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Write A Children's Book About Vaccines? It's Worth a Shot

BY Sarvary Koller ’15

PUBLISHED ON Feb 05 2015

In a kindergarten classroom at Indianapolis Public School 91, Anissa Hakim ’15 calms a young girl who is terrified of receiving a vaccine.

This is not the first time Hakim has spoken with a child scared of vaccination, but this time, she knew exactly how to approach the subject to ease her student’s nerves.

Hakim is working on a children’s book project called “Max Greene and the Vaccine Team,” which focuses on educating children about vaccines to dispel fear and anxiety over shots.
Anissa Hakim and Mara Olson did the illustrations for "Max Greene and the Vaccine Team."

“I thought, ‘Perfect, I’m writing about this!’” Hakim, an Elementary Education major in Butler’s College of Education, said. “I started talking to her about the story and the characters to show that the shot doesn’t want to make you feel bad. The book project was only in the editing process, but I was already seeing how it could affect children.”

The intercollegiate project organized by Butler University joins students from several of Butler’s colleges to publish and sell a children’s book on the topic of their choice.

Authors of “Max Greene and the Vaccine Team” include education majors Hakim and Katrina Rodriguez ’15, business majors Matt Speer ’15 and Andres Pena ’15, and pharmacy majors Emily Ellsworth ’15 and Terri Newman ’15.

The team has worked on the project since last spring, when the members decided the book topic would be vaccination. After conducting some research, Hakim said they found only one piece of children’s literature that focused on vaccination.

Enter Max Greene, a friendly vaccine who just wants to help kids and their communities stay healthy and happy.

Newman said she put her pharmacy background and experience with children to use while writing the story. The plot uses the characterization of objects in the doctor’s office and fun rhymes to help children understand the importance and ease of getting a shot to keep them healthy.

Speer said the goal of the project is to produce at least 1,000 copies of the book to place in doctor’s offices, private homes, and schools.

The Indiana Immunization Coalition has funded the first round of publishing for 1,000 books in addition to about $1,100 of presales. “Max Greene and the Vaccine Team” can be pre-ordered online at the book website.

Speer said the team is exploring options to donate a portion of the proceeds to fund child vaccination in developing nations.

Stephanie Fernhaber, Assistant Professor of Management in the College of Business, helped to organize this book project as well as past intercollegiate book projects. She said the strength of collaborations such as this one comes from the diverse minds and talent brought together into one large project.

Fernhaber said the team of students has worked cohesively to independently manage all book responsibilities.

With the story and illustrations sent off to the publisher, it is just a matter of weeks before the team will hold copies of the book. Hakim said this is a moment she has anticipated since the start of the project last spring.

“I’m a real author! It’s hitting me all the time,” she said. “It’s cool to think that this book is always going to connect us. We’re all wondering where in the future this might take us.”


Butler Well Represented In IBJ's 40 Under 40


PUBLISHED ON Feb 03 2015

Four Butler University alumni and an adjunct professor in the MFA in Creative Writing program are among the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” for 2015.

Ed Carpenter ’03, Michael Grimes ’99 MBA ’07, Eric Payne ’98, and Erin Roth ’98—all College of Business graduates—and writer Ben Winters made the prestigious list.
Ed Carpenter '03 was among four Butler alumni named to the Indianapolis Business Journal's 40 Under 40 list for 2015.

“We are incredibly proud of Erin, Eric, Michael, Ed, and Ben,” said Steve Standifird, Dean of Butler’s College of Business. “Their accomplishments in life and in their career are a testament to their hard work. They exemplify the passion we have at Butler and the College of Business for the success of our alums in life and leadership.”

Carpenter, the well-known IndyCar driver, majored in marketing at Butler. He is now an owner of CFH Racing, along with Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman. He's about to begin his 13th IndyCar season.

Grimes, who studied marketing, is Vice President of Omni-Channel Marketing for Finish Line Inc., where his job is to integrate the store and online experiences.

Payne is Managing Director of Wealth Management, Payne & Mencias Group at Merrill Lynch, where he manages $1.7 billion in assets for 200 families. He majored in accounting.

Roth is Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary for Wabash National Corp. She studied accounting at Butler, and has helped lead Wabash into what is now a $2 billion company, the IBJ reported.

