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A House Sometimes Divided

By Rachel Stern

DETROIT—Chris Williams had her wardrobe change down to a science.

She started the day in all Purdue attire. Purdue shirt, Purdue hat, decked out in black and gold. She cheered for the Boilermakers in the stands at Little Caesars Arena Friday as they beat Cal State Fullerton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.But when the buzzer sounded, it was time for the change.

See, Chris is a Purdue graduate. And a proud one at that. But she married Mike, a Butler graduate. A proud, Butler basketball season-ticket-holding-since-1990 graduate, at that. And ever since, there have been, well, some hiccups. Like Friday, and Sunday, and the time their kids were deciding where to go to school, and the Crossroads Classic, and, and, and.

“We went to all the football and basketball games when I was at Purdue, and I am still a huge fan,” Chris says. “When I met my husband, I definitely became a Butler fan quickly. Pretty soon, I was going to tons of Butler sporting events and, even though I never stopped rooting for Purdue, I found a special place for Butler.”

On Friday, at least, there was an easy remedy. Chris was prepared. She dug into her purse after the Purdue game, reached for her stash of Butler gear, and changed before the Bulldogs tipped off against Arkansas in their first round matchup. Sunday, well let’s just say Sunday will be a bit less convenient. Butler will face Purdue for a birth in the Sweet 16. A wardrobe change won’t cut it. “Sunday will definitely be hard for me. It is always hard when both teams play each other,” Chris says. “I will probably wear a Butler hat and a Purdue quarter zip…”

Then Mike interjects.

“I remember, specifically, by the end of one Crossroads Classic game you were rooting for Butler,” Mike says. “The kids were like wow, you went to Purdue, but you are rooting for Butler. I definitely remember that time specifically.” Mike grew up in the Broad Ripple area, in, wait for it, a Notre Dame family. But, being so close to Butler, he attended a fair share of Bulldog basketball and football games growing up. When it was time for him to make his college decision, Mike knew he wanted to play golf and Butler, he says, was a perfect match.

Chris, on the other hand, grew up in Buckeye Country, eating and breathing Ohio State football in Lima, Ohio. She was all set to attend Ohio State, but at the last minute, switched to Purdue to study pharmacy. The two met in 1989 in Indianapolis and then married in December 1993. A lot of Butler athletic events followed. “I still followed Purdue closely, but just because of proximity and having season tickets, Butler was much more on my radar after we got married,” Chris says.  

Then they had their first child, Nick. “We took him to Hinkle a couple weeks after he was born. He always felt like Hinkle was home and the campus was comfortable to him,” Mike says. And it must have stuck. Nick is now a freshman at Butler and a member of the golf team. So, it is clear where his allegiance lies. Mike and Nick were texting during the Butler-Alabama game. Nick was trilled after the win, Mike says.

But then, there is their younger daughter, Claire. A junior in high school, she is starting to weigh her college options. “Every kid is different. She is just trying to figure out what place feels right for her and what will be the best fit. We will be taking some visits soon, but we are definitely hoping she likes Purdue or Butler,” Chris says. “Hopefully Butler,” Mike adds.

Claire wanted to be in Detroit, and is certainly rooting for Butler, Mike says, but she is away at a leadership retreat. The retreat doesn’t allow cellphones, but Claire has her priorities and was following the Butler game closely on her phone Thursday. She will do the same Sunday, secretly keeping an eye on the action. “She’s a good Butler fan,” Mike says.

The Williams', though a house sometimes divided, were excited on Selection Sunday when they saw the potential Butler-Purdue matchup in Detroit. At least they could travel to Detroit, see both teams play in the first round, and then watch a potential second round clash. Things are still tough for Chris when Purdue and Butler face off, she says. She still feels divided, even more so now that her son goes to Butler and is having such a great experience. She has taken to the Bulldogs even more now, with a vested interest at the school. There is one thing, though, that is easy for the Williams’ to agree on when it comes to college hoops.

“We both aren’t IU fans, that’s a no brainer,” Mike says. “And no matter what happens Sunday, we want the Indiana team that wins to keep going. But it better be Butler.”

 

Williams
People

A House Sometimes Divided

DETROIT—Chris Williams had her wardrobe change down to a science. She started the day in all Purdue attire. Purdue shirt, Purdue hat, decked out in black and gold.

