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Butler 2014-2015: The Academic Year in Review


PUBLISHED ON May 05 2015

New construction and renovations, a plan to eliminate greenhouse gases on campus, and three students earning Fulbright Awards are among the highlights of Butler University’s 2014–2015 academic year.

While there was sad news, too—the deaths of former University President Bobby Fong and former student Abdul-Rahman Kassig—the year was overwhelmingly positive.

Here’s a look back.


-The Irwin Library faculty and staff unveiled several changes in the facility, including added study space, collaborative workstations, and a new catalog that allows a worldwide search for materials. Dean of the Libraries Julie Miller said the updates are part of the changing role of the academic library. Where libraries used to be largely about the circulation of books and periodicals, they are increasingly becoming a place for collaboration.
Angela Brown

-Renowned opera singer Angela Brown joined the Jordan College of the Arts as a visiting artist in the School of Music for the 2014–2015 school year, presenting master classes, lectures, and performances. The Indianapolis native was at Butler twice each semester to talk with students individually and collectively about performing and lessons she’s learned in the entertainment business.

-The annual Bulldogs Into the Streets brought out about 545 student volunteers, who donated their time to 19 agencies across the greater Indianapolis area. The students gave 1,500 hours of community service.

-Lizzie Jacobs, the Co-Executive Producer, Animation, and Senior Editor for Print at StoryCorps, told Butler’s Class of 2018 to pay attention to those around them—“your professors, of course, but also the staff in the dining hall and the dean’s office, the people maybe at the pizza joint, and, most of all, each other. The people sitting to the left and the right of you and that you’ll be surrounded by every day of your time here. Your freshman roommate, your lab mate, classmate, teammate. And years from now, you’ll remember and lean on the things you learned from each other as much as what you learned in class. And if you’re lucky, there’ll be two or three whose friendship will change your life forever.”

-Butler President James M. Danko gave his State of the University speech, in which he outlined a vision of the University that includes new academic, housing, and parking facilities; development of strong leadership and engaged employees; and a safe and secure campus environment. “When we talk about Butler 2020, that’s the vision,” Danko said to an overflow crowd at the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts. “We are moving ahead with this. It’s challenging work and challenging times, but we’re really confident, given the greatness of this University, that we’re going to succeed.”

-Butler University welcomed 974 first-year students on move-in day Saturday, August 23. The incoming students had an average GPA of 3.52, an average ACT of 27, and an average SAT of 1190 without writing and 1750 with writing. The class also included 11 Lilly Scholars, three National Merit Semifinalists, and one National Achievement Semifinalist. They came from 37 states and six countries.


Marianne Richardson ’14 became the first Butler student to be selected for the prestigious Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) fellowship in Uruguay. Richardson, who graduated with a degree in International Studies and Spanish, left on September 9 for Montevideo, the large metropolitan capital of Uruguay, which became her home for the next 10–12 months. She worked in institutional development at a nonprofit education center for children and adolescents called Providencia.

-U.S. News & World Report said Butler University is among the top schools in the country when it comes to enriched undergraduate offerings that lead to student success. In its “Best Colleges” edition, the magazine highlighted Butler as one of the nation’s finest in five categories: the first-year student experience, internships, study abroad, service learning, and undergraduate research/creative projects. Such areas of enriched offerings, said U.S. News, demonstrate that “some colleges and universities are much more determined than others to provide freshmen and all undergrads with the best possible educational experience.”
Bobby Fong

-Former Butler President Bobby Fong died in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Butler’s President from 2001 to 2011, Fong had just begun his fourth academic year as President of Ursinus College there. A celebration of his life was held at Clowes Memorial Hall on September 28.

-Butler University’s College of Education introduced Jill Jay as the new Director of the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP) and Katie Russo as Director of Student Personnel Services and External Relations.

-Butler University honored the memory of Police Officer James Davis, who was killed in the line of duty on September 24, 2004, on the 10th anniversary of his death. He was remembered as “a professional, friendly, and caring individual” and “a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice for this campus, the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood, and the city of Indianapolis.”

-Forty years after they were married in Holcomb Gardens, Sharon Leininger ’70 and Michael Nemeroff returned—this time to plant a Japanese maple tree to commemorate their anniversary. The Nemeroffs made a gift to Butler in honor of their day.

-Butler University unveiled a new memorial to its bulldog mascots at the Butler Bowl entrance. The memorial, which was adopted as a project by the Class of 2013 and became its official class gift, features a custom dog house/columbarium (urn storage) for each dog’s remains and a bronze bulldog sculpture, crafted in Blue II’s likeness.

-The University broke ground on a 1,038-space multi-use parking facility located on the lot behind the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts along Sunset Avenue. Construction of the five-story parking structure, which is anticipated to open in August 2015, began in the fall. The multi-use facility also will include approximately 15,000 square feet of commercial and office space on the ground level.

