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Celebration of Dr. Fong's Life to Take Place Sept. 28


PUBLISHED ON Sep 15 2014

Butler University will celebrate the life of former President Bobby Fong with a public ceremony September 28 at 1:00 p.m. in Clowes Memorial Hall. Fong died September 8 in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, where he was president of Ursinus College.

Butler President James M. Danko and representatives of the Butler and Indianapolis communities will speak. Suzanne Fong and the Fongs’ sons Jonathan and Colin will be in attendance.

bobbyfong2010 001 160A reception will be held in the lobby immediately following the event.

Those who cannot attend can watch a live stream of the memorial at

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bobby and Suzanne Fong Scholarship established at Butler in 2005.

When he became president of Butler on June 1, 2001, Bobby Fong was one of only 20 Asian-American college presidents in the country. A Harvard-educated Oscar Wilde scholar from Oakland, California, he taught English and served in academic administration at Berea College (Kentucky), Hope College (Michigan), and Hamilton College (New York) before joining Butler.

During his tenure, Butler achieved successive balanced budgets and record years for endowment growth, freshman enrollment, and fundraising, including $154 million in the ButlerRising Human Capital Campaign. Several campus structures and renovations were completed, including The Apartment Village student housing, the Health and Recreation Complex, the Efroymson Diversity Center, a new Butler Bowl press box, and a 40,000-square-foot lab and classroom addition to the Pharmacy and Health Sciences Building.

Fong championed improved campus-community relationships, more experiential-learning opportunities, equitable employee compensation, and active recruitment of minority students and faculty. He considered Butler's invitation to establish a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in 2010, and the increase in the University's graduation rate from 62 percent to 73 percent over the decade, as two significant highlights of his term. He left Butler in 2011 to become president of Ursinus College.


Media contact:
Marc Allan



An Honor Usually Reserved for Ivy Leaguers Goes to a Butler Alumna

BY Sarvary Koller '15

PUBLISHED ON Sep 09 2014

By Sarvary Koller '15

Marianne Richardson '14’s fascination with Latin America began at 12 when she visited Monterrey, Mexico, with her father, a doctor who makes service trips to that region.

At 15, she spent time interacting with the indigenous people of Guatemala and found herself mesmerized by the Mayan language Quechua.

BU picture“These people have a culture that I had never seen or heard about before,” Richardson said. “There is no other culture in the world like it.”

Trips to Peru and Cuba followed, and now Richardson will put her passion to work as the first Butler student to be selected for the prestigious Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) fellowship in Uruguay.

Richardson, who graduated in May with a degree in International Studies and Spanish, leaves on September 9 for Montevideo, the large metropolitan capital of Uruguay, which will be her home for the next 10-12 months. She will work in institutional development at a nonprofit education center for children and adolescents called Providencia.

Richardson said she is both shocked and grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It was a huge relief knowing that someone wanted to invest in me—and with me in this particular region. It’s great to be recognized for all of the work I’ve put into knowing this country. It feels like a gift.”

Richardson decided to apply for the fellowship last summer after hearing about it from a friend while they were studying abroad in Cuba. She worked with Rusty Jones, Director of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships, from Butler’s Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement to craft a competitive application.

Richardson was offered the fellowship, and Jones said he could not be more thrilled for her.

“It’s going to lead to all sorts of great things for her,” Jones said. “She will be a part of an extensive network of PiLA scholars essentially forever, and if I were her, I’d put it first thing on my resume.”

According to Jones, most past PiLA fellowship recipients have come from prestigious institutions and Ivy League schools. He said he is excited about how this will impact Richardson and Butler.

“Winning this selective fellowship is fantastic because it speaks so highly of Marianne,” Jones said. “But it’s important to note that this is also an amazing thing for Butler. It shows that we are right up there.”

After a rigorous application and interview process, Richardson said she looks forward to finally embarking on her trip and speaking Spanish with the Uruguayans. Richardson is fluent in Spanish and conversational in Portuguese.

“I really can’t wait to be speaking Spanish all the time,” she said. “I’m so excited about the Spanish and interacting with the people there.”

She said she hopes to continue traveling the world when she finishes her fellowship and has an active application to serve as a member of the Peace Corps.

Jones said he looks forward to seeing what Richardson accomplishes in Uruguay and in the future.

“She’s a fantastic student and an amazing person,” Jones said. “I have no doubt she’ll be a big success.”


Arts & CulturePeople

StoryCorps Editor Tells Freshmen: Learn From Those Around You


PUBLISHED ON Aug 25 2014

Lizzie Jacobs remembers the story of that day in 1997 when she left her suburban Chicago home for Williams College in Massachusetts.

Lizzie Jacobs, outside Clowes Hall
Lizzie Jacobs, outside Clowes Hall


“Arthur, my teddy bear, had fallen out of the minivan—or possibly been pushed,” she said. “It was like a cord cutting. I think I was nervous, but I also was excited because I felt like everything was ahead of me and I was on my own. I actually wasn’t on my own—my sister went there—but I felt like I was on my own in all the good ways.”