Winters is the author of the mystery trilogy “The Last Policeman,” “Countdown City,” and “World of Trouble.” He has taught a fiction workshop and The Detective Novel. He will teach at Butler again in spring 2016.

The final list of 40 was culled from 269 nominees. Criteria for selection include the level of success a nominee has achieved in his or her chosen field, their accomplishments in the community, and the likelihood the nominee will stay in Indianapolis and build on those achievements.


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Butler Announces the Hiring of Two New Vice Presidents


PUBLISHED ON Jan 31 2015

Butler University has announced the hiring of two new Vice Presidents—Jaci Thiede, Vice President for Advancement, and Lori Greene, Vice President for Enrollment Management.

Thiede comes to Butler from Northwestern University, where she is Associate Dean for Alumni Relations and Development at the law school. Greene is currently Director of Undergraduate Admission at Loyola University Chicago.

“Jaci and Lori bring significant talent and experience to Butler, and I am confident they will help lead their divisions and our University to great success in the years to come,” President James M. Danko said.

Jaci Thiede Thiede (whose first name is pronounced “Jackie”) has worked in advancement—essentially, advancing the university’s mission, with an emphasis on fundraising and alumni relations—for a little more than 20 years.

Thiede grew up in Rockford, Illinois, and earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University-Bloomington.

“My time at IU fundamentally changed my life,” she said. “I was extremely lucky because my parents sent me to school, and I didn’t graduate with debt. A few years after college I realized that I wanted to help as many other people as possible have that same opportunity.”

She lived in Colorado for two years following college, working for Keystone Resort and falling in love with skiing, then joined a fundraising consulting firm. After earning her MBA from the College of William and Mary, she worked for the IU Foundation for 10 years—three in Bloomington and seven in Chicago. She joined Northwestern in 2009.

Thiede said she wasn’t looking for a job when Butler President James M. Danko approached her. She said she appreciated his “entrepreneurial spirit.” What she heard about Butler from Jamie Phillippe, the Chair of the Butler Board of Trustees’ Advancement Committee, cemented her interest.

Thiede is a big sports fan (Chicago Cubs and Bears, and Indiana University basketball and football). She said she is looking forward to her first game at Hinkle Fieldhouse and embracing Bulldog Nation.

She starts at Butler on March 2.

“I’m excited to join Butler,” she said. “It seems like there’s all kinds of opportunity here. With a strong Advancement team already in place, I’m looking forward to helping take Butler to the next level.”

Greene, who has been at Loyola for six years, had become familiar with Butler by bumping into University representatives at various events in the Chicago area. And through basketball.

Lori Greene“When I saw the position advertised, it caught my attention,” she said.

Greene brings more than 20 years of experience to Butler, starting with six years at her undergraduate alma mater, Spring Hill College, in Mobile, Alabama.

She worked there as a tour guide while a student and, in 1994, as she was getting ready to graduate, someone told her there were openings in the Admission Office.

Within a month, she started there as an Admission Counselor. She worked her way up to Associate Director of Admissions (and earned an MBA at the University of South Alabama) before moving to Loyola University New Orleans, where she spent eight years. In 2008, she joined the administration at Loyola in Chicago.

“I found something I love doing,” she said.

Greene and her husband, Greg, have a 2-year-old daughter, Gillian. She starts at Butler on April 1 and said she sees the University as “a really good setting with a strong community.”

“That was one of the big attractions—the size of the institution,” she said. “And all the people I encountered were just so gracious with their time and the information they shared. That really spoke to me about the type of community that it is. I’m really excited about the opportunity to join this group of professionals, who are working together to move Butler forward.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Ernie Stevens '16 and Partner Skate Their Way to the World Championships


PUBLISHED ON Jan 26 2015

On the heels of winning the U.S. National Junior Pair title on January 20, Butler University student Ernie Utah Stevens '16 and his partner, Arizona skater Caitlin Fields, will represent the United States at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, March 2–8.

Ernie Utah Stevens and Caitlin Fields“Only two U.S. Junior Pair teams are chosen for that prestigious competition, and we wanted to be one of them,” Stevens said.

Stevens and Fields previously won the Midwestern Sectional Championships in November and a gold medal for Team USA at the Mentor Nestle Torun Cup in Torun, Poland, in early January. Then they headed to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, where they skated two powerful programs to win the Junior Pair title and advance to the world competition.

