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Trustees Approve New Housing Facility and Parking Garage

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PUBLISHED ON Jul 11 2014

The Butler University Board of Trustees has approved the development of two new facilities—a state-of-the-art student-housing facility with approximately 600 modern, suite-style beds and a 1,038-space multi-use parking facility.

Overall RenderConstruction of the five-story parking structure, which is anticipated to open in August 2015, will begin this fall. Construction of the student-housing facility is expected to begin in spring 2015 with completion in fall 2016.

The University has selected the existing Irwin Library parking lot along Sunset Avenue as the optimal site for the new student-housing facility, following detailed planning efforts in partnership with American Campus Communities (ACC) and input from a broad set of stakeholders.

“Advancing our educational mission through the development of superior campus amenities is a key component of Butler’s 2020 Vision to be an innovative leader in transformative student-centered learning,” Butler President James M. Danko said.

The new student-housing facility is just one component of a comprehensive effort to modernize and expand Butler’s campus housing facilities. The University and ACC will also be assessing existing residence facilities, including Schwitzer Hall, Ross Hall, and Residential College (ResCo). Completion of these audits will yield recommendations for future renovation or replacement of those facilities.

“Our partnership with ACC will allow us to address our entire campus housing infrastructure, providing an ideal residential experience for the next generation of Butler students,” said Benjamin Hunter, Chief of Staff to President Danko.

The parking facility will be built on an existing parking lot between Clowes Memorial Hall and Lake Road. The multi-use facility will include approximately 15,000-square-feet of commercial and office space on the ground level.

The parking facility will serve the needs of faculty, staff, and commuter students, as well as event parking demand for Hinkle Fieldhouse, Clowes Memorial Hall, and the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts. The retail space is likely to house restaurants and businesses catering to both the campus community and surrounding neighborhoods.

“This new facility will be a great asset for Butler and its neighbors,” Hunter said. “There have been concerns about the availability of parking at Butler, especially during major events. This will go a long way toward mitigating those concerns and will enable future growth.”

The new multi-use parking facility has been in the planning phase for approximately 18 months. In addition to conducting a thorough parking analysis and gaining extensive input from campus stakeholders, the University consulted with the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association, Midtown Indianapolis, Inc., and the City of Indianapolis.

These exciting initiatives join ongoing efforts to develop and enhance the eastern border of Butler’s campus. The University and City of Indianapolis began work in April on the Sunset Avenue Streetscape initiative, which will improve community safety and way-finding, while beautifying the public gateways to campus. The initial phase of the Streetscape project will primarily involve Sunset Avenue north of Hampton Drive, including a major reconfiguration of the 49th Street curve.

“With the Sunset Avenue Streetscape improvements in full swing, a multi-use parking facility scheduled to open next year, and planning for new student housing underway, we are certainly beginning to see our exciting vision for Butler's future come to life," Danko said.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

 

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CUE's 'Make Change' Project Expands to Midtown

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PUBLISHED ON Jun 19 2014

Doing something good for the environment in Indianapolis can now earn you currency that can be exchanged for goods at local businesses.

The program—called Make Change—allows people to do something as simple as riding their bicycle or as involved as participating in a neighborhood cleanup program in exchange for redeemable coins.

changeEach hour of activity is worth $10 in aluminum coins specially created for this program. A list of activities is below.

Coins can be redeemed at locations including The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the Good Earth, and Broad Ripple Brew Pub. A complete list is below.

For more information about the program, visit makechangeindy.com.

Tim Carter, director of Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology, which oversees the program, said the message of Make Change is simple: “Do something to help the environment, document that, receive your currency, exchange the currency.”

Make Change was originally funded through a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Urban Waters program and launched in January 2013 in the neighborhoods between Fall Creek and 38th Street. 

As of Friday, June 20, the program is being expanded to the entire Midtown area, thanks to a $1,000 Nice Grant from SmallBox, an Indianapolis-based web design and marketing company. Residents of Midtown or those who perform their activities in Midtown are eligible to participate.

Participants can earn as much Make Change currency as they want. With some activities—like, say adding a rain barrel to a home—all the participant needs to do is document his/her activity through social media with the hashtag #MakeChangeIndy. In the case of community projects, organizers will be given coins to distribute to participants.

The program will continue at least through the end of 2014, Carter said.

Activities that are eligible for currency are:

Worth 15 minutes ($2.50 credit):
-Take a clean water pledge at http://www.clearchoicescleanwater.org
-Replace an incandescent light bulb in your home.
-Document your trip on one of the bike trails in Indianapolis.
-Donate to Indy Upcycle, 6358 North Guilford Avenue, which sells art and craft materials at pay-as-you-wish pricing.