Butler Roots Run Deep

By Rachel Stern

DETROIT—Out on the hardwood, toward a far corner of the court, the shortest player with the floppy blonde hair puts up three-pointer after three-pointer. Swish, swish, swish. At one point, he hits nine in a row.

He is 5 feet 11 inches, and Campbell Donovan wearing number 0 on his jersey is in a land of giants. It is the Thursday before Donovan, a freshman walk-on, and No. 10 Butler will take on No. 7 Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  

The team is at open practice – think glorified shoot-around – but to Campbell, this is serious business. Any chance to work on his game, be a part of the Butler team, and, his dad Rick jokes, put up shots, is a good day. And he knows to never take it for granted.

That’s because, despite basically growing up in Hinkle Fieldhouse, he was very close to never putting on the Butler jersey at all.

The Butler Bond Begins

Donovan Family
          Donovan Family during 2015-2016 Season

Rick Donovan grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana during Hoosier Hysteria, dreaming of playing basketball at the college level. He rooted for Purdue, but when it came time for Rick to head off to college, it looked like he would have a good chance to play at Butler. Joe Sexson was the head coach and the team wasn’t great, Rick said, but he was excited. “Once you get that Butler blue in your blood, Purdue and everyone else becomes secondary,” he says. “I had an amazing experience there.”

Barry Collier took over for Sexson during Rick’s senior season and Rick says, he could tell the program was starting to move in the right direction. After graduating in 1990 and enrolling in law school at Valparaiso, Rick bought season tickets to the Bulldogs and he hasn’t looked back since.

Rick and his wife, Sabrina, still live in Fort Wayne, but that hasn’t stopped them from traveling to Indianapolis for most games. And, it turns out, the Donovans have had several reasons to keep coming back to Hinkle. And keep coming back, and back, and back.

Another Donovan Joins Butler

Campbell remembers the drive from Fort Wayne to Indianapolis. There have been so many trips back and forth, but this one, he says, sticks out. His oldest sister, Ali, was on the brink of heading off to college at Butler, but first, she had a cheerleading tryout. Campbell was devastated.

“I remember it was her tryout day and I was in the backseat so sad,” he says. “She was about to leave home and I really didn’t want her to leave yet. She is 10 years older, so I remember thinking how upsetting it would be without her at home. But I also remember how excited she was to have the chance to cheer at Butler. We grew up at Hinkle with my dad watching basketball games and everything, so this was huge for her. I just remember being real sad, but also real nervous for her and just thinking what a big deal it was.”

Ali ended up making the cheer team. Donovan No. 2 to be connected to Butler Athletics. Rick says he made a distinct effort to remain open-minded during Ali’s college search. They made about four college visits and he was very impressed with all the schools.

“When Ali decided on Butler, let’s just say I was extremely happy,” Rick says. “It was really neat and special to see my kid on the court. I remember people would always ask, did you ever think you would see one of your kids out there, and I always would think of Campbell with hoops, that’s just what would come to my mind. But seeing Ali cheer was very special.”

With Ali’s four-years came more trips to Butler sporting events, says Campbell. He remembers going to tons of basketball games, football games, and traveling all the time.  With all of the travel, Rick says, he started to see his son’s motivation and passion grow. Rick and Campbell used to stay up late and watch Butler compete in the Atlantic 10 on television when they had away games. But once Ali joined the cheerleading team, Rick says, they started traveling to more and more games.

“I literally grew up in Hinkle,” Campbell says. “The coolest thing was she was on the cheer team during the 2010 and 2011 National Championship runs. This was the time that Butler was really starting to become a household name and gain national prominence. I knew before that it was cool my dad played in college and that was a big deal. But this was when it really hit me how much of a big deal playing for Butler was. It was then that I decided, OK, I really want to play basketball for Butler one day.”

A Dream Comes True

Rick and Campbell have walked out of Hinkle Fieldhouse together too many times to count. But this time, Rick made a beeline to Scotty’s Dawghouse. He had to talk some sense into his son.

The two of them had just met with, Butler’s head coach at the time, Chris Holtmann. They expected the meeting to just be a chance to get to know one another, let Holtmann know Campbell was interested in potentially walking on, and find out what the process would be like. At that point, Campbell was being recruited heavily by smaller schools, such as Division III’s DePauw. He knew he would have a great experience at a smaller school, get a lot of playing time, and that these smaller schools were very interested in him. However, Butler was always his dream.

