was a game changer,” Shelley says. “The partnerships were key because I would be in a classroom with my students on the floor working with kids and students would be by my side, and I would say, see, did you catch what that child just did? That is Vygotsky Proximal Development right there. That is what we just read about. It brought everything to life.”

In the back of their minds, from the beginning, there was always the need for a Lab School.


Lab School comes to life

Shelley had read about Reggio Emilia for quite some time. And in 1998, she was ready to go see it in practice, first hand.

So, she took a sabbatical to Italy, and realized everything needed to change.

“It was unbelievable,” she says. “When I was there I knew we had to change our entire curriculum. We had no schools on this pathway, and because of that, it would be impossible to teach undergrads this type of teaching.”

Ena Shelley speaks to children at opening of IPS Lab School 55Reggio Emilia follows the interests of the child, and builds on what children know. It starts with the belief that children are all capable, confident, competent learners, and as teachers, it is your job to not just teach, but also learn. There is no thought that a child can’t do something.

When Shelley returned from Italy, she started implementing this method of teaching at the Lawrence Township Learning Community in the early childhood program. Then, with Shortridge, Warren Early Childhood Center, and St. Mary’s Childhood Center. Eventually, Butler students got involved, too, learning along with the teachers at these schools.

But, that elusive Lab School was always on Shelley’s mind. And she continued to make her pitch.

She eventually got a meeting with Gene White, IPS Superintendent at the time, and Bobby Fong, Butler’s President at the time. They told her to bring a list of everything she needed to make a Lab School happen.

She arrived at the meeting, sitting between the two men. She gave each a copy of her list. There was silence for a long time. Then, they both said the list looked good to them.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Shelley says. “Just like that, I thought, this was going to happen.”

Now, there are two Lab Schools. Ron Smith, who first met Shelley in 1984 when he showed up on Butler’s campus and Shelley was his advisor, is principal at the first Lab School. Shelley told Smith about Reggio Emilia after her sabbatical. She suggested he read a book about it, after he expressed some doubts about its effectiveness.

He finished the book on a plane ride. When he landed he called Shelley and told her he had to get involved in a school that taught this way.

But it is much more than just this philosophy that Smith owes to Shelley.

“I like to say that I am convinced I am Ena’s favorite student of all time, but I know that there are thousands of other Butler grads that also know they were Ena’s favorite student of all time,” he says. “Ena just has a way of making you feel as though you are the most important person in the world when you are interacting with her.”

When Smith walked into Shelley’s office as a freshman, he wasn’t into school all that much. It always came easy to him in high school. Grades weren’t important to him. He suspects he would have gone on to become a teacher regardless of the college he went to, but because of Shelley, and because of Butler, his career has become so much more.

“I often have reflected on what my path might have been and I just suspect that whatever success I have had in life is in large part due to the opportunity I got at Butler, and more importantly, is due to my opportunity to have interaction with, and to learn from, Ena,” Smith says. “The College of Education is a very personal college. It is a college where you feel that people know you and care about you. I just suspect that if I had gone to a larger university, I would have gotten my degree, would have become a teacher, but I don’t think my career would have been what it has been if I hadn’t had the chance to learn from Ena.”


‘Everything has worked out the way it was supposed to’

On New Year’s Eve 2018, Shelley wrote in her journal.

“Wow, what a year. Took students to France, took students to Italy, bought a house, decided to retire.”

Then, her journal went blank.

“Maybe next time, I shouldn’t write all that down, I should keep it in my head,” Shelley says. “Maybe I jinxed myself.”

On Jan. 9, everything changed. Doctors tell her now it was a spontaneous brain bleed. After ‘a gazillion’ MRIs, MRAs, and tests Shelley doesn’t even recall, the conclusions all point to just bad luck. A random occurrence that likely won’t happen again.

Her head is still tender. She cannot put headphones in, can only sleep on her back or her left side--she puts pillows up so she remembers not to roll over, and doctors say it will likely be another six months before she feels fully herself.

That day is still fresh in her mind. Angela Lupton called 911. She kept squeezing Katie Russo’s hands as she waited for the ambulance to arrive. There were cold paper towels on her. But she doesn’t remember anything after getting in the ambulance.

They rushed her into surgery. Her brain had been pushed beyond the midline. Three percent of people survive what Shelley ended up surviving. Doctors told her husband, as they rushed her into surgery, that they didn’t expect her to make it out alive. Her son was speeding on the highway, en route to the hospital from Louisville, Kentucky.

Shelley was in intensive care for six days. She doesn’t remember any of it. Then, on Jan. 11, her brain started bleeding again. They went back in for a second surgery. Her husband signed the papers as they rushed her down the hallway and into surgery. Again.

After the second surgery, Shelley was improving. Six days later, she was starting to make progress. She stood up for the first time in about three weeks. A speech therapist arrived and asked Shelley to name as many words as possible that start with the letter F. That was easy. The speech therapist switched to A. Shelley opted with ‘anthropomorphism.’ The speech therapist moved on to another test. Her wires were clearly connecting.

Shelley was making such positive progress that she met her goal—she was able to attend the national American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Conference in Louisville on Feb. 24. But, after the conference, she had a seizure.

She was rushed to the hospital for another surgery. She had an infection. Her left arm didn’t work for awhile, she answered emails with one finger, and her short term memory is still not where she would like it to be.

“But, honestly, I feel so blessed,” she says. “I don’t have cancer, I have another day. I think of things differently now. Everything has worked out for me the way it was supposed to, and I am just lucky to have another day.”

With retirement right around the corner, Shelley says she is most proud of the 16 people she has hired into the College, as well as the partnerships she has developed, and the Lab Schools.

But more than that, it is the vision and mission of the College that will outlast all of that, she says. It is the work she set out to do when she got to Butler—change the vision of the College—but the groundwork for which was laid as a student long before stepping on campus.

“I believe if you are a teacher, you should be able to be a teacher of all children, not just some children,” she says. “Every child in our society deserves a great teacher, and you may not know where you will be as a teacher, but I feel like the way we shape our country is through education and if we want a better life for everyone, we have to do our part as teachers to make that happen.”

Now, she will retire to Savannah, Georgia, but has family in Indianapolis and Louisville, so will be in town often. She will be as involved, or not involved, in the College as the new Dean would like. But, no matter how physically involved she is, her impact will be felt on campus and in the community.

“It is impossible to be in the education field and not feel Ena’s influence around the city, and quite frankly, the state,” Smith says. “So yes, while she is retiring, her impact will always be felt because of all the work she has done that will, honestly, likely outlast the majority of us. That is true impact and that is Ena.”

Ena Shelley at Commencement

‘Meant to Be’: Ena Shelley’s 37-Year Career at Butler

After 37 years of service to Butler, Dean of the College of Education, Ena Shelley retires.

May 30 2019 Read more
Plum Market Butler University

After Facelift, Plum Market at C-Club Opens With Endless Options

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Nov 18 2019

INDIANAPOLIS—In a hurry, but hungry? Just in the mood for a quick snack? Looking for coffee from a local roaster? Want to order a freshly made sandwich and stay awhile?

The new Plum Market at C-Club meets all of those needs in one bright, newly renovated space. The latest dining option at Butler University officially opened on Monday, located at Atherton Union in the former C-Club location, and it aims to be all things to everyone.

“We conducted a campus dining study a year ago that was heavily influenced by student feedback,” says Vice President for Student Affairs Frank E. Ross III. “We learned a lot, but one thing became clear: We needed a place on campus that was versatile. Our campus community is busy, and everyone has different schedules and needs. We wanted a space that allowed for more flexibility.”

Plum Market at C-Club is definitely flexible. Open weekdays from 7:00 AM–midnight, and weekends from 11:00 AM–midnight, the location accepts flex dollars, Dawg Bucks, cash, and credit cards.

In addition to the longest hours on campus, Ross says the variety of food options sets Plum Market apart.

“We have worked closely with Bon Appétit to make sure we are being really responsive to the needs and wishes of the Butler community,” Ross says. “Between the chef-driven menus, the new comfortable and inviting physical space, and the array of options, we have taken dining up a notch.”

There’s coffee and tea served by local roaster Hubbard & Cravens. Freshly made donuts are sold from local craft donut company General American Donut. There are fresh fruit smoothies with various protein mix-ins available. An extensive salad bar features various vegetables, as well as a section for prepared signature salads. Then there’s the sandwich and wrap menu. Options include grilled cheese, Impossible burger, grilled chicken sandwich, Nashville hot chicken tender sandwich, and a beef burger. There are cage-free egg sandwiches, all-natural chipotle chicken burritos, chicken tenders, and crinkle-cut fries.

And that’s just one area.

To serve the needs of all community members, there’s a variety of options from Bon Appétit’s go-program. Think prepackaged snacks or sandwiches. Go-program items are prepared each morning and delivered across Butler’s campus to each dining location, says Butler Dining General Manager Joe Graves. The difference is, Plum Market has nearly triple the to-go items than other locations around campus.

“The vision is always about fresh and on-trend foods,” Graves says, “and this allows us to do that but in a way that also accounts for people’s schedules.”

There’s watermelon, hummus and chips, a turkey and bacon greek wrap, and a yogurt parfait, to name a few.

Plum Market also features various chips, energy bars, Chobani yogurt, local eggs, Dandy Breeze milk, local apple cider, and frozen foods, such as Amy’s bowls and Caulipower pizza.

Deciding which items to feature took a combination of researching the most popular items, looking at other universities, and realizing adjustments will be needed as time goes on.

“We always rely heavily on student feedback,” Graves says. “As time goes on, we will see what sells. We also look forward to hearing what our students and community members like and maybe want to see that they aren’t seeing. We will adjust as we go.”

After construction started in June 2019, the former C-Club space was completed gutted. At one point, the space was just dirt. But now, Plum Market has really come to life, Graves says, fulfilling the vision of providing a variety of food options for a population on the go, as well as space to sit down and study or hang out.

“We wanted this space to do many things, and I think we achieved that,” he says. “It was well worth the wait.”



Plum Market is hardly the only new or updated option when it comes to dining on campus this year. Here’s a look at some of the other options available:


  • Chatham Tap offers craft and import beers, along with a menu focused on a wide range of sandwiches and starters. Offerings include soup, salad, wings, pizza, burgers, and fish and chips.
  • The Butler Brew is located in the new building for the Lacy School of Business and features local Julian Roasters coffee, Illinois Street Emporium pastries, and breakfast sandwiches.
  • ResCo Dining Hall has four stations featuring locally sourced burgers and chicken.
  • Trip’s Corner Market at Apartment Village has products you can cook back at your apartment, dorm, or house.
  • Nutrition Cafe at the Health and Recreation Center features a grab-and-go setup with an emphasis on protein-heavy items.
  • Marketplace at Atherton Union is an all-you-care-to-eat cafe that offers menus inspired from cuisine found around the world.


Media Contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications


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

Plum Market Butler University

After Facelift, Plum Market at C-Club Opens With Endless Options

The grab-and-go dining space in Atherton Union offers flexibility in hours and variety.

Nov 18 2019 Read more

Butler Board of Trustees Elects Seven New Members


PUBLISHED ON Oct 04 2017

The Butler University Board of Trustees has elected seven new members—six of whom are Butler alumni.

The new trustees are Alex Anglin, Jana Fuelberth, Chris Gahl, Robin Lauth, Tom Mathers, Bill Soards, and Brian Stemme.

The trustees, who meet three times a year, are charged with fiscal and strategic oversight and governance of Butler University.

More about each new member follows.

Alex Anglin ’10Alexander A. “Alex” Anglin ’10 is a Consultant within Eli Lilly and Company’s API Manufacturing Finance division. He joined the company in 2014 and has served as a Senior Analyst and Associate Consultant in Lilly’s Corporate Audit Services and Corporate Financial Planning functions.

He earned a B.S. in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant. While at Butler, Anglin was a member of the men’s basketball team under Coach Brad Stevens as well as a member of the Spring Sports Spectacular Executive Board, an organization raising funds and awareness for Special Olympics Indiana.

He has formally served on the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis Avondale Meadows Advisory Board. Currently, he serves on the Indiana CPA Society’s Diversity Initiatives Council and is an MBA Prep Class of 2018 Fellow with Management Leadership for Tomorrow, an organization that equips high-potential minority professionals with the skills necessary to lead organizations and communities worldwide.

His sister Kymbrielle Anglin ’08 is a Butler alumna. His wife, Lindsey ’11, is a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. She earned a B.A. in Electronic Media/Broadcast Journalism from Butler’s College of Communication in 2011 and obtained her JD from IU McKinney School of Law in 2014. While at Butler, she was a member of the women’s track and field team.


Jana Fuelberth ’10Jana E. Fuelberth ’10 is President and Co-Founder of, a human capital management analytics company that helps employers make data-driven people decisions by combining HR and business data. She is also the Co-Founder of HireCredit, an employer tax credit processor. Jana currently serves as Partner in Beyond Payroll.

She earned a B.S. in Marketing. She was a Butler Business Scholar, as well as a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and the Podium Expressions Program Board of the Student Government Association. She serves on the Young Alumni Board of Directors and is a current member of the Indianapolis Zoo Council.

Fuelberth has numerous family ties to Butler. Her brother, Ben Fuelberth, earned a B.S. in Marketing in 2008, and her sister-in-law Kate (Fuson) earned a B.S. in Elementary Education in 2008. Her late grandfather Robert “Bud” Laue (d. 1993) earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Butler in 1949.


Chris Gahl ’00Chris Gahl ’00 earned a B.S. in Radio/TV. He has been Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications for Visit Indy, the marketing organization for the city of Indianapolis, since 2005. He is a former member of Butler’s Young Alumni Board of Directors and Alumni Board of Directors. He also has spoken at the University Convocation for the past few years.

A member of the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee, Gahl helped spearhead promotion and media relations for Super Bowl XLVI. Previously, he was co-owner of a marketing firm in Hawaii, helping various tourism clients in the islands.

In 2013, Gahl was named a “40 Under 40” business leader by the Indianapolis Business Journal. In 2014, he was a member of the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Class. In 2015, he co-chaired the city’s Plan 2020 Love Indy committee. In 2016, he helped launch the city’s Film Indy initiative, helping attract TV and film-related production to Indy.

Gahl serves on the St. Vincent Foundation Board of Directors and the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Board of Directors. He and his wife, Catherine (Dunaway) ’99, have two sons.


Robin (Robertson) Lauth ’77, MS ’82Robin S. (Robertson) Lauth ’77, MS ’82 earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education. As an undergraduate, she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, the cheerleading squad, and was voted Homecoming Queen.

Lauth is President of the Lauth Family Foundation, Inc. She previously owned and managed the first three free-standing Vera Bradley retail stores and was an elementary school teacher at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. She is Vice President of the Lake Maxincuckee Association and a member of the Junior League.

Her husband, Bob, is Chairman of Lauth Group, Inc., a national real estate development construction company based in Carmel, Indiana.


Tom MathersThomas “Tom” Mathers is the Founder and Chairman of Déclion Holdings, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Prior to Déclion, Tom was the President and CEO of CoLucid Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which focused on the development of lasmiditan for the acute treatment of migraine headaches. Eli Lilly and Company acquired CoLucid in March 2017 for $960 million.

Prior to joining CoLucid, Mathers was President and CEO of Peptimmune, Inc.; President and CEO of Cell Based Delivery, Inc.; Vice President and General Manager of Cardion AG; and Vice President of Strategic Development at Genzyme. For nine years, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Biotechnology Industry Organization where he is active in the policy areas of capital formation, bioethics, intellectual property, and regulatory policy.

Mathers earned a B.S. in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1988. He went on to serve as a Captain in the United States Army and received several medals for his service as an AH-64 Apache helicopter pilot during the Gulf War.

Mathers and his wife, Michele, have two children, Savannah ‘20 (COPHS) and Tucker. Savannah is in Butler’s new Healthcare and Business degree program and is a member of Butler’s cheerleading squad and Delta Gamma sorority. Tucker graduated from Tufts with a degree in International Security and Arabic, and was the captain of the men’s lacrosse team, winning two NCAA National Championships.


Bill Soards II ’96Bill Soards II ’96 has been President of AT&T Indiana since October 2013. In this role, he is responsible for external affairs for AT&T in the state, including state and local government relations, community affairs, regulatory and legislative activities, and initiatives before the Indiana General Assembly and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

He earned a B.S. in Telecommunications from Butler’s Jordan College of the Arts. He was awarded the Hilton U. Brown Alumni Achievement Award in 2004 and was also named to Butler’s “50 Under 50” list that same year. As a student, he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He is also a past member of the Young Alumni Council and the Alumni Engagement Sub-Committee.

Soards’ family ties to Butler run deep. His mother, Mary Lu  Schroeder Pennington, earned both a B.S. and M.S. in Education from Butler’s College of Education in 1990 and 1994 respectively; she is associated with the class of 1967. His stepfather, Kenneth Pennington, also earned his B.S. and M.S. from Butler’s College of Education. Pennington played basketball for Butler under Coach Tony Hinkle and is a member of the BU Athletic Hall of Fame. His wife, Ann (Fulkerson) ’95, earned a B.A. in Journalism.


Brian A. Stemme ’91Brian A. Stemme ’91 is the Project Director for BioCrossroads, , a non-profit organization which stimulates the continued growth of Indiana’s life sciences industry by investing in life sciences businesses and public-private partnerships, connecting   local companies with resources and building awareness of the industry.  As Project Director, Stemme works to identify and develop opportunities for growth within Indiana’s sector, evaluate early-stage companies for BioCrossroads’ venture capital fund and support the State’s efforts to attract and grow life sciences companies. He is a Board member of biotechnology companies Algaeon and Allinaire, and a co-founder of Indy Science Connect.  Prior to BioCrossroads, he worked for Eli Lilly and Company and Arthur Andersen.

Stemme earned his B.S. in Accounting with Honors from Butler and was selected for the Top 100 Outstanding Students Program and a member of President Bannister’s inaugural Council on Presidential Affairs. He was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He is a past Trustee and a former Alumni Board President.

Stemme’s wife, Britt, is a domestic relations mediator. Brian and Britt have four children: Kathryn, a junior at the University of Louisville; Mark and Rachel, twins who are seniors in high school; and Frances, an eighth-grader.

Media contact:
Marc Allan


Butler Board of Trustees Elects Seven New Members

The Butler University Board of Trustees has elected seven new members—six of whom are Butler alumni.

Oct 04 2017 Read more
Butler University

Butler University Announces the Appointment of Seven New Members to its Board of Trustees


PUBLISHED ON Jun 08 2020

INDIANAPOLIS—Butler University today announced the appointment of seven new members to its Board of Trustees.

Tonya L. Combs, Joseph G. Eaton ’88, Michael K. Hole ’08, DuJuan McCoy ’89, Mark D. Minner ’12, Kathy Martin Harrison ’79, and Rob McConnell ’78 joined the 34-member Board, effective June 4.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome so many outstanding members to our Board,” Chairman Keith Faller says. “They bring an extremely valuable mix of talent, experience, and enthusiasm to help guide Butler forward as we continue to implement the University’s mission and strategic plan.”

In addition to welcoming new members, the board celebrated the service of four outgoing trustees: Jim Dickson ’95, Nick Musial ’02, Josh Smiley, and Alex Anglin ’10. They also remembered board member Kevin Morris ’95, who passed away in November 2019.

“We are grateful for the years of service and generosity these individuals dedicated to Butler University,” President James Danko said. “Their leadership has been tremendously valuable to our community in establishing Butler as an innovative leader in higher education.”

As of the June meeting, Keith Faller ’71 replaced Jatinder-Bir “Jay” Sandhu ’87 as Chair of the Board of Trustees (though Sandhu will continue to serve on the Board). Tracy Stevens became Vice Chair of the Board. Gary Aletto will continue serving as Treasurer, and Kathryn Betley will continue as Secretary.

The board bestowed the title of Trustee Emeritus upon two former board members, Dennis Bassett MBA ’79 and John Cooke ’62, in consideration of their exceptional service to the University.


More about the new Board members:

Tonya L. Combs serves as Vice President and Deputy General Patent Counsel at Eli Lilly and Company, where she advises senior leaders on intellectual property strategy. She also leads a group of experienced patent attorneys. Combs earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2001, and a juris doctor degree summa cum laude from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 2006. She is an active member of the American Intellectual Property Association, who named her a Woman to Watch in January 2019. Combs is also an active member of the Intellectual Property Owners Association, where she currently serves as the co-chair of the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Issues Committee. She currently serves on the board of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and is a member of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Board of Trustees.

Joseph G. Eaton is a Partner in the Litigation Department at Barnes & Thornburg LLP and Co-Chair of the firm’s Toxic Tort Practice Group. He has represented clients throughout the U.S. in chemical exposure product liability and commercial litigation matters. Eaton earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Butler in 1988. He served as President of the Sigma Nu fraternity and was a member of the Butler football team. He earned a juris doctor degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1991. Eaton was named to the Butler “50 Under 50” list and previously served on the Butler Alumni Association Board of Directors. He and his wife, Florie Theofanis Eaton ’88, received the Mortar Award from the Butler Alumni Association in 2019. Eaton previously served on the boards of the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation and Advisory Council, the Fishers-HSE Youth Football Board, and TigerONE. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Youth Mentoring Initiative and Launch Fishers.

Michael Hole is a physician, professor, author, and entrepreneur at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a “street doctor” for children experiencing homelessness and founding director at Financial Health Studios, a university hub for health systems innovation. Hole has started four organizations: StreetCred, a national nonprofit helping low-income families file taxes at medical clinics; Early Bird, a scholarship fund for babies born into poverty; Good Apple, a grocery delivery company fighting child hunger; and Main Street Relief, a nationwide corps helping small businesses navigate economic crises. He has led campaigns that helped fund a new elementary school in Uganda, an orphanage in post-earthquake Haiti, and a new food product tackling malnutrition in developing countries. Hole was Butler’s top male student in 2008 before earning his M.D. and MBA from Stanford University and completing residency at Harvard University. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed and lay media publications. In 2016, Forbes placed him on America’s “30 under 30” list. In 2019, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush named Hole a Presidential Leadership Scholar.

DuJuan McCoy is Owner, President, and CEO of Circle City Broadcasting, LLC, a company he formed in May 2019 to purchase both the WISH-8 and WNDY-23 television stations from Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. Along with this acquisition, McCoy agreed to sell the television stations of his former company, Bayou City Broadcasting, to Allen Media Broadcasting. Founded in 2007, Bayou City Broadcasting was the only African-American-owned company to own and manage a Big-4 affiliate in the U.S. McCoy is now the only African American in the U.S. to own a major local news station (WISH TV) in a major market. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1989 from Butler, where he also ran track. McCoy completed the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Broadcast Leadership Program in 2008. He is now a member of the NAB and is a Director of the NAB Television Board, the NAB Education Foundation, the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, the Broadcasters Foundation of America, and the National Urban League. He was recognized at the Indy Black Expo as Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019.

Mark Minner serves as President & Chief Strategy Officer for the Indianapolis-based consulting firm FirstPerson. He is also a co-founder and partner of The Performance Lab, which works with leaders to build and develop high-performing organizations. Since 2013, Minner has served as the play-by-play “Voice of the Butler Bulldogs” for men’s basketball broadcasts on the PNC Butler Radio Network. He has called other sporting events for Fox Sports and the Big East Digital Network, as well as NCAA championships for Turner Sports. Minner is a 2012 graduate of Butler, with dual degrees in both Marketing and Electronic Journalism. In 2019, Minner was named to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” list. In 2016, he was awarded Employee Benefit Advisors’ “Rising Star in Advising” honor. In the community, Minner is an active member of the Penrod Society, has served on the executive committee for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night” event, serves on the board of Hillcrest Country Club, and is one of the founding board members of the non-profit organization Stay Positive.

Kathy Martin Harrison is the owner and CEO of the Ed Martin Automotive Group, founded by her father in 1955. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, the company is the largest Indianapolis-area woman-owned business. Previously, Martin Harrison owned Martin Realty and KAH Designs. She attended Indiana University and Franklin College before transferring to Butler and earning a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 1979. She is a member of Butler’s Board of Visitors and the LAS Dean’s Advisory Council. She is the Founder and past President of the Indy SurviveOars dragon boat racing team for breast cancer survivors. Martin Harrison was on the founding board of directors for the Ryan White Foundation in 1990. She was also on the founding committee who brought the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to Indianpaolis in 1991. She has served on many community boards, including for the Junior League of Indianapolis, Indiana Sports Corporation, YWCA, Lawrence Township School Foundation, and the John Stewart Foundation.

Rob McConnell is CEO of Indycoast Partners, an independent sponsor and consulting firm in Mergers & Acquisitions. Before Indycoast, he was CEO of Telecorps Holdings, Inc., parent of Wexler Video, Coffey Sound, and Telecorps Sales and Leasing. Prior to that, he was COO of Encoda Systems, following his time as President and CEO of Enterprise Systems Group, Inc., a predecessor to Encoda. He was involved in taking the company public, leading a going-private transaction, merging with an industry competitor, and completing several bank financings. He has also worked in the radio and TV broadcasting industry in various managerial, sales, and talent capacities. He has served as an expert witness in litigation in both state and federal courts in the areas of media, media technology, and misappropriation of trade secrets. McConnell is currently President of the Butler University Alumni Association.


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
260-307-3403 (cell)

Butler Class of 2024

Butler Welcomes Third-Largest Class Ever Despite COVID-19 Challenges

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Aug 24 2020


INDIANAPOLIS—Despite a year of unexpected challenges in the college admissions world, Butler University is welcoming its third-largest class ever, with 1,128 first-year students planning to begin classes on August 24.

Butler has continued to experience a surge in interest and enrollment over the last five years. Last year’s Class of 2023 was previously the third-largest, topped by this new incoming group of students. The Class of 2022, now juniors, is the largest in the University’s history.

The Class of 2024 has been through a lot over the past six months. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many of them to finish high school online, cancel graduation celebrations, and navigate changes to AP and IB exams. These students are also starting their college experiences in a way that likely looks different from what they ever pictured, with the first two weeks of the semester occurring remotely. But even as they log on for their first day of classes, they are excited to be Bulldogs.

“I ultimately chose Butler because I got that ‘home’ feeling when thinking about the University,” says Marissa Flannery, an incoming student who had initially planned to attend college closer to her hometown of Fairport, New York. “I know there are people here who truly care about students and want success for all of us.”

Flannery says Butler’s relatively small size was a big factor in her decision, but not just for safety reasons during the course of the pandemic.

“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,” she says. “The sense of community and family is undeniable, and that is my absolute favorite part of Butler.”

Flannery had the chance to visit campus multiple times before making her choice. While that wasn’t the case for some other prospective students, Vice President for Enrollment Management Lori Greene applauds the adaptability of Butler staff who adjusted quickly to a virtual environment.

“Butler already offered a virtual campus tour option,” Greene says, “so we were able to build upon that foundation by adding virtual counselor meetings and events for both individuals and groups. Our enrollment team, both the admission and financial aid staff members, worked diligently to meet the needs of prospective students by focusing on creative solutions for outreach and active follow up. Our biggest concern was working to provide support at a time of great uncertainty.”

Faculty members at Butler have also committed themselves to providing extra support for this group of new students. As the pandemic continued to surge in mid-May, the University announced it would offer a free online class to help incoming students learn about and reflect on the widespread impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. The one-credit-hour summer course was taught by a team of 14 faculty members from across the University, with more than 250 incoming students enrolled.

“We wanted to show our incoming students how current Butler students, faculty, and staff have really rallied to make the best of a very difficult situation,” says Anne Wilson, Professor of Chemistry and faculty lead for the online class. “This course offered an opportunity for incoming students to learn more about the Butler community while reflecting on what they have learned about their own adaptability and resilience.”

Many traditionally on-campus enrollment activities moved to virtual delivery this year. All incoming students completed course registration virtually this spring, and more than 130 students attended a virtual admitted student visit.

Despite the pressure of adjusting to a global pandemic, this incoming class is as academically strong as ever. The Class of 2024 includes 41 high school valedictorians, 23 Lilly Scholars, and 40 21st Century Scholars. Nearly 18 percent of the students graduated in the top 10 percent of their classes. The average high school GPA of the class is 3.92, one of the strongest in recent admission cycles. In addition, Butler will also welcome 66 transfer students.

The most popular majors among the incoming class include Exploratory Studies, Pre-Pharmacy, Exploratory Business, Biology, and Health Sciences.

Butler’s upward trend in out-of-state growth continues with this class. Incoming students represent 37 states and 13 countries, including Australia, Mexico, and South Korea. Out-of-state students make up 57 percent of the class, with significant populations from Illinois and the Chicagoland area, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Enrollment also increased in California, Texas, and Maryland.

One incoming Maryland student, Anisa Cobb, says she chose Butler for its nationally renowned Dance program. The Morton-Finney Scholar is also looking forward to exploring a wide variety of academic options.

“The great thing about Butler is that there are so many options that it’s possible to be involved in so many different things,” Cobb says.

Another out-of-state first-year student, Ashton Franklin, says he was drawn to Butler’s welcoming atmosphere. The Michigan native plans to major in Strategic Communication: Public Relations and Advertising, using what he learns to help others tell their stories.

“I really believe that the world can become a brighter place if we all try to understand one another,” Franklin says. “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.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Butler Class of 2024

Butler Welcomes Third-Largest Class Ever Despite COVID-19 Challenges

More than 1,125 first-year students plan to log on for their first day of classes on August 24

Aug 24 2020 Read more
Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi Visits Butler to Discuss Anti-Racism with Faculty, Staff, Students


PUBLISHED ON Aug 18 2020

In his campus-wide message on Juneteenth, Butler President James Danko charged members of the Butler community with proposing immediate steps to address racism, discrimination, and social injustices that may be evident at the University. While that mission will continue throughout the academic year and beyond, Butler is excited to kick off the fall 2020 semester by inviting faculty, staff, and students to attend virtual Q&A sessions featuring bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi.

Professor Kendi is the Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He is also a professor of history and international studies, an Ideas Columnist at The Atlantic, and a correspondent with CBS News. His four books have included Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America; How to Be an Antiracist; and STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You (co-authored with Jason Reynolds). His newest book, Antiracist Baby, was published on June 16, 2020.

On Wednesday, August 19, Professor Kendi will be the keynote guest during a live, virtual symposium on anti-racism for all Butler faculty and staff. Later in the week, he will speak with students.

“While we realize that meaningful change cannot result from just one or two conversations,” President Danko says, “we hope hearing from Professor Kendi will help strengthen the urgent desire that so many in our community already feel—a desire to truly live out our founding mission to be a University where all students, faculty, and staff are welcome and respected.”


Photo by Stephen Voss


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi Visits Butler to Discuss Anti-Racism with Faculty, Staff, Students

The bestselling author and Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research will lead virtual Q&A sessions with the Butler community

Aug 18 2020 Read more
Trip - Butler Blue III

Butler Blue III To Retire At End of 2019-2020 Academic Year

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Oct 22 2019



After eight years of greeting potential students with the news of their admission to Butler University, running down bones at Hinkle Fieldhouse to officially get basketball games started, and serving as Butler’s all-around ambassador, Butler Blue III will retire at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

It turns out Butler Blue III, also known as Trip (short for Triple), is a lot like us humans. The American Kennel Club-registered English bulldog is hanging up his mascot duties because of his older age (for bulldogs), long tenure on the job, and desire to start the next chapter of his life.

“While he loves to work and enjoys being the Butler Bulldog, it's time,” says Trip’s caretaker and Butler’s Director of External Relations, Michael Kaltenmark. “The average lifespan of an English bulldog is 8-to-12 years, and now that Trip is entering that range, we want to make sure he gets to enjoy the simple pleasures of life as just our family dog.”

Kaltenmark and his colleagues will be working closely with Butler graduate and local veterinarian Dr. Kurt Phillips to identify Trip’s successor, Butler Blue IV. Upon arrival of Blue IV, Butler graduate and current Marketing Specialist Evan Krauss ‘16 will take over caregiving and training duties. Kaltenmark, who has devoted the last 16 years to the care of Butler Blue II and III, will still work closely with Krauss, but will primarily focus on his external relations work.

Trip has been part of Kaltenmark’s household since he was adopted in early 2012 at 7 weeks old. He will remain with the family during retirement. Kaltenmark has been on staff at Butler since graduating from the University in 2002, and he cares for Trip along with his wife Tiffany and his sons Everett (9) and Miles (5). 

But before Kaltenmark and Trip hang up the leash, they’re embarking on a farewell tour, or One Last Trip. Throughout the academic year, Trip will appear at Butler games and various events on campus, and he will even follow the Men’s Basketball team on the road to surprise several prospective students and to visit graduates.

“This year is really an opportunity for the Butler community and our fans to celebrate Trip and his service as mascot,” Kaltenmark says. “He has served Butler so admirably all of these years, and we want to send him off with a proper farewell.”

Some of Trip’s remaining highlights include stops in Chicago, Washington DC, Milwaukee, and New York. But first up is Butler’s Homecoming weekend, including Trip’s role as host of the 19th annual Butler Bulldog Beauty Contest on Saturday, October 26.

Further announcements about the arrival and debut of Butler Blue IV will be forthcoming. In the meantime, fans can continue to follow Trip and his #OneLastTrip experiences on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.


Media Contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications
914-815-5656 (cell)

Trip - Butler Blue III

Butler Blue III To Retire At End of 2019-2020 Academic Year

After serving as the official mascot for eight years, Trip will hang up the leash to spend more time with family.

Oct 22 2019 Read more

On Butler's Curling Team, the Students Sweep Together


PUBLISHED ON Feb 12 2018

By Jackson Borman '20

The history of curling can be traced back 500 years to the frozen lochs of Scotland.

The history of curling at Butler University is a bit more recent.

It all started with a group of Butler students who were inspired by the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics to try curling for the first time. At first, they were just joking around on the ice, but eventually they bought their own shoes and brooms and in 2012 started Butler’s very own club curling team.

Fast forward eight years. Jacqueline Murphy '20, is the president of Butler’s club curling team. She was inspired to join during her freshman year because of her own background with the sport.

Murphy said that in her home town of South Bend, Indiana, curling is all the rage.

“Curling is the number one sport for student participation at Notre Dame right now,” Murphy said. “It takes places on a certain night of the week and they will have tons of students turn out just to go curling.”

Murphy and her father were always interested in joining in on the fun, but they never did.

Once she got to Butler and saw that there was a curling team, she felt she had to join. She and some friends decided to go to a meeting and try it out.

“When I told my family that I was the president of the curling club they were like, ‘Uhh what?’” Murphy said. “It’s a weird sport, you know? You never hear people say that they love to go curling.”

Last year there were only seven members of the team including Murphy, and they did not have enough members to compete. This year, the club more than quadrupled in size to an impressive 30 members. With this many people, the team now has enough members to participate in tournaments, which are known as bonspiels.

While this year's team has enough people to compete, Murphy said that they are just working on the basics.

“No one that came out for the team this year had ever played before, except for one person, so everyone is a beginner,” Murphy said. “We really didn’t expect so many people, but it is so much fun.”

The team practices at the Circle City Curling Club, which is housed within the Indiana State Fairgrounds, a 10-minute drive from campus. They meet every Thursday night and practice by playing in tournaments against each other.

While the team practices, the executive team members are visiting and researching different bonspiels that the team could compete in next year. The club was invited to compete at University of Colorado and University of Oklahoma, but there are other tournaments in Chicago and Minnesota that the team is considering as well.

As far as the team roster goes, Murphy said she is just going with the flow. Anyone can invite a friend to join the team, and even staff and faculty are welcome to join in the fun. Joey Calvillo, Butler’s Residence Life Coordinator, is a member of the team.

Calvillo said that he is always glued to his TV during the Winter Olympics. When he saw a blurb in the Butler Connection about a meeting for the curling club, he reached out to the executive members of the team to see if he could tag along.

While Calvillo is still a novice, he said that the most exciting part of the club is seeing students leading the charge and getting out of their comfort zone.

“I got into student affairs so that I could work with students and be around students, and it has been really awesome to be there and see them in their element and also just to be an active participant,” he said. “That’s been the great part: seeing it from a staff member’s perspective of getting students connected to something that they wouldn’t have possibly done outside of here. I think that’s one great thing about Butler in general; they provide so many of those types of experiences that students would not have been able to access [otherwise].”

The next big event for the team (outside of weekly practices) is a viewing party to watch the 2018 PyeongChang, South Korea, Winter Olympics. Their emphasis is sure to be on one sport in particular.





On Butler's Curling Team, the Students Sweep Together

Curling club members show they have the stones needed to compete.

Feb 12 2018 Read more

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Worm supermoon' will be the last of 2019. Here's when to see it in Indiana.

Fox 59 | March 8, 2019

Your Town Friday March Madness: Butler University

WFYI | February 14, 2019

Local Universities Team With Marion County Prosecutor's Office To Address Dating Violence

Indiana Business Journal | February 14, 2019

Butler lands alumni gifts for business school, athletics

Inside Indiana Business | February 14, 2019

Florida Couple Makes $1M Gift to Butler University

Fox59 | February 13, 2019

Butler University hosts cybersecurity event for local students

Psychology Today | February 12, 2019

Why smart people sext

Indiana Business Journal | February 8, 2019

Butler University professor Barry King is using algorithm-based machine learning to predict NBA game attendance

USA Today | February 4, 2019

Sick, deeply toxic' culture: Ralph Northam hails from a time of troubled race relations in Virginia, US

Indy Star | January 28, 2019

Here's why President Trump was tweeting support for an Indiana Bible bill

Indy Star | January 25, 2019

Just an absolute quirk': Pacers and Colts stars don’t just miss games, they miss seasons

New York Times | January 20, 2019

The Lunar Eclipse and Supermoon: How to Watch it Tonight

CBS-4 Indy | January 17, 2019

Social media posts could affect college applications, new study finds

Yahoo | January 14, 2019

President Trump claims a wheel is older than a wall in plea for border wall. Is he right?

USA Today | January 14, 2019

Here's your guide to the 'super blood wolf moon eclipse' that's coming this weekend

Inside Indiana Business | January 14, 2019

Kenzie graduates first-ever cohort

Indy Star | January 14, 2019

Butler Arts Center's new director has deep roots. His grandpa hung first curtain at Clowes

USA Today | January 1, 2019

Young Muslims find meaning and inspiration in science fiction novels

USA Today | December 26, 2018

January 2019 lunar eclipse: How to watch the super blood wolf moon eclipse

NY Times | November 17, 2018

America’s Election Grid Remains a Patchwork of Vulnerabilities

CBS-4 | November 7, 2018

Is bipartisanship achievable? Depends who you ask

VICE | November 2, 2018

The Basics of Starting a Business When You Don't Know Where The Hell to Begin

The Guardian | October 26, 2018

Georgia: voter suppression allegations roil governor's race

USA Today | October 24, 2018

Trump tones down attacks, calls for civility after devices mailed to Democrats, CNN

IndyStar | October 22, 2018

Doyel: Butler's bulldog mascot gives admission news to kid who beat cancer

Associated Press | October 20, 2018

Democrats eye 2 competitive House races in red state Indiana

The New York Times | October 19, 2018

Georgia Voting Begins Amid Accusations of Voter Suppression

IndyStar | October 19, 2018

Butler basketball to get revamped practice facility at Hinkle Fieldhouse

WISH TV | October 8, 2018

What to watch for during first debate in Indiana's US Senate race

Des Moines Register | October 3, 2018

Democrats, tired of GOP control, think they can flip the Iowa House

IndyStar | September 28, 2018

Hear Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer call the Colts-Patriots game—if you can find it

USNews | September 25, 2018

Why 4 Students, Graduates Chose Their Colleges

Fox 59 | September 14, 2018

Butler students to work on FIFA Women's World Cup as part of inaugural Fox Sports U partnership

WISH TV | September 13, 2018

Butler University opens new dorm

US News | September 13, 2018

Identify Success Programs at Your Top-Choice College

IndyStar | September 11, 2018

Queer Eye' culture expert Karamo Brown will kick off Butler University lecture series

IndyStar | September 9, 2018

Butler named 'Best of Midwest,' as Indiana Schools feature prominently in rankings

Fox 59 | September 9, 2018

IN Focus: New season, new controversy in NFL

Fox 59 | September 4, 2018

Backlash over new Nike campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick growing

The Washington Post | August 22, 2018

Planetary party: Catch multiple planets lined up with the moon as summer wanes

The Wall Street Journal | August 15, 2018

New Topic on Campus: Civil Discourse 101

IndyStar | August 10, 2018

Saturday and Sunday night will feature meteor sky show

Inside INdiana | August 6, 2018
Demand Prompts Second Lab School's Launch

Washington Post | July 31, 2018
Athletes can easily trick popular concussion test, study finds

Indianapolis Business Journal | July 18, 2018
Kenzie Academy scores $4.2 million, plans to expand school

Indianapolis Business Journal | July 13, 2018
Butler University unleashes building spree, beautification

Bloomberg | July 9, 2018
Under-the-Radar Races Could Upend Power in State Capitols

Inside INdiana | June 20, 2018
High-Tech Institute Partnering With Traditional Educators

USA Today | May 5, 2018
Why Romeo Langford means so much to basketball in Indiana

Fox59 | May 3, 2018
Parents struggle to find balance between screen time at home and school

Lori Desautels tells Fox59 that human interaction is always better than digital when it comes to kids learning.