Fields is an experienced pair skater, having previously medaled four times at Nationals. In August, she relocated to Indianapolis, where Stevens trains with his coach of seven years, Serguei Zaitsev, at the Indiana World Skating Academy Figure Skating Club.

At Nationals, they scored almost five points ahead of the second-place team, earning an impressive 155.41 points.

“Ernie and Caitlin have respect for each other as professionals, and they possess sincere determination to be top at their Junior level,” Zaitsev said.

The pair team will move up to Senior status next season and aspires to compete at the Olympics. They currently train at the Carmel Ice Skadium.

Read more about them in this Indianapolis Star story.


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Prof. Bauman's Book Explains the Violence Against Pentecostals in India


PUBLISHED ON Jan 20 2015

As part of his sabbatical in 2011, Associate Professor of Religion Chad Bauman decided to delve into Hindu-Christian violence in India and why Pentecostal evangelists were disproportionately targeted. He took two trips to India and talked to about 150 people—some who were victims of violence, others who are prominent critics of Christianity.

Initially, Bauman planned to write one book, with a small section on Pentecostalism. But his research yielded so much information that one book became two.

Pentecostals, Proselytization, and Anti-Christian Violence in Contemporary IndiaThe first, Pentecostals, Proselytization, and Anti-Christian Violence in Contemporary India, is available now.

“A lot of the hostility to Christianity that’s found in India today is related to their evangelism and what’s seen as a predatory form of evangelism that targets vulnerable and marginalized people,” Bauman said. “It’s also seen as an evangelism that’s funded to a considerable degree from abroad, and that is true—about $1 billion a year goes from the United States to India to mission and service organizations.”

Evangelical and more conservative Christians feel they have an obligation to spread their faith, Bauman said. There’s not much room for growth in the United States, Europe, or even Latin America. So these days, many evangelists target the largely non-Christian countries of Asia and Africa.

India gets targeted because it’s massive—1 billion people—and because it has a large percentage of the world’s predominantly non-Christian population. In addition, India’s traditional and popular religion, Hinduism, has proven resistant to the incursion of other religions.

“I think many Christian groups take that as an affront or a challenge to their own faith,” Bauman said.

Another factor that makes India attractive to missionaries, Bauman said, are the Dalit, or lower-caste communities in India, who feel somewhat marginalized within the Hindu fold. Many missionaries think the Dalits are ripe for attracting to Christianity.

Bauman said Christians are seen by some of the more conservative elements of Indian society as a threat to tolerance and secular society “because they don’t respect other people’s faiths.” The result has been violence.

“Christians are seen to be intolerant,” he said, “and so the question is: To what extent can Indian society tolerate these aggressively evangelistic Christians before the secular fabric of the nation falls apart?Chad Bauman

“Of course, in an irony that one sees sometimes in the American treatment of Muslims, some Hindus respond to that challenge by themselves acting in extremely intolerant ways towards India’s Christians, including, occasionally, with violence.”

Bauman said his second book on this subject will provide a history of Christianity in India through the lens of conflict, how the conflict developed, and how it came to be that Christians were seen as traitors and not fully Indian, even though there have been Christians in India since at least the 4th century.

Publication of that book is probably at least a year away.

In putting together Pentecostals, Proselytization, and Anti-Christian Violence in Contemporary India, Bauman found himself involved not only in India’s history but a little of Butler’s too. In looking for an image for the cover, he came across the work of National Geographic photographer Lynn Johnson. He contacted her about using her images and found out that she knew Butler’s campus well—she’s the daughter of former University President Jack Johnson. The cover of Bauman’s book is a picture she took.


Media contact:
Marc Allan


A Book Made By Mr. Mark Twain, Interpreted by Professor Andy Levy


PUBLISHED ON Jan 12 2015

You thought you knew Huck Finn. Andy Levy is about to change your thinking.

Huck Finn's AmericaIn Levy’s new book, Huck Finn’s America: Mark Twain and the Era That Shaped His Masterpiece ($25, Simon & Schuster), Butler University’s Edna Cooper Chair in English argues that contemporary readers misunderstand Twain’s classic: It is neither a carefree adventure story for children nor a serious novel about race relations.

