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Investing in Community

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

After 20-plus years as a cardiologist, when he could be spending retirement on a beach somewhere overlooking the bluest water, Dr. David Dageforde '70 instead is working to improve the physical, spiritual, psychological, and social well-being of residents in the west Louisville neighborhood of Shawnee.

He's inside the Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center—a clinic he helped start in 2011 and whose board he chairs—showing visitors the medical exam rooms, the expanded space for mental-health counseling, and the offices and desks for the staff of around 30 and volunteers that include his wife, Emily '73.

There's also the new dental clinic that's a couple of doors down, a garden across the street that local residents can use to grow their own vegetables, and three clinics the center runs at neighborhood schools.

"I read a book that said: 'Take care of all the health and do nothing for the villagers and you've gained nothing. Give the villagers all the community help they need but don't take care of their health and you've got nothing,'" Dageforde said. "So we do medical care and community engagement."

Approximately 18,000 residents live in the Shawnee neighborhood. More than 60 percent live at 200 percent or less of the federal poverty rate. In 2017, the clinic will have served about 4,000 patients—1,000 more than the previous year.

"A lot of us have been in this community for 50 years or more and have been involved in community service," said Loueva Moss, who's both a patient and a Shawnee Center board member. "Dr. David has taken us to another step."


Dageforde grew up in Anderson, Indiana. In ninth grade, he wrote a paper about three potential careers for him—the three M's, he called them: Medicine, music, and minister.

As a junior in high school, he gave a sermon. "It stunk, and I thought I could never do that." When he got to Butler in 1966, he was in the band for one semester. "I thought I was good till I heard other students practicing. I thought I'd end up teaching flutophone in a cornfield somewhere. So pre-med became an easy choice."

And the Butler professor who showed him the way forward—"The man who changed my educational life"—was H. Marshall Dixon, who taught Theoretical Physics. Dageforde took that course during sophomore year, and he memorized everything he thought he needed to know for the first test.

He got a C.

He remembers Dixon saying, "David, you haven't learned how to think. I'm going to teach you how to think."

Dixon asked questions that weren't in their notes. He would say, "David, maybe I didn't discuss it in the notes. Maybe none of it applies to the equations that you memorized. But maybe if you think of the equations, maybe you can think this thing through and project an idea and then put it together."

"He opened up my whole mind," Dageforde said." Memorizing, which is a lot of what medicine is, isn't always the way to go forward. It's to think."

While Dageforde was learning that, Emily '73 was in Kingsport, Tennessee, where her father worked for American Electric Power Co. One summer, his company had a marketing meeting in Indianapolis. Butler was on the tour of the city.

"It was different," she said. "A lot of my peers in high school would go to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville or to girls' schools in Virginia. That didn't interest me at all."

She came to Butler to study Home Economics with an emphasis in Merchandising and Textile Design, planning to work as a buyer. The night her parents dropped her off, she attended a campus mixer where a senior walked up to her and said, "Let's show 'em how to dance."

Nine months later, they were married.

David went on to the Indiana University School of Medicine while Emily finished up at Butler.

"I know I got a great education at Butler," she said. "It was a great start to a life. I would do it again. My reason for wanting to go there was to step out of my comfort zone, step out of the little box you sometimes get put in, and go somewhere where you could try new things, meet new people, and have new experiences. Butler helped me along with that."


After David finished his residency at Baylor College of Medicine and fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Georgetown University, the Dagefordes moved to Louisville in 1979. He loved interventional cardiology and being part of CardioVascular Associates, a huge practice of 250-plus staff that included 20-plus doctors. He thought he'd do that until he was 70. Emily, meanwhile, earned her MBA at the University of Louisville.

Then, in 1994, David took his first overseas medical mission trip to Ethiopia, where he met missionaries Ray and Effie Giles.

"They transformed my life," he said.

Dageforde was impressed and affected by the Gileses' work and how they could do so much—handling cases of typhoid, malaria, and rheumatic fever—with relatively little. At the end of that first trip, Ray Giles told Dageforde, "He who drinks from the African stream will always return."

David realized that giving money to his church and having Emily give her time teaching Bible study was not enough.

He returned to Louisville and immediately resigned as Practice Manager to work part time and devote himself to medical missions. Four years later, he quit outright, at age 52. He, Emily, and their children, Sean and Leigh Anne, subsequently went on multiple mission trips to Africa and Romania, and he's been to China, India, Guatemala, and Thailand.

Then in 2005, someone showed him the healthcare statistics of west Louisville. "It was as bad as what you see overseas," he said. Shawnee had no primary care doctor; cancer rates twice as high a rate as where the Dagefordes live, 11 miles away; and heart disease two and a half times higher.

He decided to develop a Christian healthcare clinic in the neighborhood. They got together like-minded people and neighborhood residents, many of whom were skeptical.

"I thought it was a real far-fetched idea," said Rudy Davidson, a Shawnee Christian Healthcare Clinic patient and board member. "What really convinced me was his commitment to the effort. He believes in what he's doing to the point that he worked his ass off. I'm going to say it just like that: He's worked his ass off to make this thing work. We'd get 10-page emails at 3:00 AM explaining this and that. But all of that is what it took. He mobilized a lot of people and got the resources."


The clinic opened in 2011, thanks to financial support from Louisville-based Norton Healthcare and Southeast Christian Church, donated construction work by a fellow church parishioner, significantly reduced rent from Tony French, the owner of the neighborhood strip mall, and the efforts of dozens of volunteers.

But from 2011–2015, the operation struggled financially. "I maybe quit being chair 200 times, 400 times," Dageforde said. "We got down to our last $30,000 once," and there were times that he had to cut staff. The board would draw Dageforde back.

"I was concerned about his physical health because I could see the strain on him," board member Loueva Moss said. "What turned it around was getting resources—getting federal money, writing grants, plus the community buying into the concept and coming for care."

The federal money came when the Shawnee Center was designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center. Phyllis Platt—who started as a volunteer with the clinic and became its CEO in 2015—wrote the grant that brought in more than $600,000, about 40 percent of their budget. The remainder comes from patient fees ($25 and up, depending on a person's ability to pay), other grants, and donations.

Platt said she always felt confident that the clinic would grow and thrive because "when the Dagefordes are in, they're all in."

"Once he made the commitment, he was really invested in thinking about it all the time, talking to the right people all the time, being wherever he needed to be all the time," she said. "I think just to see their generosity in time and effort—Emily doesn't need to come here two days a week and call patients who don't show up for appointments—but it's another example of the willingness to give and to be invested on every level in a project that's obviously very dear to them."


In the past year, Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center has expanded from 2,600 square feet to more than 6,000. It's added mental-health counseling and plans to add a second doctor and dentist. The budget for 2018 will be around $2 million, including a federal grant of $800,000.

"The exciting part is how much we've become part of the community," Platt said. "Every day, we have the ability to impact individual people but also the potential to change a neighborhood."

Board member Rudy Davidson said the neighborhood is, indeed, changing. The strip mall where the clinic is located is starting to attract others businesses, and there are a Pizza Hut and a Dollar Store opening nearby.

"The center gave community people a sense of confidence—something they could see instead of just talk about," he said.

On a typical day, the Center's entryway is bustling. Hallways are crowded with patients and staff moving back and forth. Patients often know each other because they're from the community, so if you're in the lobby—and especially if there's a baby—the Center turns into something of a community gathering place.

In many cases, the clinic is seeing patients for medical needs. But not always. Often times, the people who come there need referrals to resources that can provide help. David proudly recalled helping a patient whose car had fallen apart connect with a local mechanic who donated a used car.

Emily said her favorite moment at the Shawnee Center came when she bumped into a patient outside the Center who was walking her baby boy in a stroller. The woman recognized her and thanked her for the support the clinic had provided—first, when her mother died, and then when the baby was born.

"She said, 'I just love you all. You have done so much for me.'" Emily said. "For me, that just encapsulates what we do here – it's to touch people's lives and make a difference in their lives. People are important, and you need to not treat them as a global issue but as a personal issue. To be able to be influential in a positive way—that's what the work at this clinic is about."


Investing in Community

"I thought I was good till I heard other students practicing. I thought I'd end up teaching flutophone in a cornfield somewhere. So pre-med became an easy choice."

Investing in Community

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18
danko young

From the President

President James M. Danko

from Fall 2017

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                                                      —Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Butler University’s forward momentum is palpable. You can see it in the construction of learning and living spaces and in the record-high national interest in a Butler education has reached a record high: the University received 15,000 applications in 2016, an increase of 50 percent over the previous two years. You can sense it when our student-athletes step onto the field or the court. You can feel it in the energy of newly formed learning communities. You can hear it in the laughter of the more than 35,000 Hoosier schoolchildren who come to Clowes Hall each year to see their first matinee. And above all, you can see it in the realization of our academic mission. Butler students are achieving the kind of intellectual and personal growth that prepares them for meaningful, successful lives after graduation. They are traveling the world, serving others, and collaborating with faculty on research and scholarship. They are rolling up their sleeves and gaining experience in the industries and disciplines that interest them. Our alumni are building outstanding careers, enriching their communities, and giving back to support a new generation of Butler students.

When an institution is moving forward so swiftly, it’s important to periodically step back to reaffirm and celebrate its foundational culture. Indeed, the more things change at Butler, the more our University’s traditions and core values remain the same. Butler began as our founders’ effort to champion inclusivity and equality among all people. Today, we continue to strive for these priorities. Outstanding undergraduate education has always been at the heart of our mission, and this focus continues today. Generations ago, Hinkle Fieldhouse came to life with cheering fans. Today, the electricity in Hinkle is only getting stronger. And Butler’s historical commitment to serving as a cultural and educational resource to Central Indiana is more robust than ever.

As you read this edition of Butler Magazine, I hope you enjoy this look at Butler’s past and present, and reflect upon your own role in shaping the Butler story. Whether your impact was large or small, your presence on this campus changed it. And for that we are grateful.

James M. Danko

danko young

From the President

by President James M. Danko

from Fall 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.”

Student LifeCampusCommunity

#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. 

Student LifeCommunity

Message from Butler University Office of Admission


PUBLISHED ON Feb 26 2018

Butler University is deeply saddened by the shootings that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. The students, teachers, staff, and the entire community of Parkland have been in our thoughts and prayers during this exceptionally difficult time.

Future Butler students should know that community involvement is one of our University’s core values. And we applaud individuals who choose to serve, and advocate, as responsible members of society. As articulated in The Butler Way, we appreciate and identify with individuals who understand humility, passion, unity, servanthood, and thankfulness.

Applicants to Butler University who respectfully engage in meaningful and authentic discourse regarding important issues within our society will not be penalized in the admission process.

Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Community Arts School Head Honored As United Way 'Hero'


PUBLISHED ON Feb 26 2018

Butler Community Arts School Director Karen Thickstun has been honored as one of United Way of Central Indiana's 100 Heroes for her efforts to grow the arts education program from 180 students in 2002 to more than 2,000 in 2016–2017.

The 100 Heroes awards are being given to 100 people from the Central Indiana community who have made a positive impact over the last 100 years.

"I appreciate the opportunity to share with the community what the Butler Community Arts School is all about," Thickstun said. "This is nice recognition for Butler, for the Community Arts School, for the Butler students who are doing something in the community. This isn't about one person. It is about one person plus staff and faculty and Butler students and community partners that have been with us from the very beginning."

The Butler Community Arts School (BCAS) provides affordable arts instruction to the Indianapolis community—people like Kennon Ward, who is now Assistant Music Director of The Salvation Army's Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children in New York—and enables Butler students to hone their teaching skills. BCAS offers private lessons, group classes, camps, and off-campus community programming.

Last year, 59 percent of the BCAS students taking lessons received a scholarship, and minority enrollment accounted for 53 percent.

The BCAS program was the vision of Peter Alexander, then Dean of the Jordan College of Fine Arts, who had started a similar community arts school at the University of Southern Mississippi. Alexander "saw the potential for using college students as the primary instructors and making inroads into the community with that dynamic," Thickstun said.

Alexander approached Thickstun with the idea in January 2002. At the time, Butler's only music instruction for the community was a piano camp. With the help of Arts Administration Professor Susan Zurbuchen, Thickstun secured a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission to provide need-based scholarships to students who wanted music lessons but could not afford them.

By September 2002, BCAS was up and running.

"It was a leap of faith by the Indiana Arts Commission because they were funding something that didn't exist yet," she said. "But Butler had credibility, and the Jordan College of Fine Arts had credibility, and I'm assuming they saw the potential."

The Indiana Arts Commission has renewed that grant every year since. Last year, BCAS received grants totaling more than $113,000 from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, The Indianapolis Foundation, Summer Youth Program Fund, and the Lilly Endowment. Some 90 percent of the grant money goes to provide student need-based scholarships.

The program also now has:

-Thirteen community partners serving more than 800 students with music, visual arts, dance, and theatre programs. The Martin Luther King Center, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, Auntie Mame Child Development Center, and Christel House Academy have all been community partners since the beginning.

-Sixteen summer camps serving over 600 students ages 7 and older. The camps include a summer ballet intensive that will be expanded to four weeks beginning in 2018, as well as theatre and music programs. A new guitar camp will debut in 2018.

-Nine group class programs—including Guitar for Young Bulldogs, Youth Theatre, and Children's Orchestra—serving more than 200 students ages 5 and older.

-Nine areas of private lessons serving over 400 students ages 5 and up. Lessons are available in piano, strings, voice, woodwinds, brass, percussion, guitar, music theory, and composition.

"I'm proud that Butler has stood behind the program for 16 years and continued to support it," Thickstun said. "Butler has recognized that it provides community engagement for the University students, in addition to all the good that it does for the children in the community."


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Community Arts School Head Honored As United Way 'Hero'

Karen Thickstun has made a positive impact on the central Indiana community.

Feb 26 2018 Read more
Arts & CultureCommunity

Butler to Celebrate 100 Years of Bernstein


PUBLISHED ON Feb 09 2018

Butler University's Jordan College of the Arts will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of American composer, conductor, author, and lecturer Leonard Bernstein with a series of performances throughout 2018, beginning with the Butler Symphony Orchestra performing the Overture to Candide on February 24 at the Schrott Center for the Arts.

“Leonard Bernstein’s legacy was the passion he brought to his music, whether in the role of creator/composer, performer/conductor, or teacher/author," said Lisa Brooks, Dean of Butler's Jordan College of the Arts. "There are very few musicians alive today who have not been somehow influenced by his genius.”

In addition to the performances, the Butler University School of Music will offer an undergraduate course called Topics in Nineteenth-Century Music: Mahler and Bernstein, taught by Dr. Clare Carrasco in the fall.

Bernstein received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Butler in 1976.

Here is the list of performances honoring the Maestro, who was born August 25, 1918, and died October 14, 1990.

Spring 2018

Music at Butler Series: Butler Symphony Orchestra performs the Overture to Candide, Saturday, February 24, 7:30 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.

Music at Butler Series: Wind Ensemble presents Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Sunday, February 25, 3:00 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.

Butler Opera Theatre and Butler Symphony Orchestra present Trouble in Tahiti, Friday and Saturday, April 13–14, 7:30 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.

Neighborhood Concert Series: Wind Ensemble performs Candide Suite, Thursday, April 26, 7:00 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.

Music at Butler Series: Choral Concert, choruses from The Lark for choir, percussion, countertenor soloist, Sunday, April 29, 3:00 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.

Fall 2018

Wayne Wentzel Lecture Series: Dr. Carol Oja, Harvard University, Tuesday, October 16. Time and venue to be announced.

Neighborhood Concert Series: Jazz Ensemble and Butler Symphony Orchestra performing a newly commissioned medley of Bernstein works for studio orchestra, Thursday October 18, 7:30 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.

Music at Butler Series: Butler Symphony Orchestra playing Symphony No. 1 (“Jeremiah”), with School of Music faculty member Kirsten Gunlogson, mezzo-soprano, Sunday, October 21, 3:00 PM, Clowes Memorial Hall.

Neighborhood Concert Series: Wind Ensemble performs A White House Cantata with two vocal soloists (soprano and baritone) from the Marine Band and a small chorus; Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs, with clarinet soloist from the Marine Band; and On the Waterfront Suite transcription, Thursday, November 15, 7:30 PM, Schrott Center for the Arts.


(Photo from


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Arts & CultureCommunity

Butler to Celebrate 100 Years of Bernstein

Events in the series begin February 24.

Feb 09 2018 Read more
Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Angela Brown Sings Again in Celebration Concert


PUBLISHED ON Feb 08 2018

Indianapolis-based soprano Angela Brown, who had taken some time off due to vocal stress, returns to the stage for a free concert on Sunday, February 25, at 7:30 PM at Butler University's Schrott Center for the Arts as part of the Celebration of African-American Music Concert.

The concert will feature Brown, Butler University choirs, and the Eastern Star Church Choir performing together and separately songs such as "This Little Light of Mine," "Wade in the Water," and "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

The Celebration of African-American Music Concert, pioneered by Jeremiah Marcèle Sanders MM '17 in collaboration with the Efroymson Diversity Center, Mu Phi Epsilon and the School of Music, celebrates the vast wealth of African-American culture through singing.

"Our singing is a tool for increasing the awareness of the oppression under which African slaves were brought to this land," Sanders said. "We wish that all see a day in which we celebrate a reconciliation of racial injustice. Until that day arrives, we rejoice in hope, sing in unity of mind and spirit, and educate toward equality."

Brown, a Butler University Visiting Guest Artist during the 2017–2018 academic year, sang on the Grammy-winning recording of "Ask Your Mama,” composer Laura Karpman’s setting of the poem by Langston Hughes of the same title. She also co-starred in the new American opera Charlie Parker’s Yardbird in the 2015 world-premiere performance with Opera Philadelphia.

She reprised the role of Addie Parker in historic performances at The Apollo in New York City in 2016, for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Madison Opera, and in London at The Hackney Empire in 2017.

This season includes solo appearances with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Venice Symphony Orchestra, Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, and Duisberger Philharmonic (Germany) as well as performances of Opera…from a Sistah’s Point of View in the United States.

The Butler choirs will be conducted by John Perkins, Associate Director of Choral Activities, who joined the University in 2014. Perkins previously served at the American University of Sharjah (UAE) from 2008-2014. Perkins’ teaching and research centers around broadening reasons for choral musicking, including social justice education. In pursuit of these goals, in the spring of 2016 he created a transnational course entitled "Peacebuilding through Choral Singing."

Sherri Garrison, who conducts the Eastern Star Church, Cooper Road campus, has been the Minister of Music there for the last 30 years. During her tenure at Eastern Star Church, she has overseen six choirs, of which she taught and directed five, two praise teams, two dance ministries, and a full music staff.


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Angela Brown Sings Again in Celebration Concert

Performance will feature the great soprano along with Butler choirs and the Eastern Star Church choir.

Feb 08 2018 Read more

Butler University Mourns the Passing of Andrew Smith


PUBLISHED ON Jan 12 2018

Update: A celebration of Andrew Smith's life will be held on Sunday, January 17, at 5:00 PM at Traders Point Christian Church, 6590 South Indianapolis Road, Whitestown, Indiana. Doors will open at 4:00 PM.


Butler University President James M. Danko and Vice President and Director of Athletics Barry Collier released this message to the Butler community on January 12:

Dear Butler Community,

We are profoundly sad to share the news that Andrew Smith ’13 passed away today. He was 25.

Andrew represented the best of Butler, both in the classroom, where he was an Academic All-American, and on the basketball court, where he helped lead our Bulldogs to back-to-back appearances in the national championship game.

As many of you know, Andrew was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in January 2014, and with leukemia late last year. He fought valiantly. As in all aspects of his life, Andrew gave his all, all the time.

What made Andrew so special was the way that he genuinely cared for others. Within his large frame was an even larger heart. He is, was, and always will be a Bulldog.

The Butler community is proud to have been part of Andrew’s life, and our thoughts are with his wife, Samantha; his parents, Debbie and Curt; and the rest of his family. Information about services is pending, and we will share details with the Butler community as we learn more.


Jim Danko and Barry Collier

Lacey School

Small Business Center Moves to Butler


PUBLISHED ON Jan 04 2018

Butler University is the new host of the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, which provides guidance and resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners at all phases—concept, startup, growth, and maturity. The Central Indiana Small Business Development Center’s mission is to have a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of small business in Indiana and to develop a strong entrepreneurial community.

The Small Business Center (SBDC) will become a division of the Lacy School of Business’ Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business. The four-employee Central Indiana Small Business Development Center will be primarily located at the Speak Easy Downtown Indianapolis, but will be part of the network providing access to multiple co-working spaces across Central Indiana.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) administers a grant from the federal Small Business Administration that enables these small-business development centers to exist and partners with local organizations to host them. The Indy Chamber has hosted the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center since 2014 and integrated it into its other key initiatives, including the Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) and the Women’s Business Center.

“The Indy Chamber has been proud to host the Central Indiana SBDC team for the last three years,” Indy Chamber President and CEO Michael Huber said. “While we will miss having these amazing individuals in our office, we are excited for the growth of their small business support services through this new relationship with Butler University. We will continue to partner with the Central Indiana SBDC team, the US Small Business Administration, and additional partners to further develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Indy region.”

Dennis Wimer, Director of the Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business said he wants Butler to build on the good work done by the Indy Chamber to help small businesses grow and will maintain the partnerships already in place. This partnership will help the Butler community connect more deeply with the small business community in Central Indiana.

Steve Standifird, Dean of Butler’s Lacy School of Business, said having the Center become part of the University is “a great addition to Butler.”

“It will give us additional opportunities for experiential education, enable us to partner with the business community, and continue our efforts to help Indiana businesses grow,” he said.

Media contact:
Marc Allan

Lacey School

Small Business Center Moves to Butler

On January 1, Butler University became the new host of the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, which provides guidance and resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners at all phases—concept, startup, growth, and maturity.

Jan 04 2018 Read more

Butler University Expands with Purchase of CTS Campus


PUBLISHED ON Dec 19 2017

Butler University just got a bit larger—40 acres larger.

Butler has completed the purchase of 40 acres of property and buildings from Christian Theological Seminary (CTS), both schools announced on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.

Butler’s College of Education (COE) will move into the main building on the CTS campus beginning with the 2018–2019 academic year. CTS will continue to reside on campus—in a part of the main building, counseling center, and apartments—through a special long-term lease. CTS will also retain ownership of a parcel of land on the far west side of the property on Michigan Road.

A benefit for both

Though Butler and CTS will continue to be independent, both schools say this collaboration is a major benefit.

“This purchase supports the momentum of our current strategy and future vision, providing Butler with new physical space for growth as we seek to further enhance the University’s academic experience,” Butler President James Danko says. “This partnership offers many benefits and creates opportunity to explore how we can best serve the needs of CTS, Butler, and our broader communities.”

Under the agreement, Butler plans to provide both campuses with services, such as grounds maintenance, the cost of which both schools will share.

“Put simply, this is a bold move that enables CTS to be good stewards of our physical and financial resources for the benefit of preparing transformative leaders for the church and community,” CTS Interim President Bill Kincaid says. “This agreement represents an opportunity to ensure the mission of CTS will continue for many generations to come.”

An innovative space

While COE will be the first to occupy the newly acquired space, Butler continues to explore ways to expand and enhance its innovative educational vision both on campus and in the community through the investment in the CTS space. Renovations to the main building on the CTS campus are set to begin after January 1 and will revolve around classrooms and faculty offices, as well as improvements to technology and accessibility.

“We may be the first college physically moving to CTS, but this purchase has the potential to enhance Butler’s position as an innovative leader in all aspects of education,” COE Dean Ena Shelley says. “This space will afford our entire University the chance to further our commitment to transformative student-centered learning.”

Shared history and mission

Butler and CTS have a history.

In 1855, the two institutions were founded as a single entity, North Western Christian University. They separated formally in 1958 when Butler’s religion department split from the University and formed what would become today’s CTS.

Since then, CTS and Butler have remained independent, but they have shared a rich and dynamic history of educating students to prepare them for rewarding and meaningful lives. Along the way, the two schools have collaborated academically, programmatically, and through shared services.


Media contact:
Rachel Stern


Butler University Expands with Purchase of CTS Campus

Butler has completed the purchase of 40 acres of property and buildings from Christian Theological Seminary (CTS), both schools announced on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.

Dec 19 2017 Read more

Visiting Writing Series Announces Spring Speakers


PUBLISHED ON Dec 04 2017

Series begins February 1 with Kazim Ali.

Novelist/biographer Edmund White and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louise Glück will be among the speakers this spring in Butler University’s Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series.

The series begins February 1 with poet/novelist Kazim Ali and continues with novelist Ali Eteraz (February 15), poet Danez Smith (March 22), White (April 3), and Glück (April 18). Times and locations are below.

All events in the spring 2018 series are free and open to the public without tickets. For more information, call 317-940-9861.

More information about each speaker follows.

Kazim Ali
Thursday, February 1, 7:30 PM
Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall

Kazim Ali’s books include several volumes of poetry, including Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth DayAll One’s Blue; and the cross-genre text Bright Felon. He has received an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council, and his poetry has been featured in Best American Poetry.  His novels include The Secret Room: A String Quartet, and among his books of essays is Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice.

Ali is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College. His new book of poems, Inquisition, and a new hybrid memoir, Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies, are scheduled for release in 2018.

Ali Eteraz
Thursday, February 15, 7:30 PM
Atherton Union, Reilly Room

Ali Eteraz is the author of the debut novel Native Believer, a New York TimesBook Review Editors’ Choice selection. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Children of Dust, which was selected as a New Statesman Book of the Year, won the Nautilus Book Award Gold, and was featured on PBS with Tavis Smiley, NPR with Terry Gross, C-SPAN2, and numerous international outlets. O, The Oprah Magazine, called it “a picaresque journey” and the book was long-listed for the Asian American Writers Workshop Award.

Previously, he wrote the short story collection Falsipedies and Fibsiennes. Other short stories have appeared in The Adirondack ReviewstorySouthChicago Quarterly Review, and Forge Journal.

Eteraz is an accomplished essayist and has been spotlighted by Time Magazine and Pageturner, the literary blog of The New Yorker.

Danez Smith
Thursday, March 22, 7:30 PM
Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall


Danez Smith is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead (2017), finalist for the National Book Award in poetry; [insert] Boy (2014), winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; and the chapbook hands on ya knees. Their writing has appeared in many magazines and journals, such as PoetryPloughshares, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Kinfolks. Smith is a 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam finalist and the reigning two-time Rustbelt Individual Champion and was on the 2014 championship team Sad Boy Supper Club.


In 2014, they were the festival director for the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam and were awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.

Edmund White
Tuesday, April 3, 7:30 PM
Atherton Union, Reilly Room

Edmund White is America’s preeminent gay writer. In biography, social history, travel writing, journalism, the short story, and the novel, this prolific and versatile author has chronicled the gay experience in the United States from the closeted 1950s through the AIDS crisis and beyond.

His first novel, Forgetting Elena, published in 1973, is the story of an amnesia victim, set at a stylish resort reminiscent of Fire Island. With the classic coming-of-age tale A Boy’s Own Story, White cemented a place for himself—and for gay fiction—in the cultural consciousness. His celebrated fiction also includes Nocturnes for the King of NaplesCaracoleThe Beautiful Room Is Empty (winner of the 1988 Lambda Literary Award), The Farewell SymphonyThe Married ManFanny: A FictionHotel de Dream, and Jack Holmes and His Friend. His latest is Our Young Man.

White has been involved in the gay rights movement since the Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969 and has acted as one of its canniest observers. His pioneering The Joy of Gay Sex: An Intimate Guide for Gay Men to the Pleasures of a Gay Lifestyle was published in 1977 and served as a national coming-out announcement for the entire gay community.

White has also made his mark as a highly accomplished biographer. Genet: A Biography is recognized as a definitive work on writer and playwright Jean Genet, and in 1993 it won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lambda Literary Award. White also authored the well-received Marcel Proust and Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel. His memoir Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris recounts the fifteen years he spent living there—one of the most productive and creative phases in his career.

White is a regular contributor to The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times Book Review, and Vanity Fair, and is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Louise Glück
Wednesday, April 18, 7:30 PM
Atherton Union, Reilly Room

Louise Glück is the author of twelve books of poetry and served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2003-2004. In 1993 Glück won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her collection The Wild Iris. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations and from the National Endowment for the Arts. Other honors include the Academy of American Poets Prize, the William Carlos Williams Award, the Bobbitt National Poetry Prize, the Ambassador Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and her most recent book of poems Faithful and Virtuous Nightxs received the 2014 National Book Award. Her book of essays Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry (1994) was awarded the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction, and her book Vita Nova (2001) won the first New YorkerReaders Award. In 2001 Yale University recognized her lifetime achievement by awarding her its Bollingen Prize for Poetry.

Glück is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and currently serves as the Rosenkranz Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at Yale University.

Media contact:
Marc Allan


Visiting Writing Series Announces Spring Speakers

The series begins February 1 with poet/novelist Kazim Ali and continues with novelist Ali Eteraz (February 15), Barry (March 1), poet Danez Smith (March 22), White (April 3), and Glück (April 18). Times and locations are below.

Dec 04 2017 Read more

Butler Alums Make a Successful Hand-Off


PUBLISHED ON Dec 01 2017

Bruce Scifres replaces Ed Tinder at the CYO.

When Ed Tinder ’71 decided to retire as Executive Director of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis—a position he held for 33 years—he hoped someone with excellent credentials would want to take over.

He got his wish when Bruce Scifres ’79 was hired. That’s Bruce Scifres who coached local high school football for 37 years, winning seven state championships in 27 years at Roncalli High School. The Bruce Scifres who was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.

“That a coach like this, as prominent as he is, was interested in this position pumped my chest up because it shows that what you tried to build over 33 years is attractive,” Tinder said, sitting across from Scifres. “There were 80 applicants for the job. When somebody like Bruce, a Hall of Famer, applies, you feel like the job is pretty important.”

Tinder was doubly happy because Scifres is a Butler guy.

“I think there’s something to the Butler Way,” Tinder said. “Being part of a community like Butler for the years you’re in school, I think you adopt an outlook on life, about how you’re going to lead your life, in every aspect. You adopt an attitude of helping people and service. That maybe got our feet in the door as Head Football Coach at a high school or Executive Director of CYO. It’s just the mindset on life, the attitude on life we got while we were at Butler.”


By his sophomore year at Butler, Ed Tinder knew he wanted to teach and coach. He credits his Butler coaches—Tony Hinkle, Bill Sylvester, Don Benbow, and others—with that. “These were individuals I just wanted to be like. I wanted to help people.”

After graduating with a major in Education, Tinder was hired at Roncalli High School, where he taught Social Studies, World History, Economics, and Drivers’ Education for nine years and was Head Football Coach from 1977–1979. (He took over from Bill Kuntz ’50, who played football at Butler, and his successor at Roncalli as Head Football Coach was Bill Kuntz’s son Bill Jr. ’75, another Butler grad.)

In spring 1980, Tinder moved to the CYO. He worked for four years under Bill Kuntz Sr., then became Executive Director.

Tinder said 15,000-20,000 young people in third grade through high school participate in CYO activities, which include 13 sports, music competitions, science fairs, hobby fairs, a chess program, and more. The Executive Director oversees a $5 million budget and answers to a 21-member board.

“You are, to a large extent, creating the climate in which all the activities are going to take place,” he said. “This is how we’re going to do things. So you take a little bit of that outlook on life gained through your education and your time spent at Butler University in the classroom and on the athletic fields and that becomes part of you when you administer a program like CYO.”

Tinder said he loved the job because people “are invested, and they’re emotional. That’s where I got my fuel for continuing for 33 years, to be able to work with people and interact through those kinds of emotions. I enjoyed it immensely. I miss a great deal of it, but you know when it’s time to move on.”


Bruce Scifres, who took over in June at the CYO, said he sees his role as a continuation of what Tinder established.

“I love it here,” he said, “and Ed has been amazing in helping. He’s answered tons of questions. Beyond that, if a Director is judged by the people he has hired to work for the organization, Ed Tinder was a master of his trade. The culture he developed here I feel blessed to be a part of.”

Scifres started at Butler as a Business Administration major—”It took a second-semester Accounting class to help me decide I didn’t like certain aspects of that”—and finished by majoring in Social Studies and Education.

A year after graduation, he was hired at Roncalli. He spent three years there, then moved over to public schools for seven years. In 1990, he returned to Roncalli as the Football Coach and Social Studies teacher. (He later taught weight training and was Assistant Dean of Students.) Part of his duties were Field Manager of the school’s football stadium, where he spent most Sundays. “I saw a lot of CYO games,” he said.

He also watched plenty of the games in which his two sons and two daughters played.

Scifres said he was attracted to the CYO job because “we’re doing something worthwhile. We’re doing something to help other people. That’s why people get into education. What other job could I do at this point in my life that would have as much of an influence on young people?”

Scifres turned 60 in February, and he knows he doesn’t have 33 years to devote to the CYO. But he said he plans to give his all to the role.

“As a coach, part of your job is to teach kids how to play a game—strategy, get them in shape, organize, practice hard every day, and teach them how to win,” he said. “But I’ve always thought the more important part was to teach kids how to live their lives. They should strive each day to give their best to be the person God created them to be and make their parents proud and do all the things they have an opportunity to do through athletics.”

Media contact:
Marc Allan


Butler Alums Make a Successful Hand-Off

When Ed Tinder ’71 decided to retire as Executive Director of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis—a position he held for 33 years—he hoped someone with excellent credentials would want to take over. He got his wish when Bruce Scifres ’79 was hired.

Dec 01 2017 Read more