So when Jacobs, the Co-Executive Producer, Animation and Senior Editor for Print at StoryCorps, got in front of Butler University’s Class of 2018 on Monday at Clowes Memorial Hall, she understood how they might be feeling.

Jacobs was at Butler to talk about Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps, this year’s common reading for the incoming class. Jennifer Griggs, Director of Butler’s Learning Resource Center, said the University chose Ties That Bind as the common read because “it really had an angle on diversity that matched our common values.”

“I believe this book is a perfect book for this time in your lives,” Jacobs told the 974 first-year students. “It’s a book about relationships—the surprising ways they begin and the myriad ways they change our lives for the better. And, yes, you’re all here to learn. You come here to learn and to prepare for the working world, and you’ll be in labs and music rooms and classrooms and library carrels.

“But all that time, if you’re smart, you’ll be focusing just as much on the people around you—your professors, of course, but also the staff in the dining hall and the dean’s office, the people maybe at the pizza joint, and, most of all, each other. The people sitting to the left and the right of you and that you’ll be surrounded by every day of your time here. Your freshman roommate, your lab mate, classmate, teammate. And years from now, you’ll remember and lean on the things you learned from each other as much as what you learned in class. And if you’re lucky, there’ll be two or three whose friendship will change your life forever.”

Jacobs said being part of StoryCorps, the national project to inspire people to record each other’s stories, has taught her to ask questions that get meaningful answers and encourage loved ones to be open and honest.

Too often, she said, we smooth things over and keep the conversation light. But StoryCorps, which over the past 10 years has recorded the stories of more than 50,000 people, shows that asking the right questions and encouraging others to talk helps us understand each other.

“People actually want to be asked about their lives,” Jacobs said. “When you ask them to share something about themselves, it tells them they’re important to you. So in these coming months and years, as you spend time together … try asking them about their grandparents. Or what their dreams are. Why did they come here? What are they proudest of? These are the big questions we encourage you to ask. And you might get some surprising answers. You might actually get to know one another.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan


New Sax Instructor Joins School of Music Faculty


PUBLISHED ON Jul 31 2014

Heidi Radtke Siberz, an Associate Instructor of Saxophone at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music from 2010–2013, will join the Butler University School of Music faculty this fall.

SiberzSiberz will take over for Nick Brightman, who will retire at the end of the 2014–2015 school year. She is currently a saxophone instructor with Franklin Community Schools and Stafford Music Academy in Bloomington, Indiana.

A frequent performer of new works, Siberz has been featured at the Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival and the Annual Festival of New Music at Ball State University. As a chamber artist, she is the alto saxophonist with the Obsidian Saxophone Quartet and also performs regularly with the Holographic New Music Ensemble. Her recent awards include the 2012 Mrs. Hong Pham Memorial Recognition Award for New Music Performance, which is given annually by the composition faculty at Indiana University.

Siberz is a candidate for a doctor of music in saxophone performance and literature from the Jacobs School. She earned her high school diploma from Interlochen Arts Academy, and a bachelor of music in saxophone performance, a bachelor of arts in political science, a master of science in library and information science, and a master of music in saxophone performance and literature from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

 On January 31, 2015, Siberz and Director of Jazz Studies Matt Pivec will lead the first Butler Saxophone Day.




Media contact:
Marc Allan



School of Music Introduces Jazz Studies Major


PUBLISHED ON Jul 30 2014

Butler University’s School of Music will introduce a Jazz Studies major in the fall designed to help students become well-rounded musicians who can earn a living in music.

The program will include a number of new courses, such as “Career Development in Entrepreneurship for Musicians” and “Jazz Pedagogy Practicum.” Sandy Williams (guitar) and Jesse Wittman (bass) will join the program faculty, and new guest artists will include Indianapolis jazz stalwarts Kenny Phelps and Steve Allee.

Matt Pivec
Matt Pivec

“The program will make Butler a viable option for students who want to pursue jazz studies,” said Matthew Pivec, Butler’s Director of Jazz Studies. “If a student knows that they want jazz and commercial music to be their focus, now we can say we have this really strong curricular program.”

Butler had previously offered a jazz minor and concentration. Pivec said he had two major goals in creating the major:

-Offer the most relevant and useful information to help students develop the skills to become successful freelance musicians. “Because that’s what we’re training them to do with this particular degree,” he said. “It’s always going to be about crafting a life and livelihood in music with different possibilities.”

-Create courses that will differentiate Butler’s program from other schools’ offerings. “Career Development in Entrepreneurship for Musicians” is not specifically a jazz course, but it’s important for all musicians, Pivec said. “The students in this degree will be required to take it, and quite honestly, they should want to take it because it’s their livelihood.”

In addition, Butler jazz students now teach in the Butler Community Arts School, which provides music lessons to Indianapolis-area children. That work will become “Jazz Pedagogy Practicum.” “The idea is that getting into the classroom and working with students is probably more important than simply studying pedagogy theories in a classroom,” Pivec said. “It will combine the actual experience of teaching with learning about different techniques and repertoire, so it creates a much more realistic situation for our students.”

The new major will continue to include courses such as Jazz Improvisation, Private Jazz Lessons, Jazz Arranging, and Jazz History. And, like all music students, Jazz Studies majors will take Music Theory, certain components of music history courses, and Keyboard Studies.

Pivec said the new professors will be role models for the students. Williams is a freelance musician who teaches, plays recording sessions, and performs multiple styles of music, as does Wittman.

Allee is a pianist, composer, and arranger who has written and performed for syndicated radio programs (“The Bob and Tom Show”), network television, and movies. He started his career with the Buddy Rich Orchestra at 19, and has released six CDs. Phelps is a virtuoso drummer who leads his own jazz-fusion group and has toured with numerous artists, including Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Even among the most successful jazz stars, everyone does more than just play, Pivec said.

“Our students have to be able to read music well, they have to be able to sight-read, they have to be able to play well in ensembles,” he said. “They have to be able to wear a number of different hats if this is what they want to go into. And they have to understand the business and be willing to be entrepreneurial. I believe this new program will help them accomplish these things and more.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan



Butler Introduces Michael Colburn as New Director of Bands


PUBLISHED ON Jul 28 2014

Col. Michael J. Colburn, a 27-year veteran of the United States Marine Band and for the past decade Director of the military band known as “the President’s Own,” has joined the Butler University faculty as Director of Bands.

In that capacity, he will oversee the Butler Wind Ensemble and the Butler Symphonic Band. He also will teach a section of basic conducting this fall, as well as a euphonium student and several master’s conducting students.

Colburn 32 Colburn will make his Butler conducting debut Sunday, September 21, at 3:00 p.m. during a School of Music showcase concert at the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts. Call 317-940-2787 for ticket information.

Colburn’s time with the Marine Band included nine years as a euphonium player, eight as an Assistant Director, and 10 as the Director. The band’s mission is to perform for the President of the United States as well as the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

The 49-year-old Vermont native attended the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York’s Potsdam campus for two years, then changed majors from music education to music performance and transferred to Arizona State University.

Colburn auditioned for the Marine Band in December 1986 and was hired while working on his master’s in bass trombone and euphonium performance at Arizona State University. During his years with the band, he also finished a master’s in conducting at George Mason University.

Colburn said Butler music students will be able to learn from his experiences, including starting at a small school, changing majors, and diversifying his career options.

“Achieving a life and career in music is getting to be more and more challenging,” he said. “That doesn’t mean there won’t be opportunities, but young people will have to be more creative and entrepreneurial than they’ve had to be in the last couple of decades. The idea of stitching together a career from a couple of different jobs and opportunities is something they may be required to do. But if you have that burning desire to make music, I’m convinced that you will still find a way to make it work.”

The deal to bring Colburn to Butler began to take shape about three years ago when Dan Bolin, his longtime friend and at the time the Butler University School of Music Chair, mentioned that Robert Grechesky, Butler’s longtime Director of Bands, would be retiring in 2014.

Colburn called Bolin a few months later and asked about replacing Grechesky.

“This is a great opportunity for Butler,” Bolin said. “There’s never been a former director of the Marine Band who’s become a college professor. There have been former directors who’ve taught in an adjunct capacity, but to be a full-time professor is great for Butler and our students—and for Mike to have a second career with some new challenges in a new community.”

In December, Colburn will receive The Midwest Clinic Medal of Honor for 2014 in recognition of achieving highest artistic standards on the world stage and his successes in bringing music to wide segments of society. The Medal of Honor, given by the Midwest Clinic, an international band and orchestra conference, recognizes conductors, educators, performers, composers, and others who have provided unique, distinguished service to music education and have had distinct influence on orchestras, bands, and related performance media.


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Ed Carpenter '03 Wins Firestone 600K


PUBLISHED ON Jun 08 2014


By Tom Blattler

FORT WORTH, Texas  – We saw the emotion from Ed Carpenter '03 two weeks ago at this year’s Indianapolis 500, but we saw Carpenter’s impressive driving skill Saturday night at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Carpenter, team owner/driver of the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing/Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet, started fifth and led 90 laps to win the Firestone 600K under the lights in a superb performance. It was Carpenter’s third career Verizon IndyCar Series victory (Kentucky, Fontana and Texas) and the third win for Ed Carpenter Racing (Ed at Fontana 2012 and Texas 2014 and Mike Conway at Long Beach 2014). ECR was started in 2012.

Carpenter, the Indy 500 pole winner, suffered a tough late race result at the 500 when he was knocked out the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on lap 175 while running in the second place. But the popular Butler University marketing grad left little doubt of his speed Saturday night at the high-banked 1.45-mile oval north of Ft. Worth. It was Carpenter’s 14th Texas start.

Carpenter, whose best Texas finish was fourth last year entering Saturday’s race, led the 248-lap event three times including 66 of the last 67 circuits to defeat pole sitter Will Power and Juan Pablo Montoya in an all-Chevy podium finish.

Carpenter made a spectacular pass on Power for the lead on lap 182 and widened his margin to 14 seconds before a late race caution flag on lap 241 closed up the field. On the lap 246 restart, Carpenter took the advantage again and won at the checkered flag by .524 seconds with an average speed of 178.301 miles per hour.

The win for Ed Carpenter Racing gives the single-car team two wins in 2014 with its two drivers, Carpenter and Conway, in a unique team setup. Carpenter drives the six oval races and Conway the 12 road races. 

Carpenter has been delighted with the performance of his young single-car operation this year and Saturday night’s performance gave the entire Verizon IndyCar Series notice that the Fuzzy’s Vodka-packed squad will be tough to deal with the remainder of the 2014 season.

"I knew we had a good car,” said Carpenter. "We had a good test here back a couple of months ago. I just felt like we left some on the table in qualifying, but it made me extra motivated for tonight. The first two stints weren’t great. Had one bad stint, but the guys just made great adjustments all night. The Fuzzy’s car was hooked up by the end. I think we were the car to beat at the end. I was a little worried about that last yellow. I knew guys were going to come in and pit. We talked about what we would do in that situation and we were kind of undecided. But Tim (Broyles, team strategist) and the boys made the right call. It’s an awesome night. I have loved this race track for a long time and had a lot of bad luck here. I have really always wanted to win here, so I’m super excited.”

While the disappointment of the Indy 500 still lingers with Carpenter, the win on Saturday night helps repair the sting from the race two weeks ago.

"Yeah, we had the car to win Indy,” said Carpenter. "I’m not saying we would have beat Ryan (Hunter-Reay) but I think we were the best chance to have a shot at Ryan. It’s nice to come back here and get a win. I’m really proud of the team’s two wins already this year. It’s a good year. All the credit goes to the team guys. The awesome pit stops they give Mike Conway and I and the great cars too. And obviously I want to thank Fuzzy’s Vodka for making this all happen.”

There is no rest of the weary at Ed Carpenter Racing as the team begins testing at Iowa this Tuesday and Milwaukee Thursday and the following week at Pocono before the next Verizon IndyCar Series race, the Houston doubleheader on June 28-29 at Reliant Stadium. Conway will drive the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevy at Houston.

Student LifePeople

Senior Josh Turner Performs on ABC's 'Good Morning America'


PUBLISHED ON Jun 04 2014

Butler senior guitar major Josh Turner was home Monday, doing the dishes, when he received a call from a New York area code. The caller left a message: Would you be interested in being on Good Morning America?

He was.

BpXUEZtIYAAwoMaTurner appeared on national TV live from New York at 7:48 a.m. Thursday, part of a segment called “Open Mike” that devotes airtime to talent found online. The show labeled him an "online sensation," thanks to his version of Paul Simon's song “Graceland” on YouTube. Co-host Michael Strahan said Turner's version "sounds just like the original" and challenged Turner by playing parts of the original, stopping it, and having him pick up where Simon left off.

He handled the assignment with ease, as you can see here.

“I was incredibly stunned when they called,” Turner, whose video had come to the show’s attention through a post on the website Reddit, said Wednesday. “I never really interact with Reddit directly, but sometimes people who watch my videos post them to Reddit, where they’re seen by a lot more people. Somebody from the show must have seen it there.”

For a low-key performer who hopes one day to be a session musician—or maybe a sideman for a singer-songwriter—it was an extraordinary opportunity to be the front man for a day.

Turner, who was born in Indianapolis and lived in Cincinnati and North Carolina before coming to Butler, said music’s been part of his life since age 7 or 8 when he started playing piano. He’s been in choirs since age 9 (at Butler, he’s in the Butler Chorale and is musical director of the a cappella group Out of the Dawg House) and started playing guitar at 13.

In high school, he played guitar and some banjo in a three-piece bluegrass outfit called The Other Favorites, and he’s in a folk group now called Coyote Armada that’s made up mostly of recent Butler graduates.

Turner’s parents had lived in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood and when he was looking at colleges, they knew he was looking for a mid-sized liberal arts school.

“I wound up looking at Butler and really liking it,” he said.

Turner said he had “no idea” what he hopes will come from Thursday’s appearance on national TV.

“I don’t know that I’ve fully addressed it mentally,” he said. “I’m sure it will lead to a bump in views and hopefully more opportunities down the road, but I’m not hoping this is going to launch my career. But it’ll be great to have more people aware of my music and seeing what I’m up to on YouTube.”

Incredibly, GMA was not his only offer. A few days before, he’d gotten a call from The Ellen DeGeneres Show. They’d also seen the “Graceland” video and were interested in having him on. But they couldn’t give a firm date, so they suggested he take the Good Morning America offer.

“I would have been stunned for one offer alone,” he said. “To get the two in the space of about four days is completely unprecedented.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan



Luke Bunting '14 Earns Fulbright Teaching Assistantship


PUBLISHED ON Jun 03 2014

Luke Bunting ’14 didn’t have enough time to study abroad during his years at Butler, but he’s making up for that in a big way: Beginning in July, he’ll spend 12½ months in South Korea as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant.

LukeBunting was notified in late May that he received the award, which will place him in either a suburban or rural setting. He’s Butler’s third Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award winner this year, which is a record number of winners for the University.

“I’m hoping to learn a lot about East Asian and Pacific relations, especially with North Korea, China, Japan, and South Korea continuing to play a larger and larger role on the world stage,” the Carmel, Indiana, native said. “Then, at the same time, the whole point of the Fulbright program is to help spread American culture and awareness of American culture, so I’m hoping to be a good ambassador for our country and expand the understanding of our culture.”

Bunting said he applied for the assistantship earlier this year after seeing a brochure for the program in Butler’s Center for High Achievement & Scholarly Engagement. He credits Director of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships Rusty Jones and Assistant Professor of History Zachary Scarlett with guiding him through the process to apply for the prestigious award.

Bunting doesn’t speak Korean, “but that’s one of the advantages of this program—the South Korea program did not demand that its applicants already know the language,” he said. “When I get over there for the orientation, they’re putting me through a rigorous language course, along with all the others who were selected, and they’re giving us training on how to properly teach English to our students.”

At Butler, Bunting majored in political science, with a minor in history. He wants to go into government work when he finishes the Fulbright program, and he thinks a year in Korea will help his prospects.

“I think having more world knowledge and knowledge of another culture will be helpful,” he said. “I’d really like to get inside the culture to see a lot of different points I feel Americans in general don’t understand and take that knowledge with me to be able to work in policy in Washington, DC.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan



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


PUBLISHED ON May 30 2014

Butler Blue I, the white English bulldog who served as Butler University’s first official live mascot, died this morning, Friday, May 30, 2014. She was 13 years old.

Blue I was born September 23, 2000, at Frank and Jeane King’s Kong King Kennel in Lizton, Indiana. She served as Butler University’s official mascot from 2000–2004, and then accompanied her human companion, Kelli Walker ’91, to Bellingham, Washington; Morris, Illinois; and Chicago.

"For over 13 years Blue lived an extraordinary life. Her noble heart stopped today; instead of feeling empty, my heart is twice as full for loving her,” said Walker.

The concept of “Butler Blue” existed for about a year before Blue I, as she was known, became an integral part of life at Butler University and beyond. Walker worked in Butler’s Office of Alumni and Parent Programs from 1998–2004; in 1999, Walker began exploring what a live mascot program would encompass.

Under the initially skeptical—and ultimately, supportive—leadership of William T. Farkas ’88, then Executive Director of Alumni and Development Programs, Walker gathered information from peer institutions (including Drake University, University of Georgia, and Yale University). Then-Butler President Gwen Fountain supported the initiative, and in fact insisted on including Blue I in her presidential portrait, which currently hangs in Robertson Hall.

Carving out a place in an academic institution for a live mascot program was a multi-faceted effort, including securing financial support from an anonymous alumni donor (to purchase the original dog; subsequent mascots have been donated generously by Kong King Kennel, which quickly became beloved members of the Butler family), food, and veterinary care (Dr. Kurt Phillips ‘92), as well as managing the complex logistics of the day-to-day life of a mascot.

 In fall 2000, Butler held a community-wide naming contest for the new mascot. While “Hinkle,” “Hampton,” and even “Buttercup” were popular vote-getters, “Butler Blue” was the top choice.

Butler Blue I made her inaugural appearance on the court of Hinkle Fieldhouse, carried in the arms of the costumed bulldog mascot (now known as “Hink”). In addition to attending men’s and women’s basketball games—where she rallied with the cheerleaders and the Dawg Pound before retiring to the bleachers to sleep—Blue I attended other collegiate sporting events and made regular visits to classrooms, residence halls, campus events, staff and faculty events, commencement, and even the annual Rejoice holiday concert, where she rode a sleigh across stage to the tune of “Blue Christmas.”

“Bulldog Fridays” drew great numbers of visitors to the Alumni Office in Robertson Hall.

Blue I traveled to the NCAA Tournament in 2003, where she famously was “sneaked into” a hotel under the cover of a Butler hooded sweatshirt and the Butler University Pep Band.

Blue I was almost all white with brown spotted ears. She maintained an ideal conformation her entire life and was not plagued by health problems typical of many bulldogs.

Blue I loved playing tug with her rope toy, lying in the grass at her grandparents’ home, eating carrots and apples, and sleeping under a blanket. In her later years she became close buddies with her two feline brothers. She appeared on stage in Chicago as “Rufus” in “Legally Blonde,” proving that, even at age 12, she still could take the stage and capture the hearts of an audience.

As the matriarch of a Butler Bulldog legacy, Blue I will rest in peace along side her successor, Butler Blue II (March 24, 2004–August 31, 2013), in a new Bulldog Memorial currently being erected on campus. The memorial—a gift of the Class of 2013 along with support from generous donors to the Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse and live mascot program­—will be dedicated at Butler’s Homecoming festivities in September of this year.

Current mascot duties are being assumed by Butler Blue III (December 23, 2011)—a red brindle English bulldog, also from Kong King Kennel—who took over for Blue II in spring 2013. For more information on Butler University’s live mascot program, visit

Those wishing to honor the life and service of Blue I may make a gift in her memory to the Bulldog Memorial. To do so, visit Butler's online giving site, select “Other” from the gift designation drop-down menu and enter “Bulldog Memorial” in the space provided. Additional information about the Bulldog Memorial is available at 


Butler Honors Six Alumni at Recognition Dinner


PUBLISHED ON May 05 2014

Six Butler University alumni, including a professor emeritus, were honored May 3 at the annual Alumni Recognition Dinner for extraordinary professional achievement and service to the University and their communities.


Ed Carpenter ’03, Christina Fugate ’04, Chris Miskel ’96, Nicole Miskel ’98, Jay Love ’76, Eldon Palmer ’50, Winstan “Bud” Sellick ’44, Fabiola Crain, Clarence Crain ’73, Roger Boop ’62 MS ’65, President James M. Danko
Ed Carpenter ’03, Christina Fugate ’04, Chris Miskel ’96, Nicole Miskel ’98, Jay Love ’76, Eldon Palmer ’50, Winstan “Bud” Sellick ’44, Fabiola Crain, Clarence Crain ’73, Roger Boop ’62 MS ’65, President James M. Danko



Awards and honorees were:

-The Butler Medal: Winstan “Bud” Sellick ’44

-The Butler Service Medal: Dr. Roger W. Boop ’62 MS ’65

-The Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award: Jay Love ’76

-The Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award: Eldon Palmer ’50

-The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award: Ed Carpenter ’03

-The Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award: Christina Fugate ’04

The evening also included two awards presented by the Ovid Butler Society. Clarence ’73 and Fabiola Crain received the Ovid Butler Society Mortar Award. The recipients of the Ovid Butler Society Foundation Award were Chris ’96 and Nicole ’98 Miskel.

This year’s awards ceremony was held in Clowes Memorial Hall. More about the recipients and the awards follows:

The Butler Medal
Winstan “Bud” Sellick ’44

The Butler Medal is the highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association. It recognizes individuals for a lifetime of distinguished service to either Butler University or their local community while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession and attaining a regional or preferably a national reputation.

This year’s recipient, Bud Sellick of Indianapolis, began a successful career as an insurance agent in 1947, and continued in that profession for several decades until his retirement. He served as President and Owner of Bud Sellick Insurance agency and the Blessing-Sellick Insurance agency.

As a student, Sellick was involved with the band, Kappa Kappa Psi band honorary, and Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He earned a degree in economics.

He was married to Butler graduate Jacqueline Blomberg Sellick’44 until her death in 2012. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and was a member of Alpha Chi Omega.

Consistent donors to Butler since 1979, the Sellicks endowed three scholarships: the Winstan R. Sellick, Jacqueline Sellick, and Herman W. Blomberg Scholarship; the Sellick, Deming, and Schular Business Scholarship; and the Winstan R. Sellick and Jacqueline B. Sellick Business Scholarship. They also made gifts to the Butler Fund and several athletic funds.

Sellick served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Japan during World War II and as a major in the Marine Forces Reserve during the Korean War. He was a charter member of Woodland Country Club and active in Kiwanis and the American Legion.

The Butler Service Medal
Dr. Roger W. Boop ’62 MS ’65

The Butler Service Medal recognizes emeriti faculty or retired faculty or staff for a lifetime of distinguished service to either Butler University or their local community while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession and attaining a regional or preferably a national reputation. It is further understood that all recipients will have had in the course of their lifetime a profound influence on the future course of Butler University.           

Roger Boop was a Butler University College of Education (COE) faculty member from 1968–2012, specializing in educational foundations and middle school teacher education. He served for several years as Associate Dean of the College and two terms as Interim Dean. He was an effective, respected teacher and supervisor for a multitude of students in COE’s Middle/Secondary program.

Roger received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in educational administration from Butler. He also holds a doctorate in educational administration and foundations of education from Ball State University.

He is the author of Fulfilling the Charter: The Story of Education at Butler University and More… written to mark the College of Education’s 75th anniversary.

A driving force in the early years of the Indiana Middle Level Education Association (IMLEA), he was the association’s Executive Secretary for more than a decade. He also served for over a decade as treasurer of Phi Delta Kappa, international education society as well as many years of involvement in Kappa Delta Pi, the international education honorary. He is a member of the Board of Visitors for the College of Education and has continued to serve (since 1980) as platform marshal for University commencements and other ceremonious events.

Roger worked on several University-wide initiatives which included assisting Butler secure grants totaling nearly $1 million in funding that focused upon middle-level education in Indiana and faculty development.

The Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award
Jay Love ’76

The Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award is presented to an alumna or alumnus whose class graduated at least 15 years prior to the presentation of the award. It recognizes personal and/or professional achievement which brings honor and distinction to the University and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society.

Jay Love is CEO and Co-founder of Bloomerang, an Indianapolis-based software firm specializing in technology tools for fundraising and communication. Bloomerang is the fourth technology business he has helped found and lead over the past three decades, serving thousands of clients in the non-profit and philanthropy sectors.

Previously, Jay was Co-founder and CEO (for 10 years) of eTapestry, and President and CEO (for 14 years) of Master Software Corporation.

He was a founding member of TechPoint Foundation, NPower Indiana, and the Association of Fundraising Professional (AFP) Business Member Council. He chairs the AFP Ethics Committee, and is an active volunteer/leader with the AFP National Board, the School of Philanthropy at IU, Gleaners Food Bank, United Methodist Foundation of Indiana, TechPoint Foundation for Youth, and the Fundraising Effectiveness Project.

Jay and his wife, Christie, co-chaired the Indianapolis YMCA 2011 capital campaign. They have three children and three granddaughters. Jay holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Butler.

The Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award
Eldon Palmer ’50

The Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award is presented to an alumna or alumnus whose class graduated at least 15 years prior to the presentation of the award. It recognizes a long-term commitment of outstanding service to the University.

After working many different jobs to pay for his education, Eldon Palmer earned an education degree from Butler. Palmer taught school in Jamestown, Indiana, and then started selling used cars. He opened a Dodge dealership in 1956, and branched into the sales and service of Dodge and Kenworth trucks in 1965. His Kenworth dealership now encompasses sales, service, and leasing operations in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Although retired, Palmer still has an active interest in the businesses he developed which include Pebblebrook Golf Course in Noblesville, Indiana¬––the site of an annual golf outing for Butler athletics.

He is a Trustee Emeritus of Butler University and an Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash. He and his wife, Elaine, were the recipients of the 2008 Ovid Butler Society Mortar Award. The first President of Crime Stoppers of Indiana, he provided important leadership and backing to the Marion County Motorcycle Drill team, Wheeler Boys and Girls Club, and the 100 Club, which helps families of fallen Indianapolis Police Department officers. He has been a member of the Optimist and Exchange clubs of Indianapolis, Millersville Masonic Lodge, and Murat Shrine Club, attaining the Scottish Rite 33rd degree. 

Eldon and Elaine Palmer have been married 63 years. They have four children, 13 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award
Ed Carpenter ’03

The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award is presented to an alumna or alumnus whose class graduated less than 15 years prior to the presentation of the award. It recognizes personal and/or professional accomplishment which brings honor and distinction to the University and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society.

Ed Carpenter is the 2013 Indianapolis 500 pole winner. He owns and drives for Ed Carpenter Racing, which he started in 2012. He will be behind the wheel of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet for six IndyCar Series oval-track events this year, and he will direct driver Mike Conway in 12 road and street races. Conway recently won the Long Beach Grand Prix.

A two-time IndyCar Series winner and the series’ current only driver/owner, Carpenter began competing and winning national quarter-midget races at age eight. He moved on to the USAC National Midget Car, Silver Crown, and Sprint Car series, and Indy Lights Series.

Carpenter received a marketing degree from Butler in 2003, the same year he earned his first IndyCar race start. Since then, he has earned two series wins, two poles, and several top-10 and top five finishes. Last year, he placed fifth in final IndyCar oval points standings.

Ed and his wife, Heather, have three children: Makenna (age 6), Ryder (age 4), and Cruz (age 1).

The Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award
Christina Laun Fugate ’04

The Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award is presented to an alumna or alumnus whose class graduated less than 15 years prior to the presentation of the award. It recognizes a significant commitment of outstanding service to the University. The recipient must have provided affirmative service to the University to assist in perpetuating the University as a great educational and cultural institution.

Christina Fugate is an Attorney at Ice Miller LLP in the firm’s Litigation Group, where she concentrates her practice on real estate, securities, product liability, franchise, and competitive business litigation. Fugate has been recognized as a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for the past three consecutive years.

She is admitted to practice law in the state of Indiana and in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Indianapolis Bar Association, and IndyCREW, an affiliate of the national CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Network.

In 2004, Fugate graduated magna cum laude from Butler with a bachelor’s degree in finance. While at Butler, Christina was a three-time first-team “All-Horizon League” tennis player and former number one singles player for the Bulldogs. In 2007, she earned her juris doctorate, cum laude, from Indiana University School of Law Indianapolis, where she was an editor for the Indiana International and Comparative Law Review.