Instead, Levy said, Huck Finn—or its full title, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn—was written at a time when Americans were nervous about youth violence and “uncivilized” bad boys, and a debate was raging about education, popular culture, and responsible parenting—one very similar, Levy notes, to current concerns. And on matters of race, the book is neither the moral exemplar that became the most often taught book in American public schools, nor the "racist" text that is among the most often banned—but a sly, conflicted fable that tells us more about persistent patterns of inequality and cultural appropriation than civil rights.

“So many of the political debates of the day are analogous to contemporary political debates,” said Levy, whose book has received positive attention from many sources, including NPR and “Even then, they were aware of that as a phenomenon. So Twain wrote a book about the cyclicality of history—‘I been there before’ are the book’s closing words, and it’s no accident. He was already recognizing that what was happening in 1884 was a repetition of what had happened 40 years before—that Jim Crow laws were restoring what the Civil War was supposed to have ended.”

Levy noted, for example, that in the time of Twain and Huck Finn, one of the major issues was unequal justice for blacks, who were more likely to be thrown in jail for trivial offenses or mistreated or watched more closely by police.

“While promoting the book, Twain toured with George Washington Cable, a Louisiana writer who had done controversial research showing racial inequality in arrest and incarceration rates,” Levy said. “That should sound oppressively familiar to modern ears. ”

Similarly, the United States of the 1880s also worried that popular culture was too violent, that standardized testing put too much pressure on students, and that many children were losing touch with nature and not getting enough exercise.Andrew Levy

Levy’s book is painstakingly researched. He bought a microfilm machine for home use, and he credits Fulfillment Associate Susan Berger in the Irwin Library with helping him get access to The New Orleans Picayune and The Nashville Daily American newspaper archives. He scoured resources at the Library of Congress, as well as Howard , Virginia, and Berkeley universities.

The result: The 368-page book includes more than 100 pages of endnotes.

“Whether or not that’s a good thing to have done, I want people to understand that, if you’re going to do this, you have to dig in,” Levy said. “But if you dig in, it’s incredibly rich.”

More about Huck Finn’s America can be found here:


Media contact:
Marc Allan


For Professor Boyd, It's Out With the Cage and In With the Schubert


PUBLISHED ON Nov 17 2014

With the release of her new CD, Butler University Associate Professor of Piano Kate Boyd is finishing one project and starting another.

The disc, John Cage: Sonatas and Interludes/In a Landscape, which was just released by Navona Records, is the culmination of two years of work that included performances and presentations at Butler and all over the world.

kate_boyd2Boyd’s next chapter is a program of Schubert, Berg, Chopin, and Prokofiev, which she will perform January 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall, as part of the “Piano at Butler” series. The event is free and open to the public without tickets.

“The John Cage project was very gratifying and took on a life of its own, with many opportunities to work with students, present at conferences, and perform this unique work,” she said. “Now that this project is complete, I am looking forward to turning my attention back to more standard piano literature and to the voices of composers from other time periods and nationalities.”

On her Navona Records debut, Boyd performs two pieces by Cage (1912-1992) that show his range. “Sonatas and Interludes” makes use of prepared piano, a concept created by Cage, that includes using screws, nuts, bolts, pieces of rubber and other items to make the piano sound more like a percussion ensemble than a standard instrument.

By contrast, “In a Landscape” is a minimalist piece with light, ethereal, and recurring themes.

“I’d always been interested in ‘Sonatas and Interludes,’ and I thought it would be a good time to learn it for the occasion of his centenary,” Boyd said. “You have to prepare 45 of the 88 notes on the piano, so it takes about two hours to prepare. He’s very specific about how to do that, and included a detailed chart in the music. He invented the concept of prepared piano—even the name ‘prepared piano.’”

Boyd started work on the Cage project while she was on sabbatical in 2012. She performed it more than 15 times in England, Canada, and throughout the United States, and also presented talks at various conferences, including in Malaysia and Germany.

The release of the CD, which was the culmination of the project, earned a rave review from the blog Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, which said: “Anyone serious about 20th century modern music needs to have a recording of the "Sonatas and Interludes" in her or his collection. Ideally one might have two, one for a more percussive interpretation and then this one by Kate Boyd.”

Now Boyd has turned her attention to her upcoming recital, which will include a performance of the rarely heard Piano Sonata by Alban Berg, a single-movement work written while the composer was under the tutelage of Arnold Schoenberg. The recital will also feature Prokofiev’s seventh piano sonata, a virtuosic tour de force written in 1943, later to become known as one of the composer’s three “War Sonatas."