FiveThirtyEight | April 30, 2018
Should we trust Michael Cohen if he flips on Trump?

FiveThirtyEight cites a study done by psychology instructor Stacy Wetmore found that incentivized testimony makes mock jurors more likely to convict, even when they were explicitly told by an expert witness that such testimony is unreliable.

USA Today | April 17, 2018
Anderson Cooper rips Sean Hannity for not revealing legal ties to Trump lawyer
Nancy Whitmore talks to USA Today about the ethics behind Sean Hannity not disclosing his ties to Michael Cohen.

VICE | February 18, 2018
I Used a 'Human Uber' Surrogate to Do My Job for Me
James McGrath 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 Dank 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 in 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.

Lambda Chi Alpha to Return to Butler This Fall

Lambda Chi Alpha to Return to Butler This Fall


PUBLISHED ON Aug 16 2019

INDIANAPOLIS—Lambda Chi Alpha will return to Butler University’s campus this fall.

The fraternity will begin recruiting sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the fall, and then will participate in formal recruitment in January 2020.

“We are excited to rejoin the Butler community and are optimistic we will be a real asset to campus,” Lambda Chi Alpha’s international Director of Communications Tad Lichtenauer said. “Recruiting the right young men who are focused on academics, giving back, extracurriculars, and who understand the importance of leadership and service are what we are pushing.”

The international headquarters of Lambda Chi Alpha suspended the Butler chapter in January 2017 after a conduct review.

Lambda Chi Alpha will move to the former Tau Kappa Epsilon property in January 2021—they plan to tear down the existing house and build a new one. The former Lambda Chi Alpha house, located on Sunset Avenue, was sold to Butler by the fraternity’s housing corporation. The University has no plans for the property at this time.

“Butler emphasizes the holistic well-being of all students through BU Be Well,” said Butler’s Vice President for Student Affairs Frank E. Ross, III. “This was a perfect opportunity to bring back a fraternity that was a part of Butler’s community, while also underscoring our commitment to the high standards of academic and social integrity that we expect for all Greek organizations.”

"We are glad to hear they will be returning this semester," Interfraternity Council President and Butler senior Luke Rihm said. "We look forward to supporting Lambda Chi's founding class through this process."

Moving Lambda Chi Alpha into the former Tau Kappa Epsilon property will create synergy by being adjacent to other chapter houses located along Hampton Drive, Ross said.

“There continues to be significant student interest in Greek life at Butler, and fraternities and sororities contribute greatly to our robust student life,” he said. “I look forward to the positive contributions Lambda Chi Alpha will make to our campus community going forward.”


Media Contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications
914-815-5656 (cell)

Lambda Chi Alpha to Return to Butler This Fall

Lambda Chi Alpha to Return to Butler This Fall

Fraternity to start recruiting members in the fall, move to former Tau Kappa Epsilon property in January 2021

Aug 16 2019 Read more
Brooke Barnett

Brooke Barnett Named New Dean of CCOM

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Nov 15 2018

Brooke Barnett, a Professor and Associate Provost at Elon University who earned her master's and doctorate from Indiana University, will be the new Dean of Butler University's College of Communication (CCOM), Provost Kate Morris announced today.

Barnett will join Butler on June 1, 2019. She replaces Jay Howard, who has been serving as Acting Dean of CCOM and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since July 2017.

"Dr. Barnett will bring with her to Butler a wealth of experience as a teacher, scholar, and administrator," Morris said. "During her time as a faculty member at Elon University, she has been part of a strategic effort to grow a relatively small academic program into a signature school of communication. As an academic administrator, she developed and grew various academic programs, with a special emphasis on building a diverse and inclusive community.

"I believe that the combination of the excellent faculty and staff in CCOM and the experienced and engaged leadership Dr. Barnett will bring as Dean, our College of Communication is poised for a successful and exciting future."

Barnett, a Kentucky native, has taught in Elon's School of Communications since 2001 in subject areas that include Broadcast Journalism, Communication Research, Documentary Film, Freedom of Expression, Global Studies, Intellectual Property Law, Journalism and the Law (at Elon School of Law), Literary Journalism, Media and Culture, and Media Law and Ethics.

During her time at Elon, Barnett was awarded the School of Communications Distinguished Scholar award, was founding director of the Elon Program for Documentary Production, served as Faculty-in-Residence for the Elon London Centre, and served as chair of Elon’s faculty governing body.

She has been a member of the president’s senior staff since 2010 and has provided leadership for academics (five university-wide scholar programs, and national and international fellowships office) and inclusive excellence (diversity, and inclusion efforts, civic, global, and community engagement, education access programs, a lifelong learning program for community members). She has secured major and planned gifts, co-created two university centers and worked collaboratively to create two alumni groups.

Barnett said she is looking forward to joining Butler and leading CCOM.

"I'm excited about the different disciplines that are in CCOM," she said. "I think there are great opportunities for synergy across the areas and also continued honing of distinction within specific disciplines. CCOM faculty and staff are stellar and clearly focused on student learning and providing a meaningful student experience. The students I met on campus and the alumni featured in the Butler Magazine are testimonies to the strength of the College. I love the idea of Indianapolis as a backdrop for experiential learning and all the potential leverage points in CCOM within the College, across campus, and with alumni."

Barnett earned her Bachelor of Arts at Georgetown (Kentucky) College, where she majored in English and Communication Studies. She went on to get her Master of Arts in Journalism and doctorate in Mass Communication with concentration in Law and Visual Communication at IU-Bloomington. She earned a Diversity Management Certificate from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Barnett is a 2011 alumna of the HERS program for women in higher education leadership and a 2016 alumna from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Institute for Educational Management program. This year she was elected to the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, a leading national higher education group with 1,400 member institutions.  

Barnett started her teaching career in the IU-Bloomington School of Journalism. She also has been a News Director, Reporter, and Host on WTIU, the public television station in Bloomington.

Because of the strong leadership Howard has provided the CCOM, Morris said, she is confident the College is ready for a strong transition.

"I am extremely grateful for the leadership Acting Dean Jay Howard has provided to CCOM," Morris said. "In addition to all the regular College operations, Dr. Howard led the CCOM through a structural reorganization and through review of both college level curriculum and college level policies. His leadership and the good work of the CCOM faculty and staff have positioned the college to move forward effectively and efficiently after Dean Brooke Barnett arrives next summer.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan MFA '18
News Manager

Brooke Barnett

Brooke Barnett Named New Dean of CCOM

Brooke Barnett, Professor and Associate Provost at Elon University, will be the new Dean of CCOM.

Nov 15 2018 Read more

Butler Year in Review: The People of 2018

In March of 2018, we launched Butler Stories, a place to share news, tell tales, and engage more deeply with our community. Over the course of the year we have shared more than 100 stories about the Butler community and its impact.

People are what make Butler so extraordinary. Every day, we are reminded of just how compassionate, tenacious, and curious Bulldogs can be. From a patient’s bedside to the sideline at Hinkle, some of our most notable stories of 2018 were about some of the most exceptionable members of our Butler Family.

Here are just 5 of the top profiles of the year:


Butler Roots Run Deep

Having spent much of his youth on the sidelines of Hinkle, Campbell Donovan’s path to playing for the men’s basketball team was a dream come true for both him and his family.


Perseverance and Patients

Cancer kept Trent Tipple from officially receiving his Butler degree until May 2018, nearly 27 years after he enrolled, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream to become a Neonatal physician.


Let Passion Lead You

In the spring of 1985, just days before graduating, Dave Calabro skipped his math final to announce for the first time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The decision paid off for the man who eventually became the official voice of the Indianapolis 500.


Shelvin Mack’s Homecoming

Shelvin Mack decided to leave school early to pursue his NBA dream. 7 years into his successful professional basketball career, he’s pursuing a old dream – a Butler degree.



Award-winning reporter and current editor for Butler’s Collegian Dana Lee ’19 has written for ESPN and hobnobbed with celebrities, but it’s impossible to tell her story without bringing up her two younger siblings, Jessica and Michael, who also happen to attend Butler.


Butler Year in Review: The People of 2018

From a patient’s bedside to the sideline at Hinkle, here are some of our most notable stories of 2018.

Eric Stark

Prestigious Fulbright Grant Awarded to Choral Director Eric Stark

BY Marc Allan MFA `18

PUBLISHED ON Apr 04 2019

When he was working on his doctorate in choral conducting, Eric Stark would come home to Indianapolis from Bloomington, have dinner, then drive to Butler University and sneak into one of the practice rooms in Lilly Hall to do his homework because he needed access to a piano.

"I would always think: If I could only get a job at a place like this," he says.

In 1996, he did, and since then his choral activities have taken him to Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and around the world. The next stop is Brazil, where he will be a Fulbright Scholar conducting and studying in residence during the first half of 2020 at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

For Stark, Butler's Director of Choral Activities, it's another milestone in a career filled with them.

Over the years, he has conducted in the Oriental Art Center Concert Hall in Shanghai and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. He has made conducting appearances in Greece, Italy, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay, and has led choirs on domestic tours in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Orlando, and Tampa.

When Madonna performed Like a Prayer at halftime of Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, Stark directed a 200-person choir that included 22 members of the Butler Chorale.

"I'm astounded this is my life, this is my career, because you roll the dice on being a musician and you just never know what's going to happen," he says.

Stark plans to teach at Butler through the 2019 fall semester—he's still leading the popular Rejoice! holiday concerts—then leave for Brazil over winter break. The school year in Brazil starts in March, so he and his husband, Adriano Caldeira, who is Brazilian, will travel around the country in January and February to observe some music-making.

Stark will teach at Federal University from March through June. He will be teaching in Portuguese—some of which he already knows from studying the language for a couple of years ("I feel like I could lead a rehearsal right now in Portuguese"), and some of which he's going to learn this summer at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, thanks to a grant from Butler.

In addition to his work at Butler, Stark has been Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir since 2002.

The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Roughly 1,600 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars, and 900 visiting scholars receive awards, in addition to several hundred teachers and professionals.

Stark discovered his love for music growing up in Columbus, Indiana, where he was inspired by the music at First Presbyterian Church. He sang in church choirs for 12 years and took piano and organ lessons from the choir director, Ray Hass.

The church, he says, was his musical awakening.

"He was a great musician and a great organist, and I can remember even as a 7 or 8 year old how much I enjoyed hearing him play the organ," he says. "That tickled something in my head I had never been aware of before. From time to time, I take the Butler Chorale down there and we sing concerts at that church, which is always fun."

Stark earned his bachelor’s from Wabash College, and both his master’s and doctorate in choral conducting from Indiana University.

When a job opened at Butler, Henry Leck, Butler's longtime Director of Choral Activities, got Stark in to see then-Dean Michael Sells, who hired Stark on a one-year, part-time contract. That turned into a one-year appointment, and then a full-time hiring. In the interim, Stark also taught at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, and Christian Theological Seminary.

In 2014, he succeeded Leck as Butler's Director of Choral Activities.

“It’s no surprise to any of us in the Jordan College of the Arts that the significance of Eric’s work as a choral conductor and pedagogue has been recognized on an international level," says Lisa Brooks, Dean of Butler's Jordan College of the Arts. "The connections he will make while in South America will be invaluable to our students, and to the greater Indianapolis community.”

Stark says he's hopeful that his time in Brazil will lead to interesting partnerships and projects.Indianapolis has a sister city relationship with Campinas, Brazil, just outside Sao Paulo, and there is "a lot of multinational cross pollination between businesses here and there."

"There's positives on all sides of the equation, and that's what's so exciting for me about this—that possibility of sharing," he says. "Maybe I'll meet some undergraduate students in Brazil who study with me and might want to come to Butler for graduate studies. That's happened in the past. I'm certain that folks down there would love to do a concert date together with the Butler Chorale or the Symphonic Choir or both down the road. That's pretty exciting to think about."

Eric Stark

Prestigious Fulbright Grant Awarded to Choral Director Eric Stark

Butler's Director of Choral Activities will travel in early 2020 to Brazil as a Fulbright Scholar. 

Apr 04 2019 Read more

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

Pursuing Her Passion

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

Mariam Saeedi

Pursuing Her Passion

By Meg Liffick
Campus Drone

Butler Named 'Most Innovative School' In the U.S. News 2018 Rankings


PUBLISHED ON Sep 12 2017

Butler University is the only Midwest Regional University to earn the U.S. News designation as Most Innovative School, according to the magazine’s 2018 rankings released on Tuesday, September 12. For the eighth consecutive year, Butler ranks No. 2 overall among 171 Midwest Regional Universities. Butler is also recognized among the best in the nation for four co-curricular programs that enhance the educational experience for students.

U.S. News created the Most Innovative School category three years ago “so high-ranking college officials could pick schools that the public should be watching because of the cutting-edge changes being made on their campuses.” Butler has claimed the top spot in the Midwest Regional Universities category every year.

A fundamental part of the University’s strategic vision, Butler 2020, is a commitment to creativity in all aspects of the learning environment and organization. “We’ve set a course to become an innovative leader in the creation and delivery of transformative, student-centered education,” said President James M. Danko. “These rankings demonstrate that we’re living up to this commitment and that our academic peers are taking notice.”

Some notable innovation initiatives at Butler University include:

  • launching 18 new majors and 11 new minors in the past 6 years;
  • awarding 43 Innovation-Fund grants to support inventive ideas among students, faculty, and staff;
  • creating the first-of-its-kind student-run captive insurance company;
  • partnering with The Speak Easy to launch a downtown space devoted to collaboration, creativity, and learning among entrepreneurs and students; and
  • co-developing technology solutions for higher education with partners including High Alpha’s ClearScholarand

Butler’s commitment to innovation stems from its goal to prepare graduates to make a meaningful impact in the world. This year’s U.S. News rankings list Butler among the best in the nation for internships, the first-year experience, study abroad, and undergraduate research/creative projects.

Internships. Schools that make this list require or encourage students to apply what they’re learning in the classroom to the real world. Seventy-five percent of Butler students graduate having completed an internship. In the Lacy School of Business, all students are required to complete two internships.

First-Year Experience. According to U.S. News, “Many schools now build into the curriculum first-year seminars or other academic programs that bring small groups of students together with faculty or staff on a regular basis.” Through Butler’s first-year experience, students know what to expect inside and outside the classroom through peer-to-peer and faculty engagement.

Study Abroad. Programs ranked in this category are recognized for substantial academic work abroad for credit—a year, a semester, or an intensive experience equal to a course—and considerable interaction with the local culture. One-third of Butler students study abroad, and cite their experiences as some of the most transformational and enriching of their time as undergraduates.

Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects. Through the Undergraduate Research Conference—the largest in the Midwest—the Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement, and the Butler Summer Institute, Butler encourages students to investigate and explore research projects alongside faculty mentors.

Media contact:
Marc Allan

Campus Drone

Butler Named 'Most Innovative School' In the U.S. News 2018 Rankings

Butler University is the only Midwest Regional University to earn the U.S. News designation as Most Innovative School, according to the magazine’s 2018 rankings released on Tuesday, September 12.

Sep 12 2017 Read more

Butler Continues Trend, Welcomes Record First-Year Class

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Aug 16 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – It happened again.

For the second time in three years, Butler University is set to welcome its largest class ever, as 1,336 first-year students prepare to begin classes on August 22.

For the second time in three years, Butler University is set to welcome its largest class ever, as 1,336 first-year students prepare to begin classes on August 22.

The class highlights a nearly 10-year trend of application growth, represents a continued increase in out-of-state enrollment, and is more diverse. While the Class of 2020 was previously the largest class, with 1,255 incoming students, Butler has been experiencing an upward trajectory in applicants since 2009. 

“Butler’s enrollment goals have aligned with the University’s strategic plan, known as Butler 2020,” says Lori Greene, Vice President for Enrollment Management. “One of the strategic growth objectives is to increase full-time, undergraduate student enrollment. This is strategic growth complemented by an investment in the student experience. We see growth also reflected in new facilities, including two new state-of-the-art residence halls, and the new Lacy School of Business building, set to open in August 2019.”

This year’s growth is hardly a one-year anomaly.

Interest in Butler has been on the rise throughout the last decade. Since 2009, applications to the University have increased by 163 percent. For example, in 2015, Butler received 9,942 applications, compared to 16,431 this year. In the last year alone, first-year applications increased more than 12 percent.

This continued demand is due to a number of strategic initiatives, says Greene.





“Over the last few years, we’ve continued to refine and target our communications, and connect with prospects earlier in a student’s high school career. We’ve also focused on building a relationship with our prospective parents throughout the process,” Greene says. “We aim to support prospective students with the type of campus events and visit programs delivered, along with providing multiple options for a student to experience campus life, talk with current students, and hear from a professor in an area of interest.”

The increase in recruitment travel and targeted marketing efforts have paid off, Greene says, as the University continues to grow its out-of-state enrollment. Sixty percent of this year’s class comes from out-of-state, with nearly 20 percent of those coming from the Chicagoland area. Since 2015, applications to Butler from out-of-state students have increased by 68 percent.

And it’s not just applications. Since 2015, the number of students choosing to enroll at Butler from out-of-state has increased by 40 percent, compared to 17 percent growth in-state. Specifically, enrollment from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic has more than doubled since 2015.

While this year’s class hails largely from other Midwest states, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Texas are quickly on the rise. Over the last few years, Greene says, Butler has embedded counselors in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast in an effort to increase the University’s visibility.

This year’s incoming class is also the most diverse, as nearly 17 percent of the class are multicultural students. This represents a 3 percentage point jump from last year. While this is a percentage that Butler would like to see increase more, Greene says, partnerships with multiple Indianapolis-based organizations, as well as other community-based organizations throughout the Midwest, have helped multicultural recruitment efforts. The goal is to keep increasing this percentage, she says. 

Despite its size, Butler’s Class of 2022 is as academically inclined as previous classes. The average GPA is 3.86, up slightly from last year. This year’s incoming class features 44 valedictorians, 20 Lilly Scholars, and about 20 percent were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class.

The most popular majors this year are Pre-Pharmacy (136), Exploratory Studies (103), Exploratory Business (88), and Biology (72).

The University will also welcome 86 transfer students this fall.


Media contact:

Rachel Stern


Butler Continues Trend, Welcomes Record First-Year Class

For the second time in three years, Butler University is set to welcome its largest class ever,

Aug 16 2018 Read more

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

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
Dance Rehearsal

New Dance Work To Debut with More than 100 Student Dancers

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Sep 05 2018

Dance Professor Cynthia Pratt wants to give Butler's Class of 2022 a welcome to remember. So she and four student choreographers from the Dance Department have put together a large-scale dance project that will feature the entire department performing on the grassy areas outside Irwin Library and Jordan Hall on Thursday, September 20, from 6:30-7:00 PM.

The dance will celebrate the start of the new academic year and will revolve around the themes and values of the Butler Way. The soundtrack for the dance is expected to incorporate snippets of interviews with students, faculty, and staff talking about their Butler experiences.

"I thought it would be a great opportunity for the department to welcome everyone back to campus," said Pratt, who is starting her 24th year at Butler. "The Dance Department here is significant, but many of the students don't know who we are or what we do. Even though this type of dance isn't what we're known for—we're known for ballet—I thought it would be a wonderful welcome for the whole student body, especially since we have the largest freshman class ever."

Pratt said the idea for an all-department project goes back four years, when she choreographed a dance as part of StreamLines, an outdoor art project that meshed arts and science. She said that project was tough—"they're outside, they're uncomfortable, they're hot, they're rolling around in grass, and there's stuff in that grass"—but it helped create a bond that lasted throughout their college careers.

More than 100 students will participate in the dance.

"We found in the department that when we did those large group dances, the morale in the department skyrocketed," she said. "We found that this was a really positive experience—not just for the students, but for the onlookers as well. These were really successful performances."


Media Contact:
Marc Allan

Dance Rehearsal

New Dance Work To Debut with More than 100 Student Dancers

The outdoor performance on September 20 will celebrate the start of the new academic year.

Sep 05 2018 Read more
Butler University

Butler Named a Top College by Princeton Review For Third Straight Year


PUBLISHED ON Aug 20 2020

Butler University is one of the nation's best undergraduate institutions, according to The Princeton Review. For the third year in a row, Butler has been included in The Princeton Review’s annual college guide, The Best 386 Colleges. The book provides school recommendations for undergraduate college applicants, with only about 14 percent of America’s four-year colleges and universities profiled in the guide’s 2021 edition.

The company chooses colleges for the book based on data it annually collects from administrators at hundreds of colleges about their institutions’ academic offerings. The Princeton Review also considers data gathered from surveys of college students who rate and report on various aspects of their campus experiences.  

"We salute Butler University for its outstanding academics, and we are truly pleased to recommend it to prospective applicants searching for their personal ‘best-fit’ college,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's Editor-in-Chief and lead author of The Best 386 Colleges. 

In Butler’s profile from the book, students highlighted the University’s student-to-faculty ratio and said instructors often collaborate with students on research and professional endeavors. Students also appreciated the ongoing introduction of new technology into the learning experience, as well as curriculum that challenges students to try new things.

Students valued Butler’s study abroad offerings, with more than 200 programs across 60 countries, along with other experiential learning opportunities.

The best 386 colleges are not ranked hierarchically. Published annually since 1992, the book features detailed descriptions of each college, including admission and graduation rates, as well as excerpts from surveys of students and graduates.


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Butler University

Butler Named a Top College by Princeton Review For Third Straight Year

The University has been included in the 2021 edition of 'The Best 386 Colleges'

Aug 20 2020 Read more
Brooke Kandel-Cisco

Brooke Kandel-Cisco, Determined to Make An Impact, Will Now Lead the COE

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Apr 26 2019

INDIANAPOLIS—Brooke Kandel-Cisco was first drawn to the field of education as a 22-year-old immigration advocate, working on behalf of undocumented women who were abused by their husbands, but threatened by those same men with their status if they took action against the abuse.

Working alongside an immigration attorney, she didn’t get a lot of cases approved by the courts. She saw firsthand the complexities of the system and how things were far from fair. She wanted to help illuminate the glaring systemic issues, and then somehow work toward creating more just and equitable systems.

All of that sounded familiar to Kandel-Cisco—it sounded like the work of an educator. The Illinois native comes from a long line of teachers—both her grandmothers, aunts, uncles—but her 18-year-old self wanted to go against the family grain. So, she majored in Psychology and minored in Spanish at Goshen College. After she graduated, Kandel-Cisco joined AmeriCorps and headed to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, where she battled the courts to try and help women who came to the United States and were abused by their husbands, but struggled to get justice.

“Advocating for women and seeing these huge systemic issues every day really piqued my interest in education and in working with immigrant and refugee students,” Kandel-Cisco says. “I was always told I should be a teacher, and I think my work after college showed me how important it is to try and work to address systemic issues. I saw education as one way of doing just that.”

Kandel-Cisco has been doing that ever since. She will start as the Interim Dean of Butler University’s College of Education on May 1 replacing Ena Shelley, who will retire after 15 years as Dean of the College, and 37 years at the University.

Kandel-Cisco started at Butler in 2009 as a faculty member, and throughout her decade on campus has served as Director of the Master of Science in Effective Teaching and Learning Program, Chair of the COE Graduate Programs, and Program Coordinator for COE Graduate Programs.

She teaches courses in English as a second language (ESL) within the COE, works closely with teachers in Washington Township schools’ ESL and Newcomer Programs, which works with students who have recently arrived in the country and are learning English, and is the President of the Indiana Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

When Shelley announced her retirement, Kandel-Cisco’s name was put forward by colleagues in the COE as a potential Interim Dean.

Her first reaction upon hearing that Shelley was retiring?

“Oh I pity the person who follows Ena,” Kandel-Cisco says. “But now that it’s me, I will do my best.”

Shelley, on the other hand, says this was a long time coming.

For years, Shelley says, she has been presenting Kandel-Cisco with “opportunities.” There was the time she called Kandel-Cisco in to tell her she had an “opportunity” for her to work on an International Baccalaureate certification process.

“Brooke’s reaction was ‘OK, my child goes to an IB school, but I don’t really know much about IB’,” Shelley says, laughing. “But, in typical Brooke fashion, she rolled up her sleeves and got to work like crazy to get this in place. She always gives it her best shot, and her best shot is always wonderful.”

Shelley would continue over the years to use that phrase on Kandel-Cisco. Finally, she explained that early on in her career she was offered “opportunities” constantly by her Dean at the time. It was clear these “opportunities” were just challenging projects. Her Dean explained she was giving them to Shelley to prepare her to be a Dean one day.

It turns out, that is exactly what Shelley was doing with Kandel-Cisco.

“I know a lot of people use these words a lot, but Brooke is really a visionary, and extremely wise,” Shelley says. “She is very inclusive of people and ideas, a keen listener, which is key as an educator and leader. Someone asked me if this is bittersweet, and I can honestly say no. My heart is happy knowing I am leaving the College in great shape with a strong leader and strong staff.”

It is that great staff that Kandel-Cisco says she will rely on to help move the College forward as Interim Dean. She is looking forward to thinking through how the College fits into Butler’s strategic plan, as well as focusing on a number of new initiatives: a new major, global opportunities for students and faculty, partnerships in the community.

“This is all about making yourself vulnerable and trying new things, which might not be comfortable,” she says. “It is much easier to do because I have amazing colleagues who are supportive and will help move our College forward.”

When Kandel-Cisco was back in Texas working as an immigrant advocate, she realized she wanted to be a teacher. After obtaining her ESL and bilingual education teaching license, she went on to teach ESL students in Houston. After several years of teaching, she applied to doctoral programs.

She transitioned to a full-time doctoral student at Texas A&M, and later became a senior research associate, studying state education data on things like teacher attrition and achievement scores. All of this highlighted more systemic issues in education. And, it became clear again, she wanted to be in a classroom.

On another whim, she applied to several faculty positions, including one at Butler. On campus, she interviewed with Ena Shelley.

“For me, it was about the people,” she says. “Ena, just the way she looks in your eyes, it just felt authentic, and the College was doing educator preparation in a high-quality way. That’s not to say there is one right way to do it, because I don’t believe there is, but the COE approach was in line with my values. And that’s what brought me to Butler.”

Brooke Kandel-Cisco

Brooke Kandel-Cisco, Determined to Make An Impact, Will Now Lead the COE

Kandel-Cisco will start as the Interim Dean of the College of Education on May 1.

Apr 26 2019 Read more
New Data Analytics Boot Camp

Butler University Launches Data Analytics Boot Camp in Partnership with Trilogy Education


PUBLISHED ON Aug 07 2019

Indianapolis, IN (August 6, 2019) – Today, Butler University Executive Education announced the launch of a data analytics boot camp, in partnership with leading workforce accelerator Trilogy Education. Geared toward adult learners and working professionals, the Butler Executive Education Data Analytics Boot Camp teaches the analytical, technical, and teamwork skills necessary to become a proficient data professional.

The 24-week, part-time program begins November 19, 2019 and includes two, three-hour evening classes during the week (6:30 to 9:30 PM) and a four-hour class on Saturdays (10:00 AM to 2:00 PM). Enrollment is now open at

“Butler University Executive Education has partnered with Trilogy Education to help meet the ever-growing demand for data professionals in Indianapolis,” said William Gulley, Executive Director of Butler Executive Education. “Collectively, Butler University and Trilogy will aid students with rigorous, hands-on coursework, and an excellent support structure that will feed the city’s increasingly data-driven economy.”

The ability to create actionable insights from complex data sets has become a universal need across businesses in every industry. According to data from Burning Glass, Indianapolis employers struggled to fill more than 23,000 open roles in the last year alone requiring some level of data proficiency. Nationally, roles like data scientist, business analyst, and research analyst rank among the fastest-growing professions.

“The number of job openings in Indianapolis requiring data analytics skills was 53 percent higher in 2018 than the year before,” said Dan Sommer, CEO and Founder of Trilogy Education. “Butler University recognizes that this growth in demand is creating a gap between the skills companies need and the ability of Indianapolis’ workforce to supply those skills at scale. We’re excited to partner with Butler to help increase the city’s pipeline of data-savvy talent.”

Pairing Butler’s strengths with Trilogy’s market-driven data analytics curriculum offers students of the new program both the competence and confidence to succeed as data professionals. The program’s curriculum covers everything from data programming to data storytelling and helps students build proficiency in technologies like Excel, Tableau, Python, Pandas, SQL, MongoDB, JavaScript, basic machine learning, and more.

In addition to classroom instruction, students will spend a minimum of 20 hours a week on outside projects, homework, and experiential learning activities, ranging from visualizing bike sharing data in Indianapolis to mapping worldwide earthquakes in real-time. They’ll build a professional project portfolio to showcase their abilities and hone their competitive edge in the employment market. Students will also receive a range of career-planning services, portfolio reviews, recruiting assistance, and extensive staff support.

Boot Camp students will gain the knowledge and skills to conduct robust analytics on real-world problems and receive a Certificate in Data Analytics from Butler Executive Education.


Apply Now

To learn more about the Butler Executive Education Data Analytics Boot Camp, visit You can apply online or by calling (317) 210-2385.


About Butler University Executive Education

Butler University Executive Education offers custom in-person development, and online certificate programs, to both individuals and businesses seeking to expand their knowledge to meet the rapidly changing needs of today’s business environment. Executive Education’s programs are built around what organizations want their employees to learn, and what skill-sets individuals need to advance their careers. For more information, visit


About Trilogy Education

Trilogy Education, a 2U, Inc. brand (NASDAQ: TWOU), is a workforce accelerator that empowers the world’s leading universities to prepare professionals for high-growth careers in the digital economy. Trilogy’s intensive, skills-based training programs bridge regional talent gaps in coding, data analytics, UX/UI, and cybersecurity in more than 50 markets around the globe. Thousands of working adults have successfully completed Trilogy-powered programs, and more than 2,500 companies—ranging from startups to the Fortune 500—employ them.


Community Partnerships

Through collaboration and strong partnerships, Butler Beyond will unleash the potential of our brilliant faculty and students on the complex issues facing our community. Support for this pillar will expand Butler’s reach and roots in the Indianapolis community and beyond by cultivating deeper integration with local organizations and businesses, increasing experiential learning opportunities for students, nurturing new ventures, and more. Learn more, make a gift, and read other stories like this one at

New Data Analytics Boot Camp

Butler University Launches Data Analytics Boot Camp in Partnership with Trilogy Education

Offers part-time professional data analytics program in Indianapolis beginning November 19  

Aug 07 2019 Read more
President Danko

Butler University Board of Trustees Extends Contract of President James M. Danko


PUBLISHED ON Oct 11 2019

The Butler University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to extend the contract of President James M. Danko through August 2024. The extension was announced to the University community today by Board Chair Jatinder-Bir “Jay” Sandhu ’87.

“Jim Danko exemplifies the kind of leadership that makes our University so special, with a style we have all become familiar with: extremely high expectations of himself and others, nonstop forward momentum, and the empowerment of others to develop new ideas and run with them,” Sandhu says. “It has been rewarding for the entire community to be part of the progress that Butler has made with Jim at the helm.”

Since his inauguration in 2011, Danko has strengthened the University’s academic and administrative leadership team, created incentives to encourage a culture of innovation, advanced diversity, equity, and inclusivity on Butler’s campus, improved and expanded the campus and its learning, residential, athletic, and performance spaces, and significantly increased the level of financial aid Butler provides to students and their families.

Under Danko’s leadership, Butler has seen the most robust fundraising years in its history, established new degree programs, majors, and minors, joined the BIG EAST Athletic Conference, and consistently climbed in national rankings—including being recognized as the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for the past two years.

On October 5, Danko announced the launch of Butler Beyond, the University’s new strategic direction and $250 million comprehensive fundraising campaign. Combining tradition with innovation, the new strategic direction will build upon Butler’s strengths in delivering an exceptional undergraduate education, while offering opportunities for lifelong learning and new educational pathways that are more flexible and affordable.

Butler Beyond also focuses on the ways in which the University will more actively strengthen the Hoosier State. For example, the University broke ground on its new Sciences Complex on October 3.

“This resource will not only directly benefit Butler students and community members,” Danko says. “It will play a key role in supporting ‘brain gain’ in our region.”

Danko, who earned his degree in Religious Studies from John Carroll University and an MBA from the University of Michigan, applied his entrepreneurial approach to academic leadership roles at institutions including Dartmouth College and Villanova University before his appointment as Butler’s President.

“I am honored to continue to lead this exceptional University at such a pivotal moment in our history, and I look forward to the work ahead as we pursue our bold vision for Butler’s future.”

President Danko and his wife, Bethanie, along with their dog, Daisy, live on Butler’s campus and welcome all members of the University community to their home. He also hosts office hours for students and attends campus events across academic disciplines, the arts, athletics, student life, and service.

“Jim Danko continues to be the right leader at the right time for Butler University,” Sandhu says. “I feel great optimism for the future and all that the Butler community is capable of achieving with the benefit of Jim’s guidance and expertise.”


Media Contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications

President Danko

Butler University Board of Trustees Extends Contract of President James M. Danko

President James M. Danko's contract has been extended through August 2024.

Oct 11 2019 Read more

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.”




A Snapshot of Something Bigger

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


A Snapshot of Something Bigger

By Brittany Bluthardt '20
Butler University

Butler Presents Annual Alumni Awards, Recognizing Service to the University

BY Larry Clow

PUBLISHED ON Sep 23 2020

Seven Butler University alumni, one professor emeritus, and a former Trustee and his spouse are the recipients of Butler’s annual Alumni Awards. These individuals have demonstrated extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities. Honorees will be recognized this year online at as part of Butler’s AT HOMEcoming 2020 festivities, beginning on Friday, September 25. An in-person recognition program is slated for 2021.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Butler Medal: Thomas A. King ’66 
  • Butler Service Medal: James W. Berry
  • Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award: Wendi C. Thomas ’93
  • Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award: Mary Majewski Shaw ’93 
  • Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award: Brandon M. Gaudin ’06 
  • Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award: Michael R. Bennett ’09
  • Mortar Award: Albert and Margaret Chen
  • Foundation Award: Scott ’03 and Katie Nichols ’05 


Butler Medal: Thomas A. King ’66 

Thomas A. King ’66 has been active in nonprofit management, community development, and philanthropy in Indiana throughout a wide-ranging career that has spanned more than five decades.

Following his graduation from Butler in 1966, King worked as a newspaper reporter for The Indianapolis Star and then joined the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. After four years as an Air Force officer, King returned to Indianapolis, where he held a variety of positions at the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. He served as the Chamber’s president from 1979 to 1991. During his tenure as president, King led the Chamber’s study of Indianapolis’ infrastructure, which set the course for capital improvements during the next 20 years. He was also involved in building the Hoosier Dome and bringing the Colts to the city.

King later served as president of the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, where he directed the company’s philanthropic strategies and managed global corporate responsibility practices. He shared his expertise with students at Butler and Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis as an adjunct instructor, teaching nonprofit management, ethics, and leadership courses.

Following his retirement from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, King was involved in consulting. He concluded his career as president and CEO of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. He has served in volunteer leadership capacities for several community organizations, including Big Brothers of Central Indiana, Goodwill of Central Indiana, the Indiana Sports Corporation, and the Arthur Jordan Foundation.

King is an emeritus member of Butler’s Board of Trustees, as well as a recipient of the Butler University Outstanding Alumni Award, the 2005 Michael A. Carroll Award from the Indianapolis Business Journal, the 2011 S. Henry Bundles Service Award from the Center for Leadership Development, and the 2015 Charles L. Whistler Award from the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, among many others. He is a two-time recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash.

King and his wife, Verletta, have been married 55 years and have three sons and seven grandchildren. His current interests include Butler basketball, organizational effectiveness, golf, and woodworking.

The Butler Medal is the highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association. It recognizes individuals for a lifetime of distinguished service to either Butler University or their local community, while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession and attaining a regional—or even a national—reputation. Since 1959, this award has recognized individuals who have helped immeasurably toward perpetuating the University as a great educational and cultural institution and have had a profound influence on the course of Butler University.


Butler Service Medal: James W. Berry

Dr. James W. Berry is a Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at Butler University. A member of the University’s faculty from 1965 until his retirement in 1997, Berry’s academic career has taken him across the country and around the globe.

Berry received his bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University in 1957 and his master’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1958. He went on to Duke University, where he completed his PhD studies in 1965. After a one-year stint teaching Zoology at Butler, Berry received a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Miami and began what would become a 50-year survey of spiders in the Florida Everglades.

In 1967, Berry returned to the Zoology Department at Butler. Along with his duties at the University, he was also hired by the Atomic Energy Commission to investigate the effects of atomic bomb blasts on Pacific Island flora and fauna. He spent two summers in 1968 and 1969 studying spiders on the Pacific atolls Eniwetok and Kwajalein.

He returned to the South Pacific in 1973 during his first sabbatical to continue his study of spiders there. His wife, Betsy, acted as his field assistant as they covered the Mariana and Caroline Islands from Guam to Helen Reef. They returned again in 1980 for Berry’s second sabbatical, this time with daughter Tina in tow, and lived for six months on the Micronesian island of Yap.

In 1988, Berry began work on organizing the first Butler Undergraduate Research Conference. The inaugural conference took place in 1989, with 50 students from colleges across Indiana. During the next three decades, the conference expanded and now hosts more than 750 students representing institutions throughout the Midwest.

Berry completed his survey of spiders in the Everglades in 2009 and submitted his study for publication this year. He is a member of the American Arachnological Society, the International Society of Arachnology, and the Indiana Academy of Science. Berry is a past fellow of the Indiana Academy of Science and a research associate for the Florida State Collection of Arthropods. He received the Special Services Award from the Indiana Academy of Science in 2012.

Since the 1980s, Berry has loaned his family’s antique sleigh out to the Jordan College of the Arts’ production of The Nutcracker. The sleigh is a familiar sight to the Butler community (and, according to Berry, looks “a lot more magical with the Clowes Hall lighting than it does in real life”), and he is proud to have a part in a production that is still enchanting the Indianapolis community.

The Butler Service Medal, established by the Alumni Association in 2001, is the second-highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association and is reserved for recognition of emeriti faculty or retired faculty and staff (graduate or non-graduate). The recipient will have achieved a lifetime of distinguished service to Butler University and/or the community. Recipients will have helped to shape the past and future successes of Butler and therefore shown a profound influence.


Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award: Wendi C. Thomas ’93

Wendi C. Thomas ’93 is the founding editor and publisher of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit newsroom in Memphis focused on poverty, power, and public policy. As part of ProPublica’s 2019 Local Reporting Network, she investigated a nonprofit hospital’s aggressive debt collection practices, which led the hospital to erase at least $11.9 million in hospital debt for more than 5,300 defendants. She is also a member of ProPublica’s 2020 Local Reporting Network.

Previously, she was metro columnist and assistant managing editor at The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. She has also worked for The Charlotte Observer, The (Nashville) Tennessean and The Indianapolis Star. Thomas was a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

Thomas is the 2020 Selden Ring Award winner for investigative reporting and won first place in the Association of Health Care Journalists’ 2019 awards for business reporting. Her “Profiting from the Poor” investigation tied for first place in the Investigative Reporters & Editors 2019 awards.