The current Vice President and incoming President of the Butler Central Indiana Alumni Chapter, Christina served on the University’s Young Alumni Board of Directors (2009–2012), including terms as President and Vice President. Christina is also President of the Hamilton County Community Tennis Association.

Christina is married to Craig Fugate and they have a two-year old son, Dylan.

Ovid Butler Society Foundation Award
Chris Miskel ’96 and Nicole Miskel ’98

Chris is Vice President of Plasma Strategy for Global BioTherapeutics, Baxter Healthcare Corporation in Deerfield, Illinois. Baxter’s BioScience business unit provides life-saving and life-sustaining specialty therapies for patients with rare, chronic conditions.

While earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Butler, Chris played basketball and earned the Horizon League Coleman Medal of Honor for 1996. He completed an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2000.

He is a current member of the College of Business Board of Visitors and past member of the Butler Alumni Association Board (2003–2007).

Nicole earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Butler, and is a member of the American Pharmacists Association. She is employed as an Advisor in Clinical Development Innovation for Eli Lilly and Company. She is also a past member of the Alumni Association board (2009–2010).

The Miskels have supported Butler with gifts to the Butler Fund, Blue Team, Alumni Scholarship, the College of Business, and the Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse. Chris and Nicole are also supporters of United Way and the Baxter Political Action Committee.

The Miskels enjoy family time with their children Sage (age 6) and Mace (age 4), and are expecting a baby boy this summer. They love to travel and closely follow Butler basketball. Chris also is a fan of The Ohio State University football and basketball teams.

Ovid Butler Society Mortar Award
Clarence Crain ’73 and Fabiola V. Crain

Butler Trustee Emeritus and civic leader Clarence Crain has been a Program Director in the Education Division of Lilly Endowment Inc. since 2006. His previous career with General Motors Corp spanned 30 years, including two five-year stints as Area Manager in the Indianapolis and Marion pressrooms, helping direct plant operations of 2,500 and 1,700 employees, respectively. 

Clarence graduated from Shortridge High School, where he was a member of the All-Star Indiana High School basketball team. He played basketball at Butler, earning Most Valuable Player recognition and initiation to the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004. A Butler Trustee from 2000 to 2006, he was a charter member of the Minority Alumni Council and served on the Alumni Association board and College of Business Board of Visitors.

He has held several offices with 100 Black Men of Indianapolis and continues as a team mentor; the group named him their 1999 “Man of the Year.” He received honors from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the Center for Leadership Development for Business Achievement (General Motors), and the Butler Medal (Butler University).  He has served on boards for Maple Crest Civic Association (President); Public Works, Indianapolis City-County Council; and United Way Community Service Council. Clarence was a high school basketball official for 19 years and officiated in the 1993 state finals.

Fabiola Crain is a retired speech and language pathologist with over 35 years of experience in education, most of it with the Wayne Township School Corporation. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, she graduated from Tennessee State University in 1976 and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Clarence introduced Fabiola to the “Butler Way” in 1999. She shares his passion for Butler, through philanthropy and sitting behind the bench at Butler Bulldog basketball games. She enjoys traveling, horticulture, and collecting Christmas decorations.

The Crains have three children and one grandchild. They are active members of Mount Carmel Baptist Church.


Media contact:
Marc Allan




School of Music Names New Associate Director of Choral Activities


PUBLISHED ON Apr 25 2014

John Perkins, who has taught music at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates since 2008, will join Butler University as Associate Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music.

photoHis assignment at Butler will include conducting the Butler University Choir (which now moves to an evening rehearsal time to accommodate more non-music majors) and the newly created Butler Women's Choir.

Perkins’s wide-ranging experience includes founding and serving as artistic director of the Nassim Al Saba Choir, the first Arabic, four-part choir in the Arabian Gulf devoted to Arabic choral music. He has conducted the choir in places as diverse as Carnegie Hall and Indonesia.

In an article on, called “Engaging with Arab Choral Music,” Perkins wrote: “I believe in the power of Arabic choral music as a vehicle for a community-building dialogue between Arabs and non-Arabs, especially in the West. This dialogue exists on a daily basis in my interaction with both students and faculty, and has precedence in other realms of life.”

Perkins earned his Doctor of Music Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona, his Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Temple University, and Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. As part of a 10-month commission at Princeton University in 2000–2001, Perkins orchestrated and arranged a score for the musical “Beowulf,” by Joshua Salzman.

Butler’s Director of Choral Activities Eric Stark said Perkins brings “an incredible array of talent, experience, and recruiting expertise to his appointment as Associate Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor at Butler.”

“Having established and strengthened choral programs in the United States and abroad, John possesses that rare combination of consummate musicianship, infectious energy, and dynamic leadership that will help propel Butler's choral program for years to come,” Stark said. “I look forward to welcoming John and his family to Indianapolis, and working together with our fellow members of the Butler community."