-The Center for Urban Ecology was awarded a $10,000 SustainIndy Community Grant to continue and expand Make Change, a neighborhood-based currency program that generates “credit” for doing good for the environment. Through Make Change, each hour of activity a person does is worth $10 in aluminum coins specially created for this program. Coins can be redeemed at locations including The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the Good Earth, and Broad Ripple Brew Pub.
Loni McKown

-Loni Smith McKown, professional practice faculty in Butler University’s Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism, received the College Media Association’s 2014 Honor Roll Award for newspaper advising at a four-year college or university. The award was presented at the National College Media Convention in Philadelphia. McKown has served as adviser to The Butler Collegian since fall 2010.

-The University unveiled a plan to eliminate greenhouse gases produced on the campus by 2050. The Butler University Sustainability and Climate Action plan (BUSCA) includes a variety of strategies, such as energy efficiency and conservation measures, transportation strategies, long-term plans to incorporate renewable energy, and a goal to become a “zero waste” campus. The plan also includes water saving and reuse strategies, sustainable procurement policies, and an emphasis on local food.


-Artist Jon Edwards’ mural depicting the illustrated history of Butler University was put up in the Wildman Room at Hinkle Fieldhouse. His work covers 10 canvases that are 28 inches high and a total of 120 feet in length.
Artist Jon Edwards, and his drawing of Tony Hinkle.

-Butler University was among a select group in the six-county Central Indiana area that has earned the “Company that Cares” distinction for results during the 2013 United Way of Central Indiana annual workplace campaign.

-Author Michael Martone made an endowed gift to Butler University in honor of his parents, Patricia ’53 and Anthony Martone, to support undergraduate English majors as they travel to conduct research and publish work about the State of Indiana and its citizens.

-School of Music Adjunct Professor Anna Briscoe kicked off a partnership between St. Vincent Heart Center and the Jordan College of Arts’ School of Music in which faculty and student musicians play informal lunchtime concerts at the Heart Center each week to share the power of music for healing and relaxation.

-Sophomore Matthew VanTryon, the Butler Collegian’s sports editor, won a first-place national Pinnacle College Media Award for best sports investigative story for his series about former Butler women’s basketball coach Beth Couture and allegations of verbal and physical abuse against her players. Couture was dismissed from the program a week after the original story was published last spring, and the same day that a follow-up story ran.

Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig

-Abdul-Rahman Peter Edward Kassig, who studied political science at Butler University in 2011 and 2012, was remembered during a memorial service held at Clowes Memorial Hall. Kassig was murdered by ISIS.

-Fans got their first look at the $36 million renovation of Hinkle Fieldhouse when the Butler men’s basketball team played Tony Hinkle’s alma mater, the University of Chicago, in a pre-season game. For the public, the renovations have meant greater comforts—4,500 new chair-back seats throughout the lower portion of the fieldhouse, a video scoreboard (a first for Hinkle), larger concession stands, additional restrooms, and an expanded gift shop.



-Butler University’s Center for Global Education was awarded a grant of nearly $100,000 by the Freeman Foundation to enable students to complete internships in East and Southeast Asia in the summer of 2015. The Center will organize a group experience—Butler Summer in Shanghai—in which 12–14 students will travel with a China-specialist member of the Butler faculty to Shanghai for a six-week program of individually designed internships combined with group excursions and cultural immersion activities.

-One hundred fifty-one students became alumni at Winter 2014 Commencement. Jauvon Gilliam ’01 and Betty Kessler, who earned her teaching certificate from Butler in 1937, received honorary degrees.
Jauvon Gilliam

-Butler University made Kiplinger Personal Finance’s list of the best values in private colleges for 2015. The list, which includes 100 private universities from across the country, can be found at Butler ranked 60th overall—up one spot from 2014.

-Every applicant accepted to Butler received the news from the University’s beloved mascot, Trip, via an email and video. In addition, about 20 prospective students in the Chicago, the Gary area, and Indianapolis regions received a surprise visit from Trip and his handler, Director of External Relations Michael Kaltenmark, who delivered the good news in person.

-English Professor Andy Levy’s new book, Huck Finn’s America: Mark Twain and the Era That Shaped His Masterpiece, was released to critical acclaim.


-Butler University was selected to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s 2015 Community Engagement Classification, a distinction that recognizes the University’s efforts to connect with the Indianapolis community. “The classification recognizes our commitment to partnering with communities as we provide experiential learning opportunities,” President James M. Danko said. “Our students connect with the community, and together we serve the common good.”

-The women of Butler’s Delta Gamma sorority wrote to TV talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres to tell her how they get together at 3:00 p.m. weekdays to watch her show. DeGeneres answered their email, surprising them with a Skype phone call and a multitude of prizes.

-Butler University announced the hiring of two new vice presidents—Jaci Thiede, Vice President for Advancement, and Lori Greene, Vice President for Enrollment Management. Thiede comes to Butler from Northwestern University, where she was Associate Dean for Alumni Relations and Development at the law school. Greene was Director of Undergraduate Admission at Loyola University Chicago.