“While Sonatas and Interludes was an exploration of the percussive qualities of the piano, the music in my upcoming solo program will exploit the lyrical, singing capabilities of the instrument,” she said.

Boyd holds performance degrees from Stony Brook University, the Oberlin Conservatory, and the Hannover Academy of Music in Germany. In addition to being a Butler faculty member for nine years, she is on the faculty of the internationally renowned Interlochen Arts Camp in Northern Michigan.

In 2013, Boyd received an Indiana Arts Commission Grant; four years earlier, she earned an Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Arts Renewal Fellowship. Her other awards and prizes include a Fulbright scholarship to Cologne, Germany, and fellowships at the Tanglewood Center, Blossom Music Center, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and Prussia Cove.

“I am grateful to the Butler Awards Committee and the Indiana Arts Commission for funding this recording project,” Boyd said. “It is very rewarding to have had the opportunity to add my interpretation of these two works by John Cage to the body of recordings that represent his work.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan


President Danko's Statement Regarding Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig


PUBLISHED ON Nov 16 2014

Butler University President James M. Danko today released this statement regarding Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig:

Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig had traveled to Lebanon in 2012 to provide medical and humanitarian assistance to those in need. He founded Special Emergency Response and Assistance, an aid organization for Syrian refugees. He approached life selflessly and courageously, and he upheld the Butler ideal of trying to make the world a better place.

The Butler community joins millions around the world in prayer and support for the Kassig family and for Abdul-Rahman's cause in the Middle East.

James M. Danko
President, Butler University


He Sings, He Dances, He Teaches Math

BY Sarvary Koller '15

PUBLISHED ON Nov 13 2014

By day – and for the last 30-plus years – Duane Leatherman has taught math at Butler. By night – and for the next couple of weeks – he’ll don a shoulder-length wig, spectacles, and colonial garb to play Benjamin Franklin in the Belfry Theatre’s adaptation of 1776, The Musical.

“It’s amazing because he definitely looks just like him,” said Director Elaine Wagner ’67, MM ’73. “People have seen him in his full costume, and you really feel like he is Ben Franklin.”

Duane Leatherman as Ben Franklin
Duane Leatherman as Ben Franklin


This is not Leatherman’s first rodeo—he has been in four adaptations of 1776 and has acted in over 50 musicals since high school. He studied math at Anderson University, but he said it was his love of being on stage that kept him active in theater throughout college and beyond.

“People actually thought I was a theater major because I was doing plays all the time,” Leatherman said.

Leatherman, Butler University Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Actuarial Sciences, now acts for a number of community theaters, including the Belfry in Noblesville. But this is the first time he will play the full theatrical role of Benjamin Franklin—a part he has wanted to play his entire life.

“It’ll probably be the height of my theater career,” he said. “He is one of my heroes, and he’s a fun man to play. He was a scallywag with a twinkle in his eye all the time.”

The musical features rousing debates, witty dialogue, and lively Broadway musical numbers. The performance follows the difficult journey to independence as members of the Second Continental Congress negotiate, debate, and negotiate some more to break the British hold on American freedom.

Wayne Wentzel
Wayne Wentzel


The play will run the weekends of November 21 and 22 at 8:00 p.m., November 23 at 2:00 p.m., November 28 and 29 at 8:00 p.m., and November 30 at 2:00 p.m. at the Ivy Tech Community College Auditorium in Noblesville. (Purchase tickets here)

Leatherman and Wagner are joined by a troop of Butler bulldogs in this re-enactment of American history. Roger Boop, former Dean of the College of Education, plays Stephen Hopkins, the feisty Continental Congress member who always wants to drink rum. Wayne Wentzel, Professor Emeritus of the School of Music, plays Caesar Rodney, President of Delaware during most of the revolution. Doug Peet ‘77 plays Richard Henry Lee, President of the Continental Congress from November 1784 through November 1785. Robin Peet ‘76 plays Abigail Adams.

Wagner graduated from Butler with an undergraduate degree and master’s degree, and she even took a contemporary music class Wentzel taught. Her Butler legacy continues with her two children who also graduated from the university.

Roger Boop
Roger Boop


She said it is unusual to have so many Butler cast members in a Belfry Theatre production, and she appreciates the time spent working with the talented individuals from her alma mater.

“They are just wonderful,” Wagner said. “They are so easygoing and willing to do whatever we need to do, and they all jumped right into their characters.”

Wagner directed 1776 for the Belfry Theatre in 1987, and she said she chose to direct this play again in celebration of the theater’s 50th anniversary and because of the show’s popularity with audiences.

“They will see history brought to life,” she said. “The Declaration of Independence is something people don’t think about very often because it was written so long ago. The historic characters feel like real people because their behavior is so similar to people today.”



BSO to Premiere Professor Felice's New Composition

BY Sarvary Koller '15

PUBLISHED ON Oct 23 2014

Frank Felice describes his new orchestral composition, “Time and Motion,” as the whirling, swirling, and settling of colorful sediment in a glass of water.

“It’s as if someone swirls the glass—it becomes more opaque, more zesty in its harmony, and then the piece settles down,” he said. “But it never returns to being completely transparent and clear.”

Frank Felice
Frank Felice


Felice, Associate Professor of the Butler University School of Music, will premiere his composition Sunday at 3:00 p.m. with the Butler Symphony Orchestra at the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts. Tickets are available at the Clowes Memorial Hall box office this week and at the Schrott Center two hours before the performance.

BSO Conductor Richard Clark approached Felice about composing a piece for the orchestra last year. Felice has composed a variety of works for the School of Music, with his last Butler Symphony Orchestra composition in 2002. (Check out his website here.)

Clark said it is a gift to have been given a brand new, challenging piece for the orchestra to tackle.

“He does not write easy,” Clark said. “There is something for everybody to really sink their teeth into. Players have to extend their techniques and ability to play this piece.”

Felice’s composition coexists well with the multiethnic and stylistic components of the Corelli, Faure, and Franck pieces to be played at the performance. Clark said the audience can expect to hear a diverse selection of music in style and time period.

“There will be awesome energy,” he said, “passion, sorrow, tragedy, wild moments and music spanning about 350 years.”

Felice will not sit in the audience on Sunday and silently critique the performance of his work, as he has with past compositions he has written. He will perform his piece as a member of the student orchestra, another cog in the wheel.

Clark said it is a wonderful opportunity for students to play a brand new piece alongside the composer who envisioned and created it. After several weeks of preparation, he said he looks forward to bringing this piece to life.

“It’s always exciting to give birth to a new work,” Clark said. “Something that has never been heard before by anyone. We’ll make it happen right here on stage.”


Announcing Our Winter Honorary Degree Recipients


PUBLISHED ON Oct 23 2014

Butler University will confer honorary degrees on alumnus Jauvon Gilliam ’01 and Betty Kessler, who earned her teaching certificate from Butler in 1937, during the December 21 winter commencement at Clowes Memorial Hall. The ceremony begins at 2:00 p.m.

Nearly 175 students are expected to graduate.

Jauvon Gilliam
Jauvon Gilliam

Gilliam was named Principal Timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2009 at age 29. Since 2011, he has been performing regularly as Guest Principal Timpanist of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He also plays regularly with the PBS All-Star Orchestra, a group of players from orchestras across the United States.

Prior to his NSO appointment, Gilliam was Timpanist of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) for seven years. He has also performed with The Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Bear Valley Music Festival.

As an educator, Gilliam has led clinics at universities and institutions across Canada and the United States, including the Interlochen Arts Academy, New World Symphony, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He currently serves as Director of Percussion Studies and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Maryland, Timpani Coach for the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, and Co-Founder of the annual Washburgh Timpani Seminar.

A native of Gary, Indiana, Gilliam began his musical career playing piano, winning his first national competition at age 11. He received a full scholarship in piano performance to attend Butler University, and later changed to full-time percussion study. He graduated with honors with a degree in Arts Administration and continued his graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

“Jauvon Gilliam is renowned for his mastery of the timpani,” Butler University President James M. Danko said. “Both in his individual musical accomplishments and in his role within the orchestra, he exemplifies the Butler Way. He has achieved phenomenal personal success—and all the while, he has supported the creativity and talent of his colleagues by serving as the backbone of a team.”

Betty Kessler’s story exemplifies Ovid Butler’s vision for providing women with access to higher education. She arrived at Butler in 1935 with only one dress in her suitcase and a strong determination to become a teacher of young children. Kessler, now 97, worked in the Butler cafeteria to help pay her college expenses. Her favorite part of the job was serving lunch to Coach Tony Hinkle.

Betty Kessler
Betty Kessler

In sharing her memories of the Butler University community, she repeatedly used the word “kindness.” She said she was surrounded by people who cared deeply about her as a person and as a student.

She completed the two-year certificate program at Butler that was required at that time to become an elementary teacher in Indiana. She later earned an education degree through Indiana State University, but regrets that she did not receive a four-year degree from Butler.

Kessler’s teaching career spanned over 30 years in the small town of Morocco, Indiana, where she made a positive impact on thousands of lives. Her former students continue to visit her regularly, and Morocco named a park in her honor.

Her niece, Barb Greenburg, graduated from Butler and spent 43 years on the Butler faculty teaching Physical Education courses and coaching the women’s softball team. Greenburg’s two daughters, Mandy and Wendy, received their degrees from Butler’s College of Education and are teaching in the Indianapolis Public School system. This fall Wendy’s daughter, Casey, also enrolled in the College of Education to continue her great-great aunt’s legacy.

“Betty Kessler embodies the exceptional character and legacy to which the entire Butler community aspires.” Danko said. “She is remembered by her students with love and respect. Her professional excellence and dedication to the success of young people has been—and continues to be—an inspiration to us all.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan


In Lantzer's Book, the Battle Between the 'Wets' and 'Drys' Goes On


PUBLISHED ON Oct 20 2014

Prohibition officially began nearly 100 years ago, and that upcoming anniversary has generated ever-increasing attention to the topic. So this appears to be the perfect time for Interpreting the Prohibition Era at Museums and Historic Sites, the new book by Jason Lantzer, Butler’s Honors Program Coordinator.

jasonlantzer13The first half or more of his book looks at America’s love and hate of alcohol prior to and including the 1919 passage of the 18th Amendment, which outlawed the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors in the United States. That section includes a chapter on the brewing industry and the rise of breweries and saloons as both small businesses and also the local arm of big business. Lantzer explains how these enterprises interacted, why we ended up with Prohibition when we did, the eventual repeal in 1933, and a little about its lasting legacy.

The second section offers an overview of how historical societies and museums present the topic of Prohibition to contemporary audiences. Like the Oklahoma museum that looked at its state’s decision to keep Prohibition in place into the 1950s. And the Indiana Historical Society’s “You Are There” exhibit, where visitors encounter a re-created police station after a bust was made of a local still. And the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia’s high-tech exhibit based on Ken Burns’ PBS series on Prohibition.

“So, if your historical society wanted to do something on Prohibition, you can pull this book and say, not only is it a quick history of the event, but here are examples of how others did it,” Lantzer said.

The early reviews are raves.

Interpreting the Prohibition Era at Museums and Historic Sites is exactly the kind of book that busy interpreters, curators, and museum administrators need,” wrote Daniel Vivian, Assistant Professor of History and Director of Public History Program, University of Louisville. “His guidelines demonstrate the enduring relevance of Prohibition while offering suggestions for telling meaningful, engaging stories about it. Interpreting the Prohibition Era is sure to become a standard resource for public historians and museum professionals.”

Lantzer’s book is part of an interpreting history series by publisher Rowman & Littlefield. He said they approached him because of his first book, "Prohibition Is Here to Stay:" The Reverend Edward S. Shumaker and the Dry Crusade in America, which came out in 2009.0759124310

Lantzer’s interest in Prohibition began in graduate school at Indiana University (he also earned his bachelor’s and master’s there) when he was looking for a topic for his dissertation. His advisor, History Professor James H. Madison, suggested that he look at how the Methodist Church in Indiana interacted with the Republican Party and the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, and how church issues became political issues, and vice versa.

Lantzer began looking at church records. “If you look at Methodist church bulletins, the talk of temperance predates the 18th Amendment by decades,” he said. “I was intrigued by the topic, and I had my hook.”

He also had the angle of the Klan operating the National Horse Thief Detective Association, a quasi-police group, which enabled its members to harass their enemies. And he had the good fortune of getting in touch with the last living son of the superintendent of the Indiana Anti-Saloon League, who had his dad’s untouched papers in his attic.

“With this book, I got to return to the world of ‘wets’ and ‘drys’ and revisit some of the things I wrote and some of the scholarship I consulted a few years ago,” Lantzer said. “It’s all still timely and topical, even though it happened over a century ago.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan