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Dinner with 10 Bulldogs

Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

It’s not about the location or the menu for that matter. I mean, let’s not kid ourselves—college students are all about a home-cooked meal. But, what a Dinner with 10 Bulldogs is really about is the energy and connections made between students and alumni. 

Just ask Bryan Brenner ’95, CEO of FirstPerson and current Butler Trustee, who was hooked after hosting a dinner. “I’ve hosted a few of these because they inspire me—the eagerness of students to connect ... It reminds me to go for big goals in my own life and to encourage others.” 

Curious how Butler students feel about Dinner with 10 Bulldogs? Look no further than Logan Schwering ’18, who has engaged with alumni in various contexts, but says the Dinner with 10 Bulldogs is the most memorable. “It’s motivating and inspiring to see how much success Butler alumni have achieved. The dinners lead to connections that last a lifetime.” 

In Schwering’s case, it also led to an internship with FirstPerson. As Brenner puts it, 

“[The dinner] gives us access to great future talent! It’s also a great opportunity to reconnect to the purpose and values of Butler. I’ve instilled those values in my company. ” 

These values—trust, collaboration, and innovation, to name a few— are important to Butler students and many seek those values in an employer. It should come as no surprise, then, that FirstPerson has seven Butler alumni on staff and several Butler interns. 

So what kind of company is FirstPerson? It’s an Indianapolis-based strategic business advisory that helps organizations of all sizes become better businesses by developing smarter people strategies. Their core solutions—benefits and compensation, leadership and infrastructure, and community and culture—help organizations design meaningful employment experiences, resulting in healthier employees and a more productive business. 

“I do market research, benchmarking, sales support, and build community partnerships,” Schwering explained of his internship role, where he assists the small group team (clients with less than 200 employees). And with so many Butler alumni on staff, I wasn’t shocked to learn that Schwering reports to one—Alli Isaacs ’10, who is a Strategist in the organization. 

His connection to Butler alumni at FirstPerson doesn’t end there. Schwering was introduced to FirstPerson by Mark Minner ’12, a Managing Director with the company. Minner and Schwering met through their mutual involvement in Phi Delta Theta. Schwering’s role in Student Government Association (SGA) also gave him opportunities to speak with and present to Butler Trustees, including Brenner. 

About a year later, FirstPerson hosted a Dinner with 10 Bulldogs event and Schwering attended. He interacted with Brenner and Minner at the dinner and, as they say, the rest is history. 

For those of you thinking about hosting a Dinner with 10 Bulldogs, Brenner has some advice: “Do it! You’ll be energized by the rich personalities of Butler students, and their capacity for understanding the world around them. You’ll remember why you love Butler, and discover new ways to engage with your alma mater.” 

Still on the fence? Schwering reassures me that Butler students want to hear about your Butler experience. He also added, “If it’s the food selection that has you worried, fear not. Anything homemade or from a restaurant is likely better than what we would have eaten in the dining hall or made on our own.” 

See, I told you it wasn’t about the menu. 

We Need You!

Collaborate with and inspire Butler students while making connections that will last a lifetime. To host a Dinner With 10 Bulldogs, please visit You will be energized to reconnect with Butler while encouraging students to “go for big dreams.” 


Dinner with 10 Bulldogs

On the menu: trust, collaboration, innovation, and connections

by Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

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Marc Williams

A Philanthropic Vibe

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

As a student, Marc Williams ’07 spent as much time as possible in Fairbanks, Room 050, working on his music and learning audio production. 

“I just threw myself into that,” he said. “Admittedly, I didn’t think of what it would be like for me after college. I was just so in love with having the opportunity to be hands-on with equipment I could never afford in my entire life. I thought that was such a great opportunity. I was all-in when it came to that.” 

What it’s been like since college has been a mix that takes advantage of Williams’ many talents. He is, depending on the time of day: A special-education teacher at Fishers (Indiana) High School; the on-court emcee at Butler Men’s Basketball home games; a recording artist and deejay (known as Mr. Kinetik; his latest record is called Voyager); event producer and promoter (Fam Jaaams, a family-oriented dance party, is his newest event); and Adjunct Professor at Butler, where he teaches “A World of Hip-Hop,” a course on the global impact of rap culture. Not to mention husband and father. 

The through line for all of this? Butler. 

“Butler is where I was able to figure out who I really wanted to be,” he said. “As I was learning new information, I was able to form a more detailed perspective about myself and my place in the world. I met people from all over the world, had support from incredible people, and was able to experience things in ways I really never imagined.” 

Williams came to Butler from Dayton, Ohio, in 2003—two years after his sister Danielle—for the Engineering Dual Degree Program. When that major didn’t fit, he switched to Recording Industry Studies. 

“Best decision I made in college in terms of academics,” he said. 

After graduation, Williams went back to Dayton to work for a car dealership management software company, then returned to Indianapolis in 2008 for a job with a company that sold copy machines. “I hated every part of it,” he said. 

He saw an ad on Career Builder for a transition-to-teaching program. “I thought, I like young people and I like working with people and watching them become better,” he said. “I thought it would be nice to do because there were so many educators who had helped teach me. I thought it would be a cool thing to do and give back. A philanthropic vibe. I thought I was going to save the world from a classroom.” 

Williams is now in his 10th year of teaching at Fishers, where his classes include Algebra 1, English 10, and a basic reading/writing skills class—and he has found his niche. He approaches teaching this way: Students are like plants. Some of them will grow fast, some will take a while, some will take more work than others, some might not grow the way you want them to. 

He approaches his role as on-court emcee—a position he pioneered during the 2009–2010 season—with the same kind of thoughtfulness. “I’m not really the center of attention, as much as it may seem like it. I just want people to be engaged and have a good time and establish an environment that helps the team play better.” 

And just as Williams enjoys helping to excite the Hinkle Fieldhouse crowd, he’s just as happy to have a chance to spend time at his alma mater. 

“Butler is my home away from home,” Williams said. “I hope I’ll always have a way to be somewhere around 4600 Sunset Avenue for the rest of my life.” 

Marc Williams

A Philanthropic Vibe

"I thought I was going to save the world from a classroom.”

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Read more

Engine of Opportunity

Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

Why would a man who graduated cum laude with three job offers accept the one that didn’t quite match either of his two Butler University degrees? 

Because this offer came from Google, and “I think I would’ve been kicking myself if I hadn’t taken it,” said Chad Pingel ’16. 

The Des Moines, Iowa, native hasn’t allowed himself many chances to kick himself for passing up opportunities in his life—or for failing to make the most of them. And though he earned degrees in Finance and Marketing with an Ethics minor, Pingel may have found his activities outside Butler’s classrooms the most educational. 

“I was interested in forming relationships with folks who had unique and varied experiences. One of the core pieces to my time at Butler was how the campus fostered relationships from chance encounters and random experiences.” 

Effective keywords 

Taking his parents’ lifelong advice to always make the most of the chances he’s given, Pingel quickly became a Student Ambassador and a member of the Student Government Association, eventually becoming Student Body President. 

“Being in SGA was the perfect opportunity to serve as a liaison between groups. We were hearing students’ concerns directly and then championing them to staff, faculty, and administration,” he said. “Some of my proudest accomplishments happened in SGA.” Chad Pingel at Google

Pingel led initiatives to persuade IndyGo to reroute city buses through campus, and to court student input and buy-in around plans for new student residences. 

“The plans were a bit of a shift in perspective for students who had lived in Ross Hall, like I did, and we didn’t want to lose the community feeling we had created there,” he said. 

Intelligent search 

Pingel threw himself into the Lacy School of Business with the same sense of purpose. He cites three specific sources of the business mentality and work ethic he took to Google: The Real Business Experience (RBE), a financial portfolio management class, and the Butler Business Consulting Group (BBCG). 

RBE teaches students how to finance and market a project, take informed risks, and manage a real business “just like out in the real world.” In the financial portfolio management class, Pingel and his team were allowed to invest and manage $2 million of the University’s endowment money. (They finished 80 basis points up.) 

“I knew I was interested in assessing companies and the quality of an investment, but we got to go beyond that and develop higher-level skills by looking at overall business values,” he said. 

Finally, Pingel said joining the BBCG was “one of the most exciting and valuable chances of my life. We got to help the NCAA better align their internal feedback and approach to setting goals. It was a dream project.” 

Then came a job at one of the most successful companies in the world. 

Results returned 

Google receives two million resumes every year. Pingel’s first position was in Human Resources, diving into that enormous stack of candidates to recruit for finance positions. Itching to get back to actual Finance a year later, he became a Finance Automation System Administrator, the position he holds today. 

Though he said Google is such a leader in automation that no university could have fully prepared him for what he’s doing now, Pingel said he left Butler knowing how to assess information and maintain a work-life balance. 

“I learned a lot about professional life, but also how to show yourself as someone who can have fun and relate to people,” he said. “And professors like Dr. Paul Valliere taught me the importance of staying intellectually curious. The ability to think creatively helps me every day—at Google and in life.” 

Giving Back by Giving Chances 

Working at Google in California puts Chad Pingel ’16 far from his Iowa family and his Butler family, too. He decided to stay connected and give back to the University by funding the Pingel Family Scholarship. 

“I created a scholarship in my family’s name because I recognize all the sacrifices my parents made to put themselves through school. They worked two and three jobs, and I am so lucky that I could attend a great school like Butler without having to worry about finances,” he said. “Now, I get to give a similar chance to another student every year that could make the difference for them being able to attend Butler’s business school.”


Engine of Opportunity

Why would a man who graduated cum laude with three job offers accept the one that didn’t quite match either of his two Butler University degrees? 

by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

Read more

Scholarship: The Joel Cornette Scholarship Fund

Patricia Snyder Pickett '82, APR

When legendary Coach Tony Hinkle first touted The Butler Way, it was the pinnacle for which to strive—not just on the court, but throughout life, long after hanging up the uniform. The Butler Way demands commitment, denies selfishness and accepts reality, yet seeks constant improvement while promoting the good of the team above self. 

Joel Cornette ’03 embodied The Butler Way both during his time at Butler University and his post-graduate years. He was a member of the first Bulldog Sweet 16 team in 2003; his 144 career blocks and .544 career field goal percentage also rank among the Top 10 in Butler history. He later served as a member of the Butler coaching staff from for the 2006–2007 season as the team’s Coordinator of Basketball Operations before going to Iowa as a member of Todd Lickliter’s staff. He was an NBPA-certified player-agent, serving as the Director of Basketball recruiting for Priority Sports since January 2012. 

Tragically, Cornette passed away of natural causes last August at age 35. It was a loss that shook his family and friends to the core, as well as both the Butler community and peers in the world of athletics. 

In the wake of such an inexplicable loss, those who loved him most chose to commemorate him in a means of which they knew he would approve. The Joel Cornette Scholarship Fund was established by his family and Butler University to provide support for future Bulldogs. 

“Through the generous support of our donors, we’ve been able to establish this scholarship program/fund, that will guarantee there will be monies available for deserving student athletes now and into the future,” said Ken LaRose, Associate Athletic Director for Development. “We are able to pay tribute to these special people while offering the gift of education to our student athletes.” 

As a testament to this inspiring young man, at least five Butler head coaches (past and present), immediately donated to the fund along with scores of others, expediting the scholarship to be fully funded at the endowed level of $50,000. 

“We could never out give what he gave to the institution,” said Todd Lickliter, Cornette’s coach while at Butler. “It was such an honor to have been involved with him, and the scholarship will continue his good works.” 

Lickliter points to a well-known mantra often emphasized by former Lacy School of Business Dean Richard Fetter: “If you do well, do good.” 

“Joel did both,” he said. “He epitomized what it meant to be a true student athlete. Not only did he earn a distinguished degree, but he opened the door for others through his play on the court as well as his ability to articulate his vision and what Butler meant to him. He naturally drew people to the institution. He did well, and he did good.” 


Contributions in Joel’s honor may be made online or by check to Butler University Advancement, 4600 Sunset Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46208. 


Scholarship: The Joel Cornette Scholarship Fund

Scholarship: The Joel Cornette Scholarship Fund

Patricia Snyder Pickett '82, APR
sellick bowl

The Butler Bowl became the Bud and Jackie Sellick Bowl on September 16, thanks to a gift from the estate of Winstan R. “Bud” Sellick ’47 and Jacqueline (Blomberg) ’44.

Also as part of the $9.6 million gift, the Champions Room in the Sellick Bowl was renamed the Bud and Jackie Sellick Room, and the Registrar’s Office is now the Jacqueline Blomberg Sellick Registrar’s Suite. 

The Sellicks had asked longtime friends Dan Yates and Bob Wildman to assist in the transfer of this gift to Butler. Wildman noted that the Sellicks “were special people with a special place in their hearts for Butler.”

“During their long history with the school, they saw it grow and prosper, and I know they were quite happy and proud to be a part of its success,” he said. “They would be extremely grateful to Butler for this recognition by the University of their generous gift.”

The Sellicks were married for 69 years. A Marine Corps veteran, Bud served on Okinawa and Korea. His association with Butler University was long and deep. When Bud was born, his father was the Treasurer of Butler University in Irvington, as well as a Professor of Economics at the school. In 1939, when he came to Butler as a student, an aunt was Assistant Registrar and a second aunt was a Librarian. 

Bud’s pursuit of a degree was interrupted by World War II. He returned to Butler following the war, earned his degree in Economics, and married his college sweetheart, Jacqueline Blomberg. As a student, he was involved in the band, Kappa Kappa Psi band honorary, and Delta Tau Delta fraternity. In 1947, he began his successful career as an insurance agent in the Indianapolis area.

After fighting in Korea, he returned to Indianapolis where he served as President and Owner of Bud Sellick Insurance Agency and the Blessing-Sellick Insurance Agency for several decades until his retirement. He was also involved in a successful real estate business in the Indianapolis area with his wife and brother-in-law.

Bud died March 30, 2015. He was 93.

Jackie was a lifelong resident of Indianapolis. She attended Shortridge High School, then went on to become a graduate of Butler University. During her Butler days, she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, a member of the Debate Team, and a recipient of the Ovid Butler Award.

Her career included over 20 years on the Industrial Board. She also owned and operated commercial real estate for 40 years.

Jackie died October 20, 2012. She was 89.

Consistent donors to Butler for more than a third of a century, the Sellicks endowed three scholarships: The Winstan R. Sellick, Jacqueline Sellick, and Herman W. Blomberg Scholarship; the Sellick, Deming, and Schuler Scholarship; and the Winstan R. Sellick and Jacqueline B. Sellick Business Scholarship. 

They also made gifts to the Butler Fund and several athletic funds, including the restoration of Hinkle Fieldhouse. In 2007, Bud and Jackie Sellick received the Ovid Butler Society Mortarboard Award. In 2014, Bud was honored when he received the Butler Medal. He also was a donor and strong supporter of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity.


Butler University alumnus Frank Levinson ’75, a longtime Butler benefactor whose past gifts enabled Butler to upgrade its science programs and purchase its first supercomputer, generously provided the University with a new $5 million gift to support the sciences. 

Enrollment in the sciences at Butler has increased nearly 50 percent over the last decade. 

Levinson’s gift will be integral to the transformation of Butler’s science teaching and laboratory spaces, building on the University’s undergraduate research emphasis—recognized by U.S. News & World Report as among the best programs of its kind in the nation. The new facilities, designed to complement those of local and global science and health/life sciences companies, will enable Butler to collaborate more fully with and provide talent to these firms as well as prepare students for further study in the best graduate and post-professional programs.

“I have been so grateful for all the things that a Butler education has done for so many members of my family,” Levinson said. “Over many years, my family has seen how valuable and recognized this education has been. Looking forward, I know it takes a big commitment to stay on the cutting edge of the sciences. This gift aims to help keep this commitment high for many years to come.” 

Levinson grew up in Indianapolis and he and his family have a deep, multigenerational relationship with Butler University that goes back nearly 70 years. Levinson earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics from Butler in 1975, and in 2006 he received an honorary doctorate. His father, Alan C. “Buzz” Levinson, received his Master of Science in Education from Butler in 1953, during which time he helped install and align the telescope at Holcomb Observatory. Buzz frequently brought young Frank along, helping kindle Frank’s interest in science and optics. 

Levinson’s mother, Winifred B. Levinson, received her Bachelor of Arts in French from Butler in 1951, and his brother Carl A. Levinson received his Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics in 1978.

Levinson is an entrepreneur and investor who co-founded Finisar Corporation, a manufacturer of optical communication components and subsystems. He is currently the Managing Director of the early stage fund and incubator Small World Group, which engages in a mixture of venture capital, engineering, and philanthropy to help start companies or research efforts with a focus on “clean tech”—technology that helps improve the quality of life on earth.

He also is a partner in the San Mateo, California-based venture capital fund Phoenix Venture Partners, which invests in start-up teams developing advanced materials innovations for major industries such as photonics, health care, and sustainable products.

oncfchb announcement

Butler Unveils New Business Center

Marc D. Allan

from Fall 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

oncfchb announcement

Butler Unveils New Business Center

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

by Marc D. Allan

from Fall 2017

Read more

Butler Names New Vice President for Advancement


PUBLISHED ON Mar 07 2018

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

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

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

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

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


Media contact:
Rachel Stern


Butler Names New Vice President for Advancement

Jonathan Purvis comes to BU from IU.

Mar 07 2018 Read more
GivingStudent Life

Dancing for a Good Cause

BY By Peyton Thompson '20

PUBLISHED ON Jan 31 2018

The 16th annual Butler University Dance Marathon takes place on Saturday, February 3, from noon to midnight in the Health and Recreation Center. For 12 hours, participants will dance, play basketball and other games, and eat, eat, and eat some more—all for a good cause.

The student-run fundraiser supports Riley Hospital for Children, in honor of Sarah Michelle Cohen, an honorary Dawg who died August 13, 2009, before she could attend Butler.

At the end of the evening, the organizers reveal the amount raised. Last year, BUDM raised $402,440.01 for Riley Hospital for Children.

“The Butler University Dance Marathon organization has not set a goal for the end of the night reveal," Dodson says, "because no matter what the number is, at the end of the day it is giving hope to all the Riley kids of the past, present, and future.”

We asked some of the organizers: What does BUDM mean to you?

Apparel Chair Bailee Dodson: “BUDM has been a huge impact in my life because it truly shows me what giving your whole heart look like. I have seen my committee members go above and beyond for a great cause and that truly keeps me going during the most stressful times. On 75k Day"—the day they try to raise $75,000—"I truly saw the magic of the Butler community, my family, and friends and I think that has been a huge impact on my life to see people I love go the extra mile FTK!”

Director of Dancer Relations Elaine Holmes: “BUDM is has helped me find a way to use my talents to further a cause about which I am passionate. Because of BUDM, I have found inspiration for my future in the healthcare field through our efforts for a world where all kids can join in the dancing.”