-The College of Education received the 2015 National Model of Excellence awarded by the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education. The award identifies outstanding programs in professional education that serve as tangible models of quality in the areas of Moral and Ethical Dimensions of the Learning Community; Partnerships; Liberal Arts; and Global Awareness and Action.
Stevens and Fields

-Butler University student Ernie Utah Stevens ’16 and his partner, Arizona skater Caitlin Fields, won the U.S. National Junior Pair title. They went on to represent the United States at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, March 2–8.

-Butler University’s Global Adventures in the Liberal Arts (GALA) program, in which professors accompany students on a semester-long trip, was named one of the top study-abroad programs in the country by “This program is perfect for the student who does not want to settle in one place, but wants to experience several cultures,” the website said. While traveling, the faculty member teaches one course, and then students are joined at different locations by other faculty, who teach other courses related to the locale. GALA was ranked ninth.



-Elise J. Kushigian, the executive director of Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University for the past 20 years, announced that she will retire at the end of the 2014–2015 academic year after overseeing more than 8,000 performances. While at Clowes, she built a strong and lasting legacy of innovative programming, groundbreaking education initiatives, and capital projects that have preserved and enhanced Clowes Memorial Hall for the next generation of Central Indiana audiences.
Ellen and her DG friends

-Ellen DeGeneres surprised her friends at Butler University’s Delta Gamma sorority—again. Barely a month after making a Skype phone call to the sorority, DeGeneres flew 10 DGs to Los Angeles to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

-In separate projects, students from several of Butler’s colleges published and are selling children’s books. One, called Max Greene and the Vaccine Team, focuses on educating children about vaccines to dispel fear and anxiety over shots. A second book, The Gifts of Indiana: A Tale of Three Birthdays and One Grand Adventure, aims to introduce fourth-grade students to integral people and events in Indiana’s history, such as Eli Lilly, Benjamin Harrison, Madame C.J. Walker, and the Indianapolis 500.

-Four Butler University alumni and an adjunct professor in the MFA in Creative Writing program were among the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” for 2015. Ed Carpenter ’03, Michael Grimes ’99 MBA ’07, Eric Payne ’98, and Erin Roth ’98—all College of Business graduates—and writer Ben Winters made the prestigious list.

-Daniel Meyers was named Director of the Center for Faith and Vocation. A graduate of Willamette University (Oregon) in Biochemistry and Religious Studies, Meyers earned a master of divinity at Yale Divinity School, was ordained in the United Church of Christ, and is currently completing a two-year position as Earl Hall Religious Life Fellow in the Office of the University Chaplain at Columbia University. He will assume the responsibilities of Director on June 1.


-Senior Michelle Ferro wins the Miss Collegiate Indy pageant. In June, she will compete with about 35 young Indiana women to become Miss Indiana and represent the state in the Miss America pageant.
Michelle Ferro

-The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences announced that it will launch the first student-written open-access multimedia healthcare review journal, BU Well, this summer. The journal will feature articles on pressing health issues such as the overuse of antibiotics and the development of resistance, the push of virtual healthcare and its effect on medical costs, and the rapidly changing future of the healthcare industry. The project was created through a Butler Innovation Fund Grant.

-For the third consecutive year, Butler earned Tree Campus USA recognition. The national program, launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. The Indiana Wildlife Federation recognized the University as a sustainably landscaped campus.

-Men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann, who guided the Bulldogs to a successful men’s basketball campaign in 2014–2015, was awarded a contract extension. The new deal extends the coach’s contract through the 2020–21 season.

-After months of town halls discussions, Butler Marketing & Communications unveiled the University’s new marketing direction, including visual identity, web update, and awareness campaign.

-The Butler Collegian was honored with seven Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards, which honor the best in collegiate journalism.


-The Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research, a 129-page online publication of college students’ papers on topics as diverse as modern political messaging and James Joyce’s naturalistic evolution, published its first edition on April 1 at The journal was created through a Butler Innovation Fund Grant.
Brian Todd, left, and Brian Straughn show off the Thringer -- with a little help from Trip.

-Four students in the College of Business unveiled the “Thringer,” a foam hand with three fingers extended upward, which they developed as part of the Real Business Experience class. The NCAA was so taken with the Thringer that it bought 3,000 of them—750 for each student section—to give to the student sections during Final Four weekend April 4–6.

-Chemistry major Luke Gallion ’16 won a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. Goldwater Scholarships, which provide up to $7,500 for school-related expenses, were established “to alleviate a critical current and future shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers,” according to the program’s website. “A more realistic statement of the purpose, in today’s terms, is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified individuals to those fields of academic study and research.”

-Butler University was the first school in Indiana to speak out against Indiana’s divisive “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA). In a statement, President Danko wrote: “While I have read a variety of opinions and rationale for RFRA, it strikes me as ill-conceived legislation at best, and I fear that some of those who advanced it have allowed their personal or political agendas to supersede the best interests of the State of Indiana and its people. No matter your opinion of the law, it is hard to argue with the fact it has done significant damage to our state.”

-Indiana Landmarks, a private nonprofit organization that saves historic places, has selected Butler University as the winner of its annual Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration for its preservation of Hinkle Fieldhouse. The dome of Indiana Landmarks Center’s Grand Hall turned Butler blue when Director of Athletics Barry Collier, Executive Director of Facilities Rich Michal, and Butler Blue III accepted the silver cup.

-Thomas Paradis, a Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography, Planning and Recreation at Northern Arizona University, was named Associate Provost for Assessment, Scholarship, and Professional Development Programs at Butler. Paradis, who has been at Northern Arizona since 1997, will start at Butler on August 1.

-The Butler Collegian won 13 awards for work published in 2014 from the Indiana Collegiate Press Association during the organization's annual spring convention in Indianapolis.

-Blake Moskal, a junior from Lake Zurich, Illinois, was been selected to receive the 2014–2015 John Weidner Award for Altruism. Moskal has been involved in a wide variety of service activities for local and national organizations, including the Intercollegiate YMCA, U.S. Dream Academy, Special Olympics, Gleaners Food Bank and Second Servings, and Methodist Hospital. He has served as a mentor and tutor for Indianapolis Public Schools students, a volunteer coordinator for Fall Creek Gardens, and Service and Philanthropy Chairman for Sigma Nu fraternity.
Blake Moskal

-The University began a yearlong program to compost food waste from its dining halls on Tuesdays and Fridays. Local composting service Green With Indy will pick up all compostable waste and bring it to GreenCycle of Indiana, where it will be turned into natural fertilizer.

-Three Butler students won the prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship award to teach in another country during the 2015–2016 school year. Vocal performance major Julie O’Mara ’15 will be teaching in Germany, Anthropology and Spanish double major Léa Levy ’15 will be in Colombia, and Amber Zimay ’15 will be in Mexico. In addition, Madison Chartier ’15 will be heading to France as part of the Teaching Assistant Program in France, and Jill Gentry '15 has been selected to teach in Madrid, Spain, through the Council of International Educational Exchange.

-Butler's women's club volleyball team won the national championship, defeating the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.


-The University broke ground on a new 633-bed housing facility along Sunset Avenue. The Sunset Student Residences will feature rooms set up in pods of two to six beds, with no more than two students in a room. Each room will have a divider for privacy, and there will be a bathroom for every two students. Each student will have his or her own vanity and sink, and each floor of the building will have a lounge and study rooms. In addition, the facility will have a large multipurpose room that is being described as “a living room for the campus.” The room will be used for conferences, events, and other gatherings.


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Indiana Landmarks Honors Butler for Restoration of Hinkle Fieldhouse


PUBLISHED ON Apr 16 2015

Indiana Landmarks, a private nonprofit organization that saves historic places, has selected Butler University as the winner of its annual Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration for its preservation of Hinkle Fieldhouse. The dome of Indiana Landmarks Center’s Grand Hall will turn Butler blue when Director of Athletics Barry Collier, Executive Director of Facilities Rich Michal, and Butler Blue III accept the silver cup at an event on April 25 in Indianapolis.

Although Hinkle appeared sturdy and timeless, it was a National Historic Landmark in need of attention before Butler launched a $36.2 million restoration that concluded last year.

Hinkle FieldhouseThe university’s enrollment barely topped 1,000 when Fermor Spencer Cannon designed Butler Fieldhouse in 1928 to seat 15,000. The fieldhouse has hosted graduations, addresses by six U.S. presidents, a concert with 125 pianos, indoor track meets in the ‘30s where Jesse Owens set a world record, and a World War II barracks.

To many Hoosiers, Hinkle will forever be remembered as the home of Indiana’s single-class high school basketball championship. Angelo Pizzo, who wrote the screenplay for the movie Hoosiers, called the fieldhouse “a work of art and a thing of beauty.”

In designing the restoration, design team leader RATIO Architects followed Collier’s mantra: “keep Hinkle, Hinkle” and his variation, “make Hinkle more Hinkle.”

“Keeping Hinkle, Hinkle” meant tuckpointing all the masonry, restoring the steel-sash windows and replicating those that were too rusted to save. “The windows contribute to Hinkle’s signature ambiance, a place flooded with natural light that lends the exposed steel girders a sculptural quality,” says Indiana Landmarks President Marsh Davis, a Butler alum.

Filled over the years with mismatched glass, the windows were retrofit with 9,700 new energy-efficient panes. Because Butler won a federal preservation grant for the window rehab, the entire project followed federal restoration guidelines.

Inside, to “make Hinkle more Hinkle,” the restoration removed cement-block offices, storage closets and concession stands under the bleachers and on the concourse. This change returned the original configuration, opening up the concourses and uncovering the trusses that rise up and over the barrel-vaulted ceiling.

To improve conditions for student athletes and attract recruits, Butler renovated the West Gym and dingy locker rooms, training and workout areas, and the academic center. They created new spaces for these functions and athletic offices in a dark, unused natatorium north of the West Gym, adding two floors in the space, opening up bricked-in windows, and installing an elevator that makes the upper levels of the fieldhouse handicapped accessible for the first time.

“The restoration means that the Bulldogs can continue to attract student athletes and, in 2115, Hinkle Fieldhouse will still be standing strong,” declares Carl Cook, Indiana Landmarks board chairman and head of the Cook Cup selection committee. He will present the Cook Cup at Rescue Party, an annual benefit for Indiana Landmarks’ Endangered Places programs. Tickets for the April 25 event are $75 per person and must be purchased in advance at or by calling 317-639-4534.


Butler to Begin Composting Dining Hall Food Waste


PUBLISHED ON Apr 13 2015

Butler University will begin a yearlong program to compost food waste from its dining halls on Tuesdays and Fridays, beginning April 14.

The University has hired the local composting service Green With Indy, which will pick up all compostable waste and bring it to GreenCycle of Indiana, where it will be turned into natural fertilizer.
Eric Rupenthal, Lauren Rhoads, Gabrielle Vinyard, and Michelle Okerstrom

“It’s a really big deal that we’re composting,” Butler Sustainability Coordinator McKenzie Beverage said. “Not many universities do it. It’s a relatively new thing, and it’s hard to overcome some of the barriers—like funding. We’re lucky because we have these two organizations in town that make it easy for us.”

Students will not have to separate their trash—or do anything different, really. On those two days, the trash cans will be replaced with composting bins.

Students from Beverage’s Sustainability Practicum class will be in the dining areas to provide information about the new program.

According to Greg Walton of Green With Indy, composting has a number of benefits:

-Food waste will be converted to a fertilizer that can used to create healthier, local food sources.

-Pesticides, herbicides and lead in our soil have been linked to developmental issues in children. Composting inactivates these harmful elements.

-Composting eliminates chemical run-off into our rivers, ponds and streams ... our sources of drinking water.

-Food waste in landfills creates methane and carbon dioxide gases, which contributes to climate change.

The Student Government Association’s Council on Presidential Affairs funded the lion’s share of the one-year contract. Lambda Chi Alpha, which was awarded an SGA grant, also donated to the costs, and a Staff Training and Enrichment Program mini-grant series helped with start-up costs.

During an audit of Butler’s trash in April 2014, Beverage found 600 pounds each of trash, food waste, and recyclables thrown away on just one day. (She plans to conduct another waste audit on April 16 from noon to 2:00 p.m. near Norris Plaza.

For the past year, she has challenged her Sustainability Practicum class to come up with ways for Butler to reduce food waste.

Among the ideas now being put into action:

  • Getting students to take a food waste pledge, which includes easy-to-do things like making a grocery list so they don’t overbuy and end throwing food away, and eating leftovers first before they make something new.
  • Offering home composting kits to some faculty and staff, including worms to eat through the food waste.
  • Creation of a Butler chapter of the Food Recovery Network—the second in Indiana, which collects prepared food that wasn’t eaten and donates it to a shelter.
  • Volunteering at the IUPUI Campus Kitchen, where they cook donated food and bring it to shelters.

“My experience with Food Recovery Network has been so rewarding because it has such a powerful mission,” said Lauren Wathen, one of the founding Food Recovery Network chapter members. “Not only does it reduce waste, but also it provides resources for those who need them, and I think that is invaluable.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Butler U, You've Got a Lovely Campus


PUBLISHED ON Mar 31 2015

The beauty of Butler University’s campus has been recognized by two organizations, and a third—the NCAA—will be helping to beautify it even more by donating three trees that were planted near Schwitzer Hall on March 31 to commemorate the beginning of Earth Month.

For the third consecutive year, Butler has earned Tree Campus USA recognition. The national program, launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.
Sophomore Marisa Heiling and James Conner, Grounds Supervisor, planted trees outside Schwitzer Hall on March 31 to kick off Earth Month.

To obtain this distinction, Butler University met the five core standards for effective campus forest management: a tree advisory committee; a campus tree-care plan; dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program; an Arbor Day observance; and student service-learning project.

Butler’s 295-acre campus is home to over 100 different species of trees.

“Our campus is a green oasis,” said Rebecca Dolan, Director of the Friesner Herbarium. “These trees provide ecological services that everyone in the community benefits from, including cleaning the air, cooling adjacent buildings in summer, and decreasing storm water runoff. Many members of Butler University’s grounds staff have worked here over 20 years. They know each tree and provide excellent care. Tree Campus USA recognition acknowledges this commitment.”

Butler also is being recognized by the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) as a sustainably landscaped campus. The recognition will be officially announced at an Earth Day celebration on April 22. More about the Butler certification is here.