In 2019, Thomas received the National Association of Black Journalists’ Best Practices award. In 2018, she was named Journalist of the Year by Journalism and Women Symposium. She was inducted into the Scripps Hall of Fame for commentary in 2008. She is a graduate of Butler University and a proud product of public schools.

The Robert Todd Duncan Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career, and whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. This award honors the spirit and accomplishments of Robert Duncan, a 1925 graduate, noted opera singer, and educator who in 1945, became the first African American to sing with a major white opera company, the New York City Opera Company.


Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award: Mary Majewski Shaw ’93 

Mary Majewski Shaw ’93 attended Butler University on a full basketball scholarship and graduated with high honors in Business Marketing. Elected captain for three out of four years on the team, Shaw started every game and was the first player in Butler Women’s Basketball history to lead the Bulldogs in assists per game for four consecutive seasons. She achieved a number of milestones during her basketball career at Butler, including 332 career steals (the second-highest total in Butler and Horizon League history), the all-time record for minutes played, and being part of the top-10 players on Butler’s all-time list for three-point field goal shooting. She was inducted into Butler’s Hall of Fame in 2006 in recognition of her achievements. 

Shaw started her business, Your Image Works (YIW), in 1998. The only NCAA internal licensee owned by a woman, YIW counts among its clients OrthoIndy, Indiana University, Butler, and the NCAA. She credits her years as a student athlete with helping her serve her clients. In 2015, she established AP Property, a property management business.

She is a familiar face to Butler alumni in Central Indiana. Shaw served as a volunteer steering committee member for the Central Indiana Butler Community from 2010 to 2020, with seven of those years as vice president. She was a vital player in developing the annual Bulldog Crawl. She was also a member of the B Association for 12 years. During the last year, she joined Butler’s Board of Visitors and serves as an advisor to the Butler Giving Circle. She is also a board member for Aspire House Brand.

Shaw believes in Butler and calls herself a “huge cheerleader” for the University and its students. In 2017, she supported Butler Volleyball’s travels to Brazil, and she often hosts the women’s volleyball and basketball teams at her home. She also enjoys mentoring local high school seniors and connecting them with Butler professors.

The Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award recognizes a graduate who is established in their career, and who has displayed and recognizes a long-term commitment of outstanding service to the University. The recipients of this award have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. This award honors the memory of Katharine Graydon, who graduated from Butler in 1878 and was a Professor of English Literature at the University from 1907 to 1930, receiving an honorary doctorate of literature in 1928. Graydon served as the Alumni Secretary and Editor of the Alumnal Quarterly from its first edition in 1922 until her retirement in 1929, when she was named Professor Emerita.


Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award: Brandon M. Gaudin ’06 

Brandon Gaudin ’06 is a play-by-play announcer for multiple national platforms. He broadcasts NFL football, college football, and college basketball for FOX Sports and the Big Ten Network. He also calls men’s NCAA basketball for the Westwood One radio network.

Gaudin is also the play-by-play voice for Madden NFL by EA Sports and has been featured as the lead voice on a number of national ad campaigns. His three seasons as the play-by-play voice for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets earned him features in The New York Times, USA Today, and

However, Gaudin is best known to Bulldogs as the play-by-play voice for Butler Basketball and was on the call for the Bulldogs’ trip to the Final Four in 2011. During his years at Butler, he was named Most Outstanding Communications Student and one of the top-10 male students in his graduating class. He is currently a member of the College of Communication’s Dean’s Advisory Board.

The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award honors a recent graduate whose personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. Hilton U. Brown gave a lifetime of service to his career and Butler University, including serving on the Board of Trustees for 71 years. He was an award-winning newspaper journalist and Managing Editor at the Indianapolis News for more than seven decades.


Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award: Michael R. Bennett ’09

Michael R. Bennett ’09 is a director and investment counselor covering the east coast region for Citi Private Bank. Bennett works with ultra-high net worth individuals, family offices and endowments, and foundations to provide strategies for asset allocation, investment objectives, and risk management.

Before joining Citi, Bennett worked at J.P. Morgan Private Bank for 10 years. A part of the Private Bank Opportunistic Investment Council and an analyst, he ended his time at J.P. Morgan as an executive director and investment specialist.

Bennett received a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Butler in 2009. He played an integral part in the development and execution of Butler's New York Trek program, which provides current students a glimpse at working on Wall Street. A CFA charter-holder, he is also a board member of the D10 Decathlon and serves as the New York City board chair for Good Sports. He lives in New York City.

The Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award recognizes a recent alumnus who has demonstrated a significant commitment of outstanding service to the University. The award’s recipients have provided demonstrable service to the University to assist in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. The award honors the spirit and example of Joseph Sweeney, a young student with a great deal of potential, whose life was tragically cut short.


Mortar Award: Albert and Margaret Chen

Albert and Margaret Chen are the cofounders of the Telamon Corporation, headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. Founded in 1985 and named for the Greek word for “support,” Telamon has grown to a $770 million company with more than 2,000 employees. Albert is also the owner of Telamon Enterprise Ventures, LLC, which provides energy management, solar solutions, and smart manufacturing. 

During their first 20 years in business, Albert focused on external marketing and strategic planning while Margaret managed the company’s operations. They have been widely recognized for their success in business and have received several awards, including the Cummins US Diverse Supplier Award in 2014 and the Best of Tech in Indiana: Corporate Innovator of the Year award in 2016. Most recently, Telamon Corporation was named one of the best-managed private companies in the U.S.

In 2016, Margaret retired to focus on her grandchildren and faith-based activities. Albert currently oversees Telamon Enterprise Ventures and is Executive Chairman of Telamon Corporation. They are both actively involved in community service. Margaret is a former board member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Albert is a former member of Butler University’s Board of Trustees and currently serves on the board of the Lingnan Foundation.

The Chens also are actively involved with their church and homeless outreach efforts. They enjoy giving generously to endowed scholarship funds at Indiana University, Purdue University, and Portland State University.

Albert is a graduate of the Executive Minority Business Program at Tuck School of Business, and he received an M.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Portland State University, as well as an LL.B. from National Cheng-Chi University in Taiwan. Albert received an honorary doctoral degree from his alma mater, Portland State University, in June 2017. Margaret received a B.A. in Piano Performance from Portland State University. 

The Mortar Award, created in 1995, honors one person or couple each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating great vision, leadership, and generosity to Butler University.


Foundation Award: Scott ’03 and Katie Nichols ’05 

Scott Nichols ’03 is president of Palmer Trucks, a Kenworth Dealership Group with 12 stores throughout the Midwest. He began working in the family business in 2008, and the business is currently celebrating its 55th anniversary.

A 2003 College of Business graduate, Nichols was a four-year Men’s Lacross player and a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Dr. Katherine T. Nichols ’06 was born and raised in Terre Haute, Indiana. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology at Butler in 2006 and went on to attend the Indiana University School of Dentistry. She graduated with honors in 2010 and completed her residency program in pediatric dentistry at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

Known to her patients as “Dr. Katie,” she specializes in dental care for infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special healthcare needs. She is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Indiana Society of Pediatric Dentistry. A Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Nichols maintains hospital privileges at St. Vincent’s Carmel Hospital and IU North Hospital.

The Nichols were married in 2008. They are members of Meridian Street United Methodist Church, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, and the Ovid Butler Society. They are the proud parents of four children—Nolan, Knox, and twins Collin and Nora—and enjoy family bike rides, playing in the park, and cheering on the Butler Bulldogs.

“Butler University has played an integral role in shaping our lives, our businesses, our marriage, and our community outreach,” says Katie. “Our time spent at Butler shaped our view of The Butler Way and what it means to give back to an institution and programs that gave so much to you.”

The Foundation Award, created in 2011, honors one person or couple (age 40 and younger) each year who personifies the Butler spirit by demonstrating leadership and generosity to Butler University.


Please join us for Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update on Friday, September 25, at 3:30 PM EST, where we will be honoring the recipients of the Alumni Awards.

Butler University

Butler Presents Annual Alumni Awards, Recognizing Service to the University

This year's honorees will be recognized online as part of Butler’s AT HOMEcoming 2020 festivities

Sep 23 2020 Read more

Thank You, Bulldogs!

Dear Bulldogs,

Regrettably, but expectedly, the time has come. Sunday, May 31, 2020 will be my last day as the official mascot of Butler University. And as the sun rises on Monday, June 1, I will be embarking on my journey in my new role as Mascot Emeritus, while my young protege, Butler Blue IV (Blue), assumes the helm at what has become one of the most prominent positions in college sports.

I knew this day would come. I even announced so much back in October of 2019. However, the sting of retirement has become all the more painful given how things turned out this spring. Like our students, especially the graduating Class of 2020, I’m grieving the loss of this past semester, including the pomp and circumstance, a big finale for my One Last Trip campaign, and of course, a proper farewell.

But I won’t let these disappointments—just a blip on the timeline of my eight-year career—dampen a splendid run as your mascot. From training under the great Butler Blue II, to blazing my own trail as Top Dawg, to showing Blue IV the ropes—plus all of the highs, the lows, the days, and the miles in between—it’s been a dream.

You’ve given me the opportunity to be the hardest working dog in the business, and in the process, you’ve also made me the luckiest dog on the planet.



As I hang up my letter sweater, I now transition to life away from the limelight. Admittedly, it’s not a transition I’m embracing: I’ve never known anything but the working dog life. This recent quarantine has given me a glimpse into what lies ahead, and it’s been an abrupt and jarring adjustment for a dog like me.

Fortunately, I have the Kaltenmark family to tend to my every need as I will remain their loyal and loving family dog, just as I have since they adopted me as a seven-week old puppy. This summer, the Kaltenmarks and I will be moving off campus to a new home (complete with my own custom-built dog house under the stairs) on the northside of Indianapolis in order to make way for Blue and the Krauss family. Don’t worry though, even though I’m retiring and moving a few miles away, I’ll still be around and will loosely maintain my social media accounts so that you can keep up with me.

Meanwhile, my caretaker, Michael Kaltenmark ‘02, will continue his role at Butler as Director of External Relations, but will relinquish the leash after 16 years of dedication and service to the Butler Blue Live Mascot Program. Evan Krauss ’16 will take over mascot-handling duties for Blue, with support from his wife, Kennedy.

Despite the interruptions and adjustments caused by this global pandemic, I can assure you that Blue is more than ready to take over. He’s a capable young fella who has shown the potential for greatness. I’m excited for him and our Butler family. He has a bright future, and I trust you’ll embrace him just as warmly as you have me.

Speaking of which, thank you for everything these past eight years. It’s been an honor and a pleasure. I can only hope that at some point along the way, I’ve lived up to your expectations, made you proud of Butler University, and maybe even brought a smile to your face.

So for now, forever, and as always, Go Dawgs!







P.S. Class of 2020, I’m saving one last curtain call for you! I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at Hinkle Fieldhouse in December for that commencement ceremony.


Thank You, Bulldogs!

Trip shares some final words ahead of his last day as Official Mascot: Sunday, May 31, 2020

Hilary Buttrick

Hilary Buttrick Named Interim Dean of the Lacy School of Business

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Jun 09 2020

Hilary Buttrick, who has served as an Associate Dean in Butler University’s Lacy School of Business (LSB) since January 2020, has been named the School’s Interim Dean, Provost Kate Morris announced today.

During her nearly eight years with Butler, Buttrick has demonstrated her commitment to students as Assistant, and then Associate Professor of Business Law. She also served as the Chair of the Department of Economics, Law, and Finance from June 2017 through June 2019, and as an Interim Associate Dean from July 2019 through December 2019. Buttrick teaches courses in Business Law and Business Ethics, drawing on her decade of experience as a practicing attorney to provide concrete examples for her students. She has also been responsible for leading and moderating the Lacy School of Business Ethics Series and podcast channel.

As Associate Dean in the LSB, Buttrick worked with faculty to develop a revised faculty governance structure, led college-wide faculty development programming, and contributed to LSB’s accreditation efforts. She also served on the LSB Strategic Planning Committee, President Danko’s Faculty Advisory Group, LSB’s Undergraduate Assurance of Learning Committee, and LSB’s Undergraduate Business Analytics Curricular Innovation Task Force. In the Indianapolis community, she is a member of the Board of Directors of Tindley Accelerated Schools.

“Hilary’s time as an Associate Dean has prepared her to lead LSB through an important transitional period,” Provost Morris says. “She has been an excellent advocate for our students and faculty, for LSB, and for Butler. I look forward to seeing all she is able to accomplish as she steps into the role of Interim Dean.”

Buttrick earned her bachelor’s degree from DePauw University in 1999 and completed her Juris Doctor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 2002.

“I am honored to serve the LSB in this interim capacity,” Buttrick says. “ During my time at Butler, it has been a daily privilege to work with our students, faculty, and staff.  I look forward to continuing these relationships as we explore new ways to partner with the business community to deliver a world-class business education.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Hilary Buttrick

Hilary Buttrick Named Interim Dean of the Lacy School of Business

Buttrick had served as an Associate Dean in the Lacy School of Business (LSB) since January 2020

Jun 09 2020 Read more
Graduates in Hinkle Fieldhouse at Commencement

Butler to Hold Historic 163rd Spring Commencement

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Apr 26 2019

INDIANAPOLIS—History will be made when Butler University celebrates its 163rd Spring Commencement.

Nearly 1,050 graduates are expected to receive their diplomas—the largest graduating class in Butler’s history—on Saturday, May 11, at 10:00 AM at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

The keynote Commencement speaker, selected by graduating students, will be Penny Dimmick, Professor of Music. An Honorary Doctor of Education will be given to Ena Shelley, longtime Dean of the College of Education, and an Honorary Doctor of Music will be given to the jazz musician Benny Golson.

Dimmick is the Associate Director of the School of Music, and Coordinator of Butler’s Music Education program. She joined the Butler community in 1991 and has served the University in several different capacities, including Head of the School of Music and Faculty in Residence. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students at Butler, Dimmick works with children in the Indianapolis Children’s Choir’s Preparatory Choirs, at summer camps at Sunnyside Road Baptist Church, and on mission trips to South America and Asia.

Shelley joined the Butler faculty as an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education in 1982. After serving as Interim Dean twice, she was appointed Dean in June 2005. She introduced the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy, created two IPS/Butler Lab Schools, and established a new home for the COE on South Campus.

Golson started his jazz career about 65 years ago and has traveled the world, playing with renowned performers including Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey, and Johnny Hodges. He has written well over 300 compositions and recorded more than 30 albums. He has composed and arranged music for legends such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Ross, and Itzhak Perlman. Golson served as a guest artist on campus last spring and immediately connected with Butler students.  


Media Contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications

Graduates in Hinkle Fieldhouse at Commencement

Butler to Hold Historic 163rd Spring Commencement

History will be made when Butler University celebrates its 163rd Spring Commencement.

Apr 26 2019 Read more

U.S. News & World Report ranks Butler University’s current master’s degree program for physician assistants (MPAS) as 37th in the nation, up 60 spots in just six years. Now, starting in January 2020, the University will add to this success and expand its PA offerings with the launch of an online post-professional PA doctorate program—one of only five in the nation. Butler’s new Doctor of Medical Science (DMS) program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

DMS Director Dr. Jennifer Snyder ’97 knows better than most how much PAs need this opportunity, especially via the convenience of online access.

Snyder graduated from Butler’s PA program and has worked in both family and emergency medicine. She said PAs have the full confidence of the patients they treat—but not necessarily of the practice managers and hiring professionals responsible for filling higher positions.

“When we investigated offering this degree, we discovered through focus groups that PAs are missing out on promotions and leadership positions because decision-makers assume that those holding doctorates are more qualified,” Snyder says.

Butler’s DMS program will give PAs the doctoral degree they need, along with business acumen to advance into leadership positions within their institutions or clinics. Additionally, it will give PAs an opportunity to critically evaluate medical literature and extend their medical knowledge to better serve their patients.

The module-based curriculum allows students to enter into the program at any one of six starting points in the academic calendar. And the online structure of the program, with no required campus residency, means that students can take classes in a way that best suits their schedule.


Same Butler rigor, easier access

Butler’s DMS program is a natural evolution of its MPAS degree, developed with the same rigor and quality. Both Snyder and Erin Vincent, Director of Academic Program Development, say living up to Butler’s reputation of educational excellence is paramount.

Vincent points to the structure and success of Butler’s latest online degree program, Master of Science in Risk and Insurance (, launched last year.

“Butler faculty is and has been brainstorming ways to creatively address the future of higher education across campus,” Vincent says. “We’re hoping to launch several more graduate programs very soon. The MSRI and the DMS are the start of a great, strong portfolio of advanced degrees at Butler University.”

Individuals are eligible to apply for the DMS program if they have earned an entry-level PA degree from an accredited program and have either a license to practice medicine or hold a national certification from the NCCPA.


Make That ‘Dr.’ Physician Assistant, Please

U.S. News & World Report ranks MPAS program as 37th in the nation, up 60 spots in just six years.

by Cindy Dashnaw

from Fall 2019

Read more
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 or

Life Lessons

Life Lessons Found in Philanthropy

Market research consultant by day—nonprofit volunteer by night. 

by Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

Read more
Butler 2019

The Year That Was: Top Stories from Butler in 2019

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Dec 18 2019

We opened a brand new building and announced plans for our largest investment ever in another one. We faced some of society’s greatest challenges head on by announcing a new strategic direction and largest ever comprehensive fundraising campaign. Our favorite bulldog announced his retirement, and plans for an esports and gaming space were unveiled.

In 2019, the Butler University community brought excitement and innovation to campus and the world around them. They conducted groundbreaking research on the effects of vaping, social media, how hearing loss affects overall development, and more—all in an effort to make a difference in society. Here’s a look back at some of the top stories of the year.


Social media, it turns out, makes us feel better about ourselves

Butler Associate Professor of Entertainment Media and Journalism Lee Farquhar found that most of us prefer to use social media to look at and compare ourselves to certain types of individuals: those who make us feel better about ourselves. That, Farquhar found, can lead to an increase in happiness and life satisfaction.

Read more here.


Hearing loss is linked to cognitive ability in babies

According to new research from Butler Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders Tonya Bergeson-Dana, hearing loss is connected to the larger cognitive system and can have a cascading effect on cognitive development.

Read more here.


Providing clinical expertise to the insurance industry

A team of about 25 Butler community members created a tool for the Department of Insurance in an effort to specify, from a medical perspective, what medications insurance companies should cover for 17 diseases that are health priorities in Indiana.

Read more here.


History made during Commencement

During Butler’s 163rd Spring Commencement, nearly 1,050 graduates received their diplomas—the largest graduating class in Butler’s history.

Read more here.


Board approves sciences upgrade

The Butler Board of Trustees approved a $100 million renovation and expansion—the largest investment ever by the Trustees in Butler’s future—for a new sciences complex. The project includes new high-tech classrooms designed to promote learning by doing, labs that mimic those at top research companies, and work spaces meant to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Read more here.


New building for the Lacy School of Business opens

After nearly two years of construction, the new 110,000-square-foot building for Butler’s Andre B. Lacy School of Business (LSB) officially opened in August.

Read more here.


Butler ranked No. 1 again

For the second consecutive year, Butler was named the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest, according to the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings. Butler also ranked as the No. 1 Most Innovative School for the fifth straight year.

Read more here.


New strategic direction

Butler unveiled a new strategic direction and its largest ever comprehensive fundraising campaign. Butler Beyond: The Campaign for Butler University seeks to raise $250 million by May 2022 to deliver transformative change to the University, the region, and the world.

Read more here.


Esports and Gaming Lounge set to open on campus

A new space dedicated to esports and gaming will open on Butler’s campus in Atherton Union. But that space is just the beginning. A 7,500-square-foot, multi-use space in the Butler Parking Garage is slated to open fall 2020, and it will feature 50 gaming PCs, an area of gaming consoles, and room for technology-infused corporate trainings and events or youth STEM and esports camps.

Read more here.


Butler Blue III set to retire

After eight years, Butler Blue III will retire at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. The American Kennel Club-registered English bulldog is hanging up his mascot duties because of his older age (for bulldogs), long tenure on the job, and desire to start the next chapter of his life.

Read more here.


Study shows JUUL not being used as intended

A survey of nearly 1,000 college students from a Butler professor and undergrad reveals that, while vaping was originally promoted as a safer alternative for existing smokers, most young vape users are actually brand new to nicotine.

Read more here.

Butler 2019

The Year That Was: Top Stories from Butler in 2019

In 2019, the Butler community brought excitement and innovation to campus and the world around them.

Dec 18 2019 Read more

Aaron Hurt Appointed Executive Director of Butler Arts Center

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Jan 14 2019

To know Aaron Hurt is to understand the way he proposed handling his office décor. After moving into his new space tucked away in a corner on the third floor of Clowes Hall, he was stuck on figuring out ways to dismantle the big screen television fixed to his wall and mount it on a rolling device that the entire Butler Arts Center staff could benefit from. He hypothesized different ways to turn the space into a conference room, saying it was much too large for just himself. And he was concerned that the colors weren’t welcoming enough. In the end, none of these changes were made.

But Hurt did insist on one request.

Donald Hurt's paycheck from 1963
Donald Hurt' on payroll from 1963.

He came across a 1963 art deco painting of opening night at Clowes Memorial Hall. He loves art deco work, but it was about much more than just the style. Hurt’s grandfather was there that night in 1963. Donald Hurt was a member of the projectionist union, and when Clowes was ready to open, he was called to help get the stage ready. He hung the original main curtain and worked the first few shows.

“It’s really bonkers,” Hurt says, as he looks up at the painting on his office wall. “To think that my grandfather was hanging the curtain that night, and now I am sitting in this office working here. It’s really not something I take for granted, and we are going to be hands on and inclusive in how we put our stamp on Butler and the greater community.”

Hurt was officially named Executive Director of the Butler Arts Center on January 1, 2019 after serving as interim executive director since August 2018. But this is a role that, in many ways Hurt has been working toward since he was a little boy, and a role that means so much to so many in his extended family.

“This was in his blood and you can just tell by his enthusiasm that he was born to do this,” President James Danko says. “With Aaron, you can hear his passion when he speaks, and when you hear about his family, it is obvious where that comes from.”

Three years after Hurt’s grandfather hung the first curtain at Clowes Hall, his father, Daniel, hopped on his moped at age 16 and headed from the Eastside of Indianapolis to Clowes for his first ever job, sweeping the floors and holding ladders. Daniel would go on to work at Clowes Hall many times over the years. He also worked the beloved summer theater series on the football field.

Aaron was born into a family of projectionists. He was exposed to film, the arts, and theater from a young age, and often went with his father to work. But he first remembers Clowes Hall when he saw his sister, an opera singer, perform there.

“Butler has been a part of our lives for years and for Aaron, this is a scene he has been around since he was in diapers,” Daniel says. “Aaron would come with us to his sister’s performances and practices. It is pretty amazing when you think about it because the connection goes all the way back to my father hanging that curtain. Aaron grew up on this. We are all tied to Butler and Clowes.”

Hurt wanted to run a venue for as long as he can remember, he says. As an arts administration major at Butler, he learned that he could make a career out of running the programming and operations of a place. After graduating in 2008, Hurt worked for the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, the Chicago Children’s Choir, and then made his way back to Butler in 2013, as part-time manager of the Schrott Center. He became full-time later that year, serving as the operations manager. In 2016, after the Butler Arts Center was established, Hurt was promoted to Director of Operations.

He took over as interim Executive Director of the Butler Arts Center in August 2018. When Danko was evaluating what to do about the permanent executive director position, the positive feedback about Hurt was overwhelming.

“Aaron’s passion and enthusiasm for this type of role, coupled with the extraordinary esteem he is held in made him far and away the optimal choice for this position,” Danko says. “I am very excited about him and his potential. It is like an NFL team looking for that young coach who will be a star in 20 years.”

So now, Hurt will work to put his stamp on the place that has been a major part of his and his family’s lives for so long. Something that he called both terrifying and incredible. The goals are numerous.

Donald Hurt backstage at Clowes Memorial Hall
Donald Hurt backstage at Clowes Memorial Hall

Hurt has four major focuses—find new ways to make money, form better partnerships, engage more with the Indianapolis market, and create improved University programming. But, he says, it really does come down to one thing.

The goal is to make the Butler Arts Center an authentic hub for arts programming for all different communities in town. For example, next season, ticket prices will start at $19. This adjustment, he says, is a way to make shows more accessible for a much wider group.

“I want us to be known as open and inviting. I want people to leave happy and to have experienced something they couldn’t have experienced anywhere else in the city,” Hurt says. “That is what Clowes originally was when it started.”

And Hurt would know. He grew up learning about Clowes and hearing about Clowes from a grandfather and father who were there from the beginning. Now, Hurt is ready to take Clowes back to that original model—collaborative and inviting. Just the way he likes his office décor.


Aaron Hurt Appointed Executive Director of Butler Arts Center

  A job more than his lifetime in the making.

Jan 14 2019 Read more

New Faces, New Mission: Diversity Center Gets a Makeover

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Jul 22 2019

The Efroymson Diversity Center is undergoing some cosmetic changes. 

The Center is getting a fresh paint job. Old books—like ones on how to update a resume using Word Perfect—are being removed and replaced with new ones. Dry erase boards, comfortable furniture, and communal spaces are in the works, along with an expanded prayer and meditation room.

But the physical transformation happening in Butler University’s Atherton Union is far from the only shift the Diversity Center has been experiencing over the last few months. With three new staff members and a brand new mission, the Center, known around campus as the DC, is ready for a makeover of different sorts. Instead of being largely viewed as just a physical space with a fixed location, the Center has set out to make its presence felt all around campus and the wider Indianapolis community. 

“We are mobile,” emphasizes Tiffany Reed, the new Director of Multicultural Programs and Services.

In the spring, Student Affairs conducted a study of the DC and its programs, including an outside consultant, feedback from more than 600 students, and stakeholders from more than 20 departments across campus. Three main themes emerged: They needed to address the physical space, increase outreach, and staff hired must be up to date on best practices when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The physical transformation is underway. Three new hires have been made. And outreach is just one item on the Center’s long list of goals.

“Butler’s founding mission was focused on diversity and inclusivity,” says Vice President for Student Affairs Frank E. Ross, who led the DC study. “Given Ovid Butler and his role as an abolitionist who propagated the need for education for all, and access to education, it is imperative that we continue to work and strive to create conditions where all students can be successful and all students can thrive. The Diversity Center is critical to that mission. It is a hub for learning outside the classroom. It helps as we work to create and sustain an intentionally inclusive campus environment.”

The first key to bringing the mission to life was hiring three new faces of the DC. In addition to Reed, Gina Forrest, who served as interim Director of the Center since February after longtime Director Valerie Davidson retired, has been named Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Thalia Anguiano has been named Assistant Director of Multicultural Programs and Services.

Forrest will primarily focus on partnering with others across campus to enhance the student experience through diversity, equity, and inclusion. She will work closely with students, staff, and faculty, facilitating new workshops and trainings on how to have crucial conversations. Forrest will also look beyond campus, working to create meaningful partnerships throughout the wider Indianapolis area. She will consider the resources Butler provides to its students, as well as how the University responds to bias incidents, for example, to ensure appropriate support.

“This work is so much more encompassing than the actual Center,” Forrest says. “We want diversity, equity, and inclusion to be part of the University’s identity. By having all these different initiatives happening in tandem, it becomes proactive work, not just a reactive thing we say we are doing.” 

Reed will work collaboratively with faculty, and the Office of Admission to hone in on student success and retention. Reed will focus on being intentional about supporting students. 

For example, this year’s Dawg Days 2.0, which strives to create a welcoming environment and provide connections, resources, and programs for students who are underrepresented at Butler, will include a wider range of students, such as first-generation students, 21st century scholars, multicultural students, students of color, and LGBTQ students. 

“It is important to create intentional spaces for students of color, or for the LBGTQ community, but it is also important for spaces to intersect because many of our students are also first generation or biracial. They want to know how they fit in at a predominantly white institution,” says Reed, who as a student at IUPUI often studied and hung out at Butler’s Diversity Center because IUPUI didn’t have one.

Because of her experiences at IUPUI—fighting to get a Diversity Center of their own as an undergraduate and seeing firsthand how helpful it was to have a space on Butler’s campus—she also hopes to create partnerships with other universities. 

Reed has also been busy revamping the mentorship program, now dubbed the DC Squad. It will be much more robust, encouraging ongoing relationships instead of having mentors meet with their mentees just once or twice a semester. 

Anguiano will focus on programming and working with the student organizations that are housed in the DC. 

“I plan on challenging our student orgs within the Center to work much more collaboratively with one another to enhance dialogue and bring different perspectives from different lenses,” she says. “If it is Hispanic Heritage month, we might look at what it means to be Latinx and part of the LGBTQ community. We want to encompass different identities and bring more collaboration.”

As much as their roles differ, they will all work as one unit, striving to bring the mission of the DC to all parts of Butler’s campus, and beyond.

The Center’s physical space might be getting a new makeover, but in reality, if everything is working, the DC will be traveling to a building near you soon, collaborating with faculty across campus, visiting classrooms, partnering in many different ways.

“The goal is for you to feel connected to the DC as a collective unit,” Reed says. “It is about utilizing all of our different powers to move the space beyond this space. For us, the Center could be in Jordan Hall, a residence hall, a sorority house. We want it to travel wherever it is needed. That’s the ultimate goal around diversity, equity, and inclusion. That way we are reaching everyone.”


New Faces, New Mission: Diversity Center Gets a Makeover

Butler's Diversity Center has three new staff members, and a brand new mission. 

Jul 22 2019 Read more

Andre Lacy Dies in Motorcycle Accident In Africa


PUBLISHED ON Nov 30 2017

Gift from the philanthropist and his wife resulted in the renaming of the College of Business.

Andre B. Lacy, the man for whom Butler’s Lacy School of Business is named, was killed Thursday, November 30, in a single-rider accident while on a private motorcycle tour in southern Africa.

“We are saddened to share the news that Andre B. Lacy passed away this morning,” said J.A. Lacy, chief executive officer and president of LDI, where Andre Lacy was Chairman of the Board. “Andre was known for his entrepreneurial fire and sense of adventure in business and life. We take comfort knowing that he passed away while pursuing one of his passions in life, and are inspired by the legacy of leadership that he leaves.”

Steve Standifird, Dean of the Lacy School of Business, issued this statement:

“It is with great sorrow that I share with you that Andre Lacy was killed in a motorcycle accident earlier today. There will be a university wide note coming out from Jim Danko later today. I wanted you all to be made aware of this incredibly tragic news prior to the university announcement.

“Andre and Julia Lacy will be remembered in perpetuity for their transformational gift to name the Lacy School of Business. For those of us that have had the good fortune of working with Andre as Senior Advisor for the school, he will be remembered as someone who cared deeply for the success of the school and of our students.

“Andre had become a central figure in the Lacy School of Business. I have personally benefited immensely from his insights. That said, the most meaningful moments for me have been his one-on-one conversations with our students. He had the unique capability of connecting with our students in the most meaningful of ways. He was more than a Senior Advisor; he was a friend, colleague, and inspirational leader for many of us. He will be deeply missed by many.”

Butler President James M. Danko said in an email to campus that Lacy was “a dear friend to Butler University.”

“The transformational gift from Andre and his late wife, Julia, built upon a nearly decade-long relationship with the University,” Danko said. “Their gift went far beyond a monetary commitment; in sharing their family name with Butler, Andre and Julia Lacy created a legacy for young businesspeople in the city they love. They endorsed The Butler Way, and everything it stands for—especially caring for others and leading with integrity.”

Following graduation from Denison University, Lacy started his career at LDI’s founding enterprise, U.S. Corrugated Fibre-Box, where he worked his way through the corporate ranks. Following the sale of U.S. Corrugated, he was named executive vice president and chief operations officer of the newly created Lacy Diversified Industries, the holding company that would become LDI. He was elected CEO of LDI in 1983 and Chairman of the Board in 1991. He remained chairman following his retirement from LDI in 2006.

A strong advocate of civic progress, especially economic development, agriculture, and education, Lacy was co-chair of the Cultural Trail fundraising committee and a co-creator of Conexus. In 2009, Governor Mitch Daniels appointed Lacy chairman of the Indiana State Fair Commission, a role in which he remained in until his death. As commission chair, he was a driving force behind the State Fair Coliseum restoration.

Lacy provided leadership for many boards, including the United Way of Central Indiana, Indianapolis 500 Festival, Indianapolis Public School Board, and Economic Club of Indianapolis. He served as an advisor for the Lacy School of Business at Butler University. He was also an alumnus of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series (SKL) and served as moderator of Class XV.

In addition to his civic contributions, Lacy was active on numerous corporate boards, including Hulman & Company, Herff Jones, Patterson Companies, Inc., Ethyl Corporation, National Bank of Indianapolis, and Indianapolis Power & Light Company. He is past chairman of the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce and the chairman of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors.

Governors Roger Branigan, Robert Orr, and Mitch Daniels each recognized Lacy as a Sagamore of the Wabash.

Information regarding funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.

Media contact:
Marc Allan


Andre Lacy Dies in Motorcycle Accident In Africa

Andre B. Lacy, the man for whom Butler’s Lacy School of Business is named, was killed Thursday, November 30, in a single-rider accident while on a private motorcycle tour in southern Africa.

Nov 30 2017 Read more

#FTK: Butler University Dance Marathon

By Malachi White '20

BUDM#FTK, For The Kids, is a popular hashtag that is often taken out of context and used in a jokingly ironic way. However, at Butler #FTK is taken very seriously. We do care about the people we are serving in our community. One of the ways we show this is by hosting our annual Butler University Dance Marathon.

Dance Marathon is a multi-hour, multi-faceted event that blends dancing, games, crafts, food, and fun into one philanthropic experience. Students are on their feet the entire duration of the marathon as they stand for the kids at Riley. Funds for Dance Marathons are raised in a variety of ways. The main way funds are raised for Dance Marathons is through personal donations from friends, family, and the community either online or offline.

My friend Phil Faso, a sophomore at Butler, says he thoroughly enjoyed participating for his first time this year. “It personally impacted my life because I’ve done similar things before but not to such a great extent and it was very heartwarming.” Phil said. “It’s for an amazing cause and everyone should be aware of what we can do to help other people in need.”

Butler University Dance Marathon, or BUDM, is sponsored by Butler’s SGA. Their mission statement is “to engage the students of Butler University in striving to improve the quality of life for the children and families of Riley Hospital for Children.” This student-led organization works throughout the school year and summer to raise money to support cancer research performed at the hospital. Our money also helps the hospital continue its tradition of treating all patients, regardless of financial concerns.

Holding this organization close to her heart and platform, Annie Foster is a junior chemistry and Spanish double major, and has worked with BUDM since her first year on campus. “As soon as I joined, I knew this organization was about something bigger than I could ever imagine,” Annie said. “Supporting this organization means joining a movement to give hope back to the kids.” She started as a morale committee member during her first year. Her sophomore and junior years she worked on the executive board as Director of Fundraising. She will close her time at Butler as the Vice President of Finance. All students have the opportunity to be on the executive board by attending call out meetings, being actively annually, and showing commitment to the cause.

“From the start I knew I wanted to join the executive board and make a difference in this organization. BUDM has given my college experience meaning,” Annie said. “Being on a college campus comes with feeling of being in a bubble, secluded from the world around you. Getting involved in BUDM brings you out of that bubble and into the real world. It provides a new perspective, it teaches you about the power of hope, and it allows you to become apart of something larger than yourself.”BUDM

Inspired by the ability to make a change, Taylor Murray is a senior pharmacy major and served on the executive board of BUDM this past year. He realized that his impact on a family in need superseded monetary support for the cause. “I saw the joy and hope, especially, that support and simply dancing can bring to a child, or families face regardless of the amount of money raised that year,” Taylor said. “That was something that truly made me want to continue my involvement with the organization and the cause as a whole.”

As co-director of the morale committee Taylor says that “this committee meshed my love for dancing, with that of wanting to bring happiness and energy to those who may need it most.”

“Prospective students may not have had a Dance Marathon at their high school, and/or did not even know it was happening/what it is when they step foot onto Butler’s Campus,” Taylor said.  “From the outside, it may look like another organization at block party, but once you step out and begin to talk to those who have experienced it or been involved, one can realize it is more than an organization, it is a family.”

This year BUDM raised $301,576 for Riley Children’s Hospital and Butler celebrates being the second largest fundraising school in undergraduate schools with less than 12,000 students. Taylor tells his story and experience with BUDM by sharing how he has grown since his first year at Butler. He hopes that after he graduates he will be able to come back to people who have found their passions and act upon them to make their own Butler experiences special.

“From my experiences with BUDM, I have come to realize that I can be a leader, but a leader that doesn’t necessarily have to be the loudest or most successful in the room, but a leader who can lead by example and as one with the others,” Taylor said. “My advice to prospective students is if you do not know what you what in life, finding and driving toward your passion(s) will open up new avenues and opportunities you never would have thought existed.”


#FTK: Butler University Dance Marathon

#FTK, For The Kids, is a popular hashtag that is often taken out of context and used in a jokingly ironic way. However, at Butler #FTK is taken very seriously. 

Butler University

Butler University Launches a Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement


PUBLISHED ON Oct 15 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (October 15, 2020)—In keeping with its founding values and ongoing efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Butler University is establishing a Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement in partnership with Professor of Political Science Dr. Terri Jett as Faculty Director.

This is one of many DEI initiatives, and one in which the University is allocating notable financial resources, that are being implemented as part of Butler's broader commitment to create an intentionally diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning and working environment. Such actions, which include commencing the search to add two positions in the Efroymson Diversity Center and establishing a DEI Innovation Fund, will provide additional meaningful resources to our campus community.

Consisting of the components outlined below, the Hub will serve as an institutional command center to address systemic racism and Black oppression, with its work beginning this academic year.

  • An Advisory Group will be established, consisting of faculty members, staff, students, and representatives of the Black Alumni Association and local community to help determine the priorities of the Hub and be responsive to the administration in efforts to address the experiences of Black Butler faculty, staff, and students. This group will also establish ongoing communication and collaboration with, advocacy for, and institutional support of our Black Student Union and other Black students who are not a part of this student organization.
  • Black Faculty and Staff Affinity groups will be established to support Black faculty and staff to increase retention and professional development of Black faculty and staff. This includes mentorship across ranks and disciplines, resources to support professional development, and wellness support.
  • Black Student Support -  Ongoing communication and advocacy for support of the Black Student Union and other Black students who are not directly associated with the BSU will be provided. This will be coordinated through both the Black Faculty and Staff Affinity groups, as well as the Black Alumni Association.
  • Visiting Black Intellectuals will be invited to be in-residence to conduct workshops, trainings, and seminars. This will present a significant opportunity for Black students, and others, to learn from and interact with important role models.
  • Faculty Collaborative Fellows will be experts in the fields of diversity, social justice, and institutional racism. Collaborative Fellows will conduct presentations of their research in relation to social justice and diversity, as well as be available to connect with and mentor students.
  • As a longer-term goal, a Hub Location will be identified on campus as a designated space for ongoing activities such as workshops, discussions with Visiting Black Intellectuals, trainings, and wellness activities.

As Faculty Director, Dr. Jett will be focusing on the lives and experiences of the Black community at Butler and creating opportunities for engagement with the greater Black Indianapolis community. She will also serve as Senior Advisor to the President in this capacity.

Statement from Butler President James M. Danko
“Our renewed commitment to our founder's mission has taken on an even greater sense of urgency this year to ensure all students, faculty, and staff are welcome, respected, and flourishing. Butler University has a moral and historic imperative to be a leader in addressing issues of racism and social injustices in higher education.

“I am extremely pleased that Dr. Terri Jett agreed to lead our Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement, which is an important step in our endeavors. Terri’s passion for Butler and wealth of experience involving diversity, equity, and inclusivity will serve as a great benefit to our institution. I look forward to her continued leadership and contributions as our University embarks on a momentous time in our history.”

Statement from Dr. Terri Jett
“In my new role as Faculty Director of the Butler University Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement and Senior Advisor to the President, I will coordinate and address the belonging and connection of our Black faculty, staff, students, and alumni in a manner that moves us to bring Ovid Butler’s prophetic vision into present day. The Hub is anchored in the abolitionist roots of Butler University and will elevate and center the disparate Black intellectual voice and experience that has often been marginalized and yet is critical for the institution to be at the forefront of our heightened awareness and shifting responsibilities considering what we are experiencing and witnessing.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Butler University

Butler University Launches a Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement

With leadership from Dr. Terri Jett as Faculty Director, the Hub will serve as an institutional command center to address systemic racism and Black oppression

Oct 15 2020 Read more
The new Lacy School of Business buiding.

Butler’s Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business Unveils New Business Partners


PUBLISHED ON Jul 15 2019

Indianapolis — The Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business within Butler University’s Andre B. Lacy School of Business has announced 15 accredited partners to help member companies achieve their goals.

The Center, serving as a strategic advisory group for closely held businesses, designed the accredited partner program to provide Center Members access to a community of trusted resources. The lineup of partners brings a diverse set of skills, and expertise, for established companies of all sizes and industries.

Unlike general networking associations, the Center’s model is built to proactively identify a Member Company’s specific gaps between their current, and their targeted, performance. Once these specific gaps are identified, the Center assists Members by connecting them with Accredited Partners based on topic and expertise.

Below is the full lineup of the new accredited partner companies:


“The Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business is excited to welcome our core group of accredited partners. Our focus has always been to help closely held businesses succeed, and by connecting our members with these high quality of partners, we’re well positioned to do that,” said Mark McFatridge, Director for The Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business. “We vet and onboard partners who understand closely held business dynamics and roadblocks. All bring areas of expertise that will help take our member companies to the next level.”

About Butler’s Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business

The Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business is focused on helping closely held businesses succeed. Housed within Butler's Lacy School of Business, the Center connects closely held businesses with the resources and advisors needed for them to achieve their goals. Center members gain a Butler-backed competitive edge for their business through research, business valuations, planning, educational opportunities, referral partners, and coaching. Learn more about how becoming a member can help move your organization forward.

The new Lacy School of Business buiding.

Butler’s Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business Unveils New Business Partners

The Center has announced 15 accredited partners to help member companies achieve their goals.

Jul 15 2019 Read more

Butler, by Being Bold, Ready for a Future Steeped in Past Ideals

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Sep 28 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – During his annual State of the University address, Butler University President James M. Danko reported on the University’s progress, challenges being confronted, and visions for the future.

But as much as things change, he said, one thing has remained constant throughout Butler’s history, and that is a University that has never shied away from being bold in its decision making. As Butler evolves over time, the essence of the University has always remained the same, Danko said.

“Just like no one would have predicted 20 years ago what Butler would look like today, we can’t accurately predict what Butler will look like 20 years from now,” Danko said. “So, while our future success will always be something to consistently chase, we can be certain that Butler University will be here, thriving. Because for more than 165 years, Butler has always put in the extra effort. It’s the Butler Way.”

Danko delivered the 2018 State of the University on Friday at Butler’s Schrott Center for the Arts. The afternoon featured three guest speakers—retired Religion Professor Paul Valliere, current senior Xavier Colvin, and College of Education graduate Katie Moore ’08.

From the beginning, Danko said, Butler has made bold decisions.

In the years just before the Civil War, Ovid Butler established an inclusive university, providing access to education for everyone, no matter race or gender. Springing from that intrepid start, there were other bold decisions which have shaped us as the University we are today, Danko said. Like moving the campus three times, building a Fieldhouse 90 years ago, opening Clowes Hall, and building an observatory.

More recently, bold decisions have taken the form of joining the BIG EAST Conference, investing in nationwide branding and awareness, improving the living and learning facilities on campus, increasing the size of our student body, And, most recently, establishing South Campus.

Danko noted that these daring choices are paying off.

“For the first time ever, Butler was included in the Princeton Review’s list of ‘The Best 384 Colleges,’” he said. “And after years on the rise, Butler has now secured the No. 1 position among Midwest Regional Universities in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings.”

Other highlights include:

  • Compensation and Classification study to provide more equitable and competitive wages for our faculty and staff.
  • A new partnership with the Indiana Housing Program and Midtown Anchor Coalition to both purchase and repair homes in the surrounding neighborhood.
  • The welcoming of a new Title IX Coordinator, as well as our new BUBeWell model
  • An active search for the University’s first Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
  • Since 2010, total student full-time equivalent has grown by 500.
  • Since 2010, overall revenues have grown by 60 percent.
  • Since 2012, Butler’s endowment has grown by nearly 60 percent.
  • The total gift income raised in the past three years is more than double what Butler raised in gift income the six years prior.

But the most powerful, most significant indicator of Butler’s impact is in its people.

“I think you’ll agree with me that the core of Butler University is our success in bringing together great faculty and great students,” Danko said. “Butler has excelled over its history because of the richness of our education, brought to life by outstanding faculty who care about students and who are committed to providing them with exceptional academic experiences.”

Paul Valliere

Since his career at Butler began in 1982, Retired Professor of Religion Valliere, has seen a lot of change. In 1982, he said, Butler needed to grow, to upgrade physical facilities, to clarify its identity, and to enhance its visibility. Now, he says, Butler has accomplished all those things. All while maintaining a healthy balance of change and tradition.

“Butler changed a lot in all sorts of good ways. But, the wonderful fact is that in some profound ways Butler University has not changed,” he said.

Xavier Colvin

A senior marketing major at Butler, Colvin is a linebacker on the football team. He also came out as gay in 2016. He feared the reactions of teammates, coaches, and the campus community, but he used his platform as an NCAA athlete to share his story in hopes of helping others, he said. He has tried to be the person that teenage Xavier needed. And he hasn’t stopped, as he continues to share his coming out story in hopes it impacts someone, somewhere.

“I was recently asked if I get tired of telling my story over and over. The work I’m doing is minimal. If Harriet Tubman, Bayard Rustin, MLK Jr., or Harvey Milk, all activists for either the LGBT or the Black Community, would have gotten tired, I am not sure if I would be standing in front of you today,” he said.

Katie Moore

Moore, a 2008 College of Education graduate, said the most rewarding experiences at Butler were experiential learning opportunities—practical opportunities that allowed her to make connections between the content, her life, and the world. She has learned first-hand, she said, that it is impossible to be prepared for what you cannot imagine, but Butler’s commitment to investing in students through ensuring a variety of opportunities prepares individuals for the unforeseen dynamics of the future.

It is that unwavering commitment to students, Danko said, that has always been a part of Butler—no matter how much has changed. That balance between being unafraid to make bold moves, yet sticking to core values, is what has made Butler successful throughout time, and what will help sustain that success in the future, he said.

“We will maintain a balance of change and tradition, we will celebrate the investments we have made to remain competitive, while at the same time we begin to explore new bold ideas to sustain, advance, and ensure our success for generations to come,” Danko said.

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications


Butler, by Being Bold, Ready for a Future Steeped in Past Ideals

In his State of the University address, President James M. Danko reported on progress, but evoked tradition.

Sep 28 2018 Read more
youth and community development Butler

Butler Education Alumni Inspire New Major

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Oct 28 2019

When faculty in Butler University’s College of Education started hearing the stories of the many trailblazing graduates who have pursued youth-focused careers outside the classroom, they saw those paths forming a map for how to better serve future students.

“We really began to think, ‘How do we create a purposeful, intentional program to offer a valid and useful pathway for students who want to pursue careers working with young people in the community, but not within a traditional classroom setting?’” says Angela Lupton, a Senior Lecturer of Education. 

This fall, COE launched the new non-licensure Youth and Community Development major as an answer to that question. Students in the pathway share foundational curriculum required for all COE majors, but they also choose from one of five interdisciplinary, community-focused intensive areas: Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work; Recreation and Sport Studies; Human Communication and Organizational Leadership; Arts Administration; or Entrepreneurship and Innovation. To finish out the major, all students complete full-time internships within youth-focused organizations related to their concentrations.

“We don’t see this at all as an alternative pathway for those who decide not to become teachers,” says Shelly Furuness, an Associate Professor of Education who worked with Lupton to develop the new major over the last four years. “It’s a pathway for you to see yourself as an educator, but not in the context of a traditional classroom.”

Furuness says each of the five intensive areas was inspired by the career paths of former students, from entering the field of social work, to pursuing student affairs roles within higher education, to serving youth through nonprofit work. Others have gone on to roles as professional school counselors, museum educators, and a variety of other youth-focused positions.

“We want to help broaden the concept of what educators do,” Furuness says. “Our vision for the COE is that we imagine a world where we are trying to push the status quo and help students see schools and communities as they could be.”

Building the curriculum involved listening to voices from across disciplines, and Lupton has already received ideas for ways to add more concentration options. It took a University to raise the major, and Lupton believes the program is all the stronger for it.

“I think the opportunity to work with colleagues across campus was a really powerful process,” she says. “I was amazed at the number of people who kept saying, ‘Oh my gosh, where was this when I was an undergrad?’”


Making Meaningful Connections

Amanda Murphy loves education. She loves working with young people. But she has never loved being in a classroom.

Murphy first applied to Butler as an English major, then switched to Exploratory before move-in day. From there, she bounced around to political science, communication, and education until the start of her Sophomore year. She knew she needed to settle on something soon, but nothing seemed to fit.

Then in fall 2018, Lupton visited one of Murphy’s COE core classes to announce the new Youth and Community Development major.

“I thought, Woah, this is exactly what I want,” Murphy says. “You have the ability to work with young people, to study educational theories and practices, while not having to be in a classroom.”

Now a student in the Human Communication and Organizational Leadership area of the Youth and Community Development major, Murphy says her favorite thing about the program is the freedom it allows for personalization, which let her satisfy most of her required credits with classes she’d taken before switching.

While Murphy still isn’t sure exactly what she wants to do after graduation, she knows she wants to work with high school students.

“I just think that’s such a cool age for young people,” she says. “They make these huge bounds in social and emotional development. But when I was in high school, I didn’t like any of my classes. I still did well in them, and I enjoy learning, but the most meaningful connections I made were with people outside the classroom.”

She says high schoolers need people who are dedicated to being there for them and guiding them, and she wants to be one of those people. She’s passionate about educational advocacy, especially when it comes to fighting for equitable testing practices or LGBTQ and gender rights within schools. She wants to advocate for these things, but she mostly wants to help young people become leaders in advocating for themselves.

“Once you give them a little taste of leadership, that’s going to stick with them throughout their entire lives,” she says. “It’s a stepping stone that they’ll remember and will actually use to make a change within their own lives and communities.”


From Camp to Career

At a recent Butler admissions visit, Lupton met with a high school senior who was interested in the COE. He said he planned to become a classroom teacher, so Lupton explained some details about Butler’s licensure programs.

And while I’ve got you here, she told him, let me tell you about the new Youth and Community Development major.

As she talked, Lupton watched the wide-eyed expressions of the student and his mom. They looked at Lupton, and then they looked at each other, and then they looked back at Lupton.

“I thought, ‘What is going on here? I clearly hit a button,’” she recalls.

Okay, I need to confess to you, the student said. Part of the reason I like working with young people is that when I was younger, I had the chance to be involved in an amazing camp program. Throughout high school, I’ve gone back every summer to be a counselor. I always thought teaching would be a good fit for me because I could work with young people during the school year but still have my summers to go back and be a part of that program.

He stood in shock because, for the first time, someone was telling him that working with youth in recreational settings could be a viable year-round job.

“It was just such an ‘aha’ moment for him and his mom,” Lupton says. “They were both like, ‘That’s what you are meant to do.’”

Lupton says people too often think that whatever they enjoy doing most can’t be a career.

“This major stands in the face of that and asks people to think about those experiences they have adored and would love to keep doing,” she says. “It’s very possible that this pathway could lead you there.”



Revealing a Path

Through launching a nonprofit organization and following his passion for working with youth through sports—all after realizing a traumatic brain injury would prevent him from teaching in a classroom—College of Education graduate Mark Spiegel helped inspire curriculum for Butler's new Youth and Community Development major.

As a soccer coach in Indianapolis and founder of the nonprofit organization Make Your Own Ball Day, Mark Spiegel gets to spend his days with kids who are just as excited to be there as he is. Back when he was student teaching in English classrooms, asking high schoolers to read the next chapter of Shakespeare, that wasn’t always the case.

Still, a career outside the classroom wasn’t always the plan for Spiegel, who graduated from Butler University in 2013 with majors in English and Secondary Education.

He first came to Butler from Lee's Summit, Missouri, not quite sure what to study. He just knew he wanted to play soccer and volunteer with kids—the rest would work itself out, he figured. So he took “the money route,” declaring majors in Business and Mandarin while spending the rest of his time either out on the field or mentoring youth in the community.

But everything changed during a soccer practice his sophomore year. A ball struck the back of his head, leaving an injury that has caused him daily headaches ever since. After another hit during a game the following season, Spiegel had to quit soccer and drop out of school.

“The head injury knocked me off this automated, sleepy track of what many people consider to be the American Dream,” he says. “But I was faced for the first time with figuring out what I was really passionate about.”

It took years—and a challenge from his therapist to find life through giving life to others—but Spiegel eventually went back to coaching soccer and volunteering with organizations that let him work with kids outdoors. He came back to Butler to finish his degree, this time in Education. And he graduated, but only after realizing while student teaching in his last semester that the chronic headaches would prevent him from ever working in a classroom.

“I was finding myself in situations where I had 32 kids looking at me, when I was in pain to the point where I needed to remove myself, but I didn’t have that ability,” he says.

He needed flexibility. He needed to take care of his health. But he also needed to follow his passion for making an impact on kids' lives.

Today, Spiegel works with the Indy-based youth soccer club Dynamo F.C., where he mentors kids and develops curriculum. He spends his evenings coaching young athletes from around the city.

“Coaching soccer has been the most appropriate and purest platform for me to advocate for the kids I want to reach,” he says. “I get to teach kids how to play soccer, but I also get to teach them important lessons of character and integrity.”

Whenever he’s not coaching, Spiegel works on Make Your Own Ball Day, the event-turned-nonprofit he first launched in 2012. The program serves children in two important ways, Spiegel says, helping kids in the United States appreciate what they have while providing resources for those in need.

At events where young people build their own soccer balls from materials like duct tape and crumpled newspaper, the organization teaches kids about thankfulness through showing them part of what it’s like to live in a developing nation. Spiegel also works to build soccer fields and establish youth camps in communities around the world, where he collaborates with schools and orphanages to promote mentorship, leadership, education, and gender equality.

The organization not only allows Spiegel to work with kids in his own way—it will change lives for students at Butler, where Education faculty say Spiegel’s story helped inspire the Entrepreneurship and Innovation track within the new Youth and Community Development major.

“It’s cool to hear that the College of Education is moving toward a broader view of impacting kids through any means necessary,” Spiegel says, “whether that’s through sports, mentorship programs, or teaching in a traditional classroom. When I heard that, I was like, ‘Yep. That’s what I would have done if I was at Butler right now.’ I would have eaten that up.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
260-307-3403 (cell)


Innovations in Teaching and Learning

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

youth and community development Butler

Butler Education Alumni Inspire New Major

Youth & Community Development major offers path for students who want to work with youth outside the classroom.

Oct 28 2019 Read more

In The HRC, A Blank Wall Becomes a Canvas

BY Hannah Hartzell ’17

PUBLISHED ON Oct 02 2017

One wall gets a new look — a painting depicting the front of Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Butler Director of Recreation Scott Peden was running on the track in the Health and Recreation Center (HRC) when he noticed the number of blank walls.

“I saw this particular wall,” Peden said, referring to the north entrance, “and thought: ‘We need to put something there.’”

So he turned to Chris Blice and John Edwards, who painted the mural in the Robertson Hall Johnson Boardroom as well as the historical mural in the Wildman Room in Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Peden proposed a medium-sized painting.

But Blice and Edwards were thinking big picture.

“They came back to me with a vision that was 10 times what I’d thought of,” said Peden. “They wanted to make the entire wall a mural.”

Blice and Edwards proposed creating a massive rendering of Hinkle Fieldhouse from the outside looking in. A glimpse of the Hinkle magic.

“We didn’t want the colors to be overpowering or realistic, though,” Edwards said. “It needed to blend in with the room.”

The room, Peden said, is somewhere students often come to study or relax. He thinks the mural will enhance the soft space even further.

The new mural will hold special significance for the graduating class of 2010, which helped fund it. According to Peden, when the 2010 graduates couldn’t decide what to do with their class gift money, they gave it to the HRC.

“The HRC meant so much,” Peden said. “They were the first class to have use of it for four full years. They really valued it, and they also valued Hinkle.”

When he contacted the 2010 class president and shared the idea, she was “extremely excited.” The class gave its blessing and the Hinkle mural got the green light.

Blice and Edward began work on Monday, September 11, and they were still working on it as this story was being written.

In the meantime, they’re discussing where they want to paint their next Butler mural. “It’s very special,” Blice said of the experience. “This is our neighborhood college and we love Butler.”

“For me, it’s nostalgic,” Edwards said. “I grew up here. I’ve known Butler forever.”


In The HRC, A Blank Wall Becomes a Canvas

One wall gets a new look — a painting depicting the front of Hinkle Fieldhouse

Oct 02 2017 Read more
Peter Grossman

From Playwright, to Journalist, to Professor, Peter Grossman closes Butler Chapter After 25 Years

BY Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

PUBLISHED ON Apr 26 2019

Butler University Business Professor Peter Z. Grossman thinks of his life as "an unstructured research project."

Grossman, who is retiring from Butler after 25 years as the Clarence Efroymson Chair/Professor of Economics, has been, at various times, an actor/playwright, a journalist, and, of course, a professor. He has taught courses as varied as music appreciation, philosophy, and economics,  and written books about topics that include energy policy, the history of the American Express company, law and economics principles, and a history of the major blackouts of the Northeast.

A student once asked him, "How do I get into the kinds of things you have done?" To which Grossman responded: "I have no idea, because almost all of it was serendipitous."

"Peter is a lifelong learner," says Butler Professor of Economics Bill Rieber, his friend and colleague. "As an example, Peter has offered many different courses in Economics since being at Butler, including Mathematical Economics. When Peter first offered the course, he was already a full professor and a well-established scholar, teacher, and commentator in the media. It had been a while, though, since Peter had gone through the mathematics necessary to offer the course, yet he spent the time and effort to do so."

David Phillips '07 took that very course with Grossman as an independent study, and also studied International Economics and Comparative Economics with him. For the independent study, Grossman would give Phillips a set of problems to work out, then they'd get together to work through them on a whiteboard in the Holcomb Building.

"I'm a professor now, so I probably appreciate better than I did then how generous it was of him to offer to do an independent study with me," Phillips, who's a Research Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame, wrote in an email. "It's a lot of a work, and I'm sure he didn't get any credit or recognition for it!"

Phillips added that when he went to graduate school, he needed to know how to combine economic intuition and heavy duty mathematics. Having the one-on-one opportunity with Grossman helped greatly.

The independent study also allowed them to get to know each other personally, and that’s where Phillips got a taste of Grossman's understated, self-deprecating humor.

One story Grossman told was how during his dissertation defense at Washington University in St. Louis, one of his professors asked a relatively easy question. Grossman froze, couldn't come up with an answer, but his main advisor, future Nobel Prize winner Douglass North, chimed in.

"Peter, I don’t understand your problem.  I asked you that same question last week in my office and you gave me a good answer,” North said.

Grossman's response: "Really? What did I say?”

When his answer was recited back to him, he said, “Oh yes, that’s a good answer.”

"His sharing those experiences with me was incredibly valuable," Phillips says. "A Ph.D. in economics is very different from undergraduate economics, and American students from small schools often struggle to wade through the technical material of the first couple years. Picking an advisor is an intimidating thing. Both the time I spent with him working out problems on the whiteboard and the time hearing about his own experience in graduate school helped me a lot as I became an economist."



Grossman grew up in Waterbury, Connecticut, the child of a textile worker dad from Hungary (who gave him the middle name Zigmund) and a piano-teacher mom, both of whom insisted that their sons get an education. They wanted their children to become doctors or lawyers, but in high school, Peter gravitated toward theater.

There was no drama club at any of the high schools in town, so he started a citywide drama group. He performed at the Waterbury Civic Theatre, did summer stock in Cape Cod, and generally thought of himself as an actor.

When he got to Columbia University, he transitioned to playwriting. He wrote plays that were performed in New York, including at the Public Theater, and studied philosophy, then earned a Shubert Fellowship to study playwriting at Columbia's School of the Arts.

After earning his Master of Fine Arts in 1972, Grossman was working a nominal job at Columbia, hoping to become a writer,when he bumped into a former classmate who told him about a trade magazine looking for writers. Grossman pursued the lead and ended up writing about fast food and kitchen design.

"Writing about food always made me hungry," he says. "But I was getting experience. I was learning how to write. I never took a journalism course, but I knew I had to be self-critical in order to be able to write something I would want to read. Essentially, I was teaching myself journalism."

A few years later—around the same time he met his future wife, Polly Spiegel—one of his brothers invited him to a party where he was introduced to someone who called the publisher of Financial World on his behalf. The editor gave him a tryout, assigning him a story about the commodities market.

"I had no idea what I was talking about, but I wrote it pretty well," he says.

It earned him $500 and the chance to write more. It also led him, a year later, to his first teaching job—as an Assistant Professor of Humanities at Polytechnic Institute of New York (Brooklyn Polytechnic)—and his first salaried position, primarily to teach journalism.



His first class, an Intro to Literature and Writing course, was a disaster.

"I came into the classroom the first day and was going to talk about Beowulf and the origins of the English language but I quickly saw that nearly everybody in the class was a non-native speaker," he says. “And whatever I had planned to say only confused them.”

At the same time, he was getting more assignments from Financial World, and from Money magazine. At Financial World, he became the commodities expert, and he also wrote about that topic for Money.

One day, he got a call from an analyst at a brokerage house who wanted an independent view of where interest rates were going. Grossman had no idea. He'd never taken an economics course. He needed to learn, so he signed up to take a second-level macroeconomics course at Pace University. At the same time, he got his first major book contract—to write a history of the American Express company.

He had unrestricted access to the company's archives and found that he loved doing the research. American Express: The People Who Built the Great Financial Empire came out in 1987.

By this point, he was married, and he and Polly had the first of their two sons. He also found out that he wasn't getting tenure at Brooklyn Polytechnic because they were thinking of eliminating the journalism program.

But the school got a grant to create a Science, Technology, and Society (STS) program, and Grossman was teamed with an electrical engineer, Ned Cassedy, whom he'd known since the late 1970s.Together, Grossman and Cassedy wrote Introduction to Energy: Resources, Technology and Society, which became the textbook for the STS curriculum.

While he was teaching, Grossman also started taking classes in City University of New York's Ph.D. program in Economics. He decided to go back to school full time in 1988, and ended up at Washington University in St. Louis, where his mentor would be Douglass North.

"That was the best decision I ever made, and I made it very stupidly," Grossman says. "I knew about his work, but some of these senior professors are horrible to work under. Doug North took the attitude that (as I was already 40) I needed to get in, get out, and get into the world and use my new-found skills in economics along with my writing and research skills as quickly as possible."



Grossman finished in three and a half years, but had trouble finding a job. It took him three years. Then, at once, he had two opportunities—one at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the other at Butler.

"I was a visiting assistant professor at Washington University, two years past my Ph.D., and I kept looking at this ad for an endowed chair at Butler," he says. "It said someone with an affinity for the liberal arts, the fields they listed were my fields, and I had my three books and I'd just published a couple of scholarly papers. I said, 'What do I have to lose?'"

He sent a package—"and it did help that I had a Nobel Laureate as one of my recommenders"—thinking that nothing would happen. Shortly after, Bill Rieber called. Grossman started talking about himself and mentioned his theater background, and Rieber said, "Why didn't you put that on your CV?" Grossman responded, "My CV was confusing enough to people."

But Butler was interested and brought him in for an interview.

"It was a beautiful spring day in 1994, I loved the campus—which has only gotten better since I've been here—and I gave a presentation," he says.

Before that presentation, he came face to face with a senior professor who knew and revered Clarence Efroymson—the professor for whom the Chair in Economics is named—and he didn't want the position going to someone who was "a moron." His definition of "moron" was people who weren't reading things other than books in their disciplines.

The most recent book Grossman had read was On the Origins of Species by Charles Darwin, which established that he wasn't a moron.

Then the professor asked: What are your fields?

“Economic history and law and economics,” Grossman said.

The professor asked: Isn't law and economics kind of a b.s. area?

"At that point, I thought, 'Maybe you should just drive me back to the airport,'" Grossman says. "Actually, what he wanted was for me to defend myself, which I did."

Butler offered him the position. Then Illinois also called, offering a tenure-track position.

"As I've thought about it over the years," Grossman says, "I made absolutely the right decision. I was much better placed here just because of who I am and the work I do. I follow that unstructured research plan. I start writing and studying things that interest me. At Illinois I would have been put in a box and all my teaching and research would have had to fit that box. Here I’ve been free."



At Butler, he wrote four more books, and made use of his journalism background by publishing 140-plus op-ed columns, which gave additional visibility to the University.

Over the years, he taught 14 different courses—several he created, some he revived, all for undergraduates.

"It's been great—the kind of thing I like to do, which is exploring new ideas in different areas," he says. "I never would have been able to do that in Illinois—even if I'd gotten tenure."

And now, going into retirement after 25 years at Butler, Grossman says he's unsure what's next. He's likely to continue writing, he says, but in a life that's been an "unstructured research project," you never know.

"The research will go on," he says, "even though I will no longer be at Butler."

Peter Grossman

From Playwright, to Journalist, to Professor, Peter Grossman closes Butler Chapter After 25 Years

Butler University Business Professor Peter Z. Grossman thinks of his life as "an unstructured research project."

Apr 26 2019 Read more
Bob Jones

Old National Bank’s Bob Jones Joins Butler’s Lacy School of Business


PUBLISHED ON Jul 18 2019

Bob Jones, Chairman of Old National Bank, will join Butler University’s Lacy School of Business as a Senior Advisor of Ethical Leadership, the University announced.

In this role, Jones will be a part of the school's leadership team, as well as a mentor to students, faculty, and staff. He will hold office hours, present in classes, and advise the Dean. The only previous Senior Advisor in the school was Andre B. Lacy.

“We expect that by having Bob as part of our team, he will, in the most positive way, force us to be a better version of ourselves,” Dean Steve Standifird said. “He will force us to think deeply about who we are and what we want to accomplish.”

Jones joined Old National Bank in 2004, and continues as Chairman of the Board. Under Jones' leadership, Old National Bank was recognized as a leader in ethics, equality and impact by the Ethisphere Institute, Bloomberg, and VolunteerMatch. In 2016, Old National was recognized as one of the Best Banks to Work for. Jones has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business News, CNBC, and Bloomberg Television, as a spokesperson for Old National and community banking.  

Jones serves on the boards of the University of Evansville, Riley Children’s Foundation, ABA’s American Bankers Council Chair, and International City/County Management Association-Retirement Corporation (ICMA-RC). He served on the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Board of Directors, where he was a member of its Executive Committee and Chaired the Audit Committee.  

“I am honored to become part of the Lacy School of Business team,” Jones said. “I have long admired the work of Dean Standifird. I deeply appreciate his vision for the school and aligning it with a focus on ethical leadership.”

Former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels presented Jones with the Sagamore of the Wabash award and the Distinguished Hoosier Award. Jones was inducted into the Evansville Regional Business Hall of Fame and the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation Hall of Fame. Jones was also appointed by Governor Eric Holcomb to serve on the Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission. He also serves on the Second Curve Capital Advisory Board.

Jones brings to Butler a depth of knowledge and experience about how to create an ethical organization, Standifird says.

“This is an approach to leadership that is highly consistent with the Butler Way and will add significant value to our students, faculty, and business partners,” he says.  

Bob Jones

Old National Bank’s Bob Jones Joins Butler’s Lacy School of Business

Bob Jones, Chairman of Old National Bank, joins the Lacy School of Business as Senior Advisor of Ethical Leadership.

Jul 18 2019 Read more
Butler men's basketball action

Butler University Announces New Sports Wagering Policy


PUBLISHED ON Jan 31 2020

Butler University announced the adoption of a new Sports Wagering Policy, effective immediately, in response to the legalization of betting on National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I sports in Indiana.

The policy prohibits all Butler trustees, faculty, staff, students, and independent contractors from placing wagers on Butler sporting events since they may be afforded greater access to information that could impact the outcome of competitions. The goal of the policy is to foster a culture of honesty, integrity, and fair play in keeping with The Butler Way and to help protect Butler teams, student-athletes, and coaches from undue influence and improper conduct. Butler’s student-athletes and those providing support to the athletic program are already prohibited from engaging in sports wagering by NCAA rules.   

“We pride ourselves on providing our student-athletes an exceptional educational and athletic experience,” says Butler President James Danko. “Our Sports Wagering Policy, which is supported by our Board of Trustees, is a proactive measure rooted in our commitment to and support of our student-athletes and our athletic programs.”

Vice President and Director of Athletics Barry Collier commented, “I am pleased that our University’s leadership has taken this important step to live our shared values and protect the integrity of our campus community.”

For more information, please visit to access Butler’s Sports Wagering policy.


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Butler men's basketball action

Butler University Announces New Sports Wagering Policy

The policy prohibits all Butler faculty, staff, and students from placing wagers on Butler sporting events

Jan 31 2020 Read more
Butler University

Butler University to Freeze Tuition for 2021-2022 Academic Year


PUBLISHED ON Jan 28 2021

(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.)—Butler University will not raise tuition during the 2021-2022 academic year, President James M. Danko announced today. The tuition freeze, as approved by Butler’s Board of Trustees, ensures that current and incoming students will remain at the tuition rate established for the current 2020-2021 academic year.

“Many of our current and incoming students and their families have been impacted financially by the pandemic, and it is my hope that, by freezing tuition, we can help ease their burden,” Danko said. “I am pleased that we can provide some stability to our students and their families during this very uncertain period.”

Raiidi Kaldani Thompson, mother of first-year Butler student Michael Thompson, sent an email to University administration when she learned about the tuition freeze.

“Receiving the news about Butler University’s tuition freeze made my morning! I'm speechless and utterly filled with gratitude,” Kaldani Thompson said. “I want to thank President Danko and the Board of Trustees for extending this generous gift to all of your students and their families! It truly embodies the caring spirit, and the sense of a close community that drew my son to join the Butler family.”

“The tuition freeze is so important as students and their families continue to face unimaginable hardships,” Maya Patel, a junior majoring in Strategic Communication, said. “We can take solace in the much needed economic stability for the next academic year, allowing us to focus on our academics and finding our new normal.”

Danko stated that Butler instituted significant budget adjustments when the pandemic started last March, and that those adjustments have proven beneficial in maintaining the University’s financial stability.

“The decision to freeze tuition for students and families is indicative of the confidence I have in Butler’s current position and long-term future,” Danko said. “I am deeply appreciative of our faculty and staff in particular, for their extraordinary work and personal sacrifices to carry out the University’s mission and support our students.”  

Butler started the spring 2021 semester on January 25, with the vast majority of students choosing to live on campus and receive instruction in the classroom. The University has invested heavily in improving health and safety efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus and upgrading academic technology to further enhance the learning environment.

For more information about Butler University, please visit


Media Contact:
Mark Apple
Director of Strategic Communications

Butler University

Butler University to Freeze Tuition for 2021-2022 Academic Year

Butler's Board of Trustees approved the tuition freeze to help ease the financial burden many students and families have faced during the pandemic

Jan 28 2021 Read more
The Farm at Butler

Getting To The Root of It: How Butler’s One-Acre Farm Has Evolved In a Decade

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Nov 25 2019

This story is part of a mini-series exploring The Farm at Butler, its methods, and its mission. Part one of six.


On the west side of Butler University’s campus, nestled between a leafy stretch of the Central Canal Towpath to the southeast and Butler’s athletic fields to the northwest, a one-acre farm sits in stillness. If you walk along the narrow plant beds, the sun on your neck and the songs of house finches fluttering in your ears, you’ll probably forget you’re still in the heart of Indiana’s capital city.

Today, The Farm at Butler (previously called the CUE Farm) is an ongoing sustainable agriculture project that serves a wide range of roles on campus and in the Indianapolis area. The Farm teaches people about growing produce in a way that’s healthy for both humans and the Earth. It promotes research and place-based learning for faculty, staff, students, and members of the community, and it connects food to a variety of careers through recruiting student interns to help keep things running.

But back in 2010, it started as just a place to grow food. A student-run group called Earth Charter Butler broke ground on the space with help from the young Center for Urban Ecology & Sustainability (CUES), an academic center at Butler that celebrated its 10-year anniversary last year. But the effort was mostly student-driven.

Julie Elmore, a 2010 graduate from Butler’s Biology program who helped launch The Farm, first learned about an ethical framework called the Earth Charter in an honors class. The global sustainability movement, which formed in the late 1990s with a mission of uniting Earth’s cultures to work toward protecting the planet and bringing peace to the world, inspired Elmore and a few of her classmates to grow more connected with nature.

“One of the things that kept popping up regarding how you can relate the planet to people was food and where our food comes from,” she says. “We wanted to see more local food, and how much more local can our food get as students than being produced on campus?”

When the students graduated, the CUES took over. The Farm became one part of the Center’s mission to educate and empower Butler and Indianapolis in following best practices of urban ecology.

After funding from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust helped the CUES hire Tim Dorsey as full-time Farm Manager in 2011, Dorsey worked to expand the project from one-third of an acre to its current one-acre plot. The Farm now grows more than 70 different kinds of plants—closer to 200 if you include the different species of each crop. In just one acre, the space fits onions, garlic, bell peppers, cabbage, hot peppers, tomatoes, peach trees, apple trees, berries, and way more.

“The mission of The Farm, at first,” says CUES Director Julia Angstmann, “was to be a model for other agriculture projects in the city—to show what can be done on an acre, and to show how to do it in an ecologically sound way.”

And while The Farm still stays involved across Indianapolis, recent years have seen a return to its roots of focusing on Butler.

“We still have that original motive of being an educator in the city,” Angstmann says. “But we have renewed our commitment to the Butler community.”



Part 1: Getting To The Root of It: How Butler’s One-Acre Farm Has Evolved In a Decade

Part 2: Farming Full-Time: How Tim Dorsey Discovered the World Through Agriculture

Part 3: A Crash Course on Nature-Focused, Hands-In-The-Dirt Growing

Part 4: Sustainability on the Syllabus

Part 5: A Model for Urban Farming in Indianapolis

Part 6: So, Where Does All The Food Go?


Explore the full Farm at Butler mini-series here


Media Contact:

Katie Grieze

News Content Manager

260-307-3403 (cell)


Innovations in Teaching and Learning

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

The Farm at Butler

Getting To The Root of It: How Butler’s One-Acre Farm Has Evolved In a Decade

Since 2010, The Farm at Butler has been a place for people to connect with the world and one another.

Nov 25 2019 Read more
Inside Butler

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update


PUBLISHED ON Sep 25 2020


“Homecoming is a time to celebrate our Butler pride, and while it’s been a difficult year in so many ways, we certainly still have many reasons to celebrate,” said President James Danko during a virtual event for the Butler University community on Friday afternoon.

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update kicked off a weekend of online festivities for AT HOMEcoming 2020. The event provided an inside look at life on campus this semester, including updates from President Danko and other University leaders on how Butler has adapted and continues to provide an excellent educational experience despite COVID-19 restrictions.

“I do want to commend our students, faculty, and staff for their remarkable resilience and the flexibility they have demonstrated this year,” President Danko said. “We can all be extremely proud of the way this community has come together and exhibited the true nature of The Butler Way through acts of caring, sacrifice, and generosity. I also want to extend my deep appreciation for our alumni, trustees, donors, and friends. Your loyalty, leadership, and concern for the well-being of our students has been a source of great stability and strength for Butler this year.”

The community also heard from Dr. Terri Jett, Professor of Political Science and Butler’s Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusivity, who was recently appointed Faculty Director of the Butler University Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement.

“My work will coordinate and address the belonging and connection of our Black faculty, staff, students, and alumni,” Dr. Jett said of the new role, “in a manner that moves us to bring Ovid Butler’s prophetic vision into the present day.”

Dr. Jett provided updates on Butler’s efforts to eliminate racism on campus and create a welcoming environment for all, including the recent addition of a Social Justice and Diversity requirement for students, as well as ongoing faculty and staff workshops focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dr. Frank E. Ross III, Vice President for Student Affairs, shared how Butler has continued to engage students outside the classroom this semester. Many activities have adapted, moving either online or outdoors. Student support centers across campus, such as the Center for Faith and Vocation, the Diversity Center, and Health Services, have also worked hard to continue providing important resources.

“This semester is certainly unlike any other semester we have seen at Butler, and navigating the uncertainties of the pandemic has been quite a challenge,” Dr. Ross said. “I want to applaud our students, our faculty, and our staff for their resilience and agility in working together toward our goal of having a successful in-person fall semester.”

Butler Basketball fans who tuned in got to hear from Athletics Director Barry Collier ’76 that, as of now, the winter season is on. The men’s basketball season is scheduled to begin November 25.

Jonathan Purvis, Vice President of Advancement, thanked donors for their tremendous support over the last year, including $100,000 in emergency relief for Butler students hit hardest by the financial impact of COVID-19. He also announced that the University has exceeded $185 million in gifts toward Butler Beyond’s $250 million campaign goal.

“With your ongoing generosity,” Purvis said, “I’m confident that we’ll exceed this goal and continue to push Butler beyond the limits of today and into the future that our alumni, students, and faculty are creating.”

President Danko wrapped up the event by recognizing the recipients of Butler’s 2020 Alumni Awards, which honor individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities.

Inside Butler

Inside Butler: An On-Campus Update

The pandemic isn’t stopping Bulldogs from celebrating Butler during AT HOMEcoming 2020

Sep 25 2020 Read more
Butler Blue IV receives ceremonial collar

Collar Handoff: Butler Blue IV Takes Next Step Toward Being Big Dog on Campus

BY Raquel Bahamonde

PUBLISHED ON Mar 01 2020

In a February 29, 2020 “changing of the collar” ceremony, Butler Blue III, also known as Trip, relinquished his collar signifying Butler Blue IV (Blue) as successor to the official live mascot of Butler University.

Prior to the Butler, DePaul University men’s basketball game at Hinkle Fieldhouse, Trip’s handler Michael Kaltenmark and his wife Tiffany along with their two sons, Everett and Miles, watched as Butler President James M. Danko removed the collar from around Trip’s neck and placed it around the neck of Blue.

Brian Kenny representing Reis-Nichols Jewelers, creators of the custom-made mascot collar, looked on.

After donning the collar, Blue’s handler and owner Evan Krauss lifted him into the air to cheers from the crowd—before he and his wife Kennedy escorted the mascot-to-be from the floor.   

Trip and Kaltenmark accepted more cheers from the crowd before Trip did his traditional running of the bone as the team entered the court.

“This event ushers in the next chapter for the Butler mascot program,” said Krauss. “I just want to thank Michael (Kaltenmark). He has taught me so much over the past seven years I’ve worked with him.”

Trip will remain in his current role as official live mascot until the end of the 2019–2020 academic year. In the meantime, Blue IV and his handler are training side-by-side learning their new responsibilities, which recently included a graduation for Blue from the Bark Tutor School for Dogs.

When asked how the puppy is adjusting to his new role, Krauss smiled.

“Blue has been a dream dog and is taking to his training like a champ,” he said.  “But speaking for both of us, the support from the Butler Community has been overwhelming and has meant the world to us.”

“Do the job, do it well and don’t forget to have fun doing it. That would be Trip’s advice to Blue,” said Kaltenmark. “Trip loves the job—loves to work—but he never takes things too seriously.”

After eight proud years on the job, Trip has earned his retirement. Plus, his energetic heir to the throne is ready for the very physical demands of leading the Butler faithful.

An American Kennel Club-Registered English Bulldog like his predecessors (Blue I, II, and III), the equally adorable Blue IV is described by those involved in finding the new mascot as “super cool”—an important quality to have when representing the “Butler Way” to the world.

The changing of the guard (dog) means the younger Blue will soon be leader of the pack.

While welcoming the next Blue and saying goodbye to number III could be a bittersweet time, fans of the much beloved Trip can rest assured, following his farewell tour, he moves on to an even more essential role in life—providing love and affection to his fur dad Kaltenmark who underwent a kidney transplant earlier this year.

“Thanks to Evan we’ve been able to manage and keep him (Trip) working,” said Kaltenmark. “However, I will say that because of my kidney transplant, our return to action together is just going to make Trip’s last months on the job that much more poignant and special.”

With the official change in May, Kaltenmark will step aside from his live mascot handling duties but will continue as the University’s Director of External Relations and plans to stay involved in the live mascot program. Don’t be surprised if you see mascot emeritus Trip around campus from time to time.

If Trip could talk, Kaltenmark believes he would let the entire Butler family know; “You’ve made me the luckiest dog on the planet. In return, I hope I have brought you joy during my years as your mascot. It’s truly been my honor and pleasure. Thank you for making me feel loved as I wind things down this year.”


Media contact:
Raquel Bahamonde

Butler Blue IV receives ceremonial collar

Collar Handoff: Butler Blue IV Takes Next Step Toward Being Big Dog on Campus

Butler Blue III relinquished his collar signifying Butler Blue IV as successor

Mar 01 2020 Read more
Brooke Kandel-Cisco

Kandel-Cisco Named New College of Education Dean

BY Tim Brouk

PUBLISHED ON Mar 19 2020

Professor Brooke Kandel-Cisco has been appointed as Butler University’s new Dean of the College of Education. She had served as Interim Dean for the College since May 1.

While developing scholarship focusing on adult learning and professional development, Kandel-Cisco has excelled in leadership opportunities since joining the Butler Education program in 2009. Her roles have included Director of the Master of Science in Effective Teaching and Learning program, Chair of the College of Education graduate programs, and Program Coordinator for COE graduate programs. 

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to build on the COE’s legacy of high-quality educator preparation,” says Kandel-Cisco, whose research also explores educator collaboration with immigrant and refugee families. “We will continue to refine and enhance our existing preparation programs while also developing new pathways, pipelines, and partnerships to prepare equity-minded educators who have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to serve schools and communities.”

Kandel-Cisco has taught courses in English as a Second Language (ESL) and works closely with teachers in Washington Township Schools’ ESL and Newcomer Programs. She recently completed a term as President of the Indiana Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

“I see my experiences as a teacher and as a university educator as key preparation for my role as Dean,” Kandel-Cisco says. “Academic leadership requires an ethic of care, a collaborative approach, and the ability to make decisions in the short term while creating conditions and building systems that help us move toward long-term goals—all things that strong teachers do every day.”

Provost Kathryn Morris says keeping Kandel-Cisco in the Dean’s office was a natural choice.

“Brooke has done a phenomenal job of leading the College during the interim period. I am confident she will continue to do so into the future,” Morris says. “Indeed, the current public health crisis demands effective leadership at all levels of the University. Brooke has been an integral part of our efforts to protect members of our community while also supporting our institutional mission.”

Butler President James M. Danko says Kandel-Cisco’s tenure at Butler has earned her the trust and support of her colleagues and students inside and outside of the classroom. 

“We know she will continue to provide outstanding service to the College of Education and the Butler community in the future,” he states.  

Kandel-Cisco earned her PhD in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. She was a fellow of the Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Reconciliation, and Global Justice.

“I am incredibly proud of my colleagues in higher education and in schools,” Kandel-Cisco says, “who continue to find creative and meaningful ways to support the growth of their students—even with the significant challenges and uncertainty of our current circumstances. Our current Butler student teachers and interns continue to support teaching and learning in local schools and community agencies as they work virtually alongside practicing educators.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Brooke Kandel-Cisco

Kandel-Cisco Named New College of Education Dean

Brooke Kandel-Cisco was Interim Dean since May 1, has held leadership roles in numerous Butler Education programs

Mar 19 2020 Read more

Making a Career of Building Diversity

by Marc D. Allan MFA '18

In her first three years at Butler University, Valerie Davidson created the Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series, GospelFest, and the annual Volunteer-Study Tour Service-Learning Experience, which lets students do volunteer work and tour a major U.S. city.

She accomplished all of this while only working  part-time at Butler.

After she became full time in 1989, Davidson helped more than triple the number of African-American students on campus and helped the Black Student Union become a significant presence among student groups.

She had a hand in developing both the Dr. John Morton-Finney Scholarship Program—named for the alumnus who earned 13 academic degrees, served as a Buffalo Soldier in the Spanish-American War, and was a practicing attorney at the time of his death at age 108—and the Multicultural Resource Center, the forerunner to the Efroymson Diversity Center, which opened in 2006 and is home to seven diversity student organizations.

She assisted in creation of the Voices of Deliverance Gospel Choir, expanded the diversity lecture series to partner with the Office of the Mayor of Indianapolis (as well as the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation and several prominent companies), and created or shepherded a long list of programs that made Butler a more welcoming environment for multicultural students.

But now, Davidson, Butler’s Director of Diversity Programs and Director of the Efroymson Diversity Center, is retiring. After 32 years at Butler, her last day is January 2.

"I didn't plan to be here 32 years," she said. "I just looked up and I'd been here 20 years, and then a few more years went by and in October of 2018 it was 32 years. Having been at the forefront of building diversity on campus, I can see how much we've progressed as an institution. And I'm proud of that. I can also see areas in which we continue to need to improve. Now it's time for somebody else to take things to the next level."


Davidson grew up a few miles from Butler, the daughter of a distinguished musician/music educator father (Larry Liggett, who recorded for the Chess Records label, and led the Indianapolis Public Schools Music Department) and a mother, Earline, who was his business manager and a licensed booking agent. Jazz greats Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, and Clark Terry were among the visitors to their home when she was a young girl.

She finished her undergraduate degree at IUPUI, where she studied to be a high school social studies teacher, and did her master's in student affairs administration at IU-Bloomington.

After graduation, she accepted a paid internship that turned into a full-time job with the Indiana House Democratic Caucus. She'd been there eight months when a classified ad in the Sunday Indianapolis Star caught her eye: Butler University was looking for a part-time coordinator of minority student affairs. The University wanted someone to provide support services for the minority student population and serve as advisor for the fledgling Black Student Union. All in 15-20 hours a week.

Davidson got the job—and kept her full-time gig with the legislature. She'd drive from the Statehouse downtown to Butler Monday through Friday at lunchtime and also work at night.

One of the first things she did was reach out to the minority student population, predominantly African-American students, and ask for a meeting.

"I needed to get to know them and figure out what they wanted and needed to see happen," she said. "I wanted to know what their experience had been and what I could do to support them, to create an environment in which they felt at home, in which they felt they could be successful, in which they felt valued and embraced, and see what they wanted to see happen."

One thing almost all of them wanted was a cultural center. That would take until 2006, when Lori Efroymson-Aguilera and the Efroymson Fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation gave Butler $1 million to create the Efroymson Diversity Center.

In the meantime, Davidson kept building up the diversity lecture series—bringing ex-Presidents (Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush), secretaries of state (Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright) and other dignitaries to campus—and GospelFest, which grew from the Johnson Room (capacity 100) to Clowes Memorial Hall (2,100). The Volunteer-Study Tour Service-Learning Experience, which started as a one-day trip to Chicago with a small group, developed into an annual long-weekend-before-Thanksgiving trip to New Orleans.

Forty-six students took part this year.


What she'll miss most are the students.

"Students are like her second family," said Bobbie Gibson, who worked with Davidson from 2001–2018. "She came to work every day with a glad heart, and she always found the strength to come through for them."

Whether celebrating their achievements—like getting to sing backup for Stevie Wonder at Banker's Life Fieldhouse—or getting them through a rough patch, "Ms. Valerie," as she is known, is there.

"I've always tried to be as supportive as possible of students and their individual needs," she said, beginning to tell the story of a student who attempted suicide. After several days in the hospital, the girl was released and temporarily dismissed from the University. As the girl packed up her belongings to make the drive home, Davidson packed up her son, Jason, then in middle school, and they followed the girl back to the Chicago area to make sure she got home safely. (The story ends happily: The girl came back to Butler, graduated, and is healthy and successful.)

Davidson said her greatest achievement was helping change the culture for diverse students on campus.

"Most of the students on campus were pretty isolated and invisible when I got here," she said. "It was a polarized campus. There wasn't a lot of engagement between the various subpopulations on campus."

She helped the Black Student Union develop a strategic plan. Its numbers started to grow, and the organization developed a presence on campus. In 1992, the BSU won the Lamp of Wisdom Award for Most Outstanding Student Organization on campus for the first of eight consecutive years.

"I can remember watching the vice president of BSU walk up onstage and accept the award," Davidson said. "I had tears in my eyes. To see them go from this struggling, little, isolated organization to emerge as a leading organization on campus was one of the proudest moment that I had."

Khayleia Foy '19, President of the Black Student Union, said that even though Davidson has not officially been the organization's advisor since 2015, she "was a great support system for BSU whenever we needed her."

In addition, Foy said, Davidson's work in planning and running the pre-welcome week program Dawg Days has been invaluable because "without this program and the relationships that I have built over the years because of it, I may not still be a student at Butler."


When Davidson started at Butler full time in 1989, she planned to stay for five years. She'd hoped to accomplish a few things and then go back to government. But by that point, her son, Jason, was ready to go into high school, and he'd grown up around Butler, so she decided to stay.

Then he graduated from Park Tudor in 1997 and was admitted to Butler. She figured she'd stay around till after he graduated, then enter the job market. (Jason Davidson graduated in 2001 and is an instructor in the Lacy School of Business.)

Then Bobby Fong was named President in 2001, and "he came to Butler with a strong commitment to diversity." That fall, she was integral in getting Butler and the Mayor's Office to partner on presenting the diversity lecture series. Coretta Scott King was the first speaker in that partnership.

Then Butler made diversity a funding priority in its capital campaign and the diversity center, "a 20-year dream," became a reality. It also became vital to students—not only for meeting space but because of who ran it.

"The Diversity Center has been like a home for me for the past three and a half years," Foy said, "and it will not be the same without Ms. Valerie there. I will miss the support, advice, sacrifice, and genuine care that Ms. Valerie has shown for anyone (not just students) that has come through the Diversity Center over the years."


Making a Career of Building Diversity

"Having been at the forefront of building diversity on campus, I can see how much we've progressed."

Making a Career of Building Diversity

by Marc D. Allan MFA '18

Amid Streamers—and a Bang—Clowes Marks Millionth Matinee Visitor

BY Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

PUBLISHED ON Apr 16 2019


The second- and third-graders from Walnut Elementary School in New Ross, Indiana, had no idea when they got on the bus this morning that April 16 was their lucky day.

As they filed into Clowes Memorial Hall on Butler University’s campus and assembled for a photo in the lobby, they heard a loud bang. Blue and white streamers rained down, and they got the news: They were the millionth visitors to the Clowes Education Matinee series.

"This is amazing for our students," says Karen Monts, the school's librarian, who coordinated the 40-mile trip. "We are from a very small school in a low socioeconomic community, and for many of these kids, it’s a big treat to go to Crawfordsville, Indiana. So coming to Indianapolis is something they almost never do as a family, and coming here, and being honored like this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them."

Over 27 years and 858 performances, the Clowes Education Matinee Series has provided students in kindergarten through 12th grade the opportunity to see live theater—many for the first time. That could mean anything from daytime performances by Butler groups such as the Butler Ballet, the Percussion Ensemble, and the Jazz Ensemble, to national touring productions featuring favorite children's stories like the Junie B. Jones books, The Magic School Bus, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, coming to life onstage.

The students from Walnut Elementary School—who won prizes including a free visit to a Clowes matinee next year—were among the approximately 3,800 students from 31 schools who attended the two Tuesday morning performances of Junie B. Jones.

“Being able to bring them to Junie B. and  seeing something they read come to life like this is a great way to help their reading come along,” Monts says. “Maybe they'll move on to the next reading adventure seeing that it really does impact their lives."

The Clowes Education Matinee series started in 1991, when Tom McTamney was Executive Director of Clowes Hall. McTamney, who was one of three former Clowes directors on hand when the millionth visitors walked through the door (Elise Kushigian and Ty Sutton were the others), remembers receiving from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, an invitation to create a matinee program for schoolchildren modeled after the successful program at the Kennedy Center.

"We were looking for something to set us apart in the region," McTamney says. "We didn't have any kind of an education program here, and we sat on a college campus. It made no sense to me."

He teamed up with Indianapolis Public Schools, they wrote a grant, and Clowes was selected as one of the original 12 arts centers to participate in the program.

Seeing the millionth student walk through the door was incredibly gratifying, McTamney says.

Donna Rund, who has been Clowes Hall's Education Manager for nearly 20 years, is equally delighted with the success of the long-running program.

"Little did I know 20 years ago when I left teaching to become a program director that we would get to this amazing pinnacle," she says. "And we get to keep going. We get to keep doing this. I've already planned next year's season. We going to have a few more shows than we had this season, and I'm glad to have the support of Aaron Hurt, our executive director. He feels so strongly about giving students opportunities to see live theater—especially those who have not had this experience before."


Amid Streamers—and a Bang—Clowes Marks Millionth Matinee Visitor

The Clowes Education Matinee Series has provided students, K–12th grade, the opportunity to see live theater.

Apr 16 2019 Read more

The History of Hinkle Fieldhouse

By Jennifer Gunnels

Hinkle Fieldhouse is one of six Indiana venues proudly serving as a host site for the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Affectionately known as “Indiana’s Basketball Cathedral,” Hinkle Fieldhouse has played host to many memorable basketball games, community events, and notable public figures during its illustrious 93-year history. The construction and upkeep of this National Historic Landmark has been made possible by a long line of generous and visionary philanthropists who hoped this building would be a gift to the Central Indiana community.

1928: Hinkle Fieldhouse, originally known as Butler Fieldhouse, was built and financed by the philanthropic contributions of a corporation of 41 Indianapolis businessmen. With a seating capacity of 15,000 at the time of its opening, it was the largest basketball arena in the country, a distinction it held for 20 years.

Hinkle Fieldhouse, exterior construction

March 7, 1928: Butler played its first basketball game in the Fieldhouse on March 7, 1928, defeating Notre Dame 21-13, in overtime, before 12,000 fans. Since the Fieldhouse was not entirely completed at the time, the building dedication was held at a later date. Completion of the Fieldhouse was guaranteed when Butler signed a lease agreement with the Indiana High School Athletic Association, which allowed the high school state tournament to be played in the new facility.

December 21, 1928: The Fieldhouse was officially dedicated at a game against Purdue University, which the Bulldogs won 28-27.

October 28, 1932: President Herbert Hoover delivered a speech to an estimated overflow standing-room only crowd of 23,000 at the Fieldhouse in his bid for re-election in the upcoming presidential race. The speech was broadcast to a national radio audience. Hoover lost the November 8 election to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1933: The removable hardwood basketball court, which originally ran east–west, was changed to a north–south orientation to provide additional arena seating and to keep the sunlight, which streamed in from the large west-facing upper windows, out of the players’ eyes.

east-west court at Hinkle

March 1935: Future Olympic Gold Medalist Jesse Owens ran 60 yards in 6.09 seconds during the Butler Relays intercollegiate event, tying a world record. He had to crash into an improvised barrier of hay bales to prevent his momentum from carrying him into the stands.

Jesse Owens at Hinkle

May 3, 1936: To open National Music Week, Sigma Alpha Iota, the national professional music sorority, sponsored a grand piano recital. 125 pianos were brought to the Fieldhouse, where 825 pianists played a variety of songs and accompanied the combined choirs of Butler University and the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music. Admission was 50 cents, and proceeds were used to aid the sorority’s scholarship and student loan funds. Approximately 25,000 spectators attended the recital over two performances.

February 1937: The Fieldhouse hosted a six-day bicycle race that lasted for 11 hours and 45 minutes each day. Riders rested in bunks arranged in the infield of the track between races, and approximately 30,000 spectators attended over the course of the six-day race.

six-day bike race at Hinkle

March 1937: Fred Perry defeated Ellsworth Vines in a three-set tennis match in the Fieldhouse.

March 1938: Elephants, ponies, and horses paraded through the Fieldhouse during the Shriner’s Indoor Circus, which also included a trapeze and high wire act.

March 1940: Butler hosted the 1940 Eastern Regional of the NCAA basketball tournament, which featured Indiana, Duquesne, Western Kentucky, and Springfield. Indiana won the Regional, advancing to the finals in Kansas City. This was the only other time Butler has hosted NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship tournament games.

1943-45: The Fieldhouse was utilized as U.S. Army and Navy barracks during World War II. Sailors and Army Air Corps recruits were stationed in the Fieldhouse while attending training courses on campus. Sleeping quarters were constructed in the main gym, and a kitchen and mess hall were also installed.

military at Hinkle

October 1952: The Fieldhouse was transformed into an ice rink to host an ice show headlined by Sonja Henie and a cast of 200 ice skaters.

March 1954: The "Milan Miracle" occurred at the Fieldhouse when tiny Milan High School's basketball team defeated the much larger Muncie Central High School in the state high school basketball championship. Milan’s Bobby Plump made the last-second shot to win the game and went on to become a star player at Butler. Two other players, Rollin Cutter and Ray Craft, also went on to play for Coach Hinkle, as had the Milan coach, Marvin Wood.

September 23, 1954: Then-Vice President Richard Nixon delivered a speech in the Fieldhouse for a GOP Rally event in the lead-up to midterm elections.

October 15, 1954: President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave a speech at the Fieldhouse about farm policy and the state of agriculture.

March 1955, 1956: The Crispus Attucks High School basketball team, led by Oscar Robertson, became the first all-Black team in the nation to win a state championship in an integrated tournament. The team defeated Roosevelt High School 97-64 in the Fieldhouse, and went undefeated the following year to win a second consecutive title.

Crispus Attucks High School

October 1959: Evangelist Billy Graham visited Hinkle Fieldhouse and delivered a speech to students. Afterward, he visited with students and faculty of the nearby Christian Theological Seminary.

November 1965: The Butler Board of Trustees voted to change the name of the facility from Butler Fieldhouse to Hinkle Fieldhouse in honor of Butler’s legendary coach and athletic director Paul D. “Tony” Hinkle, who contributed to the University’s athletic success for nearly 50 years. Hinkle is also known for originating the orange basketball. Until the late 1950s basketballs were dark brown. Hinkle worked with the Spalding Company to create an orange version that was more visible to players and fans. It was formally adopted by the NCAA after a trial use at the 1958 Final Four.

Tony Hinkle

January 9, 1968: Hinkle Fieldhouse hosted the inaugural American Basketball Association (ABA) All-Star Game. Larry Brown, who would later become Head Coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1993-1997, was named the game’s MVP.

1975-76: The inaugural season for the Butler Women’s Basketball program took place in 1975-76 with the team’s home games being played at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Hinkle Fieldhouse also hosted the first girl’s high school state basketball championship in March 1976.

April 22, 1976: President Gerald Ford spoke at Hinkle Fieldhouse before a crowd of approximately 15,000 as part of the Butler University Student Assembly Lecture Series while fending off a Republican primary challenge from Ronald Reagan.

1986: The final scenes of the movie Hoosiers, loosely based on the 1954 “Milan Miracle” state championship, were filmed at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

filming for movie "Hoosiers"

1987: The Fieldhouse was declared a National Historic Landmark.

August 1987: Hinkle Fieldhouse served as the volleyball host venue for the 1987 Pan American Games. The United States defeated Cuba in the men’s gold medal match before an estimated crowd of 15,000.

1989: Renovations reduced the Hinkle Fieldhouse seating capacity from 15,000 to 11,000.

November 28, 1993: Under then-Head Coach and current Director of Athletics Barry Collier, Butler defeated Bobby Knight’s No. 11 Indiana Hoosiers 75-71, the team’s first victory over the Hoosiers since 1958. Many consider the win to be a turning point in Butler basketball history.

March 1, 2003: Avery Sheets hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to beat Milwaukee for the Horizon League Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, where the Bulldogs went on to achieve their first-ever appearance in the Sweet Sixteen.

November 6, 2005: Former President Bill Clinton spoke at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Bill Clinton

March 2, 2006: Former President George H.W. Bush spoke at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Both former presidents spoke as part of Butler’s Sesquicentennial Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series.

President George H.W. Bush, 2006

May 6, 2008: Future President Barack Obama delivered a speech at Hinkle Fieldhouse while campaigning against his Future Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in that day’s Indiana Democratic primary election for President.

November 2011: Butler announced a $16 million fundraising campaign to preserve and update Hinkle Fieldhouse, “Indiana’s Basketball Cathedral.” The renovations included extensive exterior work, improved stadium accessibility, and upgraded areas for sports medicine, strength and conditioning, academics, locker rooms, and athletic department offices. Game day upgrades for fans included new chairback seating (reducing capacity to 9,100), a video scoreboard, and more concessions and restrooms.

January 19, 2013: Hinkle Fieldhouse hosted ESPN’s national College GameDay broadcast. Fans rushed the court after Roosevelt Jones hit the game-winning shot as Butler defeated Gonzaga 64-63.

2014: Butler surpassed its fundraising goal for the Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse, ultimately raising more than $17.1 million for improvements aimed to “Keep Hinkle, Hinkle.” In honor of the largest gift to the campaign, a $1 million gift from the Efroymson Family Fund, the practice gym was renamed the Efroymson Family Gym. Renovations were unveiled to the public in fall 2014.

Photo by Lindsay Martin, Hinkle Fieldhouse

April 2015: Hinkle Fieldhouse received the Cook Cup Award for Outstanding Restoration from Indiana Landmarks.

January 4, 2017: Butler defeated defending national champions Villanova 66-58. It was the first time the Bulldogs beat a No. 1 team at home.

October 2018: Butler University announced a second phase of renovations to Hinkle Fieldhouse. Donors collectively gave more than $10.6 million to fund updates including the installation of air conditioning for all public areas of the Fieldhouse, extensive work to the men’s soccer locker room, and a complete renovation of the Efroymson Family Gym.

March 2021: Hinkle Fieldhouse serves as one of the host sites of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, held entirely within the state of Indiana.

Hinkle Fieldhouse, 2021


Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler University

The History of Hinkle Fieldhouse

Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse has seen nearly a century of basketball, community events, famous visitors, and other historic memories

Karamo Brown

Diversity Lecture Series Fall 2018 Lineup Announced

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Sep 06 2018

Charismatic Queer Eye star Karamo Brown and University of Texas Political Science Professor and immigration expert Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto will be the fall 2018 speakers in Butler University's Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series.

Brown will kick off the 31st annual series at Clowes Memorial Hall on Wednesday, September 19, at 7:00 PM. DeFrancesco Soto's talk takes place on Monday, October 22, at 7:00 PM in Shelton Auditorium on South Campus.

Admission to all talks in the series is free and open to the public without tickets. The lecture series will continue during the spring semester with two more speakers.


Karamo Brown
Know Thyself: Using Your Uniqueness to Create Success
Wednesday, September 19, 7:00 PM
Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler Arts Center
More information at

Whether as an openly gay man, a black man, a Christian, a single father, a business leader, or reality television personality, Brown has discovered that the many facets of his identity are the key to his success. In this speech, he shares his methods and ensures that corporate and collegiate audiences alike are able to recognize and utilize their own different identities.

Today, Brown serves as the television Host and Culture Expert on the Emmy-nominated Netflix reboot of Queer Eye. Brown has worked as an on-air host and producer for OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), Huffington Post Live, and a contributor on NBC’s Access Hollywood Live. He was first introduced to the world in 2005 at 22 as a housemate on the hit MTV reality series The Real World. He was a breakout star and became the first openly gay African-American in the history of reality TV. In February 2016, he returned to reality television as a cast member on TV One’s #TheNext15.


Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto
E Pluribus Unum? American Diversity & the Political Landscape
Monday, October 22, 7:00 PM
Shelton Auditorium, South Campus
More information at

The United States has always been made up of diverse entities and, as a nation, we have negotiated the "pluribus" to get to the "unum." DeFrancesco Soto will consider the topic of negotiating diversity within the current political landscape with a particular focus on the last decade and the upcoming mid-term election.

DeFrancesco Soto is a professor at the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs and a contributor to MSNBC,, and Telemundo among others. She was a featured expert in the PBS documentary of the Civil Rights trailblazer Willie Velasquez in Your Vote is Your Voice and has published in both academic and popular outlets such as Politico, Talking Points Memo, and Perspectives on Politics.

Her areas of expertise include immigration, Latinos, women and politics, political psychology, and campaigns and elections. In looking at immigration, she takes a broad historical perspective to understand current policy debates. When looking at diverse groups within the electorate, she focuses on how women, Latinos, and other minorities influence policies.


Media Contact:
Marc Allan

Karamo Brown

Diversity Lecture Series Fall 2018 Lineup Announced

The 31st year of Diversity Lecture Series will feature Karamo Brown and Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto.

Sep 06 2018 Read more
Synovia presents BBCG with check.

Media Advisory: Butler Business Consulting Group, Synovia Partnership Pays Off


PUBLISHED ON Jun 07 2019

The Butler Business Consulting Group (BBCG) does more than offer consulting services to companies. They also invest in certain companies, and that is exactly what they did in 2012 when they heard about Synovia Solutions.

Now, seven years later, that investment is paying off. The BBCG will receive a return on their investment in Synovia, a leading provider of fleet tracking solutions for commercial and government markets, as a result of the recent sale of Synovia.

The BBCG has worked with Synovia as a consultant for several years, but was also an early investment partner and shareholder of the company. In April, Synovia was acquired by CalAmp, a technology solutions company based in California. Butler will receive nearly $800,000 as a result of their investment.

Synovia delivers solutions for cities, counties, as well as public and private education transportation providers. The company won an Innovation Award in the Mobile Computing category at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show for their Here Comes The Bus mobile app.

Trent Ritzenthaler, the Executive Director of the BBCG, says Butler invested in Synovia because of the growth potential the company showed, as well as the innovative approach of the company. Students did in-depth research, and the BBCG worked closely with Synovia before making an investment, he says.

The BBCG, which operates inside the Lacy School of Business, is a full service, professionally led management consulting firm that was formed in 2005.

What: Synovia to present Butler Business Consulting Group with a check for nearly $800,000

When: Monday, June 10th at 3:00 PM

Where: Butler University, Robertson Hall, Johnson Room

Who: Synovia CEO Jon King and Indiana Business Advisors Senior Partner Larry Metzing will present Butler representatives with a large check

Media Contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications


Synovia presents BBCG with check.

Media Advisory: Butler Business Consulting Group, Synovia Partnership Pays Off

The BBCG will receive a return on their investment in Synovia.

Jun 07 2019 Read more

Building Balanced Bulldogs

by Jeff Stanich ’16

At Butler, fostering a student’s health and wellbeing goes way beyond the treadmill or a yoga mat.

Perhaps you’ve seen the BU | BeWell logo, which appears as a rainbow of principal pillars, across campus and online. Each of the eight components—Mind & Body, Career & Life Skills, Meaning & Purpose, Social, Environmental, Service & Community, Intellectual, and Diversity & Inclusion—are what the team behind BU | BeWell believe contribute to the complete and transformative experience that Butler University offers its students.

BU BeWell logoWhat happens outside of the classroom on a college campus is as critical as what happens inside to the future success of a student. Learning to navigate the challenges of adult life in a healthy way is fundamental to a fulfilled life after graduation. The tools and experiences critical to this essential process of “growing up” have always been available on Butler’s campus, but they have been scattered and, at times, perhaps disjointed. This year, with the launch of BU | BeWell, for the first time in the school’s history, all of the student resources available across campus have come together to make it more straightforward for students to make their time outside of the classroom as meaningful as it always has been inside of it.

“It’s a big deal,” says Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Frank E. Ross. “Leading higher education associations NASPA and NIRSA have articulated the importance of wellbeing to student success, and a proactive, campus-wide approach to supporting the whole student. That is what we are doing at Butler with BU | BeWell.”

Ross is saying that not only as a fellow bulldog, but as a national leader in student affairs with more than two decades of experience. According to him, what Butler is doing outside of the classroom will be a leading example in higher education across the country.

Take it from Katie Pfaff, a senior who has been working closely with BU | BeWell’s collaborators. Since she’s only a few months away from graduation, she recognizes how much she could have benefitted had this framework been in place since her first year.

“While I got all the pieces I needed to have a well-rounded experience, I took a much curvier path to get there than what BU | BeWell will help Butler’s students pursue,” Pfaff says. “I know I’m only a short time away from a major transitional period after graduation. BUBeWell’s model is something I can look to while trying to make sure my life stays as balanced as it’s been on campus.”

That’s the key. BU | BeWell will not only help students make their time at Butler more fulfilling, but it will also guide those individuals toward healthy and meaningful lives beyond campus.

BU | BeWell has been a campus-wide, collective effort to organize. Two of its champions—Josh Downing, Director of Recreation & Wellness, and Beth Lohman, Associate Director of Fitness & Wellness—have spent the last few years applying national best practices in order to bring BU | BeWell to life. Now in its first year of rollout, their primary objective is raising awareness of its existence so that students know where many, if not all, of their questions will be answered.

Need help putting a résumé together? BU | BeWell will tell you where to go.

Need a tutor for that major exam coming up? BU | BeWell will help you find one on campus.

In need of a faith-based circle? Wondering when the next keynote speaker is coming? Want to get more involved in student government? BU | BeWell, BU | BeWell, BU | BeWell.

And this is only the beginning. While the framework is in place and the web portal has launched, in year two, software will be rolled out so that students can create a BU | BeWell profile to track their involvement and/or progress with the eight components of the BUBeWell umbrella. Even more, annual surveys will continue to be conducted to see how exactly BU | BeWell is meeting the needs of Butler’s students while also looking for ways to improve.

“That’s why we’re all so excited about this moving forward,” Downing says. “By enhancing what Butler already does so well, the potential for how exactly BU | BeWell will help our students is limitless.”


Building Balanced Bulldogs

BU | BeWell is a campus-wide, collective effort to enhance the student experience outside the classroom.

Building Balanced Bulldogs

by Jeff Stanich ’16

Be a Positive Force for Others, Singh Tells December Grads


PUBLISHED ON Dec 16 2017

See yourselves as pioneers with big ideas and as a generation with transcendent vision, 2017 Winter Commencement speaker Kanwal Prakash (KP) Singh advised Butler University’s 150 newest alumni.


“You already know that many of you will travel to destinations outside the familiar,” Singh, a prolific Indianapolis-based artist who came to the United States from India 50 years ago, said during the December 16 ceremony at Clowes Memorial Hall. “You will be facing an increasingly interconnected and intensely competitive world. Immersing yourselves and understanding cultural and civic frameworks in place will be an important first step to unlocking your first doors. Know that there is much to learn from other struggles and experiences.”

Singh, who was awarded an honorary doctorate, said he and his family were among the millions who faced life and death challenges at the time of the Partition of India in 1947 and during their escape to safety in the new India. His goal since then has been to radiate a spirit of “Charhdikala” (positive optimism) in all seasons “and dedicate my life to ideas that make a difference.”

He recommended that the graduates “be a willing shoulder and positive force for others,” and that they shape a future that best reflects our collective gifts and universal hopes.

Singh also said the graduates should leave behind unfounded stereotypes of faiths, cultures, and communities different from their own.

“In today’s multicultural society with a wide spectrum of backgrounds, lifestyles, and perspectives, it is critical to adopt and exercise the art and spirit of mutual respect; be a trusted team player; and as a leader, to tap all talents for the tasks at hand,” he said.

The December 2017 graduates included 50 students from the Lacy School of Business, 44 from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 32 from the College of Education, nine from the Jordan College of the Arts, eight from the College of Communication, and seven from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Former Trustee Robert Postlethwait and his wife, Kathi, also received honorary degrees. President James M. Danko praised the Postlethwaits as “exemplars in their dedication to serving others.”

Robert Postlethwait advised the graduates to “take care of your brain, feed the hungry, and routinely evaluate the impact you’re having on people and issues you care deeply about.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Be a Positive Force for Others, Singh Tells December Grads

See yourselves as pioneers with big ideas and as a generation with transcendent vision, 2017 Winter Commencement speaker Kanwal Prakash (KP) Singh advised Butler University’s 150 newest alumni.

Dec 16 2017 Read more
Brent Rockwood

Butler names new Vice President, Chief of Staff


PUBLISHED ON Oct 02 2019

INDIANAPOLIS—Brent Rockwood ‘00 has been named Vice President, Chief of Staff at Butler University, the University announced today. He will begin his duties November 4.

Serving as a member of the President’s Cabinet, Rockwood will be responsible for leading a range of initiatives intended to advance the University with internal and external stakeholders. He will represent Butler in the community, serve as a liaison across campus, and work with the Board of Trustees, President’s Office, and leadership team on a variety of significant University projects.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Brent back to Butler as a key member of our leadership team,” Butler President James M. Danko says. “Brent’s passion for Butler and his wealth of leadership experience will serve as a great benefit to our institution. I look forward to his continued leadership and contributions as our University embarks on a momentous time and works to build even further on our successes.”

Rockwood will also oversee the University’s Marketing and Communications Division. Vice President for Strategy and Innovation Melissa Beckwith, who currently oversees Marketing and Communications, will now shift her full attention to the implementation of the University’s new strategic direction, as well as new initiatives and advances in innovation.

In his current role as Senior Vice President of Corporate, Community and Public Relations for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Rockwood is responsible for strategies involving communications and external relationships for the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Pacers Gaming, Pacers Foundation, and operations of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse arena and its more than 500 annual events.

“I am ecstatic about and thankful for the opportunity to serve my alma mater in this new role,” Rockwood says. “I look forward to working with many talented colleagues, faculty, students, and partners to advance the University’s mission. Butler has a strong foundation with a bright future and I’m excited to help share it with the world.”

A graduate of Butler, Rockwood played on the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame basketball team in 1996-1997. He worked for Eli Lilly and Company in a variety of sales, brand, and marketing roles after graduation. In 2007, Rockwood earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and proceeded to serve as a director in the areas of communications, community partnerships, government affairs, and investor and media relations for Fortune 500 companies.

Rockwood serves on the Board of Directors for the Indianapolis Urban League, Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, and the Pacers Foundation.


Media Contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications
914-815-5656 (cell)

Brent Rockwood

Butler names new Vice President, Chief of Staff

Brent Rockwood to serve as a key liaison across campus and in the community

Oct 02 2019 Read more

The CUE Gets a Makeover; Adds an ‘S’ to Promote Sustainability, Put Work Into Action

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Apr 18 2019

INDIANAPOLIS--The Center for Urban Ecology at Butler University started 15 years ago. It was the brainchild of three biology faculty members who were all engaged in urban ecology research. They wanted to get undergrads involved in research, too, so decided to start a center as a way to get students more engaged.

But, as time marched on, the center grew. A farm was established. Last year, 10,000 pounds of produce were grown. And the center is now involved in six research projects across campus.

A major question remained, though—how could the center make even more of an impact?

CUES statsTo address exactly that, the CUE has added a letter—S. Now, 15 years later, the center will be called the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability, or CUES. The goals are twofold: use the work the center is already doing—studying urban ecosystems—to solve sustainability challenges, while also serving as the central hub to bring all the sustainability-centered projects happening around campus together.

“There is so much important work already taking place around Butler, from rain gardens, to infrastructure improvements, to LEED gold buildings. We want to leverage all of that work to educate students,” says Julia Angstmann, Director of CUES. “At the same time, we want to use our research findings to inform how to solve sustainability challenges the entire world is facing.”

For example, Angstmann explains, the center is involved in the Indy Wildlife Watch research project. The project monitors wildlife around the city in an effort to study how increased populations in cities impact these organisms.

Instead of just doing the research for science’s sake, Angstmann explains, the goal now is to use the findings to solve existing sustainability challenges.

“We plan on engaging in conversations with city planners, for example, and explaining to them that our research from the Indy Wildlife Watch project showed we should manage green spaces in a certain way, so both humans and wildlife can benefit,” Angstmann says. “We now want to use our research to solve sustainability challenges.”

In addition to research projects, the center will continue to focus on the farm and sustainability projects. The main shift, though, will be incorporating sustainability into all three areas. To help with that effort, CUES has hired a new Assistant Director of Sustainability, Jamie Valentine.

Valentine says she plans on continuing with existing sustainability projects, such as recycle-mania, permeable pavement on campus, and growing native plants. She wants to bring action steps to Butler’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050.

She is also excited to get the wider campus community more involved with sustainability.

“When we talk about sustainability, we are talking about the interaction of people, the planet, and profit,” Valentine says. “We are looking at the system in which we all live, and the way real world problems are all interconnected. We cannot just look at one side of a problem or issue, fix one thing, put it back into the system in which we all live, and expect it to be solved. To have a truly sustainable system that will work for everyone for the long term, we need to look at all connections and relationships, and work on fixing them all.”

To do that, Valentine hopes to get the wider campus more involved. One idea she plans on implementing is a Sustainability Green Office Program for staff and faculty to help incorporate new sustainability initiatives into offices and classrooms around Butler’s campus.

Sustainability will also be incorporated into more internships and research projects—staying true to the original reason the center was started 15 years ago.

Jake Gerard ‘20 is one of those students. The biology major has been involved in CUES for two years. After an internship over the summer at a wildlife center in Ohio, Gerard became increasingly fascinated by that type of work. He returned to Butler wanting to get more involved in wildlife research.

“I knew I wanted to do research, but I didn’t want to be in a lab all day,” he says. “I wanted to be outside, in the field.”

So, Gerard got involved in the Butler Wildlife Watch project. He sets up cameras around campus, then goes through the footage to determine what types of wildlife are here, and what effects those species will have on campus.

At first, Gerard wanted to get involved in research to boost his resume in hopes of getting into vet school. But now, especially with the sustainability focus, he sees how important the work is to making actual change. The results of the research he is doing, he says, could lead to conversations with administrators about green space on campus.

“Working with the center changed my entire point of view on vet care,” he says. “I realized it is not just private practice with dogs and cats, but there are research aspects to it. Yes, what we do in a clinic is important, but a lot of that is reactionary. Research is so important in a preventative way to make the job easier in the long run because it can lead to actual change beforehand, so you won’t have to deal with those real time issues in the end.”


The CUE Gets a Makeover; Adds an ‘S’ to Promote Sustainability, Put Work Into Action

The center will be called the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability, or CUES.

Apr 18 2019 Read more
Butler University

Butler University and Ivy Tech Community College Announce Statewide Transfer Agreement


PUBLISHED ON Feb 05 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Ivy Tech Community College and Butler University have partnered to create their first transfer agreement, making a seamless process for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. This agreement also seeks to address Indiana’s teacher shortage by providing an affordable pathway.

Under the agreement, any Ivy Tech student that completes an Associate of Science in Elementary Education degree can directly transfer to Butler University’s Elementary Education program with junior standing.

“Ivy Tech is elated to announce this new partnership with Butler University, not only to create an affordable and seamless transfer experience, but to address the critical shortage of educators in our state,” said Dr. Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech.

Eligibility will require a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average and course grades of “C” or better. Additionally, students must also complete Butler University’s transfer application. Upon meeting these requirements, students may apply a minimum of 57 credit hours from their Ivy Tech associate degree toward requirements for Butler University’s Bachelor of Science degree in Education.

“Butler University is excited to open this door to a community and statewide partnership that not only will help address the teacher shortage, but will also increase access to Butler University and attainment of bachelor’s degrees in our state,” Dr. Brooke Kandel-Cisco, Dean of Butler’s College of Education, said. “We look forward to this being the first of many agreements with Ivy Tech Community College.”

Ivy Tech students interested in this opportunity can work with their academic advisor to confirm their academic plan meets all the requirements.

To maximize savings, students can take advantage of scholarship and grant opportunities at both institutions.

The agreement, which became effective December 10, 2020, remains in effect for two years. After two years, the institutions will review the agreement for renewal.

For more information about Ivy Tech’s education program, visit For information about Butler University, visit


About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degree and short-term certificate programs, and trainings that align to the needs of the community. The College also offers courses and associate degree programs that seamlessly transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a Bachelor’s degree.

About Butler University
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 30 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 98 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.