Co-director of Entertainment Sarah Thuet: “BUDM has made such a difference in not only my time at Butler but also my life as a whole. This organization transcends any limitation I’ve ever seen stop other fundraising organization. It’s such an inspiring, selfless and humble group of people who are just giving their all to help others. I truly am inspired and motivated by the BUDM committee every single day.”

All students, faculty, and staff at Butler University are welcome to participate. There is a $50 dancer minimum to join in.

This year's Dance marathon will include a plethora of fun activities and food for all the participants to enjoy. Dodson says there will be an electronic bull, a bounce house obstacle course, a three-on-three basketball tournament, a face painter, and a rave to the end the night before the final reveal.

"There is something new every hour,” she says.

  1. How to Get Involved
  2. Register at
  3. Start fundraising
  4. Head to the HRC from noon to midnight, this Saturday, February 3.



GivingStudent Life

Dancing for a Good Cause

Butler University Dance Marathon will take place February 3.

Jan 31 2018 Read more
GivingStudent Life

Freezing for a Good Cause

BY Peyton Thompson '20

PUBLISHED ON Jan 23 2018

If you see a polar bear on Butler’s campus, don’t be alarmed. In fact, be encouraged. Junior Butler Ambassadors for Special Olympics (BASO) co-chair Alyssa Del Priore dressed as the Polar Plunge polar bear mascot on Wednesday, January 17—better known as “super sign-up day”—to encourage her fellow students to take the Polar Plunge.

“We got over 400 people to sign up in one day,” Del Priore said. “I wanted to get as many people as possible, so I put on the polar bear suit and walked around campus. Although we got a bunch of people to sign up, we really encourage everyone to not only sign up but also fundraise and show up to the event!”

During Butler's ninth annual Polar Plunge, which will take place on February 10 at 9:00 AM outside the Health and Recreation Center, participants will jump into a pool of freezing water to benefit the Washington Township chapter of Special Olympics.

The goal is to raise $60,000 to help support sports training and athletic competition for more than 13,000 Special Olympics Indiana athletes. BASO is about 25 percent of the way toward that goal.

The Polar Plunge is now 16 years old. Most of the events take place on college campuses "because there is a big support system within campuses and it promotes inclusivity and raises money for a great cause,” Del Priore said.

But Butler's Polar Plunge is not only for Butler students.

“Anyone can participate," DelPriore said. "Students, faculty, members of the Butler/Indianapolis community, family members, friends, anyone and everyone as long as they are at least 15 years of age or a freshman in high school.”

Although jumping into the body of water will be the main attraction, there will also be various activities and games that will bring the Butler community and athletes of the Special Olympics together.

Alyssa’s Fundraising Tips

  1. Don't be afraid to ask. Most people will be willing to donate once they learn about the cause.
  2. Tell them why you are plunging
  3. Stress what Special Olympics means to you
  4. Tell them who it is for
  5. Speak up about your fundraising goal is so everyone can help you achieve it
  6. To sign up or donate, click the link below.


GivingStudent Life

Freezing for a Good Cause

The annual Polar Plunge takes place February 10.

Jan 23 2018 Read more
Lab School Insect Farm

Butler Lab School Receives PNC Foundation Grant


PUBLISHED ON Aug 14 2017

Return on investments in high-quality, early childhood education is significant and long lasting, PNC regional President says.

The Butler Lab School has received a three-year, $150,000 grant from the PNC Foundation to support the school’s preschool program, improve the students’ emotional skills through the practice of yoga, and increase the quality of early childhood education in Indiana through multiple professional development opportunities for the community at large.

Connie Bond Stuart (left) and Ena Shelley
with Lab School student Lucy Ansell.

The grant will address the needs of underserved children in a school where 73 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch. The Lab School now has 22 half-day students and nine full-day students. Of those 31 students, 22 are on scholarship.

“Because of PNC’s financial involvement, these children’s educational dreams are being realized,” said Ena Shelley, Dean of Butler’s College of Education, which operates the school in partnership with the Indianapolis Public Schools.

In addition, preschool students will be taught yoga, which has been shown to improve social-emotional skills. Yoga relieves stress, gives the students a chance to move purposefully, and teaches them how to calm down and focus.

Shelley said Assistant Professor Lori Desautels, a nationally recognized expert in the area of applied educational neuroscience, is researching effective strategies to help children take control of their behaviors and potentially change the direction of their learning and emotional well-being. Applied educational neuroscience, coupled with focused attention practices as a part of a yoga program, would be implemented to train teachers.

The third part of the grant will offer opportunities such as support for 20 educators to attend Indiana Partnership for Young Writers (IPYW) workshops, where topics such as Math, Reading, Writing, and Early Childhood will be addressed by the nation’s most respected education experts.

“Extensive research shows the return on investments in high-quality, early childhood education is significant and long lasting, positively impacting our children, society and economy,” said Connie Bond Stuart, PNC regional President for central and southern Indiana. “Through PNC Grow Up Great®, our signature cause in early childhood education, we contribute to the future of this region and help close learning readiness gaps faced by many children as they enter kindergarten. Our support provides area preschoolers and their families the resources to better prepare for success in school and life.”

Lab School Insect Farm

Butler Lab School Receives PNC Foundation Grant

Return on investments in high-quality, early childhood education is significant and long lasting, PNC regional President says.

Aug 14 2017 Read more
Donor Event

Butler's Successful Fundraising Continues


PUBLISHED ON Jun 29 2017

The generosity of more than 14,000 Butler University alumni and friends made fiscal year 2017 one of the University’s best fundraising years on record—generating $35.6 million to enrich academic programming and student life at Butler.

Gifts and commitments included contributions from the estate of Winstan R. “Bud” Sellick ’47 and his wife, Jacqueline (Blomberg) ’44, which will be shared among Butler Athletics, the Lacy School of Business, and general University support; $5 million from alumnus Frank Levinson ’75 for expansion and renovation of the University’s science facilities; and $5 million from Old National Bank to establish the Old National Bank Center for Closely Held Business.

“We are deeply grateful to our alumni and friends for supporting Butler’s mission and vision,” Butler President James M. Danko said. “The generosity of our donors has a direct impact on the quality of the student experience at Butler. It creates new opportunities for each student’s intellectual and personal growth. It helps finance upgrades to academic, research, performance, and athletic spaces. It provides scholarships. Put simply, donor support changes lives and helps secure our University’s future.”

Highlights of the contributions to Butler during fiscal year 2017 included:

  • $9.9 million in new bequests.
  • $2 million for new endowed chairs.
  • $4.8 million in new gifts and commitments for the Lacy School of Business building project.
  • $2 million in capital commitments for Butler Athletics.
  • A 16 percent increase in dollars raised through The Butler Fund, which supports student scholarships and key University priorities.


In addition, Butler University’s second annual Day of Giving in February surpassed expectations, with faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, and friends making 894 gifts totaling more than $140,000. Through Day of Giving participation, the University was also able to raise an additional $103,000 in matching challenge gifts.

“Our alumni continue to show their appreciation for the opportunities that Butler University has provided to them, and our friends are demonstrating their clear support for all that Butler does in the community,” said Jaci Thiede, Vice President for University Advancement. “They know that every gift is appreciated and put to the best possible use.”

Butler’s enormously successful fundraising year comes following a record-setting fiscal year 2016, when the University received nearly $45.4 million in gifts and commitments. This included the largest single commitment from an individual or family in the University’s history, $25 million, which was donated by Andre B. and Julia Lacy to name the Lacy School of Business.


Media contact:
Marc Allan

Donor Event

Butler's Successful Fundraising Continues

The generosity of more than 14,000 Butler University alumni and friends made fiscal year 2017 one of the University’s best fundraising years on record.

Jun 29 2017 Read more