Rick happened to play in an alumni game in fall 2016, which led to a phone call with former Butler assistant coach Terry Johnson, which led to this very meeting with Holtmann at the end of the season. An hour-and-a-half into the meeting, Rick couldn’t help himself. He kept looking over at Campbell, thinking, is this really happening.

“It seemed like Coach Holtmann was going in the direction of offering Cam a walk on position,” Rick says. “We just were looking at each other, like, is he really going to offer this? It was such a surprise. We were days away from probably going with one of the smaller schools, just because we didn’t know if this was an option for Cam. I really think if I pushed Cam with one finger he would have fallen over.”

Holtmann ended the meeting by telling Campbell to give the walk on role some thought and then to get back to him. Campbell said thanks and left. Rick couldn’t believe it. “I told him, you have been waiting 18 years for this, working your butt off, dreaming about this, the heck you will think this over,” Rick joked. “Cam told me he didn’t want to look too anxious, but after lunch he walked right back over to Hinkle and told Coach he couldn’t wait to join the team.”

Back to the Tournament

Campbell with Sisters
         Campbell with sisters at Final 4 in 2010.

There was the time Roosevelt Jones hit a floater at the buzzer to beat Gonzaga at Hinkle. Campbell remembers storming the court from 15 rows up. Then there was the time he watched in person as Butler advanced to their first ever National Championship in 2010, knocking off Michigan State. He remembers watching with his entire family. He also remembers missing the Final Four the following year because of a family vacation in Florida. He recalls looking for his sister, who was a cheerleader at the time, on TV. He was bummed he wasn’t there as he watched from the beach.

“Having all these memories, and now being in Detroit as a part of the team, it’s just mind blowing,” Campbell says. “Having this opportunity to be in the tournament, even though I am just a small part of it, but knowing I am a little part of something special, is just so incredible.”

Rick and Sabrina will be in the stands on Friday. Their two daughters will join on Sunday, if Butler advances. “Friday will be very emotional for me,” Rick says. “Butler has been great to us as a family. I am smiling all the time when I walk into Hinkle, but this will definitely be a different level of excitement getting to see Cam achieve something he always had in the back of his mind, surrounded by so many great teammates and friends.”

Campbell was one of the last one’s off the court Thursday. Putting up a few last shots, taking in every last second on the court. His first time being a member of an NCAA Tournament team, something he has thought so much about. “I try and put myself in the shoes of where I was last year, not even knowing where I was going to go to college,” Campbell says. “I remind myself all the time how lucky I am to be at Butler, not only as a walk on, which is amazing because so many kids would give a lot to be in my position, but to just take classes here and be at such an amazing University. It is really a great all around place and I am enjoying every moment.”

 

Team at Practice
AthleticsPeople

Butler Roots Run Deep

DETROIT—Out on the hardwood, toward a far corner of the court, the shortest player with the floppy blonde hair puts up three-pointer after three-pointer. Swish, swish, swish. At one point, he hits nine in a row.

Team at Practice

Butler Roots Run Deep

By Rachel Stern

The Maven of March Madness

By Rachel Stern

JoAn Scott started her week in New York. She will end it in Detroit, with short stints in Dayton, Dallas, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, and Detroit in between. She will juggle plane delays, broken-down buses, bad weather, hotel reservations, and, you know, whatever other logistical challenges might pop up when managing a 68-team basketball tournament. Such is the life of the NCAA’s Managing Director of Men’s Basketball Championships. Short on sleep, long on stress.

But Scott, who got her MBA from Butler in 2005, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“There are definitely a lot of moving parts, and our goal is to make sure everything is buttoned up and that teams have as few distractions as possible,” Scott says. “I don’t get much sleep this month and my phone is constantly ringing as we try and put out the fires that come up. But I have the most rewarding job. I love seeing the players taking selfies next to the March Madness logo. The best part is really seeing everything through the eyes of the players.”

Scott oversees Division I, II, and III men’s basketball tournaments. On Selection Sunday, she is in the seeding room. She does not vote on seeding, but walks everyone through the process and explains to everyone who does vote how things work. Scott describes her role as “air traffic controller.”