Worth one hour ($10 credit):
-Participate in the bike share.
-Have an energy audit done on your home.
-Plant a garden/native plants (one hour for every 10 square feet).

Worth two hours ($20 credit):
-Plant a tree.
-Start a chicken coop.
-Create a composting system.
-Install a rain barrel.
-Bike to work.

Businesses accepting the currency are:
Unleavened Bread Café
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Freewheelin' Community Bikes
Fall Creek Gardens
Duos Kitchen
KI Ecocenter
Agrarian
Indy Upcycle
Good Earth Natural Foods
Broad Ripple Brew Pub
CUE Farm

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

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Butler University’s First Live Bulldog Mascot, Blue I, Has Died

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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 ButlerBlue.com.

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 ButlerBlue.com. 

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Butler Announces Student-Housing Partnership with American Campus Communities

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PUBLISHED ON Apr 17 2014

Butler University has partnered with Austin, Texas-based American Campus Communities to develop new student housing facilities on Butler’s campus. The initial phase of development will include a state-of-the-art facility with approximately 500 beds, and is tentatively scheduled to open in fall 2016.

Under the initial agreement, American Campus will build and maintain the facility, while Butler and American Campus will share in the revenue. The appropriate partnership model is currently being negotiated and site studies are underway to determine the facility’s optimal location on campus.

Butler and American Campus have also selected Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) as lead architect, and Indianapolis-based Shiel Sexton as lead contractor, and Cripe Architects Engineers for site design.

This effort represents the first phase of a comprehensive student housing master plan that will address the University’s overall housing inventory. The scope of the master planning process encompasses the renovation or redevelopment of approximately 1,200-1,500 student beds and related student amenity space.   

“Developing superior campus amenities is crucial to our educational mission and to Butler’s 2020 Vision,” Butler President James M. Danko said. “American Campus Communities brings an enormous amount of experience and vision to our partnership, and we are excited to work with them to bring world-class housing options to Butler.”

By establishing a long-term partnership with American Campus, Butler will be able to dramatically upgrade its housing options, while maintaining the financial flexibility needed to invest in future academic facilities.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Butler University,” said Jamie Wilhelm, Executive Vice President of public private partnerships at American Campus. “We look forward to a collaborative process and to providing a modern living-learning community to the next generation of Butler students.”

American Campus Communities––the nation’s largest developer, owner, and manager of high-quality student housing communities­­­––has completed similar projects at more than 40 universities, including Princeton, the University of Southern California, Texas A&M, and Arizona State.

Examples of their work can be seen at http://www.americancampus.com.

Since 1996, American Campus has developed more than $4.3 billion in properties and acquired more than $4.8 billion in student housing assets. The company has been awarded the development of more than 70 on-campus projects, in addition to 26 projects developed off campus.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
Office 317-940-9822
Cell 317-501-7999
Email mallan@butler.edu

 

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Dr. Stark Honored With Sagamore of the Wabash

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PUBLISHED ON Apr 16 2014

Eric Stark was in the middle of conducting the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir in a rendition of Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem” Tuesday evening when State Rep. Dan Forestal and about 25 guests stepped onstage to deliver a surprise: Stark had been named a Sagamore of the Wabash, one of the State of Indiana’s highest individual awards.

“I almost always have something to say,” Stark, Butler’s Director of Choral Activities and the Symphonic Choir’s Artistic Director, said after receiving a standing ovation from the 200-member choir and guests. “But tonight I’m absolutely speechless. This will take a while to sink in. But I’m touched, and honored, and incredibly humbled.”

Eric Stark receives the Sagamore of the Wabash from State Rep. Dan Forestal.
Eric Stark receives the Sagamore of the Wabash from State Rep. Dan Forestal.

See a video of the surprise here.

Forestal (D-Indianapolis) delivered the award at Butler’s Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts, flanked by a contingent that included Stark’s mother, Sherry Stark, and stepfather, David Tiede; Stark’s brother Chris and sister-in-law Ann; and cousin Julie Moll and her husband, Tom.

“To say Dr. Eric Stark is deserving of this recognition is an understatement,” Forestal said. “The role he has played in enriching our community can be seen in many ways, but mostly in the lives of the people he has guided through the years. Through his great service, untold numbers have gained a greater appreciation of the power of music and have used that knowledge to entertain and enrich the lives of others.”

Stark, a Columbus, Indiana, native, began teaching at Butler in 1996 and is in his 12th season as Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. The Wabash College alumnus received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Stark also has four CD recordings to his name and multiple new music commissions. He has conducted at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Strathmore Music Center, as well as in Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States.

Michael Pettry MM ’06, executive director of the Symphonic Choir, took a conducting class from Stark while in graduate school.

“Eric is an incredible leader, and I’ll tell you why,” Pettry said. “You wouldn’t know that he’s leading. Anybody who’s been in his choir, or who’s been in a committee meeting—as exciting as those are—with Eric sees the quiet, hands-off sort of leadership that Eric exudes. He’s a true educator through and through.”

The Sagamore, bestowed by Gov. Mike Pence, is considered among the greatest honors to come from our state’s chief executive. It is a tribute given to those who have provided a valued service to Indiana and its people. Sagamore recipients include astronauts, presidents, ambassadors, artists, musicians, and ordinary citizens who have contributed greatly to the Hoosier heritage—including Stark’s maternal grandfather, businessman J. Kirby Risk, who received a Sagamore of the Wabash in 1969.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

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Clowes Hall Introduces Sensory-Enhanced Seating for the Hearing Impaired

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PUBLISHED ON Apr 09 2014

Beginning Friday, April 11, Clowes Memorial Hall will launch a first-of-its-kind project that enhances the concert performance experience through a system it has dubbed “audio sensory enhanced seating.” These seats are equipped with technology designed to convert audio into vibration to create physical sensation from sound.

clowesfullhouse0113 001The project started through an idea by Joshua Lingenfelter, Clowes Memorial Hall Director of Marketing, after an experience he had at the Clowes Box Office.

“We had a concert one evening, and the performer was also on a popular TV show at the time,” Lingenfelter said. “A man came to the window and wrote down on a piece of paper that he would like a refund. His wife stood behind him as they both communicated via sign language and written notes. Essentially, they were both fans of the performer being on TV, but even though the husband had great intentions, the wife couldn’t fathom attending a concert when they can’t hear.”

“That sparked an idea for me: What if we changed the way we perceived music by not only hearing it, but also feeling it. Would that have changed their minds about attending the concert? This wasn’t an entirely new concept. Think back to the stories of Beethoven chopping off the legs of his piano after losing his hearing in order to feel the vibrations and you can see where the idea comes from. If we aren’t able to hear it, can we feel it instead?”

Lingenfelter, who is also a percussionist, was familiar with a technology called the Buttkicker® sound enhancement system. The ButtKicker® brand low-frequency audio transducers were developed to solve a problem between a bass player and his drummer. They wanted to be able to feel the low end of the music without turning the stage monitors up so loud that it disturbed the rest of the band. A low-frequency audio transducer allows the user to feel powerful bass without excessive volume.

This week, Clowes will install eight systems into seats, which will be reviewed by members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community during the weekend performance of Blue Man Group at no cost through a generous grant from The Broadway League.

In recent years, the ButtKicker® technology has been installed with commercial applications, bringing excitement and depth to theatres for hearing audiences. Current customers include Disney: Mission Space, Center of Science and Industry – Columbus, Ohio, and Kennedy Space Center. Lingenfelter imagined that if he could use that same technology in the seats of Clowes Memorial Hall, then this could create an option to have music be a valid evening of entertainment for those who had no ability to hear.

Before proceeding with program development for this project, each department at Clowes worked together to develop a test of the ButtKicker® system with a performance of West Side Story at Clowes Hall on June 9, 2013. Clowes invited audience members from the deaf and hard-of-hearing community to attend an ASL-interpreted performance and sit in a seat with the ButtKicker® unit. Invitations were extended to a member of the deaf community and his hearing family, teachers and students from the Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD) and ASL interpreters. This test allowed the patrons to feel the vibrations of the music in the show, enhancing their Broadway performance experience. Patron feedback was positive.

Clowes made initial calls to The Guitammer Company (owners of the Buttkicker technology) in May 2013 to investigate options to use the ButtKicker® at Clowes Hall with a specific focus on music productions. Ernie Yezzi, Clowes sound stagehand, spoke with Mark Luden, CEO and President of The Guitammer Company, to explore new potential uses for the equipment.

To date, the ButtKicker® has never been used in live musical theatre performances or to enhance the performance experience for deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences. This presents a unique opportunity for Clowes to pilot a program with potential national replication.

The education and marketing departments at Clowes plan to follow up with extensive research following the weekend to further develop the technology.

“Those of us who can hear don’t think twice about going to a concert for an evening of entertainment,” Lingenfelter said. “For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, a concert may be of little to no interest. However, if we can convert the way our senses perceive music then we can serve all populations in our community.”

 

Media contact:
Josh Lingenfelter
jlingenf@butler.edu
317-940-6411

 

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Elaine Wagner, Brad Stevens to Be Honored at Spring Commencement

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PUBLISHED ON Apr 04 2014

Rear Admiral Elaine C. Wagner ’76 and former Butler men’s basketball coach Brad Stevens will receive honorary doctorates at Butler University’s commencement ceremony May 10 in the Butler Bowl. More than 800 students are expected to receive their diplomas.

Winter CommencementRear Admiral Wagner is Commander, Navy Medicine East and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia. She grew up in southern Indiana and attended Butler and Indiana University School of Dentistry (D.D.S., 1980). She completed her pediatric dentistry residency at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis in 1982.

She was commissioned and reported to Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, 29 Palms, California, in December 1983. In the years since, she has headed military dental departments and programs in Washington, DC; San Diego; Maryland; Florida; South Carolina; New England; and Virginia, as well as Okinawa, Japan, and the Philippines. Wagner served as Chief of the Navy Dental Corps from 2010 to 2013. Her military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two gold stars, Meritorious Service Medal with three gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold stars, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars.

In his six years as the men’s basketball head coach at Butler, Brad Stevens led the Bulldogs to two NCAA® Division I national championship games, four Horizon League regular season championships, three league tournament titles, and five trips to postseason tournament play. Most of the members of the Class of 2014 were first-year students during the second Final Four®  run, and share memories of this achievement.

Last July, the Boston Celtics hired Stevens to be their head coach. “We didn’t have a formal opportunity to thank Brad or celebrate the many contributions he made to the Butler community,” Butler President James M. Danko said. “So for us, this will be that chance. Brad was a dedicated member of the Butler community for more than a dozen years, and still maintains close ties to the University. It is wholly appropriate that we honor him at Commencement with his first Butler degree.”

Stevens’s career is well documented. He left a position as a marketing associate at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis to pursue a career in basketball coaching. He served in a volunteer capacity in Butler’s basketball office during summer 2000, before eventually gaining a full-time administrative position under Thad Matta. He joined the Butler staff in 2000-2001 as Coordinator of Basketball Operations, handling a variety of administrative duties. He was offered a full-time assistant coaching position by then-Coach Todd Lickliter for the 2001-2002 season.

Media contact: Marc Allan
Office Phone 317-940-9822
Cell Phone 317-501-7999
Email mallan@butler.edu

Campus

Jordan College of the Arts Bestows Its First Legend Awards

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 19 2014

 

 

Poet and musician Mari Evans, jazz vocalist Everett Greene, and attorney and arts advocate Fay H. Williams received the Jordan College of the Arts’s inaugural Legend Awards during ceremonies March 18 at Butler University’s Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts.

Congressman Andre Carson (left) and Dean Ronald Caltabiano (right) with the first Legend Award winners, Fay Williams, Everett Greene, and Mari Evans.
Congressman Andre Carson (left) and Dean Ronald Caltabiano (right) with the first Legend Award winners, Fay Williams, Everett Greene, and Mari Evans. (Photo by Mark Lee, 2014) (c)
 

 

 

“Jordan College of the Arts (JCA) created the Legend Awards to honor individuals whose legendary work has had a deep and lasting impact on the artistic and social fabric of Indianapolis,” Dean Ronald Caltabiano said. “They aim to especially recognize the work of members of minority communities.”

In accepting their awards, Evans read a recent poem, Greene sang with his long time accompanist, and actress/storyteller Deborah Asante took the stage in a dramatic reading of one of Mari Evans best-known works, "I Am a Black Woman."

Congressman Andre Carson, honorary chair, welcomed the attendees and stayed throughout the event, which more than 150 people attended.

Prior to the awards presentation, Caltabiano announced the launch of an Audience Development Task Force to be chaired by Williams. Composed of community members and representatives from the across Butler (including JCA faculty and staff and members of the JCA Board of Visitors), the task force will work through the next year, with goal of making recommendations to the dean on expanding JCA audience diversity in areas including age, ethnicity, and religion.

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

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Butler Blue II Turns Over His Collar to Blue III

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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 http://www.ustream.tv/ButlerBluelivecam. 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     http://blogs.butler.edu/butler-blue/birthday-retirement-party/.

“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
mallan@butler.edu
(317) 940-9822

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