The IWF noted that schools “do not need to sacrifice aesthetics for sustainability when designing and maintaining campus grounds. Environmental stewardship can reduce campuses’ impacts on Indiana’s ecosystems while enhancing their visual appeal and reducing maintenance costs.”

Butler Sustainability Coordinator McKenzie Beverage said the IWF certification “is a wonderful way to shine a light on the great things our facilities staff is currently doing to conserve resources and improve natural habitats on campus, while also providing a focus and context to think about what we could be doing better.”

Beverage also said the University will be adding three trees—two red maples and a white oak—to the campus landscape. The trees were planted March 31—the two maples between the sidewalk and the street along Hampton Drive, the oak near the walkway to the main entrance of Schwitzer.

The NCAA and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful partnered to plant 26 trees at seven higher education and neighborhood community facilities in the greater Indianapolis area to commemorate the seventh time that Indianapolis has hosted the men’s Final Four.


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Kiplinger Again Labels Butler a 'Best Value in Private Colleges'


PUBLISHED ON Dec 17 2014





Butler University has made Kiplinger Personal Finance’s list of the best values in private colleges for 2015.

_D7W1078The list, which includes 100 private universities from across the country, can be found at

Butler ranked 60th overall—up one spot from 2014.

Butler also finished 194th among all schools. This was the first time the magazine put together a combined list.

Kiplinger said its rankings "reward schools that meet our definition of value – a high-quality education at an affordable price. Among the factors that we consider: high four-year graduation rates, low student-faculty ratios, reasonable price tags, generous need-based aid for students who qualify and low student debt."

Butler President James M. Danko said the findings demonstrate that “Butler is committed to providing a strong return on the investment that students—and their families—make in their education.”

The complete rankings include the top schools overall as well as the best values in public schools, private universities and private liberal arts colleges. The rankings will also appear in the February 2015 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands January 6, 2015.

Kiplinger’s rankings measure academic quality and affordability. Academic criteria include the student admission rate (the number of students accepted out of those who apply), the test scores of incoming freshmen, the ratio of students to faculty members, and the four- and five-year graduation rates. On the value side, Kiplinger’s measures total cost of attendance, the availability and average amount of need-based and merit-based financial aid, and the average student debt at graduation.

This is the sixth time Butler has appeared in the Kiplinger rankings. In recent years, the University was No. 66 (in 2010), No. 84 (2011), No. 73 (2012), and No. 61 (2014).

Media contact:
Marc Allan
(317) 940-9822


For Professor Boyd, It's Out With the Cage and In With the Schubert


PUBLISHED ON Nov 17 2014

With the release of her new CD, Butler University Associate Professor of Piano Kate Boyd is finishing one project and starting another.

The disc, John Cage: Sonatas and Interludes/In a Landscape, which was just released by Navona Records, is the culmination of two years of work that included performances and presentations at Butler and all over the world.

kate_boyd2Boyd’s next chapter is a program of Schubert, Berg, Chopin, and Prokofiev, which she will perform January 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall, as part of the “Piano at Butler” series. The event is free and open to the public without tickets.

“The John Cage project was very gratifying and took on a life of its own, with many opportunities to work with students, present at conferences, and perform this unique work,” she said. “Now that this project is complete, I am looking forward to turning my attention back to more standard piano literature and to the voices of composers from other time periods and nationalities.”

On her Navona Records debut, Boyd performs two pieces by Cage (1912-1992) that show his range. “Sonatas and Interludes” makes use of prepared piano, a concept created by Cage, that includes using screws, nuts, bolts, pieces of rubber and other items to make the piano sound more like a percussion ensemble than a standard instrument.

By contrast, “In a Landscape” is a minimalist piece with light, ethereal, and recurring themes.

“I’d always been interested in ‘Sonatas and Interludes,’ and I thought it would be a good time to learn it for the occasion of his centenary,” Boyd said. “You have to prepare 45 of the 88 notes on the piano, so it takes about two hours to prepare. He’s very specific about how to do that, and included a detailed chart in the music. He invented the concept of prepared piano—even the name ‘prepared piano.’”

Boyd started work on the Cage project while she was on sabbatical in 2012. She performed it more than 15 times in England, Canada, and throughout the United States, and also presented talks at various conferences, including in Malaysia and Germany.

The release of the CD, which was the culmination of the project, earned a rave review from the blog Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, which said: “Anyone serious about 20th century modern music needs to have a recording of the "Sonatas and Interludes" in her or his collection. Ideally one might have two, one for a more percussive interpretation and then this one by Kate Boyd.”

Now Boyd has turned her attention to her upcoming recital, which will include a performance of the rarely heard Piano Sonata by Alban Berg, a single-movement work written while the composer was under the tutelage of Arnold Schoenberg. The recital will also feature Prokofiev’s seventh piano sonata, a virtuosic tour de force written in 1943, later to become known as one of the composer’s three “War Sonatas."

“While Sonatas and Interludes was an exploration of the percussive qualities of the piano, the music in my upcoming solo program will exploit the lyrical, singing capabilities of the instrument,” she said.