Media Contacts:

Mark Apple
Butler University Interim Director of Strategic Communications

Tracey Allen
Ivy Tech Executive Director of Marketing and Communications                                         

Butler University

Butler University and Ivy Tech Community College Announce Statewide Transfer Agreement

Institutions partner to create seamless Elementary Education pathway to reduce teacher shortage

Feb 05 2021 Read more
Neil deGrasse Tyson on-stage

Famed Astrophysicist to Talk Science and Hollywood at Butler

BY Tim Brouk

PUBLISHED ON Mar 05 2020

*This event has been postponed from March 17 to October 6 due to the rapidly evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis.*

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an expert in explaining mysteries of the universe to a general audience. Host of the rebooted Cosmos series, he is the 21st century’s Carl Sagan. Tyson’s passion for promoting celestial wonderment is only rivaled by his love for film.

Tyson will present An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies at 7:30 PM October 6, at Clowes Memorial Hall. The event will center on science in movies, from science fiction to Disney classics. Tyson will screen short clips of more than 30 movies from the past 80 years before dissecting what is going on in each scene. It’s the melding of two passions on one stage.

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson

When watching a movie about outer space, Tyson puts down the popcorn and starts taking notes. His Twitter account is full of criticisms for movies that include silly portrayals of space travel, exploration, or phenomena. But, if a film accurately captures these marvels, he gives credit where credit is due.

And sometimes, Tyson’s reviews have an impact on new stories in the works. One of his favorite compliments came from The Martian author, Andy Weir.

“While he was writing that novel, he said he imagined I was looking over his shoulder the whole time,” says Tyson with a laugh. “He didn't want to mess up a calculation and have me tweet about it. People think I’m nit-picking. ‘Well, I don’t want to take you to a movie,’ they say. Well, I assure you, I’m very silent during movies.”

Tyson knows his tweets carry weight. But he says he’s just pointing out the portrayal of science in movies, for better or for worse. It’s like a costume designer pointing out that the style of gown worn by a character in a Jane Austen movie didn’t come from that era, or a car enthusiast spotting a Ford from the 1960s in a movie that’s set in the ‘50s, Tyson says.

In recent years, some studios have hired on-set scientists to help make sure things are correct. Movies like Gravity have impressed Tyson in terms of their effort and execution.

“People assumed I didn’t like the movie because I pointed out some things it got wrong in about a dozen tweets,” Tyson says about the 2013 film starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, “but I only gave it that much attention because of how much science they got right. I loved the movie, so I had to go back and tweet that I did love the movie overall.”

The Martian fared even better in Tyson’s eyes—mostly.

“The one flaw was the windstorm scene,” he says. “The air pressure on Mars is 1/100th of that on Earth, so high-speed wind on Mars is like someone gently blowing on your cheek. But they needed some premise to create the drama of the storm.”

Stage and screen

Along with his many media appearances, Tyson’s résumé includes roles as an academic, a researcher, a planetarium director, a podcast host, and a member of the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry. Yet, appearing on-stage to talk about the universe’s wonders will always be something he fits into his schedule. He calls it “a founding pillar” of his current career.

Tyson says An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies is an example of how he reaches out to the public, which he finds has an “underserved appetite of science and science literacy. There’s an enlightenment that comes to you thinking critically about the world.”

Butler’s astrophysicists go to the movies, too

Prof. Gonzalo Ordonez holds a book.
Physics and Astronomy Chair Gonzalo Ordonez holds a book about Interstellar.

Tyson isn’t the only scientist who watches movies with a critical eye. Gonzalo Ordonez, Butler Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, says Interstellar is his favorite film.

“They do a good job respecting the physics,” Ordonez says of the 2014 movie starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. “The plot and visual effects are interesting. Their use of the theory of relativity, as well as the physics of how time slows down near a black hole, are well done.”

Physics Professor Xianming Han cited Star Trek as his favorite sci-fi series, but on the silver screen, he was most impressed with Contact starring Jodie Foster.

“Scientifically, it’s probably the most rigorous,” says Han, adding that he especially enjoyed the 1997 film’s take on space and time travel.

Han and Ordonez both look forward to Tyson’s visit to Butler.

“I think students will have a blast,” Ordonez says. “Tyson has made astrophysics more popular and more accessible to nonspecialists.”

Tyson’s take on cinema has proved popular—so much that An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies: The Sequel is in the works. Yes, Tyson is reaching franchise status. Move over Marvel.

“My goal is to enhance people’s appreciation of what a movie is—or what it could have been if the science had been accurately reckoned,” he says.


Photos by Tim Brouk and provided by Delvinhair Productions and Roderick Mickens


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Neil deGrasse Tyson on-stage

Famed Astrophysicist to Talk Science and Hollywood at Butler

Neil deGrasse Tyson explores science in movies at ‘An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies,’ October 6 at Clowes

Mar 05 2020 Read more
Sonia Nazario

Pulitzer Prize Winner Sonia Nazario Speaks to Butler Incoming Students

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Aug 21 2018

Sonia Nazario has been writing about immigration for more than 30 years, and the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner told Butler University's incoming students on Academic Day, Monday, August 20, that she has a better approach to fix a broken system. Nazario's book Enrique's Journey was given to more than 1,300 incoming students as this year's common read. 

As she addressed students, she stated border enforcement, guest-worker programs, and pathways to citizenship have all failed. What the United States needs to do, she said, is:

  • Increase foreign aid to Central America to address the root causes of violence. In Honduras, she said, we are spending $100 million a year on violence-prevention programs. The money funds outreach centers that identify the most at-risk children and provides them with outreach centers, family counseling and other programs to keep them safe. The most violent neighborhood in that country saw a 77 percent drop in kids engaging in crime or abusing drugs and alcohol. Homicides are now being investigated there, and the number has decreased 62 percent. "I think this is a brilliant investment on our part," she said during her talk at Clowes Memorial Hall. "Spend millions there rather than having to spend billions on these kids once they arrive at our border."
  • Provide a safe haven for people who are arriving at our border and are fleeing danger. Instead of cutting the number of refugees we let in to 45,000 a year, we need to increase the number. If Germany can admit 1 million people, we need to show similar compassion.
  • Radically alter our war on drugs. "We spend $1 trillion on the war on drugs," she said. "Every household in this country has spent $10,000 in recent decades … by locking up non-violent offenders. And it hasn't worked." She advised more prevention, drug treatment, and legalizing small quantities of all drugs. "If you don't, you simply move the problem around," with violence shifting from Colombia to Mexico to Central America to, now, the Caribbean, she said.

Nazario, whose book recounts the harrowing story of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, 11 years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States, said the United States needs to uphold its core values.

Luke Haas with Nazario"During World War II, we turned away a ship with 900 Jews aboard," she said. "We wouldn't let them dock in our shores. Hundreds of those Jews were murdered in the Holocaust when they were sent back. You've all probably read The Diary of Anne Frank. Well, we rejected Anne Frank's family in 1941. And there was a moral reckoning in this country after World War II. We said never again. We were the leaders in providing the refugee movement around the world. Yet now, we are doing something that is all too similar."

She asked the students to get involved in some way and help end the immigration crisis.

"You can do anything that you set your minds to," she said. "And I think that you—unlike my generation, which has made a mess of this issue—you can actually provide real solutions that are humane and that actually work to slow the flow of people coming to this country illegally."

Nazario's visit to Butler was part of the Welcome Week tradition of inviting an author to campus to discuss a book that the new class has read. Jennifer Griggs, Academic Orientation Programs Manager, said the program "is really about bringing an intellectual experience into an overall orientation program and making that leap to academic life in the classroom."

After Nazario's talk, the students broke into groups with faculty members to discuss what she has said. The purpose of that, Griggs said, is to simulate course discussions and get students comfortable speaking and sharing and talking in the classroom when classes get started on Wednesday.

Luke Haas, a first-year student from Bath, Indiana, said he was glad to have a common read—and the chance to interact with Nazario.

"It definitely broadened my horizons," he said. "I'm more conservative, but I understand problems like this and how we need to fix them. This is a problem everyone is dealing with. She essentially put it out and there and said this is what we have wrong and there are things we need to fix. She does the research and understands that there are multiple places to blame—Republicans, Democrats, people in their own countries. She knows that certain things don't work because she has the statistics and the personal interaction to know."


Media Contact:
Marc Allan

Sonia Nazario

Pulitzer Prize Winner Sonia Nazario Speaks to Butler Incoming Students

 Enrique's Journey was give to 1,300 students as part of this year's common read. 

Aug 21 2018 Read more

SGA: Committed to Your Campus Experience

By Malachi White '20

Were you apart of your high school’s student government? Did you help plan dances, prom, student events or fundraisers? Have you ever wanted to be apart of something that was super cool and fulfilling? I ask these questions because that was me when I was in high school. Although I am not as active in student government as I used to be, I still reap many of the benefits of those involved in Student Government Association on Butler’s campus.

Butler University’s SGA is committed to improving your campus experience. They represent the student body and support over 150 student organizations on campus while addressing student concerns and providing engaging programming with the Butler community. SGA connects the students to the administration; building strong relationships with the faculty and staff addressing student concerns. Some of SGA’s functions include providing a free weekend shuttle service for students, offering grants for represented student organizations, and hosting exciting student events, like diversity programming, concerts, and philanthropy fundraisers.

Taylor Leslie is a senior international business major and a SGA Diversity and Inclusion Board member. She is a major advocate for the push to bring notable and different speakers to campus. “My experience with SGA has been great. I’ve been a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Board since my sophomore year,” Taylor said. “My roles within SGA have given me the opportunity from a student position to help make changes in the way that diversity and inclusion is perceived on campus.”

Another student involved in SGA is Chris Sanders. He is a junior psychology major, a co-chair for SGA’s Concerts Committee and a student assistant for the Office of Health and Education. His experiences have made working within SGA some of his best memories while on campus. “I didn’t know what I was really getting into when I joined, but if someone would have told me that my Butler experience would including meeting famous artists such as T-Pain, Kesha, and DNCE, I would not have believed them, but this is exactly what happened.” Chris said.

SGA can open several doors for students. Once apart of SGA team, new benefits and opportunities open up for everyone on campus in the Butler community.

“Other students should consider joining SGA because it gives you an opportunity to be a leader on this campus,” Taylor said. “You get a chance to influence and be apart of the change that is happening on campus. You’ll also make connections with many students and find a team of leaders that have similar passions as yourself.”

Not only is being apart of SGA an awesome opportunity, but it is an important part of campus life on campus. “I think SGA is very important to have on campus.” Chris said.“Without SGA, we wouldn’t be able to have great events such as BUDM, Butlerpalooza, or Spring Sports as all of these are all planned by different SGA committees. SGA pays a critical role in facilitating important relationships between all members of the Butler community.”

SGA Office

SGA: Committed to Your Campus Experience

Were you apart of your high school’s student government? Did you help plan dances, prom, student events or fundraisers?


2016-2017 Academic Year in Review


PUBLISHED ON May 08 2017

The 2016–2017 academic year began with the largest class ever—1,272 students—coming to Butler. It concluded with 955 newly minted graduates, two large gifts to the University, and the groundbreaking for a new housing facility to replace Schwitzer Hall.

In between, the University was again named Most Innovative School in the Midwest as well as one of the healthiest in the country. Butler opened the new Fairview House housing facility, earned LEED Gold certification for the Hinkle Fieldhouse renovations, added a new fraternity, and much more.

We also lost several cherished members of the Butler community, including basketball star Joel Cornette ‘04, longtime Professor of Voice André Aerne, and Patricia Cochran, the great-great-granddaughter of Butler University founder Ovid Butler.

Here’s a look back:


  • The University welcomed a record first-year class of 1,272 students on move-in day. The class included 46 Valedictorians and 11 Salutatorians, 2 National Merit Finalists, 21 Lilly Scholars, and 45 21st Century Scholars.
  • A Gallup-Purdue Index study found that Butler alumni are thriving personally and professionally. Butler outperformed its peers across most items in graduates’ assessment of their student experience including faculty support and experiential learning, affinity for their alma mater, and overall well-being.
  • Investigating the Rubik’s cube, comparing contracts for restricted free agents in the NBA, and constructing Cantor polynomials were just some of the research projects Butler students undertook at Mathematics Research Camp, an eight-day intensive experience designed to introduce students to mathematical research.
  • Joel Cornette, a key member of Butler’s first Sweet 16 team, died. He was 35. A celebration of his life was held at Hinkle Fieldhouse on August 22. The University established the Joel Cornette Scholarship Fund, which will provide scholarship support for future Butler Bulldogs. Contributions in honor may be made online.
  • Butler was awarded a $600,000 Indiana State Department of Health grant for a two-year project to determine whether dementia patients’ lives can be improved through the use of personal musical playlists. In the project, called Music First, faculty and students from across Butler—in Psychology, Music, Pharmacy, Communication Disorders, and other areas—studied 100 residents in the American Village retirement home throughout the 2016–2017 academic year.
  • Professor Emeritus of Music James Briscoe, Professor of Education Suneeta Kercood, and Professor of Communication Ann Savage were honored with Butler University’s 2016 Distinguished Faculty Awards.
  • President James Danko was reappointed as the BIG EAST conference’s representative on the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum.
  • Speaking as part of Academic Day, author Kelsey Timmerman told first-year students that they should do volunteer work, study abroad, and incorporate one thing a day into their lives that provides someone else with genuine opportunity.
  • Bekah Pollard ’16, an Art + Design major, was awarded a 2016 Arts Council of Indianapolis Arts Journalism Fellowship to produce stories for The Indianapolis Star.
  • Over 1,200 volunteers participated in Bulldogs Into the Streets, Butler’s annual service program.
  • The old pool section of Hinkle Fieldhouse, which has been converted into a weight room, training center, and administration offices, received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The removal of the pool was part of the $34 million renovation of Hinkle Fieldhouse, which took place in 2013–2014.
  • Associate Professor of Theatre Rob Koharchik and Butler Theatre alumnus Jeffery Martin ’93 each received one of the “surprise” $10,000 awards given by The Indianapolis Foundation to Indianapolis-based organizations and individuals. Koharchik and Martin were recognized under the category “Indy Professional Theatre MVPs,” creative professionals whose work in theater contributes to the vibrancy of the cultural community and the strength of our city.
  • Fairview House, the new $43 million, 633-bed residence hall located along Sunset Avenue, officially opened. The residence hall features three- and four-bedroom pods with two students to a room. Each pair of students shares a bathroom, and each has his or her own sink and large closet.


  • Butler participated in a weeklong celebration of Indianapolis native Kurt Vonnegut with Butler Theatre’s staged reading of Vonnegut’s play Happy Birthday, Wanda June and Indy Opera’s world premiere of the opera version of that play, with music written by Butler Music Professor Richard Auldon Clark.
  • The Center for Urban Ecology (CUE) was awarded a three-year, nearly $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to establish the CUE Farm on campus as a hub for undergraduate education and research. The money supports Butler faculty in the development and implementation of four urban agriculture research modules in biology, chemistry, ecology, and environmental science courses and to study the impact of those modules on student learning.
  • Assistant Professor of Biology Lindsay Lewellyn was awarded a $410,656 National Institutes of Health grant to study egg development in fruit flies, which ultimately could lead to breakthroughs in the area of human infertility. The money is being used to pay for students to work in the lab over the summer, presenting findings at research conferences, hiring a full-time research technician during the academic year, and supplies.
  • Kaveh Akbar MFA ’15 was one of five recipients of the 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships, a $25,800 prize intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry. The fellowships are available to all U.S. poets 21 to 31 years old.
  • Delorean J. Menifee was named Director of Admission.
  • Butler University and the Center for Urban Ecology were inducted into the Green Lights Hall of Fame. The Green Light Awards—a series of climate solutions compiled by Sustainable Indiana 2016 as part of the Bicentennial—are distributed to organizations and individuals who are at the forefront of promoting sustainability across the state of Indiana.
  • For the second consecutive year, Butler University was ranked as the Most Innovative School among Midwestern Regional Universities, according to the 2017 edition of U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges. Butler was also recognized in the categories of Best Undergraduate Teaching and the Best Colleges for Veterans, and appeared on the national shortlist of excellence for First-Year Experience, Internships, Undergraduate Research, and Study Abroad.
  • Butler was named one of the 26 healthiest colleges in the country by, a website devoted to healthy living.
  • CommonLit Inc., a company run by Michelle (Skinner) Brown ’09, received a federal Department of Education grant to help fund and expand the organization. CommonLit Inc., a completely free, online compilation of literary and teaching resources that was created to try to close the “secondary literacy gap,” will receive $3.9 million over two years.​


  • At the annual Alumni Awards Recognition Program for extraordinary professional achievement and service, Butler honored nine alumni: Butler Medal, John Hargrove ’69; Butler Service Medal, George Geib; Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award, Jen Christensen ’94; Katherine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award, Maribeth Zay Fischer ’74; Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award, Shawn M. Gage ’04, PA-C; Joseph Irwin Sweeny Alumni Service Award, Amy N. Lenell ’07, PharmD, CLC; Ovid Butler Society Mortar Award, Chris ’79 and Sally (McFarland) ’81 Wirthwein; and Ovid Butler Society Foundation Award, Jennifer L. White ’00 and David White.
  • Associate Professor of Education Katie Brooks was awarded a $2 million U.S. Department of Education grant to train 80 current or potential teachers to become licensed to teach English Language Learning students. The five-year grant is intended to help alleviate the chronic shortage of English as a New Language (ENL) teachers. The grant will pay for 20 college graduates who have a bachelor’s degree in a licensable area such as biology, math, social studies, world languages, or English to get both a teaching license and an ENL license.
  • The Board of Trustees elected Attorney Robert T. Wildman and Life Sciences executive Lynne Zydowsky ’81 to special one-year terms on the Board. Both will be eligible for full three-year terms in June 2017. Wildman is a member of the Business Services Group, the Venture Capital and Private Equity Group, and the Real Estate Group of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP. Zydowsky, President of Zydowsky Consultants, is an experienced executive in the Life Sciences industry who has been involved in the launching and building of many successful companies.
  • Longtime Professor of Voice André Aerne died on Sunday, October 16, in Petoskey, Michigan. He was 84. Aerne taught at Butler from 1966–1998 and also was often featured as a soloist in the Romantic Festival programs.
  • Butler’s first Mock Mediation team did well at the Brenau Invitational Mediation Tournament in Gainesville, Georgia. Russ Hunter ’17 and Anthony Murdock ’17 both took home “Top Mediator.” Hunter also was awarded “Top Advocate/Client,” as was his teammate Nick Fox ’18.
  • Forty-nine members of FFA (Future Farmers of America), who came from as far away as Massachusetts, Connecticut, Arizona, and Washington state to attend the annual FFA convention in Indianapolis, took a tour of the CUE Farm at Butler to see how the University is approaching sustainable, environmentally responsible urban farming.
  • The Center for Urban Ecology Farm became the new home of the first fully automated mobile greenhouse, an 8-foot-wide by 32-foot-long structure designed and built by Ball State University architecture students to enable the CUE Farm to start plants earlier in the season. The $50,000 project was built with a grant from the Butler Innovation Fund
  • Erin Vincent was hired as Director of Academic Program Development and Innovation, a new position designed to help faculty, staff, and administrators move new academic programs from an idea to program launch.


  • Brandie Oliver, Assistant Professor of School Counseling in the College of Education, was named Indiana School Counselor Association Counselor Educator of the Year.
  • The Center for Citizenship and Community celebrated its 20th anniversary of connecting Butler students and the University with the community.
  • A team of five Butler University students won the Purdue University Parrish Library Case Competition, an annual contest that challenges students to use their business research skills to solve a problem for a company. Sammie Chalmers, Taylor Gillenwater, Nicole Henrich, Karly Krebs, and Allison Wolff beat more than 20 teams from Indiana University and Purdue University.
  • Eight Lacy School of Business students took the annual Wall Street Trek trip to get a good look at Wall Street—JPMorgan Chase, the Stock Exchange, Blue Mountain Capital—and Johnson & Johnson headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
  • Junior Jacob Reeves won the 2016–2017 Hendricks Fellowship for his project studying how wildlife use Butler University’s campus as their home. The Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement (CHASE) awards the scholarship to a student who completes a scientific research project in the area of conservation or Indiana ecosystems.
  • Jacklyn Gries, a second-year Pharmacy major from Evansville, Indiana, was selected as Butler’s 2016 winner of the Independent Colleges of Indiana’s Realizing the Dream scholarship. This scholarship goes to students who are first in their families to go to college, have been selected by their colleges for outstanding achievement in their first year, and are successfully advancing towards completing their bachelor’s degrees.
  • Butler became the first Indiana school to be invited to present at a Teach to Lead Preparation Summit held in Washington, DC, by the federal Department of Education.


  • Patricia Cochran, the great-great-granddaughter of Butler University founder Ovid Butler and great-niece of two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Booth Tarkington, died on December 5. She was 97.
  • Sigma Gamma Rho, the sorority founded at Butler University on November 12, 1922, gave Butler a gift to establish the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. 7 Founders Endowed Scholarship to honor the seven education majors and public school teachers who started the organization. The scholarship will be awarded annually beginning in the fall to a student enrolled in the College of Education.
  • The curtain rose on the new Theatre Department Scene Shop, which moved from cramped quarters in the basement of the Holcomb Building to much larger, well-ventilated space in the west side of the Sunset Avenue Parking Garage. Half the space will be used to build scenery for Theatre productions; the other half will be used for costume storage for the Theatre and Dance departments.
  • Victoria Kreyden ’17, a Biology/Spanish double-major from Carmel, Indiana, won first place in the undergraduate poster session at the 2016 American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) meeting in San Francisco, California, for her poster presentation Investigation of the neuronal functions of the SUMO conjugating enzyme UBC-9 at the C. elegans neuromuscular junction. Kreyden’s presentation was judged best of more than 100 by undergraduates from around the country and abroad.
  • Retired Indiana Supreme Court Justice Randall Shepard spoke at 2016 Winter Commencement, telling the 138 graduates that they should clutch their diploma with a sense of optimism because they are in America and they are educated. “The value of an education earned in 2016 at universities like Butler is more tangible than ever,” he said. “Your decision and your family’s decision to persevere in education is the best possible launching pad for a successful career and a successful life.”
  • Veteran police officer John Conley succeeded Ben Hunter as Butler University’s Chief of Public Safety. Conley joined the Butler University Police Department in 2014, after working with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) for 40 years.
  • Associate Professor Kelli Esteves, who has taught in the College of Education since 2010, was named the Richard W. Guyer Chair in Education.


  • Responding to a note on Facebook, Tracy Tyndall Pabst ’98 donated a kidney to Laura Coker Blandford ’97. The two were Delta Gamma sorority sisters but not close friends.
  • A three-judge panel from the Indiana Court of Appeals heard a case on the Butler campus as part of its Appeals on Wheels program that brings the court to different locations to show the public what it does.
  • Thirteen Indiana public school superintendents from all over the state began to participate in the first EPIC (Educators Preparing Inspired Change), a joint venture of Butler University and the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents to help great educators transform the business and constituent-services aspects of their work.
  • Singer Ben Davis, who spent a couple of years as a Butler student, returned to the Clowes Memorial Hall stage for the first time in 20 years, this time as Captain Georg von Trapp in the national touring company of The Sound of Music.
  • Jason Davidson ’01, an instructor in the Lacy School of Business, wrote a book on Visual Basic for Applications, the popular programming language that is used to create and customize Microsoft Office programs. VBA for Microsoft Office 2016, published by Pearson, is a 216-page, step-by-step guide that’s geared toward students.
  • Professor of Music David Murray was awarded the International Society of Bassists’s 2017 Special Recognition Award for Solo Performance, which goes to a person “who has contributed special skills, knowledge, projects, and other such positive works in the furthering of ISB ideals.” The award is given every two years by the organization, which represents nearly 3,000 members in more than 40 countries.
  • Butler students to make the trip to New York to be part of National Retail Federation’s Big Show, the annual showcase for retail merchants that also lets students see the enormous variety of career options available to them in retail.
  • Butler University placed 808 students on the Dean’s List for the fall 2016 semester.
  • A NASA representative brought moon rocks to College of Education Professor Catherine Pangan’s Science and Social Studies Methods class.


  • The Butler Muslim Student Association hosted a Unity Walk around campus to protest the federal government’s attempted ban on Muslim refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim countries.
  • Students and supporters participated in the Polar Plunge, raising over $53,000 for Special Olympics Indiana.
  • The second annual Day of Giving shattered expectations, with faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, and friends making 887 gifts totaling more than $137,000. In addition, the University was able to “unlock” more than $103,000 in challenge funding.
  • Isaac Warshawsky ’20 was selected as the second recipient of the Bruce and Lucy Gerstein Holocaust Education Travel Fund, which enabled him to visit Poland over spring break.


  • Beta Theta Pi was selected as the University’s new fraternity, with colonization of the Butler chapter to begin in fall 2017. A location for a future chapter house will be determined, and the University will assist in selecting the site.
  • Butler’s men’s basketball team advanced to its first Sweet 16 since 2011 with a 74-65 win over Middle Tennessee State.
  • Juniors Alex Tison, Claire Cox, and Kaylynn Cline were flown to Chicago to appear on an ESPN quiz show called Bracket Genius.
  • Associate Professor of Music Education Daniel Bolin was selected as the 2017 inductee to the Gamma Chapter, Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame. Phi Beta Mu is the highest honorary fraternity for international band directors.
  • Twelve 5-foot-by-5-foot brain sculptures, each linked to a different theme in neuroscience, went on display on campus for six weeks as part of One Butler: The Brain Project. The sculptures, commissioned by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, were displayed throughout campus.
  • The Center for Urban Ecology Farm began to pursue mushroom cultivation, thanks to an Indy Urban Mushrooms grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.
  • Butler University sophomore Lauren Ciulla struck gold, earning the Congressional Award Gold Medal, the U.S. Congress’s award for young Americans who set and achieve goals in four program areas: voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/exploration.


  • The estate of Winstan R. “Bud” Sellick ’47 and his wife, Jacqueline (Blomberg) ’44, has given $9.4 million to the University. The gift will be shared among Butler Athletics, the Lacy School of Business, and general University support.
  • Twenty-six Butler University students were elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the honor society that recognizes the best and brightest liberal arts and sciences undergraduates from 286 top schools across the nation.
  • Education professors Susan Adams and Brooke Kandel-Cisco were part of a team recognized with a B.E.S.T. Award from WFYI (Channel 20) for its “exemplary work ethic and performance” and its efforts to develop a curriculum guide for the station’s documentary Attucks: The School That Opened A City.
  • Four Butler students were named Top Four Paper Winners at the University’s 2017 Undergraduate Research Conference. Kelsey McDougall, John Anderton, Taylor Pearson, and Viki Tomanov’s projects were judged to be the best among the 21 students from five different universities who submitted their completed papers for competitive review.
  • Theatre Professor Owen Schaub announced his retirement after 37 years at the University. “Having been at Butler has been a very warm, rewarding, and humane experience,” he said. Other professors who retired this year after long tenures at Butler include Katarina Dulckeit, Richard McGowan, Jeanne Van Tyle, Laurie Pylitt, and Stanley DeRusha.
  • Frank E. Ross III, a national leader in student affairs with 22 years of experience and degrees from both Ball State and Indiana universities, was named Vice President for Student Affairs. He will take over the position in June.
  • Madison Sauerteig, a junior from Arcadia, Indiana, who has done extensive volunteer work with Riley Hospital for Children, received the 2017 John Weidner Endowed Scholarship for Altruism.
  • Junior Caitlyn Foye, a Biology major from Newburgh, Indiana, was named a 2017–2018 Goldwater Scholar, the most prestigious undergraduate award given in the sciences.


  • A $5 million financial contribution from Old National Bank will be used to create the Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business, which will provide privately owned businesses throughout Indiana with training, education, mentoring, and networking opportunities to help them succeed.
  • The Lacy School of Business’ student-run insurance company began operations after the Bermuda Monetary Authority granted licensing approval for the business. The company was created to give students hands-on experience and prepare them for an industry that is anticipated to need tens of thousands of new employees over the next seven years.
  • Students, faculty, staff, and alumni signed a steel beam that will be part of the construction of the new 647-bed housing unit that will replace Schwitzer Hall. The first occupants of the new housing will move in in August 2018.
  • John Lechleiter, retired CEO of Eli Lilly and Co., told the spring 2017 graduates that they should set their sights high and strive for excellence, treat others the way they would like to be treated, and think and act independently. Butler graduates 955 students on May 6, 2017.



2016-2017 Academic Year in Review

The 2016–2017 academic year began with the largest class ever—1,272 students—coming to Butler. It concluded with 955 newly minted graduates, two large gifts to the University, and the groundbreaking for a new housing facility to replace Schwitzer Hall.

May 08 2017 Read more

Martha Hoover, Patachou founder and owner, to Deliver Winter Commencement Address

BY Rachel Stern

PUBLISHED ON Nov 12 2018

INDIANAPOLIS—Martha Hoover, founder and owner of Patachou Inc., a James Beard Award semifinalist (three times), and one of the 20 Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink (according to Food & Wine), will be the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and will serve as the keynote speaker at Butler University’s Winter Commencement.

Winter Commencement will take place on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 10:00 AM in Clowes Memorial Hall. About 135 students are expected to receive their diplomas.

“In choosing honorary degree recipients and speakers, Butler selects individuals whose lives reflect our University’s core values and whose message can positively impact our students,” President James Danko said. “Martha Hoover embodies not only the entrepreneurial spirit we encourage in our students, but the responsible leadership and civic engagement that makes a meaningful difference in our world.”

Hoover has worked to build restaurants that double as vehicles for social change. She has established financial literacy courses for her employees, as well as the Patachou Emergency Relief Fund. In 2012, she established The Patachou Foundation, which has served more than 100,000 healthy meals to at-risk and food-insecure children in the Indianapolis community to date.

Hoover founded Patachou Inc. in 1989 and opened her first restaurant, Café Patachou, in March 1989. Today, the company has six restaurant brands in 14 locations across Indianapolis.

Hoover was a founding board member of Impact 100 of Greater Indianapolis and has served on the boards of the Indiana AIDS Network, Dance Kaleidoscope, and Women’s Fund of Central Indiana.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Hoover was an attorney in the Marion County Prosecutor’s sex crimes division. She is a graduate of both IU Bloomington and the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law at IUPUI.

Butler’s selection of commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients is a result of a nomination process, and subsequent committee review and vetting process.


Media contact:
Rachel Stern
Director of Strategic Communications


Martha Hoover, Patachou founder and owner, to Deliver Winter Commencement Address

Indianapolis entrepreneur to receive Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Nov 12 2018 Read more
Butler University

Butler University Welcomes Two New Trustees


PUBLISHED ON Mar 31 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Butler University appointed two new members to its Board of Trustees during its February meeting. Andrew Greenlee ’90 and Chris Miskel ’96 will each serve three-year terms beginning June 3, 2021.

“We are fortunate to have two distinguished alumni from Butler’s Lacy School of Business join our Board of Trustees,” Butler University President James M. Danko said. “They are highly effective leaders who have excelled in their careers, and Butler University will benefit greatly from their presence on our board.”

Chris Miskel ’96

Chris Miskel is president and CEO of Versiti, a midwestern non-profit organization with 2,100+ employees that serves customers nationally in transfusion medicine and esoteric diagnostic testing; conducts internationally renowned blood research; and serves patients in need of blood products, as well as organ and tissue transplant. The organization exceeds $300M in revenue annually.

Prior to joining Versiti, Chris served as Group Vice President and Global Immunology Franchise Head at Shire, helping to bring medicines to patients around the world and shaping the strategy for a $2.5 billion biopharmaceutical franchise. In a previous role at Baxalta, Chris was Vice President of Plasma Strategy and New Product Development.

Chris began his career with Eli Lilly & Company in 1996 as a Business Analyst before going on to hold a succession of positions, culminating in his appointment as General Manager of Lilly Australia and New Zealand.

Chris earned a B.S. in Accounting from Butler’s Lacy School of Business (LSB) in 1996 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2000. He is a member of the LSB Dean’s Advisory Council, and a former member of the Young Alumni Board, the Central Indiana Community Steering Committee, and the Alumni Board. Chris was a member of the Butler men’s basketball team and he and his wife are current season ticket holders. An engaged alumnus, Chris is a past recipient of the Hilton U. Brown Alumni Achievement Award and a joint recipient with his wife, Nicole, of the Foundation Award.


Andrew Greenlee ’90

Andy Greenlee is the President & CEO of US Farathane, LLC, a global leader in the automotive industry. US Farathane is a high-end plastics company offering wide ranging technologies, processes and expertise. When Andy joined US Farathane in 1996, there were 300 employees with $25 million in revenue and two Michigan locations. US Farathane is now a global leader with approximately $1 billion in revenue and 5,500 employees. They have 16 locations in the United States, China and Mexico. US Farathane has garnered the top awards in the industry by being named Supplier of the Year with General Motors, FCA and Honda. Andy has been the President & CEO since 1999. Prior to that, he was in fast-track positions with Honeywell and Cooper Industries.

In 2015, US Farathane partnered with The Gores Group. The partnership has been highly successful, and US Farathane’s organic growth continues to far outpace the industry, and the culture and spirit have remained intact.

Andy earned his Bachelor Degree in Marketing from Butler University’s Lacy School of Business in 1990 and an MBA in Finance from the University of Detroit in 1994. He was named to Crain’s Detroit Business “40 under 40” list in 2005. He is also a past recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Andy is honored to be a Founders Circle Member, contributing to the construction of the new Lacy School of Business building. Originally from Columbus, Indiana, Andy, his wife and children currently split time between Lake Angelus, Michigan and Vero Beach, Florida.


Media Contact:
Mark Apple

About Butler University
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 30 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 98 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.

Butler University

Butler University Welcomes Two New Trustees

Andrew Greenlee ’90 and Chris Miskel ’96 will each serve three-year terms beginning June 3, 2021

Mar 31 2021 Read more
Sarah Koenig, host of Serial

Serial Host Sarah Koenig Shares Joys and Drawbacks of Building New Story Form

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Jun 11 2019

Before co-creating and hosting Serial, Sarah Koenig never really listened to podcasts. She’d especially never listened to a true story broken into twelve compelling episodes. Because before Serial, Koenig explained to a crowd at Butler University, that kind of thing just didn’t exist.

At the second event in WFYI’s 2019 Listen Up series, held at Clowes Memorial Hall on Monday night, Koenig discussed the challenges and thrills of designing a new storytelling form. Five years ago, Koenig and a team from This American Life produced the first season of Serial, which focused on the case of a Baltimore high school student charged with murdering his former girlfriend in 1999. The podcast’s debut season followed just one true story across several episodes, popularizing this narrative form.

Koenig, along with co-creators Julie Snyder and Ira Glass, didn’t see all that popularity coming. They started Serial as an experiment, recording in Koenig’s basement. There was no pressure, Koenig said: nobody listened to podcasts.

Or at least that’s what they thought.

They aimed to reach 300,000 listeners, and just five days after launching the show, they did. After six weeks, Serial had more than 5 million downloads on iTunes. Now, they’ve released three award-winning seasons.

“Before Serial,” Koenig said, “I was not used to anyone paying attention to me or the work I did.”

She had spent much of her career as a newspaper reporter, writing for both local and national outlets before joining This American Life as a producer in 2004. The radio show is driven by experimentation, she says, which gave her the freedom to explore nontraditional stories and formats.

With Serial, there was no formula. They just wanted to create something that felt alive.

“The goal was to make it sound effortless, like all of our storytelling choices were inevitable,” Koenig said. “Of course, none of it was inevitable.”

At the event, Koenig touched on several complications that journalists often face. How close should she get to a source? Could she earn trust while skirting friendship? Did there need to be a difference between journalism and entertainment?

When it came to her relationship with Adnan Syed, the season-one focus who was convicted of murder but maintains his innocence, Koenig said it would feel fake to pretend their conversations were all business. She wasn’t his friend, but she needed to understand his experience. She couldn’t just tell the story she thought was supposed to be told. She needed to tell the truth.

“We should not reduce people to caricatures,” she explained. “Instead, we should be looking for the details and the stories that reflect life as it really is.”

And as long as you stick to the facts, she believes, it’s okay for journalism to entertain. It’s okay for the truth to look like art, but it takes a responsible storyteller to make that work.

On the internet, not everyone is a professional reporter. Discussing some of the drawbacks to Serial’s popularity, Koening said some online communities started to do their own digging. They exposed damaging information and speculation about real people.

“It was really the first time for any of us that we felt like we were losing control over our story,” Koenig said.

After contacting Reddit to set some ground rules, the team managed to rein things in. They’ve gone on to release two more seasons of Serial, and they’re open to pitches for a fourth. Despite the tension of protecting sources while staying transparent, of entertaining listeners while sticking to the facts, Koenig keeps telling difficult stories.

“Reporters really don’t advocate for change. We’re not supposed to,” she said. “But of course what we really want is for someone to do something—to fix what’s broken.”

Sarah Koenig, host of Serial

Serial Host Sarah Koenig Shares Joys and Drawbacks of Building New Story Form

She didn't think anyone listened to podcasts. Then, Serial got 300,000 downloads in five days.

Jun 11 2019 Read more

Butler Year in Review: The News of 2018

Throughout Butler’s 163-year history we have boldly made decisions and pursued priorities that have put us ahead of our time and set us apart from our peers. 2018 was no exception. From the largest incoming class size in our history to a Number One ranking by U.S. News and World Report, from significant undergrad research to innovative academic programs, Butler students, faculty, staff, and community have been recognized for their outstanding academic efforts and their pursuit of excellence. As the year draws to a close, we’ve compiled the top 10 Butler stories by local and national media.


Insurance 101: Butler Undergrads Write Coverage for Dogs and Pianos | The New York Times | February 9, 2108

The New York Times reports on Butler undergrads who operate an insurance company giving them real-world experience and the University coverage for important assets around campus.


Who’s at the Door? College Officials Delivering your Acceptance in Person (Sometimes with a Dog) | The Wall Street Journal | February 11, 2018

The Wall Street Journal shares how Butler Blue III and the University are leading the pack in innovative ways to attract students.


Butler University Unleashes Building Spree, Beautification | Indianapolis Business Journal | July 13, 2018

The IBJ outlines Butler’s ambitious campus transformation, including two new residence halls, the soon-to-debut Lacy School of Business building, and lots of new trees and bike lanes.


Athletes Can Easily Trick Popular Concussion Test, Study Finds | The Washington Post | July 31, 2018

The Washington Post reported on a Butler research study co-authored by Amy Peak, Director of Undergraduate Health Sciences, on how athletes dupe one of the nation’s most common concussion screening tests.


Why You Should Ignore Your Friends’ Fantasy Football Advice | The Wall Street Journal | August 20, 2018

The Wall Street Journal explored Assistant Professor of Creative Media and Entertainment Media Ryan Roger’s research on the benefits of the collective brain in decision making.


Planetary Party: Catch Multiple Planets Lined Up with the Moon as Summer Wanes | The Washington Post | August 22, 2018

Physics and Astronomy Professor, and Director of Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium, Brian Murphy shared his astronomical expertise with The Washington Post as multiple planets aligned for outstanding nighttime viewing late this summer.


Butler Named “Best of the Midwest” as Indiana Schools Feature Prominently in Annual Rankings | Indy Star | September 10, 2018

For the first time ever, Butler University was named #1 Regional University in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report.


Georgia Voting Begins Amid Accusations of Voter Suppression | The New York Times | October 19, 2018

As the 2018 midterm elections heated up, Political Science assistant professor Greg Shufeldt spoke to The New York Times about electoral integrity and its impact on voting in Georgia.


Doyel: Butler’s Bulldog Mascot Gives Admission News to Kid Who Beat Cancer | Indy Star | October 22, 2018

Indy Star columnist Gregg Doyel followed along as Butler Blue III surprised Tatum Parker with news of her admission to Butler University.


America’s Election Grid Remains a Patchwork of Vulnerabilities | The New York Times | November 17, 2018

Post-election, Political Science assistant professor Greg Shufeldt spoke to The New York Times about his recent study on how distrust in voting laws and processes can limit turnout.


Butler Year in Review: The News of 2018

As the year draws to a close, we’ve compiled the top 10 Butler stories by local and national media.

Tyler Shultz

New LSB Speaker Series to Promote Business Ethics

BY Tim Brouk

PUBLISHED ON Jan 15 2020

All Andre B. Lacy School of Business students must take the 200-level Business Ethics course. A new speaker series will enhance that experience.

This semester, the Lacy School of Business Ethics Series will feature two events and the series will return for the 2020-2021 academic year. Each semester will feature a keynote speaker as well as smaller, fireside chat-style events. The Ethics Series will bring in alumni, Indianapolis business leaders, and entrepreneurs from across the nation to share their experiences and training for all Butler students, staff, faculty, and the community to consider.

Tyler Shultz will be the first keynote speaker at 8:00 PM February 11 at the Schrott Center for the Arts. The event kicks off the series, which will continue in April with a student-focused talk in the Business Building. All Ethics Series events are free. No tickets are required.

Shultz was a 23-year-old employee for Theranos, the infamous $9 billion start-up that claimed to have technology that could detect diseases from one drop of blood. However, the technology never worked despite years of smoke and mirrors from founder Elizabeth Holmes. Shultz came forward to the Wall Street Journal. The article by John Carreyrou revealed research too good to be true and revenue that never was. The fiasco led to the HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley and Carreyrou’s subsequent book, Bad Blood.

Associate Professor of Business Law Hilary Buttrick will moderate Shultz’s talk as well as a question-and-answer segment at the end of the event. She says students will get to experience how important being ethical in business practices can be from an entrepreneur only a handful of years older than them.

“Theranos was his first job out of college,” Buttrick says. “He was really going up against Goliath.

“I think that type of ethical fortitude, that type of ability to trust yourself to say ‘This isn’t right,’ that’s a really important lesson for students to learn. Even though you’re young and new, you  have the power, the right, and the obligation to stand up when things are wrong, even if you’re at the bottom of the corporate ladder. We think (Shultz) has a really important story to tell our students.”

Shultz landed well after the Theranos dust settled. He is the CEO and co-founder of Flux Biosciences, Inc., a Bay-Area start-up specializing in bringing medical-grade diagnostics into the homes of consumers by using technology to measure biomarkers related to stress, exercise, and fertility. His efforts were recognized by Forbes when he was named to their “30 under 30” Health Care 2017 list.

Buttrick says the speaker series will be integrated into class curriculum, in turn enhancing the learning experience.

“I can’t think of a better case study,” says Buttrick, adding that the February 11 event will count as a Butler Cultural Requirement. “Think about the things you’re learning in Business Ethics class; this guy had to do it.”

Lacy School of Business Dean Stephen Standiford says the Ethics Series will be a major part of the program’s push to be a Midwestern leader in business ethics education.

“Our goal,” he adds, “is to continue to infuse ethical practice and leadership development with our students, future leaders, and community as a whole.”

The Lacy School of Business Ethics speaker series is sponsored by Old National Bank.


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


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Tyler Shultz

New LSB Speaker Series to Promote Business Ethics

Series will focus on ethical business practices with the help of alumni, Indy business leaders, and keynote speakers

Jan 15 2020 Read more

Leading with LEED

BY Marc Allan

PUBLISHED ON Dec 13 2018

Butler University's commitment to environmental sustainability was rewarded when Irvington House, the new residence hall that opened this year, was awarded LEED Gold status for its conservation elements integrated into the design and construction of the facility.

This is Butler's sixth LEED project on campus and its fifth certified gold. Other LEED-certified projects are: the addition to the Pharmacy Building (gold); the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts (gold), the Hinkle Fieldhouse Administrative wing (gold), the Athletic Annex (silver), and the Fairview House residence hall (gold).

Irvington House was built in partnership with American Campus Communities, which also built Fairview House.

“I greatly appreciate our partnership with American Campus Communities in helping create another wonderful, sustainable building on campus," said Doug Morris, Associate Vice President of Facilities. "It is critical for us to continue developing sustainable buildings and spaces across campus that not only minimize the use of natural resources, but also provide healthy spaces for our students, faculty and staff to live, work and play.”

Irvington House was recognized for:

-Maximized open space. More than 60,000 square feet was designated as vegetated open space while over 32,000 square feet was designated as pedestrian-oriented sidewalks and other paving.

-Alternative transportation. The building occupants have access to two different public bus routes, reducing greenhouses gas emissions and the building’s footprint.

-Reduced water use. Low-flush, low-flow fixtures decrease potable water usage by more than 46 percent, resulting in 3.5 million gallons of water saved per year.

-Responsible material choices. Recycling collection bins have been provided in multiple locations throughout the facility so that plastic, glass, metals, paper, and corrugated cardboard can easily be recycled by residents and visitors. More than 85 percent of the construction and demolition debris generated was diverted from landfills, more than 20 percent of the total value of construction materials used consisted of recycled content, and over 45 percent of the total value of construction materials used consisted of products that were manufactured and harvested within 500 miles of Indianapolis.

-Reduced energy consumption. Efficient lighting design and use of LED fixtures result in over 50 percent savings in total lighting energy usage when compared to a baseline building. In addition, heating, ventilating, and cooling systems were selected to maximize energy savings where life-cycle cost effective.

-Improved indoor environmental quality. The building was designed so that over 90 percent of all regularly occupied areas within the building has views access to the exterior. Throughout the building, a high level of lighting and thermal system control is available to individual occupants or groups in multi-occupant spaces, which promotes occupant productivity, comfort, and well-being.

-Reduced heat island effect. A white roof was selected to avoid artificially elevating ambient temperatures, and specific hardscapes were chosen to be light in color so that they minimize their heat-island impacts on microclimates and human and wildlife habitats. 

 LEED—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. Gold is the second-highest rating, behind platinum.


Media contact:
Marc Allan MFA '18
News Manager


Leading with LEED

Irvington House was built in partnership with American Campus Communities, which also built Fairview House.

Dec 13 2018 Read more
Butler Blue IV, Mayor of March

Butler Blue to Become Mayor of March, Presiding Over City’s Hoops Madness

BY Michael Kaltenmark

PUBLISHED ON Mar 01 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—He is the Butler Bulldog, Indy’s four-legged ambassador, the undisputed State Dawg, a model among all live mascots, and now, Butler Blue IV has assumed yet another title: the Mayor of March.

As the entirety of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament descends upon the city and state this March, including games at Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse, Blue is stepping up to make sure his followers around the country don’t miss a minute of the Madness.

“Blue already represents all of the best parts of NCAA Basketball,” said Evan Krauss, Blue’s handler and Senior Marketing Manager at Butler. “Combine that with the love of his hometown, Indianapolis, and you have a slam dunk.”

Blue will employ a four-paw’d approach as the Mayor of March, acting as part host, part ambassador, part reporter, and part college hoops fanatic. So, in addition to his prolific presence on social media, the young English bulldog will be readily visible around Indianapolis during the month. 

As a Dawg about town, Blue will attend fan rallies hosted by Indiana Sports Corp., participate in community events organized by Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, extend hospitality to guests and visiting media with Visit Indy, and much more.

But the I-465 loop won’t be fencing this Dawg in. With opening-round games in Bloomington and West Lafayette, Blue will also load up the BlueMobile and hit the road. From north to south, Blue will be out to get the scoops on hoops while capturing the sights, sounds, and smells of March from the Hoosier state.

“Our live Bulldog mascots are no strangers to road trips,” Krauss said. “We’ve covered thousands of miles over the last several years on the heels of the Butler Basketball team to surprise prospective students, visit alumni, and spread some Butler cheer. This is a continuation of that, but with a special focus on our own backyard. I think Blue was born for March in Indy!”

And born not long ago, Blue made his campus debut before a Butler Men’s Basketball game on January 24, 2020, with a sold-out Hinkle Fieldhouse crowd in attendance. Now, that same historic hoops cathedral will play host to first- and second-round games, as well as a share of the Sweet Sixteen matchups for this year’s NCAA Tournament. 

One of just six game sites, Butler University is proud to have Hinkle serve in such a prominent capacity for this year’s Tournament. And known for its NCAA Tournament success in recent years, including consecutive Final Four and national championship game appearances in 2010 and 2011, Butler is embracing it’s latest role as a host of Tournament play.

Fans are encouraged to follow @TheButlerBlue and #MayorOfMarch on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for additional Butler Blue IV content.

About the Butler Blue Live Mascot Program
An idea was born the first time a bulldog shimmied into the offices of the Butler Collegian in 1919. The idea would lift the spirits of the student body and instill pride in alumni for decades. Today, the idea is stronger than ever. Since 2000, Butler Blue has been the face of Butler University, a champion of education, an advocate for the arts and sciences, a fervent supporter of student-athletes, and cultural influencer. Butler Blue is, and always will be, the four-legged embodiment of The Butler Way.

Media Contact:
Mark Apple
Interim Director of Strategic Communications

Mayor of MarchButler Blue IV, official mascot of Butler University, proclaims himself the Mayor of March


WHEREAS, the State of Indiana, and primarily the City of Indianapolis, will host the entirety of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, thus becoming the epicenter of March Madness®.

WHEREAS, I, Butler Blue IV, am an AKC-registered, live English bulldog mascot representing Butler University, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the fourth in succession among a line of nationally recognized Butler Bulldog mascots.

WHEREAS, I, Butler Blue IV, am the host of hosts; the heartwarming host of Hinkle Fieldhouse, and the honorable hoops host to hardwood hobbyists around the globe.

WHEREAS, I, Butler Blue IV, am an ambassador, or Ambassa-Dawg, officially representing my school, my city, my state, and my game as doggy diplomat.

WHEREAS, I, Butler Blue IV, am a reporter, or repawter, offering scoops on hoops, along with ears-up, eyes-wide, nose-to-the-ground, and tail-wagging observations of collegiate mascot life.

WHEREAS, I, Butler Blue IV, a bone-a-fide college hoops fanatic, a beast of brackets, mongrel of madness, Dawg of dunks, rover of rebounds, pupper of put-backs, and bully of buzzer-beaters.

WHEREAS, Butler University, home of historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, is a nationally recognized university, rated by U.S. News as the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest and No. 1 Most Innovative School, featuring six academic colleges, and known for small class sizes, student access to faculty, real-world internships experiences, research opportunities, and an educational experience that provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in life after college.



On the campus of Butler University, in the City of Indianapolis, throughout the State of Indiana, and wherever college hoops are revered and celebrated, I ask all fans of basketball to join in this observance.






Butler Blue IV, Mayor of March

Butler Blue to Become Mayor of March, Presiding Over City’s Hoops Madness

Butler’s live bulldog mascot is seizing the opportunity to be more than just host of Hinkle

Mar 01 2021 Read more
Hurricane Irma Destruction

Hurricane Irma, Up Close and Personal

BY Hannah Hartzell ’17

PUBLISHED ON Sep 18 2017

September 6 was supposed to be the first day of school in the U.S Virgin Islands. Teachers like Vanessa Mackenzie were supposed to start lessons.

Then Hurricane Irma struck. You can’t hold class when a Category 5 hurricane is barreling through the Caribbean.

Mackenzie, who graduated from Butler in 2015, had recently moved to the Caribbean and was slated to begin her first year of teaching on the island of St. Thomas. When we spoke the week after the hurricane, she was just hoping her students were safe and had a place to sleep.

“Half of my students live on St. John and the other half live in the part of the island that was completely devastated,” Mackenzie said. “I don’t know what kind of devastation they are going home to, or not going home to.”

It’s not only homes that are destroyed. Mackenzie said power lines are strewn across the streets. Cars have no windows. Trees are stripped bare.

With the island in disarray, citizens are on a curfew. They are only allowed outside between noon and 6:00 PM. During those hours, Mackenzie said everyone wants three things: gas, ice, and water.

“It’s unbelievable how important those things have become,” said Mackenzie, who stayed in a hotel on the south portion of the island during the hurricane—and returned to find her house still standing. “You need gas for your car and your generator, and water is essential on a Caribbean island.”

Citizens are unsure when the next shipment of supplies will come, so they are relying on the generators for power. “We need electricians, contractors, and construction workers,” Mackenzie said. “We need national help.”

For now, Mackenzie is running her generator for a few hours a day, just enough to keep food cold.

She’s also utilizing a Facebook group where people are sharing information about where they’ve found provisions. “That’s how I’m finding out where ice is available,” she said. “That’s how we’re spreading information.”

Those that don’t have internet are relying on word of mouth and the help of neighbors.

“Every time you approach someone in the street, they ask how you are and how your family is,” Mackenzie said. “There have been a lot of people helping and that’s the coolest part.”

The islanders have been told it will take six to 12 months to restore power. There’s no word on when the students will start school again.

“Private schools are getting back in class sporadically,” Mackenzie said. “But I work for a public-school system and I lost all the windows in my classroom. The wall is concave.”

One of the school buildings that is intact is being used by the Red Cross for disaster relief.

Mackenzie though, hopes classes can resume quickly.

“Coming back to school will be the only sense of normal stability for these kids. There’s no routine right now.”

The children are learning one lesson you can’t learn in a classroom though: resiliency.

“We’re going to rebuild,” said Mackenzie. “We’re going to be OK.”

Hurricane Irma Destruction

Hurricane Irma, Up Close and Personal

Vanessa Mackenzie ’15, who is teaching on the U.S. Virgin Islands, hopes to get back to her classroom soon.

Sep 18 2017 Read more
Butler University 2020

Year in Review: Top Stories of 2020

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Dec 16 2020

When everything changed 10 months ago, Butler University adapted. Our students, faculty, and staff found ways to replace vanished opportunities with new ones, continue caring for one another, and focus on the things that matter most—all while making sacrifices to keep our campus safe.

This year, Bulldogs also committed to helping others. From the Pharmacy students who made hand sanitizer for hospitals and other Indianapolis organizations; to the faculty member who helped parents and educators provide emotional support for children; to the graduate whose art helped people across the nation understand an invisible virus; we demonstrated the Butler Way.

And still, we celebrated. We kicked off 2020 by meeting Butler Blue IV, whose puppy photos have filled our social media feeds and invited us to smile even in some of this year’s hardest moments. We named new deans, launched our Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement, and welcomed our third-largest class of first-year students. Through a difficult season that may continue for months to come, we have found ways to be joyful together.

Here’s a look back at Butler’s top stories of 2020.



Butler Faculty Put Students First in Switch to Online Learning
When the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of in-person classes last spring, faculty made the best of a difficult situation.

With Summer Internships Canceled, Business School Finds New Opportunities for Students
Butler's Lacy School of Business created about 20 last-minute internship positions built on remote, project-based work.

In Switch to eLearning, Butler Student-Teacher Finds What Matters Most
Patrick Conway developed new online content for seventh-graders at Zionsville West Middle School.

Butler Offers Free Online Course About COVID-19 to Incoming Students
The class helped students connect with the Butler community while reflecting on the effects of a global crisis.

Caring for Mental Health During COVID-19
Three Butler experts explain the pandemic’s psychological impacts and offer advice for staying well.

What Does an Online Music Class Look Like?
Dr. Brian Weidner of Butler's Jordan College of the Arts explains how he met the challenge of holding remote music education courses.

Pool Noodles Provide Social Distancing Guide for Physical Education Classes
The College of Education’s Dr. Fritz Ettl found ways to keep teaching hands-on, sport-specific skills this fall.

Butler Team Preserves, Improves Access to Artifacts through 3D Digital Replicas
While this grant-funded project began well before the pandemic, the researchers found low-cost ways to scan and share physical artworks in an online world—a method that’s especially useful when viewing art in-person isn’t possible.


How to Care for Children’s Minds During COVID-19
The College of Education's Dr. Lori Desautels offers guidance for educators and parents as the pandemic causes uncertainty, isolation, and restraint. To learn more about how Desautels teaches students about their brains, check out our pre-pandemic story How Neuroscience Helps Kids Heal From Trauma.

Butler, Old National Partner to Support Businesses Owned by Underrepresented Groups
The Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence—a partnership between Butler University and Old National Bank—is waiving membership fees for companies owned by people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

Butler Pharmacy Prof Receives $1.39M NIH Grant to Support Cancer Research
Dr. Chioniso Patience Masamha is studying an oncogene commonly linked to Mantle Cell Lymphoma and other types of cancer.

Pharmacy Students to Fill Indy’s Prescription for Hand Sanitizer
A trio of graduate students made 50 liters of sanitizer for donation to community programs and facilities.

Butler Theatre Gives Health Professionals SWAG
Theatre faculty and staff joined the Indy-based Safer With a Gown project, using their skills to help produce gowns for healthcare workers.

Grad Students from Butler's College of Education Create Guide to Help Schools Reopen
Cohort members from the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP) released Blueprint 2020: A Guidebook for School Leaders Moving Forward.

Butler Grad Helps Americans See Coronavirus Up Close
At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Austin Athman ’09 is part of a team that captures images of microscopic diseases.

This Team of Alumni Helped Butler Go Remote
Four grads in the Center for Academic Technology knew that strong relationships would be key to online learning.



Butler Blue IV, next live mascot for Butler, revealed, ready to report to work
In January, the 12-week-old English Bulldog was set to take the reins as Butler’s fourth live mascot. Butler Blue III (AKA Trip) retired in May.

Butler Ranked No.1 in Midwest for Third Straight Year by U.S. News & World Report
The University also ranked among top universities in three national categories.

Butler Welcomes Third-Largest Class Ever Despite COVID-19 Challenges
More than 1,125 first-year students logged on for their first day of classes on August 24.

Butler University Launches a Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement
With leadership from Dr. Terri Jett as Faculty Director, the Hub will serve as an institutional command center to address systemic racism and Black oppression.

Butler Receives $2.5 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Fund New Butler Beyond Transformation Lab
The Transformation Lab will serve as a hub of resources, expertise, and activity to accelerate the development of future-oriented education models.

Kandel-Cisco Named New College of Education Dean
Dr. Brooke Kandel-Cisco was Interim Dean since May 2019 before filling the position permanently this past March.

Hilary Buttrick Named Interim Dean of the Lacy School of Business
Dr. Buttrick served as an Associate Dean in the Lacy School of Business (LSB) before being named Interim Dean on June 9.

Loyal Donors and New Strategic Direction Help Butler Thrive Through Unprecedented Year
Total giving during the 2019-2020 fiscal year included $16.6 million toward scholarships and $28.5 million toward the Butler Beyond campaign.


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager

Butler University 2020

Year in Review: Top Stories of 2020

In 2020, Butler adapted to new challenges, helped our community, and found ways to celebrate

Dec 16 2020 Read more
Founder's Week

Butler’s 2020 Founder’s Week Recognizes Centennial of Women’s Suffrage

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Jan 30 2020

In efforts to focus on diversity and inclusion on campus, Butler University can look back to its roots. From February 2–8, the University will celebrate those ideals during Founder’s Week.

Every year, Butler observes the birthday of its founder, abolitionist Ovid Butler, with a slate of events that remind the campus community of his spirit and founding vision. Since opening in 1855, Butler has invited women and people of color to attend the University—an innovative position for the time.

“When people find out that Butler was founded by an abolitionist in 1855, open from the very beginning for African-Americans and women—and that we have the first endowed chair named after a woman in this country—they are kind of surprised,” says Terri Jett, Associate Professor of Political Science and Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusivity. “People don’t look to Indiana as being on the forefront of progressive ideas. But it actually was—at least at Butler.”

This year, in honor of the centennial of women winning the right to vote, the week will embrace the theme of “BU | Be Demia”—as in Demia Butler, Ovid’s daughter and the first woman to graduate from Butler’s four-year program. The University also established the first endowed chair in the country for a female professor in Demia’s name. After the Demia Butler Chair of English Literature was created in 1869, Catharine Merrill—the second full-time female professor in the nation at any university—became its first recipient.

Through the image of Demia, this year’s event will honor women through a series of events including a suffragist exhibit in Irwin Library, screenings of the movies On the Basis of Sex and Hidden Figures, a panel discussion about reproductive rights, and a Visiting Writers Series event with award-winning author Carmen Maria Machado. On Thursday, the week’s keynote presentation will feature Butler Speaker’s Lab Director Sally Perkins in a performance of her one-woman play about the suffragist movement, Digging in Their Heels. To wrap up the celebration on Friday, all staff, faculty, and students can receive two free tickets to the February 7 Women’s Basketball game at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

“We need to keep recognizing our own history and tradition,” Jett says. “But the values that history was founded on are still in line with the things we focus on today: diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

To help emphasize those ideals throughout the year, the Founder’s Week Committee awards several $1,000 grants to help faculty develop course projects, assignments, or independent studies in ways that incorporate the themes of Founder’s Day. More than 40 faculty members have received these grants, and this year’s celebration showcases three recipients: Ryan Rogers, Peter Wang, and Erin Garriott.


  • Rogers, Assistant Professor of Creative Media and Entertainment, and Academic Coordinator of Esports Programs, used the grant to develop a class focusing on themes of diversity and inclusion in esports. Students learned about the relationship between harassment and competition, and that the mediated environment inherent to esports—not seeing your competitor face-to-face—can lead to more dismissal of the other person’s feelings. The class found that female participants were common targets of this harassment. Students then conducted original studies to search for solutions for making the esports industry more welcoming for everyone.


  • Wang, Lecturer of Art History, has added a section related to Founder’s Day to his class about American art and visual culture. The assignment asks students to research a female or African-American artist from the Colonial period through the 19th century. “The idea is to re-contextualize the barriers and challenges for these artists around the time when Butler University was established,” Wang says. “If students were in the second half of 19th-century America and were to collect a piece of art made by a woman or an African-American, what would they be looking at?”


  • Garriott, a Lecturer in the College of Education, used her Founder’s Day grant to support disability inclusion efforts around campus. She started with the café on Butler’s South Campus, working with staff there to help transform the space into “a place to celebrate people of all abilities.” Now, the café is decorated with artwork from Kelley Schreiner, an artist who has Down Syndrome, and it will soon host a larger exhibition. Garriott also led efforts to raise awareness for the Special Olympics members who take classes in Butler’s Health and Recreation Complex. “Kelley Schreiner now has a poster of her strong self getting ready to lift some weights, which is hanging outside The Kennel,” Garriott explains. “We will have another poster made this semester with Katherine Custer, who is taking the Wagging, Walking, and Wellness Physical Well Being class. Plus, we have created a documentation panel that will hang at South Campus to celebrate our collaboration with Special Olympics Indiana.”


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
(260) 307-3403


Innovations in Teaching and Learning

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

Founder's Week

Butler’s 2020 Founder’s Week Recognizes Centennial of Women’s Suffrage

The annual event celebrates the University’s founding values of diversity, equity, and inclusion

Jan 30 2020 Read more

A Crash Course on Nature-Focused, Hands-In-The-Dirt Growing

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Nov 25 2019

This story is part of a mini-series exploring The Farm at Butler, its methods, and its mission. Part three of six.


The Farm at Butler probably looks different from any you’ve seen before. It’s not a wall of corn or wheat, the same crop filling miles of fields along the highway. Instead, the one-acre space—nestled on a floodplain between the White River and the Central Canal—looks more like a backyard garden. Plenty of space separates each of the long, narrow plant beds growing more than 70 kinds of plants, and woody shrubs crawl up the sides of a wood-plank fence. You won’t see a tractor here, or even a plough—all the work is done by hand. And with just one full-time farmer and a handful of student interns, there aren’t that many hands to do the work.

Still, The Farm produces about 10,000 pounds of food each year.

That’s because Farm Manager Tim Dorsey and other leaders in Butler’s Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability (CUES) have decided to let nature do the heavy lifting. Below, learn more about how nearly every aspect of The Farm at Butler draws from other ecosystems for guidance on how to make the most of organic growing.



The Farm is built on the idea of agroecology, a way of farming that looks to natural ecosystems for inspiration. Dorsey uses the forests and prairies surrounding The Farm as a guide, mimicking what he sees to create a diverse environment. For example, he tries to plant in a variety of layers, and he grows a mix of perennial and annual plants.

Dorsey has recently focused on adding more perennial permaculture elements, such as sturdy trees and shrubs, which live for years instead of requiring replanting each season. In addition to layering the canopy and providing shade as they grow, these more stable, low-maintenance plants minimize soil disturbance. Dorsey says this sort of farming is even healthier for the ecosystem than basic organic growing.


Caring for the soil:

A key element of sustainable, organic farming is protecting soil health. The more stable the soil, the less erosion and run-off will occur, the less pollution will take place, and the healthier the plants will be. At The Farm, Dorsey protects the soil in a variety of ways. For example, The Farm is on a nine-year crop rotation plan, which means a plot of soil grows a different plant each year for nine years. This gives the soil time to replenish itself with specific nutrients that were drained by previous plants. Some deep-rooted plants also serve the purpose of capturing the nutrients that have sunk to the lowest layers of the soil, then redistributing them to the upper layers, which helps make sure every nutrient gets used. And between plantings of different crops, they don’t use chemicals to kill remaining plants—they just lay down straw to smother out sunlight and conserve moisture.

During the winter, or when there is any gap in the regular rotation, Dorsey plants cover crops to keep the soil in shape. For example, as soon as they finished harvesting the onions this summer, they put in oats. Oats will grow a lot before winter, and they also have an extensive root system. Onions get the most fertilizer (from compost), and oat roots scavenge what’s left so that nothing is wasted. Then when the oats die in the winter, they easily become automatic mulch, making it easy to handle in the spring.


Making the most of bugs:

Most people understand the importance of pollinators such as bees and butterflies when it comes to growing a garden, and The Farm is always looking for ways to put nature’s workers to the task. Two bee hives on The Farm are home to many of its buzzing friends, and a plot of flowers—which are later sold at the market—attract several graceful butterflies at a time. When deciding which new crops to try, Dorsey often focuses on choosing ones that serve a secondary purpose of bringing in more good bugs. “If we can get things to perform more than one function,” he says, “that’s ideal.”

But some critters making their way onto the acre aren’t so friendly—some pests gnaw at the leaves and plant their eggs on the stems. So Dorsey also makes sure to use “companion planting,” incorporating flowering plants that attract the right predatory insects to kill the pests. You might think of a wasp as a nuisance—or just plain evil—but on the farm, it serves a useful purpose.



What grows on the farm?

Apples Cilantro Lemongrass Raspberries
Arugula Collard Lettuce Rhubarb
Asparagus Corn Melons Rosemary
Basil Cucumbers Mint Rutabaga
Beans Dill Mustard Sage
Beets Dwarf Korean pines Onions Scallions
Bok Choy Eggplant Oregano Spinach
Broccoli Fennel Parsley Squash
Brussels Sprouts Flowers Peas Strawberries
Cabbage Garlic Peaches Sunchokes
Carrots Gooseberries Peppers Sweet corn
Cauliflower Hazelnuts Peppermint Thyme
Celery Honeyberries Potatoes Tomatoes
Chard Kale Pumpkins Turnips
Chives Leeks Radishes Watermelon



Part 1: Getting To The Root of It: How Butler’s One-Acre Farm Has Evolved In a Decade

Part 2: Farming Full-Time: How Tim Dorsey Discovered the World Through Agriculture

Part 3: A Crash Course on Nature-Focused, Hands-In-The-Dirt Growing

Part 4: Sustainability on the Syllabus

Part 5: A Model for Urban Farming in Indianapolis

Part 6: So, Where Does All The Food Go?


Explore the full Farm at Butler mini-series here


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
260-307-3403 (cell)


Innovations in Teaching and Learning

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


A Crash Course on Nature-Focused, Hands-In-The-Dirt Growing

The Farm goes beyond just sticking to organic methods, taking cues from nature to create a diverse space.

Nov 25 2019 Read more

In State of The University, Danko Asks: How Can We Be Better?


PUBLISHED ON Oct 20 2017

In his seventh State of the University message, Butler President James M. Danko on Friday, October 20, said he is pleased with the University’s growth and achievement, and he challenged the community to ask “How can we as a university be better?” and “What can I do to help make us better?”

“As we move forward this year, I would like to challenge everyone in this room to join me in practicing more self-reflection,” Danko said in his speech at the Schrott Center for the Arts.  “Let’s ask ourselves hard questions and honestly assess the ways in which we can seek improvement every day—for ourselves, for our teams, and for Butler.”

Overall, Danko said, Butler has made great strides, from the classroom (new programs that include the first student-run insurance company in the nation and a collaboration to record and produce musicians participating in the Indy Jazz Festival) to the city (the University contributed more than 77,000 volunteer hours to the Indianapolis community) to Admissions (applications are currently up over 8 percent compared with this time last year) to Athletics (Men’s Soccer and Tennis winning BIG EAST championships and David Goldsmith being named the BIG EAST Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year).

He noted new construction projects and campus additions, including:

  • Irvington House, the 647-bed residence hall being built on the site of former Schwitzer Hall, which opens in fall 2018.
  • The Lacy School of Business building currently under construction and slated to open in fall 2019.
  • Major upcoming renovation of the science facilities for the first time in more than 40 years. At its most recent meeting, the Butler Board of Trustees approved plans for the construction of a new addition that will connect Gallahue Hall and the Holcomb Building, as well as the renovation of the existing buildings.
  • Upcoming finalization of a campus-sharing agreement with Christian Theological Seminary (CTS). In 2018, the College of Education is expected to move to CTS, a spacious location that will better suit its learning objectives.

Danko said the University faces challenges, including the diminishing number of college-age students and the intense competition for good students, “especially in the State of Indiana, where the public universities are quite good,” and from “many private schools in the state that are discounting tuition significantly to fill their classrooms.”

Danko praised the Board of Trustees for holding the 2018–2019 tuition increase to 3.25 percent, the lowest increase in at least the past 11 years, while boosting the financial aid allocation to $68 million.

“I can assure you that we will continue to grow our financial aid in order to help many, many future students to afford a Butler education,” he said. “We remain more committed than ever to providing an exceptional academic experience, one that inspires achievement, growth, and a love of learning in our students.”

Media contact:
Marc Allan


In State of The University, Danko Asks: How Can We Be Better?

In his seventh State of the University message, Butler President James M. Danko on Friday, October 20, said he is pleased with the University’s growth and achievement, and he challenged the community to ask “How can we as a university be better?” and “What can I do to help make us better?”

Oct 20 2017 Read more

She Couldn't Find The Book She Needed, So She Wrote Her Own


PUBLISHED ON Oct 09 2017

Ann Bilodeau wanted a book to explain to her then-5-year-old daughter why she didn’t believe in God, but such a book didn’t exist.

So Bilodeau wrote her own.

What Do You Believe, Mama? (Mascot Books), an illustrated children’s book, features a mother teaching her daughter lessons such as “Look for things that are true. Be open to ideas. Listen to your heart” and “You don’t have to believe in God to be good.”

“My daughter started asking questions,” said Bilodeau, a Speech-Language Pathologist and Director of Butler University’s Speech and Language Clinic. “All the kids around her asked her why she did not believe in God, and she would come home crying because they said she was going to hell. We have always been respectful of others and I wanted a book to help me share that message with her.”

Bilodeau, a secular humanist, said that growing up, she attended a Methodist church—mainly on the holidays and special occasions. She never felt connected to a higher being, but she appreciated the moral lessons found in various religious ideologies, particularly the Golden Rule.

That is the advice she imparts in the book.

“I believe in caring for people with RESPECT, KINDNESS, ACCEPTANCE, FAIRNESS, and LOVE,” she writes. “I believe in knowing right from wrong and making good choices.”

“I wanted to find ways to teach her these important lessons—but from a secular perspective,” Bilodeau said.

The book is illustrated by Stanley Burford, Bilodeau’s aunt and a Herron School of Art professor emeritus.

“No children’s book is any good without wonderful illustrations, and this is where my aunt comes in,” Bilodeau said. “She completed these when she was 80 (she’s now 82).  She is an amazing woman and partnering with her on this project means the world to me.”

What Do You Believe, Mama? is available through, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million.

“If we sell some and get the book—and the message—out there, I will be over the moon,” Bilodeau said.

Media contact:
Marc Allan

Butler Year in Review: The Stories of 2018

On any given day, throughout campus and beyond, there are hundreds of Butler stories to be told. What we do at Butler University—and how we do it—not only make us better as a university; it, in turn, makes the world better. In March of 2018, we launched Butler Stories, a place to share news, tell tales, and engage more deeply with our community. Over the course of the year we have shared more than 100 stories about the Butler community and its impact.

From breaking news to long-form articles about important research, here’s a list, in no particular order, of our top ten news stories from 2018:


Butler Ranked No. 1 in the Midwest For the First Time by U.S. News & World Report

For the first time in its history, Butler University moved into a tie for the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings.


As Female Veteran Population Grows, So Do Their Healthcare Needs

The number of female veterans has been on the rise and is projected to continue in that direction. In her research, Assistant Professor Veronica Vernon found the best way to serve the fast-growing population of female veterans – pharmacists.


Butler Launches Online Master’s in Risk and Insurance

Butler University's Lacy School of Business will introduce an online Master of Science in Risk and Insurance (MSRI) program—among the first of its kind in the nation—beginning in January 2019 to help address the gap between the risk and insurance industry’s personnel needs and the limited talent pool that exists in today’s job market.


Kenzie Academy, Butler University Executive Education Partner to Accelerate Tech Careers

Kenzie Academy, an Indianapolis-based education and apprenticeship program that develops modern tech workers, and Butler University announced a strategic partnership to offer a new model of education to the next generation of technology professionals.


Outsmarting the Test: Concussions & ImPACT

According to new research from Butler University Director of Undergraduate Health Science Programs, Amy Peak, and former Butler health science student Courtney Raab, individuals are outsmarting the most popular exam to test for concussions.


Lacy School of Business Named Outstanding On-Campus MBA Program by Princeton Review

The Lacy School of Business has been named one of the 252 outstanding on-campus MBA programs in the Princeton Review's “Best Business Schools for 2019.”


Brooke Barnett Named New Dean of CCOM

Brooke Barnett, a Professor and Associate Provost at Elon University—who earned her master's and doctorate from Indiana University—will be the new Dean of Butler University's College of Communication (CCOM). Barnett will join Butler on June 1, 2019.


Popularity, Success Spark Second IPS/Butler Lab School

A second Lab School, born out of demand, success, and lots of work, is up and running at 54th Street. Lab School 55 welcomed around 300 students in its inaugural year.


Butler Professor Receives NSF Grant to Study Class of Enzymes Linked with Cancer Growth

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Jeremy Johnson, with a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, will continue his research and will integrate the work into undergraduate classroom laboratories.


Butler Continues Trend, Welcomes Record First-Year Class

For the second time in three years, Butler University is set to welcome its largest class ever, as 1,336 first-year students began classes on August 22. Butler has been experiencing an upward trajectory in applicants since 2009.


Butler Year in Review: The Stories of 2018

 From breaking news to long-form articles about important research, here are our top news stories from 2018.


Butler University’s First Live Bulldog Mascot, Blue I, Has Died


PUBLISHED ON May 30 2014

Butler Blue I, the white English bulldog who served as Butler University’s first official live mascot, died this morning, Friday, May 30, 2014. She was 13 years old.

Blue I was born September 23, 2000, at Frank and Jeane King’s Kong King Kennel in Lizton, Indiana. She served as Butler University’s official mascot from 2000–2004, and then accompanied her human companion, Kelli Walker ’91, to Bellingham, Washington; Morris, Illinois; and Chicago.

"For over 13 years Blue lived an extraordinary life. Her noble heart stopped today; instead of feeling empty, my heart is twice as full for loving her,” said Walker.

The concept of “Butler Blue” existed for about a year before Blue I, as she was known, became an integral part of life at Butler University and beyond. Walker worked in Butler’s Office of Alumni and Parent Programs from 1998–2004; in 1999, Walker began exploring what a live mascot program would encompass.

Under the initially skeptical—and ultimately, supportive—leadership of William T. Farkas ’88, then Executive Director of Alumni and Development Programs, Walker gathered information from peer institutions (including Drake University, University of Georgia, and Yale University). Then-Butler President Gwen Fountain supported the initiative, and in fact insisted on including Blue I in her presidential portrait, which currently hangs in Robertson Hall.

Carving out a place in an academic institution for a live mascot program was a multi-faceted effort, including securing financial support from an anonymous alumni donor (to purchase the original dog; subsequent mascots have been donated generously by Kong King Kennel, which quickly became beloved members of the Butler family), food, and veterinary care (Dr. Kurt Phillips ‘92), as well as managing the complex logistics of the day-to-day life of a mascot.

 In fall 2000, Butler held a community-wide naming contest for the new mascot. While “Hinkle,” “Hampton,” and even “Buttercup” were popular vote-getters, “Butler Blue” was the top choice.

Butler Blue I made her inaugural appearance on the court of Hinkle Fieldhouse, carried in the arms of the costumed bulldog mascot (now known as “Hink”). In addition to attending men’s and women’s basketball games—where she rallied with the cheerleaders and the Dawg Pound before retiring to the bleachers to sleep—Blue I attended other collegiate sporting events and made regular visits to classrooms, residence halls, campus events, staff and faculty events, commencement, and even the annual Rejoice holiday concert, where she rode a sleigh across stage to the tune of “Blue Christmas.”

“Bulldog Fridays” drew great numbers of visitors to the Alumni Office in Robertson Hall.

Blue I traveled to the NCAA Tournament in 2003, where she famously was “sneaked into” a hotel under the cover of a Butler hooded sweatshirt and the Butler University Pep Band.

Blue I was almost all white with brown spotted ears. She maintained an ideal conformation her entire life and was not plagued by health problems typical of many bulldogs.

Blue I loved playing tug with her rope toy, lying in the grass at her grandparents’ home, eating carrots and apples, and sleeping under a blanket. In her later years she became close buddies with her two feline brothers. She appeared on stage in Chicago as “Rufus” in “Legally Blonde,” proving that, even at age 12, she still could take the stage and capture the hearts of an audience.

As the matriarch of a Butler Bulldog legacy, Blue I will rest in peace along side her successor, Butler Blue II (March 24, 2004–August 31, 2013), in a new Bulldog Memorial currently being erected on campus. The memorial—a gift of the Class of 2013 along with support from generous donors to the Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse and live mascot program­—will be dedicated at Butler’s Homecoming festivities in September of this year.

Current mascot duties are being assumed by Butler Blue III (December 23, 2011)—a red brindle English bulldog, also from Kong King Kennel—who took over for Blue II in spring 2013. For more information on Butler University’s live mascot program, visit

Those wishing to honor the life and service of Blue I may make a gift in her memory to the Bulldog Memorial. To do so, visit Butler's online giving site, select “Other” from the gift designation drop-down menu and enter “Bulldog Memorial” in the space provided. Additional information about the Bulldog Memorial is available at 

Ways to Get Around

If you are a student from out-of-state, or maybe just from down the street, you might be wondering how on Earth are you going to get around the city?

From city bikes to electric blue cars it’s easy to get from A to B in Indy, even if you don’t have your own car. Here are some great transportation options in the city if you don't have your own car or bike...or even if you do.



BlueIndy is a 100% electric car-sharing service and has about 200 charging stations in the Indianapolis region. These little cars are easy to use and doesn’t take a toll on your wallet.

Students get a free yearly membership, which means it would cost a Bulldog just 15 cents a minutes to rent a BlueCar! If you want to learn more or sign up for a membership click on the link provided below.

Sign up for your free BlueIndy membership today with discount code GODAWGS. 



Butler has partnered with Uber, an on-demand private driving app, to offer a safe, alternative transportation option to and from campus. New users to Uber can use promo code BUTLER101 to receive $20 off their first ride. Need information on how to use Uber? It's simple:

  • Use the iPhone or Android app, or visit to request a ride.
  • Sit back and relax. Uber will text you when the vehicle arrives.
  • When your trip ends, Uber will auto-charge your credit card and email you a receipt.
  • Fare split rides with friends for an even more cost-effective way to get around!


Indy Go

IndyGo can get you there. They operate 31 bus routes throughout Indianapolis, providing nearly 10 million passenger trips a year. Along with the opening of the Julia M. Carson Transit Center in downtown Indianapolis two IndyGo routes (18 & 28) were modified to serve the Butler Campus directly with convenient stops along Sunset Avenue. 


IndyGo S-passes (1 month) are available In the PuLSE office for $30

  • Use Google Maps to plan your trip with the IndyGo trip-planner.
  • IndyGo now has Real-time arrival information.
  • Visit for more information.


Coming soon! IndyGo Red Line

Traveling within a few blocks of campus, the Red Line is a bus system that will “run from Broad Ripple through downtown Indy to the University of Indianapolis.” The route will come within a quarter mile of more than 50,000 residents. Throughout most of the day, buses will arrive every ten minutes, and the Red Line will operate for 20 hours each day, 7 days a week.


City Bikes

Similar to BlueIndy, Indiana Pacer Bikeshare is a great way to explore the city at a low cost. Indiana Pacer Bikeshare has about 20 stations around the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, and is a great option if you want to zip around downtown on a sunny day.

Pacer Bikeshare

Trip and Blue Indy

Ways to Get Around

It’s easy to get from A to B in Indy!


Butler Joins The Esports Combine as Hosting University


PUBLISHED ON Oct 08 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Ahead of The Esports Combine™ 2020, a virtual convention designed to connect esports players with collegiate programs, Indiana Esports Development LLC. has announced a partnership with Butler University to be the official host for the event. The University will host this year’s convention through student participation, marketing efforts, and spectatorship. Butler will also host its own panel on Saturday, October 17, that discusses the challenges and opportunities involved in building an academic program around gaming and esports.

The Esports Combine™ is organized by Indiana Esports Development and powered by Indiana Sports Corp and Indiana-based Harena Data, with other Indiana participants including Butler, the Horizon League, and the Indiana High School Esports Network.

“There is a real hunger out there for academic programs in esports,” said Lee Farquhar, Associate Professor of Journalism and Sports Media at Butler. “The growth of gaming and esports presents a tremendous opportunity to connect student passion with the jobs of a growing industry. In addition to game development and design, I envision continued growth for esports programs centered on business, communication, media production, and gaming studies.”

“Butler serving as the host university is only fitting, as it’s true to two things: Indiana and esports,” said Bill Dever, President of Indiana Esports Development. “The rapid launch of esports is proving to be a huge benefit for Indiana and is a growing identity for everyone involved. This Esports Combine will solidify that position, and while this year it’s only virtual for safety purposes, we’re going to make it grand.”

“We are excited to host the 2020 Esports Combine in partnership with Indiana Esports Development LLC and Indiana Sports Corp,” said Eric Kammeyer, Director of Esports and Gaming Technology at Butler. “The convention provides Butler Esports with the ability to expand the foundation in competition, curriculum, and community engagement. Indianapolis as a host city is an energetic hub for esports, and like Butler, thrives in innovative technology, hosting large events and sports competitions.”

Since 2019, Indiana has emerged as a bustling esports hub in the U.S. Beyond The Esports Combine, Indiana has pushed a strong esports agenda:

  • Indiana colleges, such as Butler, and high schools are implementing esports programs that benefit students.
  • Pacers Gaming is becoming a prominent philanthropy source in the sports and gaming communities, with the launch of a Make-A-Wish partnership.
  • State associations are creating esports leagues and reinventing recreational soccer for youth.
  • Esports startups such as Challonge, ggCircuit, Harena Data, Beastcoast, and many others are thriving in the Indiana economy.


The Combine is a partnership between Indiana Sports Corp and Indiana-based Harena Data. It serves as a celebration of esports and its ever-increasing place in the academic world. The event will help players receive varsity team offers and scholarships from colleges and universities throughout North America.


About Butler University
Butler University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Approximately 4,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 30 countries. More than 75 percent of Butler students will participate in some form of internship, and Butler students have had significant success after graduation, as demonstrated by the University’s 98 percent placement rate within six months of graduation. The University was recently listed as the No. 1 regional university in the Midwest, according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings, in addition to being included in The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” guidebook.


About GYO
GYO Score is an esports and gaming data analytics platform that seeks to support gamers and esports at all levels. With its game data analytics tools, team management, player profile, and league tool systems, GYO supports gamers and esports-enthusiasts of all competition levels to pursue their dream of esports stardom and community building. To date, GYO Score has helped facilitate more than 200 esports scholarship offers and boasts more than 30,000 players on its platform since it launched in September 2019. To learn more about GYO, please visit


About Harena Data, Inc
Founded in 2017, Harena Data has developed GYO Score to be a data analytics, league development, and player management tool for the esports industry. The principles of Harena Data have a strong background in esports, event management, motion picture production, and telecommunications. In addition to GYO Score, Harena Data specializes in esports consultation regarding the development and deployment of esports venues, scholastic esports programs, and esports league concepts.


Media contact:
Wahid Lodin
Harena Data
Director of PR & Communications 


Butler Joins The Esports Combine as Hosting University

Indiana rises as esports hub in America

Oct 08 2020 Read more
Ibram X. Kendi at Butler

Ibram X. Kendi: ‘We Need Universities to Challenge the Status Quo’

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Aug 28 2020

As part of Butler University’s ongoing commitment to eliminate racism and discrimination on campus, the University kicked off the fall 2020 semester by welcoming bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi as the keynote guest in virtual Q&A sessions with students, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Kendi is Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He is also a Professor of History and International Studies, an Ideas Columnist at The Atlantic, and a correspondent with CBS News. His four books have included Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America; How to Be an Antiracist; and STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You (co-authored with Jason Reynolds). His newest book, Antiracist Baby, was published on June 16, 2020.

The conversation with Butler employees, held August 19 as part of a day-long symposium on anti-racism, was moderated by College of Communication (CCOM) Dean Brooke Barnett. The student session later that week was led by junior CCOM student Marcos Navarro García, alongside Gina Forrest, Butler’s Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Dr. Kendi says the journey to being anti-racist should start by defining racist policies as any policies that lead to racial inequity, and by defining racist ideas as any concepts that suggest one racial group is superior or inferior to another.

“And so, racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” he says.

The sessions focused mainly on the experiences of Black individuals within predominantly white institutions such as Butler, and on the role those institutions must play in combating racism. One of the most important things universities can do, Dr. Kendi says, is to use their intellectual resources to challenge the status quo.

“How can we assemble and organize experts on our campus who can really figure out the causes of racial inequities in our town, in our state?” he says. “We're going to need that for this struggle to transform this country. We need intellectuals, we need scholars, and we need universities to support that level of public scholarship.”

Dr. Kendi also recommends that universities encourage anti-racist work by making it an explicit part of the employee review process, just as faculty are incentivized to publish academic journals. Spreading out diversity-related work will also give some breathing room to employees of color, who often shoulder the load of supporting students of color.

“Many predominantly white universities do not have many Black and Brown faculty members,” Dr. Kendi explains. “And so, typically, Black and Brown students are lining up at their doors, talking to them about their classes and about the racism they may be facing on campus. You know, just talking to them to feel valued, because in other places on campus, they don't.”

All members of university communities need to put in the work to make sure people of color feel welcome and valued everywhere on campus. But Dr. Kendi acknowledges that even those who want to help might hesitate to speak up for fear of offending others. He says it’s important to understand that even anti-racist people will sometimes make mistakes, sometimes say racist things. The difference is in how they react.

“A racist person will deny it,” he says. “But someone who is being anti-racist reflects on what they said, based on the definition of a racist idea that they have learned, and will be like, ‘You know what, that was a racist idea. I was being racist in that moment, but I want to be different. I want to change. I want to learn. I want to grow, and I'm sorry for saying that. Let me repair the harm that I caused."

Ibram X. Kendi at Butler

Ibram X. Kendi: ‘We Need Universities to Challenge the Status Quo’

In mid-August, the bestselling author of ‘How to Be an Antiracist’ joined virtual conversations with the Butler community

Aug 28 2020 Read more

Top 15 Things To Do in Indy

by Elizabeth Duis ’20

Indianapolis is a bustling city with unforgettable experiences around every corner. As home to the world’s largest children’s museum, 11 professional sports teams, and one of only two racing hubs in the country, Indy has established a name for itself as a vibrant, growing metropolis. We’ve rounded up a list of our Top 15 things to do in Indy this summer and all year ‘round! Whether you’re a sports fanatic, art enthusiast, animal lover, or family-oriented person, the Circle City has got a spot for you!

  1. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Let your imagination run wild down the halls of the largest children’s museum in the world. Located just minutes from downtown, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis features five floors of fun and interactive learning that are thrilling for all ages. The new Sports Legends Experience combines indoor and outdoor exhibits so guests can run, dive, jump, put, and play year round!

  1. Butler Arts Center

Comprising several venues on Butler University’s campus, the Butler Arts Center features both collegiate and professional performances. BAC’s largest venue, Clowes Memorial Hall, hosts Broadway in Indianapolis that brings Broadway-level productions to the Midwest. Also, don’t miss showstopping collegiate performances like Butler Ballet’s The Nutcracker as the next generation of professionals grace the stage.

  1. Indianapolis Zoo

Located downtown in White River State Park, the Indianapolis Zoo is a 64-acre accredited zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden that’s sure to make animal lovers giddy! The zoo is divided by ecological systems, so visitors can take in the sights, sounds, smells, and, of course, animals in every environment. Approximately 250 species can be seen in these numerous biomes, so go pay them a visit!

  1. Indianapolis Public Library

College students and business travelers alike will love the serenity and architectural beauty of the Indianapolis Public Library. Originally constructed in 1917, the library has undergone a recent expansion to create a breathtaking glass and steel atrium, which serves as an impressive event space. The city skyline views offered by the sixth floor spaces are a must-see for any Indy explorer.

  1. Old National Centre

At the heart of downtown sits a nationally-renowned venue that hosts some of the best entertainment in the city. Old National Centre, formerly the Murat Centre, boasts a lineup of Broadway shows, concerts, and more each year. Check out a show and grab dinner or a drink closeby on Mass Ave.

  1. Newfields

The Indianapolis Museum of Art, located on the Newfields campus, is one of the nation’s largest art museums. Art enthusiasts will love the 152 acres of gardens and grounds featuring the museum's permanent collection of many cultures and eras, numbering more than 50,000 works. Even is art isn’t really your thing, Newfields also offers 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, one of the United States' foremost museum contemporary sculpture parks, with installations integrated into woodlands, wetlands, lakes, and meadows that are breathtaking no matter your level of interest.

  1. NCAA Hall of Champions

For those who love to follow their legends, the NCAA Hall of Champions boasts two floors of interactive exhibits to engage visitors and create a true-to-life understanding of what it takes to make the grade. The first floor, “Arena,” represents all 24 NCAA sports represented and contains fun features such as a trivia challenge, current team rankings, and video highlights. The second floor, “Play,” is even more interactive as guests can compete virtually and hands-on through sports simulators, a 1930’s retro gymnasium, ski simulator, and more!

  1. Indiana State Museum

Much more than your average museum, the Indiana State Museum is blazing the trail of interactive museums across the country. Exhibits come to life through costumed actors and intriguing presentations. Spanning three floors of permanent and changing galleries, the museum tells the story of the Hoosier state. The museum also houses unique amenities such as an IMAX movie theater, the Indiana Store, The Farmers Market Café, and the L.S. Ayres Tea Room.

  1. Eiteljorg Museum

Prepare to immerse yourself in the beauty of another culture. Named one of the world's finest Native American and Western Art collections by True West, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is one of only two such museums east of the Mississippi. Works of sculpture decorate the lawn and invite guests in to view the traditional and contemporary works of artists such as Georgia O’Keefe and Andy Warhol.

  1. Victory Field

Home to the Indianapolis Indians, Victory Field is a 14,200-set ballpark located on the west side of Indianapolis. Recognized as one of the best ballparks in the United States by publications such as Baseball AmericaSports Illustrated, and Midwest Living, Victory Field is the perfect spot for a day trip in Indy. The Tribe play a 70-game home schedule running from April all the way through September. Pro Tip: its panoramic views of the downtown skyline are some of the best in the city!

  1. Lucas Oil Stadium

Next on the list of incredible sports venues is Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts. This retractable roof multi-purpose venue can seat over 63,000 for footballs games and concerts. Perks of the stadium include public tours given every week that give participants an up-close and personal look at the playing field, an NFL locker room, Lucas Oil Plaza, the press box, and numerous other areas that are generally inaccessible to the public. For diehard football fans, this is an opportunity don’t want to pass up!

  1. Banker’s Life Fieldhouse

Sports Business Journal has named Banker’s Life Fieldhouse the finest NBA basketball arena in the country, and for good reason! This retro-style fieldhouse in the heart of downtown offers the classic basketball feel that you love paired with the special effects and technology to get fans on their feet. The NBA Pacers and World Champion WNBA Fever find their home here, as well as various concerts and special events.

  1. Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! Indianapolis Motor Speedway is known as “The Greatest Race Course in the World” by fanatics and casual siteseers alike. Nestled in the town of Speedway, Indiana, within the city of Indianapolis, IMS is most known globally for hosting the largest single-day sporting event in the world, the Indianapolis 500. Fans from every continent make the trip to visit this electric and historic venue. As host to the Verizon IndyCar Series, NASCAR, Red Bull Air Race, LPGA and many other forms of racing and events throughout the year, it’s no wonder that Indy has been named The Racing Capital of the World. If you haven’t been to a race yet, you certainly need to!

  1. Eagle Creek Park

Eagle Creek Park covers more than 3,900 acres across the northside of Indianapolis, rendering it one of the nation’s largest city parks. Hiking and picnicking enthusiasts will enjoy the park’s breathtaking trails and campgrounds. The park also features a unique, 1,400-acre lake that frequently hosts the U.S. Rowing National Championship. Residents of Indy and surrounding areas love this spot for its ropes course, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and boating.

  1. The Canal & White River State Park District

Whether it's a relaxing stroll, vigorous run, day at the ballpark, interacting with dolphins, discovering Indiana history, exploring Native American art, learning about Lincoln or enjoying an outdoor concert, the Canal and White River State Park Cultural District has something for everyone, including authentic gondola rides! This is not your typical waterway, as the this cultural destination boasts public art, unique cafes, and more!

For a look at our tour of Things To Do in Indianapolis, visit our campus map.


Top 15 Things To Do in Indy

  Indianapolis is a bustling city with unforgettable experiences around every corner.

Top 15 Things To Do in Indy

by Elizabeth Duis ’20

Q&A with Butler Blue III aka "Trip"

As Butler Blue III  aka “Trip” gets ready to wrap up his time as the University's live mascot, we asked him a couple of questions about his career highlights, retirement plans, and advice for the new guy.


Butler: It seems like just yesterday you were the young pup on campus, and now you’ve reached retirement. Can you put the past eight years into words?

Blue III: Time flies! Especially when each calendar year counts for seven canine years. I struggle to put it all into words. It’s been the most amazing experience you could ever imagine. All dogs should be so lucky. I’ve lived the best life. Makes me wish I could live forever.

What have been some of the highlights of your mascot career?

Well, vomiting on the court at Madison Square Garden before a BIG EAST Tournament game comes to mind. That sort of put me on the map. But there’s so much more than that, like pioneering surprise Butler Bound visits with prospective students, serving on Eskenazi Health’s pet therapy team, welcoming Butler’s largest-ever class, organizing the Canine Party to make a run for President of the United States, being featured by the likes of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC Nightly News, and CBS Evening News, standing on the sidelines for multiple victories over top-ranked teams, and accompanying the Butler men’s basketball team for a Sweet 16 run—just to name a few.

Just look at my Instagram feed. It’s an eight-year highlight reel. And the cool thing is, one of my biggest projects has yet to drop. Stay tuned!

Any regrets?

Oh sure, there are some moments I’d like to do over again, but wouldn’t we all? My biggest regret has been the effects of this global pandemic on all of the things we had planned for my last weeks on the job. From no BIG EAST and NCAA Tournaments, to no May Commencement, and everything in between, our plans were dashed. But that’s not unique to me, so I can’t complain about it. I just regret the circumstances of it all. My hope is that we can still hold Commencement in December so that I can walk that stage with the Class of 2020. I want that for them, and I feel like that could redeem this situation a little bit.

What advice do you have for Butler Blue IV?

People will want to compare you to me and our previous Dawgs. Don’t listen to them. You just worry about doing this job your way, with all of your heart, and you’ll leave your own legacy at Butler. You’ll also end up paving the way for the next Bulldog to come after you, which is the circle of mascot life. Because, after all, those of us who have come before you are now 100 percent behind you.

What do you have planned for retirement?

Well, I’m a dog who likes to be busy, so I’m hoping I can find some things to keep me active and distracted. In other words, I’m not one to just sit around the house. Needless to say, this quarantine situation has been tough for me. Speaking of home, however, we are moving off campus to a new home on the northside of Indianapolis. So, that’s exciting. I’m looking forward to exploring our new neighborhood, and our contractor is even building me a custom Dawg House under the stairs. I can’t wait for that!

If you could do one more thing as mascot, what would it be?

Just one? Given all of the cool things I’ve been able to do as mascot, that’s a really tough question. But there’s nothing better than game day at Hinkle Fieldhouse. I’d give anything for just one more men’s basketball game in the old barn and the chance to run down my bone in front of a sold-out crowd of 9,000 people. I’ve lived for those moments.

What do you hope your legacy as mascot will be?

I hope people will remember me for the spirited, passionate, fun-loving, charismatic, and loyal Bulldog I’ve been. I’ve brought my own style and personality to this job, and in some respects, did it my own way, but with respect for the traditions. I think it turned out alright.


Q&A with Butler Blue III aka "Trip"

We wanted to ask Trip a couple of questions about his time as our official mascot before he officially hangs up the collar


For All the Dogs We've Loved Before, A Memorial


PUBLISHED ON Sep 26 2014

Butler’s beloved bulldogs got their final resting place on Friday, a granite, brick, and bronze doghouse outside Hinkle Fieldhouse where the remains of Blue I, Blue II, and all future mascots will be laid to rest.

Michael Kaltenmark said the bulldog memorial is "a timeless relic."
Michael Kaltenmark said the bulldog memorial is "a timeless relic.


The University dedicated the dog house/columbarium (urn storage) and bronze bulldog sculpture with a ceremony that honored the dogs and blessed the current mascot, Trip.

“By working in cooperation with some very important people, what I believe we have constructed here is a timeless relic, built to last, which serves as a point of pride and appropriate tribute to the lovable Butler Bulldog,” said Michael Kaltenmark, Director of External Relations and the owner of Blue II and Trip.

Donors to the memorial included the Class of 2013. Michael Couch, president of the class, said the Live Bulldog Mascot program came into its own during his class’ years as Butler students. Media made a star of Blue II during Butler’s 2010 and 2011 NCAA Final Four runs, and Kaltenmark built on Blue’s fame with innovative blogging and other social media, countless personal appearances, and a children’s book, but Kaltenmark and Blue “always remembered that their first fans were the students and alumni of Butler.”

“The Class of 2013 hopes this memorial stands as a testament to the determination, loyalty, and pride of all Butler Bulldogs—four-footed and two-footed—for many years to come,” he said.

Butler President James M. Danko said the bulldogs are more than just mascots—they’re family dogs that comfort our students when they’re homesick, celebrate birthdays across our community, play starring roles in videos and children’s books, and help us cheer on our teams.

Blue I, who died in May, Blue II, who died in 2013, and Trip all have served as a unifying force across our campus and our city, he said. Everyone, Butler alum or not, loves our Butler bulldogs.

“In this wonderful community of learning, we will be forever grateful for the things our bulldogs have awakened in us: above all, that special happiness that can only come from loving—and being loved—by an animal,” Danko said. “May Blue I and Blue II rest in peace, and we look forward to Trip having a long and happy tenure.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Butler's Move-in Day Experience

By Meredith Sauter

Jeanette Collier remembers arriving at Butler University to move her son, Cedric, into his first-year residence hall. The whole family was nervous, she says. Would things go according to plan?

Then the movers arrived, greeted the Colliers at Cedric’s residence hall, started unloading belongings out of their car, and delivered the things right to Cedric’s room.

“I couldn’t believe how easy it was,” Jeanette says. “There’s a lot of stress leading up to this day—the day you leave your child for the first time. I’d say I was at a stress level of about 100 when we arrived on campus, but Butler took it down to probably a two. Everything was taken care of, and we were able to relax. It was a great first impression.”

The Colliers were far from alone in their feelings of anxiety leading up to move-in day. In August, Butler welcomed 1,125 new students into three different residence halls. On top of the logistical tasks of moving into a new place, students face the stress of leaving home, meeting new people, and adjusting to a new schedule.

The goal of move-in, of course, is efficiency, but also to ease the nerves of new families like the Colliers, says Meg Haggerty, Director of New Student and Family Programs at Butler. But things weren’t always this seamless. It took one infamous move-in day to get to the systematic approach Haggerty says now appears to be second nature.

“It was pouring rain,” she says. “People were carrying their things around campus, and everything was wet. Everything was taking forever. It was sort of that moment you realize, ‘This is not working. This has got to change.’”

Now, families are assigned a specific time to arrive at the residence hall. They drive up to the unloading space, open the trunk of their car, and sit inside while a team of movers unload their belongings.

The movers then put all the items—pre-labeled with the student’s last name and room number—into a large rolling cart and deliver everything to the student’s room. Meanwhile, families leave the residence hall and drive a short distance to an assigned parking lot. By the time they take a short walk (or take a golf cart shuttle) back to the residence hall, all of the items are waiting in the student’s room.

Now, moving belongings from the car to the dorm takes minutes. The process also takes contingencies—like bad weather—into account.

In addition to implementing this new move-in process, Butler has planned the entire day around the first-year student and family experience. While moving into the residence halls is the highlight, there’s also a resource fair set up in the middle of campus where students and families are connected with campus offices, religious organizations, banks, and other entities. Food trucks visit campus, and student orientation guides serve as leaders of Welcome Wagons. The wagons are filled with temporary tattoos, bubbles, first aid kits, water bottles, maps of campus and Indianapolis, and schedules for the rest of the week.

Cristina Veraza, Family Council member and parent of Butler sophomore Jorge Veraza, has fond memories of her family’s move-in day one year earlier.

“It was very organized and very quick, especially when compared to my older daughter’s move-in experience at a different school,” Veraza says. “We spent the better part of the day unloading and carrying my daughter’s things to her room, but at Butler, that was all done for us in a matter of minutes. With Jorge’s move-in experience, we were able to enjoy the day and go out for dinner. It was a much more relaxing and enjoyable experience.”

Future prospective Butler families can expect to receive the same level of service—if not better—on their own move-in days. The University is evaluating its processes to see how else it can be improved.

“We know that this is already a time of heightened stress and great transition for families,” Haggerty says. “If we can help alleviate elements of this stress to make families feel like they're leaving their student in a safe place, that is what we want to do.”

Butler Move-in Day

Butler's Move-in Day Experience

At Butler, there's no need to stress about move-in day. We make it easy, giving families more time together.

Fall scene at Butler University

Finally: Campus Trees Pop with Peak Fall Colors

BY Tim Brouk

PUBLISHED ON Oct 21 2019

Fall foliage fans rejoice: Peak season has finally hit Butler University.

After a dry summer, the leaves were late to turn this autumn, but those yellows, reds, and oranges on the diverse collection of trees around campus should be visible for most of the rest of October.

“The change is a little late,” says Marcia Moore, the longtime assistant at Butler’s Friesner Herbarium. “You usually see that when you have summer drought. You need that regular rain in the summer for the sugars the trees are making for nourishment. When it’s dry, they’re protecting themselves and hold onto the leaves a little longer.”

Marcia Moore looks at specimens in the Herbarium.
Marcia Moore examines some old maple specimens in the Friesner Herbarium.

The Herbarium tree walk concentrates on select trees on the main campus marked with nameplates displaying the tree’s English and Latin names, along with the species’ area of origin. An example, a flowering dogwood in front of Robertson Hall, is identified as dogwood, Cornus florida, eastern and central U.S.

To extend the walk, Moore recommends taking in the trees within the 15 acres of woods north of campus, which are popping with color as well. These woods can be accessed at 49th Street and Lake Drive or through Holcomb Gardens.

“It’s a good representation of an old-growth forest,” Moore says. “Some of the beech trees in the Butler woods are thought to be 200-300-years-old. They are probably original growth.”

Native species, mostly

Moore says most of the trees on campus are native to central Indiana and some are more than 100 years old. Some include the red oak in front of Atherton Hall, the sugar maple east of Robertson Hall, and the tulip poplar near Jordan Hall.

Indiana’s state tree, tulip poplars get their name from their leaves and flowers resembling tulips, and they are well-represented at Butler. Every fall, a handful of Indianapolis elementary schools contact Moore for guided tree tours and to collect leaves.

“They learn about the top native trees, their Latin names, and how to draw the leaves,” says Moore, who has welcomed local garden clubs and conservation groups for tree tours as well. “It’s always fun to have them. We want to speak to the community, get more involvement that way, and get more people coming to campus. It’s a resource not only for students and faculty here, but for the community at large. It’s a good feeling to know we’re reaching people.”

Gingko tree by Jordan Hall
The gingko tree by Jordan Hall turns bright yellow before quickly shedding its leaves.

While gingko trees are not native to Indiana, Moore calls them noninvasive. Despite the smelly fruit that grows on some, the trees fit into the landscape well. They tend to rank high with the brilliance of their leaves—while they last.

“They’re not a problem tree. They’re very pretty,” Moore says. “After they turn that beautiful golden color for a couple weeks, they drop their leaves all at once. There’s no other tree that does that on campus.”

The color of the leaves are affected by sunlight and cold temperatures at night. The colder the night and the sunnier the day all dictates the brightness, according to Philip Villani, Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biology.

The science behind the changing leaves involves the lowering or halting of chlorophyll in the leaves, which makes way for chemicals like carotenoids in yellow and orange leaves. Anthocyanins for red leaves are formed by glucose left from the fading chlorophyll.

A taste of the tree walk

Tulip poplar near Jordan Hall


Tulip poplar tree

This large tree represents Butler and Indiana well. Its strong, distinctive bark makes it eye-catching even in the winter.

Osage orange behind Gallahue Hall

Osage orange tree

Despite its name, the Osage orange turns yellow-green in the fall, but the tree is producing its distinct and inedible fruit—nicknamed “monkey brains.”

Flowering dogwood in front of Robertson Hall

Dogwood in front of Robertson Hall

This dogwood has some of the reddest leaves on campus.



Every tree on Butler’s campus—including those on the tree walk—have circular tags on them courtesy of the Department of Biology. Villani says the numbered tags are part of an inventory of campus trees, fueled by an Indiana Academy of Science grant. There’s more than 2,000 from 109 different species.

While tagging, Villani measured every tree’s diameter at chest height and noted the global positioning of each. This database is utilized for multiple sections of Botany, Natural World, and Ecology and Evolution courses.


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager


Community Partnerships

Through collaboration and strong partnerships, Butler Beyond will unleash the potential of our brilliant faculty and students on the complex issues facing our community. Support for this pillar will expand Butler’s reach and roots in the Indianapolis community and beyond by cultivating deeper integration with local organizations and businesses, increasing experiential learning opportunities for students, nurturing new ventures, and more. Learn more, make a gift, and read other stories like this one at

Fall scene at Butler University

Finally: Campus Trees Pop with Peak Fall Colors

Worth the wait, take an in-depth look at the autumn foliage with help from the Friesner Herbarium’s tree walk

Oct 21 2019 Read more
Farm Manager Tim Dorsey

Farming Full-Time: How Tim Dorsey Discovered the World Through Agriculture

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Nov 25 2019

This story is part of a mini-series exploring The Farm at Butler, its methods, and its mission. Part two of six.


Tim Dorsey first started gardening because he wanted to become more self-sufficient—to give something back to the world around him. He wanted to become more connected with the Earth and its people, and he wanted to learn something. So he got his hands in the soil and taught himself to create something from it.

Dorsey never had much exposure to farming growing up in suburban New Jersey, and he says he didn’t really start paying attention to anything seriously until after college. But that’s when he realized most of his newfound interests—from environmental issues, to rural communities, to local economics, to health and nutrition—all converged in the concept of agriculture.

“My mind started slowly reeling, and I had some ideas for the future,” he says.

He’d recently graduated from Taylor University, where he studied philosophy.

“So, like all good philosophy students—unless you’re in the 0.1 percent of those who go on to become a professor or something—I ended up doing other random things afterwards,” Dorsey says. “But I don’t think that’s wasted. I think it kind of shapes you.”

Between shifts at a local health food store, Dorsey spent his post-college years practicing sustainable farming in his backyard and a few other spots in his Indianapolis neighborhood. As gardening grew into a little more than a hobby, he started meeting more urban farmers and reading every book he could find on sustainable food. He started a small community-supported agriculture (CSA) program—a sort of produce subscription service—and sold a few vegetables to local chefs. He dreamt of eventually finding a few acres where he could scale up.

Then, he found out Butler University was looking for someone to take over the farm that a group of students had planted.

Dorsey started as Butler’s Farm Manager in 2011. For the first three years, he worked as long as the sun was up, teaching himself the job. Now he’s making due with fairly regulated hours, but he always wishes he had a little more time. It’s rare for him to leave The Farm with a completed checklist.

Still, he says The Farm is “an ongoing attempt and demonstration at what can be done on this small parcel of land. And I think in that regard, we surprise a lot of people with what can come out of an acre that’s not even fully utilized.”

For Dorsey, the need to experiment with sustainable, organic farming methods is a no-brainer.

“We have to do something different,” he says. “We can’t think we just know all the answers. And we’re getting an even clearer sense of how locally-based, small-scale agriculture can actually meet the challenge of production.”


The Life of a Farm Manager

Every day on the farm brings something new, but here’s a glimpse into some of the tasks you might find Dorsey working on.

  • Watering and harvesting crops
  • Filling produce orders for local restaurants and Butler Dining
  • Prepping for the weekly Farm Stand (Thursdays, 4:00-6:00 PM)
  • Planning and establishing new growing areas
  • Hand-weeding crop beds
  • Cleaning harvest crates
  • Mowing grass
  • Installing electric fences, flash tape, and other pest-control methods
  • Teaching Butler classes
  • Leading community tours
  • Supervising farm interns
  • Facilitating student research projects



Part 1: Getting To The Root of It: How Butler’s One-Acre Farm Has Evolved In a Decade

Part 2: Farming Full-Time: How Tim Dorsey Discovered the World Through Agriculture

Part 3: A Crash Course on Nature-Focused, Hands-In-The-Dirt Growing

Part 4: Sustainability on the Syllabus

Part 5: A Model for Urban Farming in Indianapolis

Part 6: So, Where Does All The Food Go?


Explore the full Farm at Butler mini-series here


Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager
260-307-3403 (cell)

Farm Manager Tim Dorsey

Farming Full-Time: How Tim Dorsey Discovered the World Through Agriculture

Butler’s self-taught Farm Manager brings a fresh perspective to growing food.

Nov 25 2019 Read more

CUE Farm Producing A Bumper Crop of Customers

BY Sarvary Koller '15

PUBLISHED ON Sep 10 2014

By Sarvary Koller '15

Senior Engineering major Alyssa Setnar rode her bike to the CUE farm stand on Thursday to pick up some fresh fruit.

“It’s a two-minute bike ride from my house, closer than any grocery store,” Setnar said. “It’s actually less expensive than the produce at the store, and I know where and how it was grown.”


Farm manager Tim Dorsey assists senior engineering major Alyssa Setnar, who bought raspberries and cantaloupe from the CUE farm stand.
Farm manager Tim Dorsey assists senior engineering major Alyssa Setnar, who bought raspberries and cantaloupe from the CUE farm stand.


Setnar is one of about 20-40 Butler University students, faculty and community members who come to the stand to purchase local organic produce grown at the CUE farm, a sustainable agriculture project created by the Butler Center for Urban Ecology.

The farm, located on campus by the intramural fields across from the Butler Prairie, was started in 2010 to promote student education and experience with organic farming practices and environmental awareness.

Each Thursday afternoon from early June to late October, the farm sells its produce to the Butler and neighboring communities. Farm Manager Tim Dorsey said the farm stand has come a long way since he took over in mid-2011.

“I used to feel like I didn’t know if we should even set these tables up,’” Dorsey said, “but now I’m really satisfied with the traffic we get. It’s a lot of students, too. I’d say almost 25 percent students.”

In addition to selling produce to the public, 18 community members receive packages of assorted produce through a Community-Supported Agriculture program that allows members of the community to invest in the local farm project.

They pay a stipend at the beginning of the summer for a season’s worth of produce.

“It’s a way the community can share in the risk and reward of small farming,” Dorsey said. “It was created to lessen the burden on farmers by providing working capital right at the beginning of the season.”

The CUE farm uses this capital to grow a variety of produce with the help of four student interns.

Julia Wilson, a junior double-majoring in Biology and Science, Technology and Society, joined as an intern in May and spent the summer planting seeds, harvesting produce, and pulling lots of weeds. She said her experience at the farm has given her an appreciation for small farming and the process of growing one’s own food.

“It’s a great thing to have here,” Wilson said. “If you’re a student, it’s right on campus, so that’s awesome. You can drive to the store and buy produce that comes from really far away, but this is all natural food that is grown right here.”farm2

The CUE farm offers a wide array of fruits and vegetables, from summer favorites like raspberries, tomatoes, and melons to hearty vegetables like swiss chard, broccoli, and asparagus. More obscure produce is also available, such as curly cress, salsify and kohlrabi.

Dorsey said he encourages all to come experience the offerings at the farm stand and support student education.

“We want to be a model for urban farming in Indy,” he said. “We really look to get students involved, and we are in the process of growing our programming. Anyone who shops here supports us in that.”



Amia Foston

Foston Takes Reins of Butler Data for the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment

BY Tim Brouk

PUBLISHED ON Dec 16 2019

When it comes to elevating Butler University’s national reputation, it’s best to follow the data. That’s according to Amia Foston, the University’s new Director of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA). 

Foston, who served as Butler’s Assistant Director for OIRA from 2014 to 2017, returns at a pivotal time. He and his team are tasked with making sense of thousands of data points to help inform strategic decisions in monitoring enrollment trends, funding programs, or creating new sections for popular classes.

“We want to make sure any sort of analysis this office provides has insights that are very digestible that people can run with,” Foston says. “Because our work in institutional research and assessment consistently requires us to work with colleagues across the entire campus, we can sometimes notice things and connect dots others might not.”

Foston adds that universities nationwide are relying more on internal data to guide operational, tactical, and strategic decision-making. Foston and his team will be working closely with Butler leadership for every upcoming initiative.

Through computer programs like Tableau, he wants users to see the numbers dance with more interactivity and customization. Instead of static PDFs, OIRA is working to make Butler’s traditional Fact Book information available through data visualizations and dashboards. Staff, faculty, students, and alumni who wish to access Butler’s data are busy, and Foston says users don’t have time to scan massive tables. Organizing the data in clear, concise graphics will help users be able to quickly manipulate enrollment data, for example, by gender, ethnicity, home state, and many other options. 

Foston says OIRA will soon launch an online process for submitting data requests, similar to services provided by Human Resources and Information Technology. Another step in making Butler’s data more accessible will be establishing a frequently asked questions feature of the most common data requests.

Provost Kathryn Morris says the University will only benefit from Foston’s return as he works to conduct research and distill findings into actionable insights. His analytical, project management, and leadership skills come at a pivotal time.

“OIRA plays a key role in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data that are directly relevant to the decisions people need to make at Butler,” Morris says, “and to demonstrating our value to current and prospective students, their families, and our alumni, donors, and friends.”


Innovations in Teaching and Learning

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

Amia Foston

Foston Takes Reins of Butler Data for the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment

New OIRA Director Amia Foston’s goals: making University data digestible, available to inform program decisions

Dec 16 2019 Read more

Butler Blue II Turns Over His Collar to Blue III


PUBLISHED ON Jan 24 2013

Butler Blue II, who served Butler University proudly as mascot for nearly nine years, turned over his collar to his successor, Blue III, during the University’s first “Changing of the Collar” ceremony on Saturday, March 9, at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

President James Danko took the custom collar created by Reis-Nichols Jewelers from Blue II and placed it around Blue III's neck during halftime of the Butler-Xavier men's basketball game.

President Danko presided over the first "Changing of the Collar" ceremony.

The inscription on the collar reads: "This collar is dedicated to all bulldogs that proudly serve as the official Butler University mascot. May prosperity and good health be bestowed upon all dogs granted the honor of wearing this collar."

This new official custom collar features sterling silver elements, including the University seal, athletic logo, Butler Blue logo, and mascot names, on blue leather.

“Blue II is in good health, but 8 years old is getting up there for an English bulldog,” said Michael Kaltenmark, Butler’s director of Web Marketing and Communications and handler of the live mascots. “Blue has served Butler so admirably all these years, and we want him to go out on top. Retirement will mean fewer appearances and less official business for Blue, but he will continue to come to campus on a regular basis and post on his various social media profiles.”

Blue II will get an official sendoff from noon to 2 p.m. March 29 when the Butler University Student Foundation hosts a ninth birthday party and retirement celebration for him at the campus Starbucks.

The party, which takes place two days after Blue II's actual birthday, is open to the public and will be streamed live at Blue II will be on hand to greet the campus community, pose for pictures, and collect a few much-deserved parting gifts. Local artist James Kelly of Mad Lab Studios will be there to unveil a portrait of Blue as gift to the University.

All those in attendance who bring a donation for Indiana Bulldog Rescue or make a gift to the senior class campaign (the creation of the Bulldog Memorial outside Hinkle Fieldhouse to honor Butler’s live mascots after they die) will receive a coupon for 20 percent off any item in the University bookstore that has a bulldog on it.

The bookstore will be selling two limited edition pieces—a new poster of Blue and a tumbler with four images of Blue from puppy to now. In addition, there will be a Twitter picture and haiku contest. More information about those is available at

“This has been a really well-received event in the past, especially since it falls around the time of the Final Four,” Kaltenmark said. “The last few times we’ve done this, we’ve had upwards of 1,000 people going through. I think that will be true this time too. People want to see Blue one last time, the Xavier game is sold out, so this is their opportunity.”

An American Kennel Club-registered dog, Blue II became known as “America’s Dog” in 2010 and 2011 when Butler men’s basketball team played for the NCAA national championship. Blue II appeared on the floor of every Butler men’s home and Final Four basketball games, as well as some away games. Butler players touched him before each game for good luck as they were introduced.

Blue II was bred by Frank and Jeane King of Kong King Kennel in Lizton, Ind., and presented to Butler as a puppy. He was cared for by Kaltenmark, a 2002 Butler graduate and director of Web Marketing and Communications, who also served as his voice on Facebook, where he was liked by more than 7,500 people, and Twitter, where he had more than 11,500 followers. In 2011, Klout, a company that measures influence in social media, named Blue II’s Twitter feeds among the nation’s Top 10 most influential accounts representing a college or university.

The dog also had his own website, a vehicle provided by Don Hinds Ford, veterinarian care compliments of 1992 Butler grad Dr. Kurt Phillips, and a host of other sponsors such as the dog food brand Holistic Select.

Over the years, Blue II became a media sensation, hobnobbing with celebrities including Colin Powell, Jimmy Fallon and Jillian Michaels. During the Final Four in 2011 in Houston, Blue II also met the likes of former President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush.

Blue III, better known as Trip, made his debut on Feb. 18, 2012.

Kaltenmark said he thinks Blue II is looking forward to retirement.

“He’s still excited to go to basketball games, but I think he’s also tired,” he said. “So he deserves a break. I think he’ll get accustomed to taking it easy.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan
(317) 940-9822

Farm Stand Butler

So, Where Does All The Food Go?

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Nov 25 2019

This story is part of a mini-series exploring The Farm at Butler, its methods, and its mission. Part six of six. 


The Farm at Butler grows nearly 10,000 pounds of food each year, all by hand. There’s watermelon, always-popular strawberries, bok choy, electric fence-protected squash, peppermint, hazelnuts, and, after The Farm’s staff finally won an ongoing battle with the nearby finches, swiss chard. Just to name a few.

Some of the food goes to weekly grab-and-go boxes for subscribers to The Farm’s Community-Supported Agriculture program (if you stick out the two-year waiting list). Some goes directly to the Thursday-afternoon Farm Stand. Another portion, sold to Butler Dining, ends up on plates around campus.

But explore Indianapolis enough, and you will find The Farm on a table near you. That’s because local restaurants, such as Public Greens, Cafe Patachou, Napolese, and Good Earth Natural Foods, rely on The Farm to keep their meals as fresh as possibl