But Scott, who got her MBA from Butler in 2005, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Selection Sunday is the most stressful day,” she says. “There is simply no room for error.” Going into Selection Sunday there are about eight different brackets, depending on which teams won Sunday, she explains. Not only are there several scenarios to plug in, but then there are graphics to prepare for the live show, all under the tight time crunch of a live television broadcast. But March Madness is much more than just a one-month a year job, she says. Typically, the first two months after the tournament are spent analyzing how things went and what could be done better. The rest of the year is spent plotting and planning the next tournament.

Scott grew up a hoops fan in Nebraska. She played for one year in college at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. After graduation, she spent a year working for a brokerage firm, then answered a newspaper classified ad for what was then called Amateur Basketball Association of the United States of America (now USA Basketball). That job included incredible experiences, she said, including traveling with the 1992 men’s basketball “Dream Team.” After 10 years, she took a job with Nike, where she spent 17 years. During that time, Scott decided to get her MBA at Butler. “I knew a lot of the sports side and I knew personalities,” she says. “But once I got to Nike, I felt like I didn’t know the business side. I loved school and I soaked it in. I still talk to my Butler professors.”

Scott is a Butler men’s basketball season ticket holder. But when it comes to March Madness, she is “Switzerland,” she says. “This time of year, I wear a lot of gray, white, blue, black, because I really cannot cheer for anybody,” she says. “I am just a huge basketball fan.”

Since she oversaw her first NCAA Tournament in 2015, the biggest thing that has changed is the evolution of social media, Scott says. Now, people can watch tournament games in the car, at their desk, basically anywhere they are, she says. And with the increased presence of social media, comes increased awareness of those logistical challenges. “We have learned that the social world can certainly teach us some things,” she says. “We have learned what isn’t going well from Twitter. When a team innocently tweets about a plane delay, often times, that is how we hear about it. With social media, everything is visible.”

Which inevitably leads to more sleepless nights for Scott. But she’s OK with that.

joan scott
People

The Maven of March Madness

JoAn Scott started her week in New York. She will end it in Detroit, with short stints in Dayton, Dallas, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, and Detroit in between.

Watching from Afar

By Rachel Stern

When it comes to the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, Andrew Cottrell usually tries to figure out how he can watch as many games as possible. That usually means mixing work with basketball. Or maybe, mixing basketball with work.

“I make no bones about it, I love basketball and there is nothing better than the first weekend of the tournament,” Cottrell says. “I try and mix client entertainment with watching some basketball. Let’s call it watching basketball under the guise of client entertainment.” Cottrell, who graduated from Butler in 2011 and now works at Merrill Lynch as a Senior Financial Advisor in Cincinnati, will maintain that work-basketball mix until approximately Friday at 3:10 PM. “That’s when I will shed that coat and tie and trade it in for a Bulldog pullover,” Cottrell says. “The Butler game needs my full attention.”

Cottrell will be watching at a bar in Cincinnati with, maybe around 30 to 40 alums, he says. Among those in the crowd will be his wife, a former Butler softball player who graduated in 2012, and their six-week-old, decked out in blue with earmuffs on.

A similar scene will be unfolding in New York City.

Jennifer White, who graduated from Butler in 2000 and is an attorney in New York City, will be gathering with fellow grads, friends, and family members at Suspenders in the Financial District to watch No. 10 Butler take on No. 7 Arkansas. The timing could be tricky, she said, in terms of predicting turnout, but one thing is always guaranteed. “These gatherings are so much fun because you meet people from all different years and there is such a great community feeling,” says White, who double majored in English and music. “We all have such a great time together.”

And it is not just the Butler-affiliated people who get into it, she says. These gatherings are an opportunity to introduce Butler to the rest of the country, White says. Before 2010, people would sometimes confuse Butler for Baylor. Then, after Butler knocked off Syracuse, people in New York definitely knew who Butler was, White says.

“You can see there has been a huge shift in name recognition in New York,” she says. “I remember in 2003, we were watching a tournament game and we were losing at halftime and we had our Butler shirts on and no one heard of Butler. Then, we came storming back and everyone in the bar was supporting us. The fun thing is everyone loves an underdog and we always end up in a bar full of Butler supporters and people always end up asking about our school. It is a great opportunity to spread the word.”

White and her husband always attend Butler games in person if the team makes the Sweet 16 or better. But she never shirks her alumni event responsibilities. She has been in a hotel business center sending out emails to alumni to let them know about a chapter event. Last year, White was in London coordinating tournament plans from her laptop. She knows firsthand how important these events are. As a result of the New York City gatherings, White says, she has met people who have graduated way before her – one comes all the time who graduated in 1953 and spends an hour on the train coming to NYC events from his home in New Jersey. Others are way younger than her, she says.

“We know sports goes a long way for brand recognition, but also for us and for the opportunity to get to know all different people from the Butler family,” White says. “We try and take advantage of it and have a good time.”

St.Louis

In St. Louis, Rachel Gotshall will be trying to keep her husband from counting his chickens before they hatch on Friday. The Gotshalls followed the team almost everywhere when they were students at Butler, Rachel says. They have been to Maui, Memphis, Maine, Birmingham, to name a few. And now, Rachel is trying to make sure her husband waits until Sunday before making plans for Boston.

But on Friday, they will be at a Butler Bar in St. Louis with friends and fellow alums. Rachel, who graduated in 2009, has the day off on Friday. But her husband will be playing hooky. “These are truly some of our closest friends,” she says. “We all have a love for Butler in some way or another. The best thing is seeing more people come out and seeing new faces. That is what I look forward to the most.”

 

People

Watching from Afar

When it comes to the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, Andrew Cottrell usually tries to figure out how he can watch as many games as possible.

Watching from Afar

By Rachel Stern

Baked Goods and Bulldog Groupies

By Rachel Stern

If you have been to a Butler basketball game, in say, the last eight years or so, chances are you’ve sampled Lori Showley’s famous Bulldog Droppings.

That’s because she has researched the ins and outs of most arenas in America, and how precisely to sneak the two to three batches of her chocolately-peanuty treat into the game. Since Showley started mass producing what she says she has become famous for, arenas have become more secure. So, she’s simply gotten more creative. In some places, she hides the Droppings under her pompoms. Other times, she hands them out in the hotel lobby – that is easiest, she says.

But then, there was Maui.

There is an exact science to making Bulldog Droppings. There are three different kinds of chocolate and peanuts, all mixed together in a crockpot, cooking on low for three hours, Showley explains. Traveling to Maui to watch Butler play does not lend itself well to making Bulldog Droppings. But tradition is tradition. “I found a fan who had a friend who lived in Maui, believe it or not. I borrowed her crockpot and set it up in my hotel room,” Showley says. “Well, when you cook it on low for three hours, my room was smelling like Hershey, Pennsylvania and I almost got evicted. I quickly had to put everything away and clean up all the evidence before hotel staff came in to check out what was going on.” Before tip-off in Maui, though, there was Showley, outside the arena handing out Bulldog Droppings. It was too hot, she said, to try and sneak the treats into the arena. So, she put bags of ice underneath the packages so they wouldn’t melt outside and handed them out to Butler fans.

“It’s my claim to fame,” she says. “If I don’t do it, everyone is upset. We are all a family, even if we have never met. What makes these games so fun is the tradition and the comradery that is formed over the years among Butler fans. I venture to guess this doesn’t happen at a lot of schools. People just fall in love with Butler.”

Showley, a 1974 Butler graduate, will be in Detroit, Michigan on Friday afternoon when No.10 Butler takes on No.7 Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Bulldog Droppings and all. She will be making the drive with her husband Thursday morning, who is recovering from rotator cuff surgery. But, as Showley explains, they already had to miss the Big East Tournament because of the surgery, so enough was enough.

Showley’s son, who graduated from Purdue, will be meeting them at the game, driving to Detroit from Ohio, but with strict directions. “He is welcome to sit with us, but only if he has his Butler gear on,” she says. “Otherwise we will just be waving to him.”

 

Group Photo
"Butler Groupies" at a tournament in Portland

 

There is a group of about 12 that Showley says will be meeting up in Detroit and has been meeting up all over the country to watch their beloved Bulldogs, for the most part, since 2008.

Mary Shaw starts to tick off the various destinations the crew has been to. There was San Jose, Milwaukee, Greensboro, Portland, Memphis, says Shaw, who ran point for the Butler women’s basketball team from 1989 to 1993 and has been meeting up with Showley’s group since about 2010. Shaw will drive to Detroit with her husband, brother-in-law, and Xandra Hamilton, another member of the group who has been going to games for “forever,” Shaw says.

Nadine Treon calls them the Butler Groupies. Treon started going to Butler games with her dad in 2000. Her dad was a Butler graduate and Treon got her MBA from Butler in 2006. For Treon, Hinkle Fieldhouse always makes her think of her dad. After he passed away, she took over his season ticket package in 2006-07. She loves basketball, but Butler games mean so much more to her than just hoops. When Treon starts talking about Butler basketball, the memories start rolling off her tongue. There was the time she watched Darnell Archey’s consecutive free throw streak end. Then the time Archey hit 8-9 three pointers in the Sweet 16 against Louisville.

“I always think of my dad when I am going to a game,” she says. “It is pretty special every year. When I go to the first game, I think of him. There is so much history for me personally.”

This year was unique for Treon. She has been on the road in New Jersey for work since July, so she has been unable to watch Butler in person as much as past seasons.

“But once March rolled around, I was totally excited for that,” Treon says. “I will fly to Detroit and meet the gang out there and when we win this weekend, I will start making plans for Boston.”

And you better believe, they’ll be enjoying Lori Showley's Bulldog Droppings at every stop along the way.

 

Photo Credits: Lori Showley

People

Baked Goods and Bulldog Groupies

If you have been to a Butler basketball game, in say, the last eight years or so, chances are you’ve sampled Lori Showley’s famous Bulldog Droppings. 

GivingPeopleCampus

Butler Names New Vice President for Advancement

BY

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
rstern@butler.edu
317-940-9257

GivingPeopleCampus

Butler Names New Vice President for Advancement

Jonathan Purvis comes to BU from IU.

Mar 07 2018 Read more
Student LifePeople

Four Butler Students Named 500 Festival Princesses

BY

PUBLISHED ON Mar 02 2018

Taylor Bowen                                  Natalie Cole     

Katie Pfaff                                    Anna Rather

                         

Four Butler University students have been selected as 500 Festival Princesses for 2018.

They are:

-Taylor Bowen, Michiana Shores, a senior majoring in Digital Media Production and Art Plus Design.

-Natalie Cole, Westfield, a junior majoring in Violin Performance with emphases in Music Theory and Music History.

-Katherine (Katie) Pfaff, Lewisville, a junior majoring in Strategic Communication: Public Relations.

-Anna Rather, Bargersville, a junior majoring in English Literary Theory, Culture and Criticism.

Each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship. In addition, 500 Festival Princesses are involved with the 500 Festival’s statewide community outreach programs, volunteering at 500 Festival events, and participating in various Indianapolis Motor Speedway functions, including the pre-race ceremonies and Victory Circle celebration for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

The 2018 500 Festival Princesses represent 14 Indiana colleges and universities and 21 cities and towns across the state. With a cumulative GPA of 3.72, this year’s 500 Festival princesses were selected from hundreds of applicants based on communication skills, academic performance and community involvement.

 

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

 

Student LifePeople

Four Butler Students Named 500 Festival Princesses

Honor comes with a $1,000 scholarship.

Mar 02 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar to Talk About the Microbial World

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 27 2018

Amy Cheng Vollmer, a Swarthmore Professor who has helped create initiatives to promote adult science literacy and increase diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields, will speak at Butler University on March 26 at 7:00 PM in Jordan Hall Room 141 as part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Program.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Rusty Jones at 317-940-6552.

The title of her talk, which is sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa Theta of Indiana Chapter and Butler's Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement, is The Microbial World: Small and Ancient is Not Primitive or Unsophisticated.

Vollmer is the Isaac H. Clothier Jr. Professor of Biology at Swarthmore. Her teaching, which incorporates active learning in large and small classes, includes microbiology, biotechnology, metabolism, and introductory biology; her research focuses on the regulation of the response of bacteria to environmental stress. She has authored works on basic bacterial genetics and physiology and on applied and environmental microbiology.

Serving in numerous leadership capacities as a member of the American Society for Microbiology, she was the 2006 recipient of the American Society of Biology’s Carski Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. She is past president of the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology.

 

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

 

AcademicsPeople

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar to Talk About the Microbial World

Amy Cheng Vollmer's talk is open to the public.

Feb 27 2018 Read more
Arts & CulturePeopleCommunity

Community Arts School Head Honored As United Way 'Hero'

BY

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
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

 

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
AcademicsArts & CulturePeople

Professor Lynch's Book Is a Finalist for LA Times Prize

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PUBLISHED ON Feb 22 2018

English Instructor Alessandra Lynch's 2017 book of poetry Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment has been selected as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Lynch will be flown to the April 20 ceremony where the winners will be announced.

Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment has been widely acclaimed, with The New York Times naming it one of the 10 best books of poetry last year.

Lynch has been teaching at Butler since 2008. She has designed courses in the First Year Seminar (Memoir) and Special Topics in Literature (Transformations in Literature), Introduction to Poetry Writing, Intermediate Poetry, and Independent Studies in Poetry, and she created and designed an Advancing Poetry course.

She has also designed the Poetry Workshop in the MFA program, created and designed Shaping a Manuscript, Finding Its Song: MFA Revision Class, and advised MFA students on their theses.

Lynch is the author of three collections of poetry: Sails the Wind Left Behind (winner of the New York/New England Award from Alice James Books, 2002), It was a terrible cloud at twilight (winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Award, Pleaides/LSU Press, 2008), and Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment (Alice James Books, 2017). She has received fellowships from The Corporation of Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony for the Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center, and she has been the recipient of a Barbara Deming Award and a Creative Renewal Fellowship for the Arts from the Indianapolis Council for the Arts.

 

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

 

Student LifePeople

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

BY

PUBLISHED ON Feb 20 2018

By Jackson Borman '20

From the time that he got his first video camera, Thulani Smith ’20 has been documenting his life through the lens.

“I like to take pictures and reminisce instantly," he said. "My dad and I have traveled the world for my entire childhood, and I liked being able to go there and take a picture and then remember everything about each place.”

As a middle-schooler, Smith captured everything from family trips to everyday life. His specialty at the time was creating basketball trick shot videos of his brother and his friends shooting balls into trashcans in the front yard.

“We thought it was great," he said, "and then my dad said to me, ‘Thulani, are you ever going to film anything besides this?’ and I remember responding to him, ‘Dad, there is nothing more than trick-shot videos!’”

But Smith started experimenting and learning how to create visual effects, and he became more interested in the full potential that filmmaking had. Now, as a digital media production major at Butler, he already is getting the experience he needs to grow in his craft.

Smith currently posts his work on his Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram account is @Marshallmoviemaker.

Starting in his first year at Butler, Smith had Professor Farhad Anwarzai for his First-Year Seminar class called "The Coming of Age Story." Smith said that Anwarzai’s willingness to allow students to learn in ways that they enjoyed was a great start to his college experience.

“For our final project, he said just to do something creative, so I made a film,” Smith said. “He has really been a huge help in allowing me to grow in classes that I have been taking. Being able to take his class and have that relationship with him has been huge because it has restored my understanding of how I want to do college.”

Anwarzai said he was blown away with Smith’s work.

“I thought that the project was not only very well made and very well shot and edited, but it was very mature for a freshman to make,” Anwarzai said. “He’s good at telling these big stories but telling them through the lens of students. That’s one of the things that stands out in my mind when I think of Thulani. It was a spectacular job.”

In Smith's sophomore year, Anwarzai ended up as his professor for the Global and Historical Studies course "China and the Islamic Middle East." This time, he and Smith worked together to write a short film for the students’ final project.

“Having not seen a lot of faculty and student collaboration in the humanities, I wanted to test that, and I thought Thulani would be the perfect person to work with,” Anwarzai said. “In the end, he and the other students created a marvelous work. It added a great layer of depth to the conditions we deal with today.”

The 20-minute film, which was made in nine days with no budget, dealt with the preconceived notions that many have about China and the Middle East.

Last summer, Smith had an internship with a company called Train918 that was started by 2016 Butler graduates Tim Valentine and Joshua Gaal. The pair started the company in their senior year at Butler and now create commercials and promotional videos for groups like Downtown Indy Inc. and Indiana University.

“Working with them was a blast because I was able to grow with them while I was still growing,” Smith said. “They had almost the same experiences that I had as far as being a creative on Butler’s campus so they could give me some insight.”

Smith said that Valentine and Gaal allowed him to take a larger role in the company than a typical intern would, and he was able to take control of certain projects. For example, Smith took photos at a fashion shoot over the summer, just a month into the internship.

“It gave me the opportunity to have the camera in my hands, to shoot everything and to come up with concepts, edit it, and call it my own,” Smith said.

In between class projects and internships, Smith still works on projects of his own. He has created video compilations of Butler Basketball games. This winter, Smith went on a trip to Northern Ireland where he took more photos of the Irish landscape and worked on one of his projects. Over the past few months, Smith has also been working on what he calls "The Portrait Project," a series of photos and short videos of a subject that are compiled into a short, portrait-style video.

This spring Smith will be going abroad once again, this time through the College of Communication's trip to Germany.

Through his work, both on his own and at Butler, Smith hopes that he will be able to grow as a filmmaker and one day be able to create on a higher level.

“I think over the next couple of months what I really want to do is just create more,” Smith said. “I’ve done [a lot of projects], but I want to be able to have examples of my best work so that I can point people to that.”

 

Photo via Thulani Smith

Student LifePeople

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

Sophomore Thulani Smith follows his passion for filmmaking.

Feb 20 2018 Read more
AcademicsPeople

What Makes a Leader? Professors' Research Offers Insight

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PUBLISHED ON Feb 16 2018

WHAT MAKES A LEADER? PROFESSORS’ RESEARCH OFFERS INSIGHT

ON  

When most think about leadership, a CEO, or All-Star, or conductor might come to mind. Think Jeff Bezos, LeBron James, or Yo-Yo Ma. 

Turns out, we may have it all wrong.  

That’s according to new research from two Butler University Lacy School of Business professors. Instead of relying primarily on those at the top to lead—and only those at the top—the most successful organizations are full of individuals who lead from wherever they are, according to their research.  

“We have a top-centric idea of leadership in America and we tend to attribute far too much of the performance of an organization to the person at the top of it,” said Craig Caldwell, Associate Dean of Graduate and Professional Programs. “That doesn’t accurately describe reality of how work gets done and it often results in the rest of us feeling like we are powerless cogs. Many people think that because they are not in a formal management role in the company, or the superstar of the team, they cannot be a leader. Our research shows that you can have a significant impact no matter where you are in an organization.” 

Caldwell and Jerry Toomer, along with their co-authors, conducted more than 80 interviews across three sectors–business, the arts, and sports—to find out what traits define those individuals who make teams better. They call this The Catalyst Effect, which is also the title of their book that was published this week.  

The book highlights 12 key competencies, centered on four cornerstones, that are the foundation of catalytic behavior. These competencies were gleaned from interviews with a wide cross-section of people, including bass players and concert masters, amateur athletes and professional athletes, business leaders and technical professionals.  

“The magic of being a catalyst that sparks team performance is the ability to master most of the 12 competencies and use them in concert, at the right time,” said Toomer, an Executive Partner and Adjunct Professor. “The catalytic effect is maximized by using all of them to elevate the performance of the team.” 

The four cornerstones are:  

  • Building credibility 
  • Creating cohesion 
  • Generating momentum 
  • Amplifying impact  
     

“My hope is that with this research we invite team members to realize that they can lead without formal authority. That they can lead from wherever they are, in whatever setting they work or play,” Toomer said. “We almost always think about leadership from a position of authority in traditional organization structures. This suggests that the most successful teams and organizations value everyone leading in unique, value-adding ways.” 

Now, they say, the key is to train individuals in organizations to look for talent in a new way. If CEOs, for example, have a better understanding of the catalyst effect, they may change the metrics they use to identify talent. 

“Right now, we look for superstars—those who sold the most in dollar volume, who stuffed the stat sheet in the last game or played the most notable solo,” Caldwell said. “Our research team believes that we have a lot of people flying below the radar. We need to view our high performers in new ways.”

Media contact:
Rachel Stern
rstern@butler.edu
317-940-9257

 

AcademicsPeople

What Makes a Leader? Professors' Research Offers Insight

Craig Caldwell and Jerry Toomer have a new book, "The Catalyst Effect."

Feb 16 2018 Read more

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