Boyd holds performance degrees from Stony Brook University, the Oberlin Conservatory, and the Hannover Academy of Music in Germany. In addition to being a Butler faculty member for nine years, she is on the faculty of the internationally renowned Interlochen Arts Camp in Northern Michigan.

In 2013, Boyd received an Indiana Arts Commission Grant; four years earlier, she earned an Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Arts Renewal Fellowship. Her other awards and prizes include a Fulbright scholarship to Cologne, Germany, and fellowships at the Tanglewood Center, Blossom Music Center, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and Prussia Cove.

“I am grateful to the Butler Awards Committee and the Indiana Arts Commission for funding this recording project,” Boyd said. “It is very rewarding to have had the opportunity to add my interpretation of these two works by John Cage to the body of recordings that represent his work.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan


President Danko's Statement Regarding Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig


PUBLISHED ON Nov 16 2014

Butler University President James M. Danko today released this statement regarding Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig:

Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig had traveled to Lebanon in 2012 to provide medical and humanitarian assistance to those in need. He founded Special Emergency Response and Assistance, an aid organization for Syrian refugees. He approached life selflessly and courageously, and he upheld the Butler ideal of trying to make the world a better place.

The Butler community joins millions around the world in prayer and support for the Kassig family and for Abdul-Rahman's cause in the Middle East.

James M. Danko
President, Butler University


Message of the Stand Tall Project: We're Here and We Care

BY Sarvary Koller '15

PUBLISHED ON Oct 13 2014

Students and members of the Butler community have gathered across campus this fall to answer a question: What would you say to a survivor of sexual violence?

“I admire your strength,” one said.

“It’s not your fault,” added another.

“Speak up,” said a third. “We’re here to listen.”

Noelle Rich '16 started the Stand Tall Project. (photos by Moe Simmons)
Noelle Rich '16 started the Stand Tall Project. (photos by Moe Simmons)


They wrote their messages on a whiteboard and got their picture taken in support of the Stand Tall Project, an initiative by Noelle Rich ’16, a Psychology and Sociology double major and second-year resident assistant in Ross Hall.

Rich said she started the initiative to tap into the energy surrounding the issue of sexual violence and assault on campus. Her three goals for the project are to raise awareness of sexual violence, support survivors, and eliminate blaming the victim. (Check out the Stand Tall Facebook page here.)

She presented the idea to Sarah Boeckmann, Ross Hall Residence Life Coordinator, after a residence life staff meeting early this semester. Boeckmann said she jumped on the chance to support Rich and promote an important issue on campus.

“I think sexual assault is an issue that is growing,” she said. “It’s also an issue that sometimes gets shoved under the rug. People don’t always like to talk about it, but it’s so important for survivors to know that there is support out there.”

The large amount of support from the Butler community encouraged Rich to take the project even further. Rich said she is working to form a Stand Tall Butler student organization dedicated to raising awareness of sexual assault and creating an environment of safety and support on campus.

Rich recognized that students who participated took their time thinking of a message. Some students took five minutes to jot down their message, while others took 20 minutes. Rich took an entire day before coming up with “You are a beautiful human being. We need you.”

Residence Life Coordinator Sarah Boeckmann
Residence Life Coordinator Sarah Boeckmann
Sarah Barnes Diaz, Coordinator for Health Education and Outreach Programs
Sarah Barnes Diaz, Coordinator for Health Education and Outreach Programs


“I think sometimes people think their self-worth goes down after they have been assaulted,” she said. “I think it’s really important to remind people that they are valuable and we need them here.”

Sarah Barnes Diaz, Butler University Coordinator for Health Education and Outreach Programs, also spent the night thinking it over before putting her marker to the whiteboard.

“It seems so simple,” Diaz said, “but, when you’re asked to write a message to a survivor of sexual assault, it forces you to think about what it would be like to be a survivor of sexual assault. It forces you to think about what you can do to end someone from ever being victimized in the first place.”

No matter how long it took to craft the message, the message rang loud and clear: Butler University students are passionate about preventing sexual violence and supporting survivors.

Rich said she plans to expand upon the project next semester by asking students to write open letters to survivors of sexual violence. She plans to post the letters online to offer survivors an easy access point to support and personal messages from Butler peers.

“If a survivor needs emotional support or even just a message that reminds them of their strength,” she said, “it could be a place where they could go and easily find that.”


United Way Designates Butler a 'Company That Cares'


PUBLISHED ON Oct 10 2014

Butler University is among a select group in the six-county Central Indiana area that has earned the Company that Cares distinction for results during the 2013 United Way of Central Indiana annual workplace campaign.ctc-logo-jpg

United Way awards the designation to organizations that reach their fundraising or participation goal and achieve benchmarks in volunteer community participation, leadership giving, and more. Companies that Care also excel in educating employees about community needs and the best ways to meet them, and exemplify the spirit of volunteerism by allowing employees to give time to United Way programs or its agencies.

A United Way representative will present the award at Staff Assembly on Wednesday, October 22.

The United Way of Central Indiana said Butler has been a generous partner for more than 20 years. In 1991, the University raised $25,087.52, and contributions have grown significantly since then. Overall, Butler has raised $595,696.23 over the life of the campaign. The United Way credited 2013 Employee Campaign Chairs James Cramer, Community Engagement Manager for Clowes Memorial Hall, and Jeanne VanTyle, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, for generously volunteering their time and energy to make the campaign such a success at the University.

In the last three years, Butler University has received the following awards and recognition from United Way: A Company that Cares (2013), Breakthrough Campaign (2013), Top 200 Companies (2013), Top 200 Companies (2012), and Top 200 Companies (2011).

"Being named a Company that Cares is a very special honor,” United Way President and CEO Ann D. Murtlow said. “It means that you are an organization providing community leadership through your commitment to United Way’s mission of helping people learn more, earn more, and lead safe and healthy lives.”

Honorees each receive a showcase sculpture and the use of the Company that Cares logo in communications materials.

“For us to be recognized by United Way, an organization that is doing their part to help the community, is a big honor,” said Josh Downing, head of Butler’s Staff Assembly.


Media contact:
Marc Allan


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 Hires Real Estate Consultants to Find Retail Tenants for Parking Facility


PUBLISHED ON Sep 22 2014

Butler University today announced it has retained local real estate consultants CBRE to find high-quality retail tenants to fill 15,000 square feet of space in its new 1,038-space campus parking facility, which will be completed in August 2015. The facility will be built on an existing parking lot between Clowes Memorial Hall and Lake Road on Sunset Avenue.

Rendering - North“We are excited to work with industry leaders at CBRE to find great tenants to occupy this new facility and provide our students and our neighbors with direct access to restaurants and businesses,” said Butler University President James M. Danko. “Butler has always prided itself on being a vibrant contributor to the Indianapolis community, and we will work closely with CBRE to make sure we continue to uphold that reputation.”

CBRE’s retail leasing efforts will be led by Donna Hovey, Vice President of Retail. Hovey is an experienced retail broker whose practice includes Landlord and Tenant representation. Clients have included Marsh Supermarkets, Regions Bank, Starbucks, and Exxon Mobil.

CBRE’s Public Institutions and Education group will be represented locally by Gordon Hendry, former Director of Economic Development for the City of Indianapolis. The group has assisted numerous states, cities, counties, and universities, including at present the states of New York, Maryland, and Florida; cities of Indianapolis; Bloomington, Indiana; Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; and George Washington University and The Ohio State University.

“This is an opportunity for CBRE and our team to work with a well-known, highly regarded academic institution that’s a core part of a city neighborhood,” said CBRE Indianapolis office Managing Director John Merrill. “We’ll draw on expertise both from our retail team and our education group to make sure Butler is getting the best deal and the best tenants.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Bulldog Memorial to Be Unveiled During Homecoming


PUBLISHED ON Sep 22 2014

Butler University will unveil a new memorial to its bulldog mascots at the Butler Bowl entrance on Friday, September 26, at 4:00 p.m., as part of Homecoming.

The memorial, which was adopted as a project by the Class of 2013 and became its official class gift, features:

bulldoggiftrendering0714-A custom dog house/columbarium (urn storage) designed and constructed by Millennium Monument Company with a granite and brick façade to match Hinkle Fieldhouse. Each dog's remains will be stored inside niches contained inside the dog house columbarium. Bronze plaques on the side of the dog house will denote which dogs' remains are contained inside.

-A bronze bulldog sculpture, crafted in Blue II's likeness, by artist Dale Johnson of Ohio.

On the side of the doghouse will be a plaque dedicated to the bulldogs that represented Butler in years past, starting with Blue I and Blue II.

The September 26 dedication ceremony also will celebrate the lives of Blue I and Blue II.

"At Butler, the likes of Butler Blue I, II, III, and the bulldogs who have gone before them, are considered to be more than just mascots,” said Michael Kaltenmark, Butler’s Director of External Relations and the owner of Blue III. “Each of our English bulldogs has come to be considered a beloved member of the Butler family during their tenure. Now through the creation of this memorial, we can both honor and always remember their tireless work to proudly represent the University."

Blue I, who died in May at age 13, began the live mascot program in 2000. She was owned by Kelli Walker, who worked in Butler’s Office of Alumni and Parent Programs from 1998–2004.

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, and commencement. At the annual Rejoice holiday concert, she rode a sleigh across stage to the tune of “Blue Christmas.”

Blue II, an American Kennel Club-registered dog, became known as “America’s Dog” in 2010 and 2011 when the Butler men’s basketball team played for the NCAA national championship. Blue appeared on the floor of every Butler men’s basketball home game, select away games, and the 2010 and 2011 Final Four games.

Blue II died in September 2013. He was 9. When his death was announced, wrote, “College basketball lost over the weekend what was arguably its most famous mascot.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan