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Dujuan

Thinking Big, Achieving More

Pat Pickett Snyder ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

As a student at Butler University, DuJuan McCoy set his sights on success. The Ben Davis High School graduate and recipient of a Christamore House scholarship was dedicated in both the classroom as a Business/Marketing major and on the athletic field as a record-holding Bulldog sprinter.

The prowess and inner drive that helped him navigate his undergraduate years has propelled him into significant roles of management and ultimately ownership in the broadcast industry. He currently owns five television stations as President and CEO of Bayou City Broadcasting, including CBS and Fox affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and three stations (Fox, NBC, and Mynetwork TV) in Lafayette, Louisiana.

According to McCoy, his desire to rise through the ranks was established early in his career while in his first job at WTTV-4, Indianapolis.

“In 1991, the station was sold to River City Broadcasting. One of the partners was a guy named Barry Baker, a 38-year-old entrepreneur,” McCoy recalls. “He stands up in front of the whole sales team and says, ‘I’m looking for athletes who want to make a lot of jack.’ From that day forward, I wanted to be like that guy. I trained my brain to learn as much as I could about my craft, and I became the top sales guy by 25. I just took my athletic principals and applied them to the business world.”

His experience includes over 13 years of television sales management in market sizes ranging from No. 105 to No. 10. He has worked with small, medium, and large ownership groups in different regions of the country, including Capitol Broadcasting, River City Broadcasting, Sinclair Broadcasting, and Fox Television Stations Group, managing revenue budgets ranging from $4 million to more than $130 million annually and he now has over 10 years of M and A experience

“When I started really chasing my dream of station ownership,” he said. “I let enough people know that’s what I wanted to do, and heard a lot of, ‘that will never happen, there’s too much consolidation going on in the industry’—but I didn’t let that dissuade me.”

McCoy believes that despite an increasingly competitive media landscape, the future remains bright for local broadcast TV stations. “In a time of crisis—a hurricane, a tornado—people turn to their local station. That’s never going to go away.”

His reputation of turning around stations and increasing revenue followed him throughout the industry to his last job as Vice President of Sales for Rupert Murdoch’s Fox 26 in Houston. “When I started, their annual revenue was roughly $90 million, and in four years, I  took it to over $130 million based on my skills and strategy,” he said. In July of 2007, he left Fox 26, formed Bayou City Broadcasting, and agreed to purchase seven, at the time, unprofitable stations in West Texas for $3 million.  

“Five years later, I was able to sell them for nearly seven times that amount,” he said. My track record was solidified and, even during the recession, my companies profited.” That success attracted the attention of Bain Capital who provided the backing needed for his currently owned stations.

Amid all that success, it’s not lost on McCoy that his success is unique on more than one level. “For whatever reason, I was never given a shot as a station general manager,” he said. “I skipped that step, so to speak.”

His recent station acquisitions are of special significance according to the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters where McCoy serves on the Board of Directors. “Even though constituting 14 percent of the total population, African Americans own only 12 full-power, commercial television stations out of the 1300 full-power, commercial television stations in the United States.” McCoy is currently the only African American to own, operate, and manage every aspect of a big-4 affiliate (ABC, NBC, CBS, or Fox) in the United States. His company has no joint sales agreements, shared service agreements, financing agreements, or any other ‘sidecar’ agreements with any group station owners. His company is a stand-alone operation.”          

Beyond that, the organization refers to McCoy as a “broadcaster’s broadcaster.”

“Upon acquiring his television stations…he immediately upgraded the service that his stations provided to that community,” the organization noted in a 2017 press release. “He hired staff and launched new local newscasts in Evansville and increased local news production in Lafayette, which had an immediate, positive impact on the community served by those stations. In addition, for the past 10 years, McCoy has been paying his success forward by teaching other TV Executives (with an emphasis on women and people of color), how to do what he has done all via the National Association of Broadcasters--Broadcast Leadership Training Program in Washington, DC. 

Dujuan
People

Thinking Big, Achieving More

"I trained my brain to learn as much as I could about my craft, and I became the top sales guy by 25. I just took my athletic principals and applied them to the business world.”

by Pat Pickett Snyder ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

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Dave

Beam Me Up, Scottie

Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

A product of Butler University’s Radio/Television program (now part of the College of Communication), Dave Arland ’85 began his career working a graveyard shift at an automated radio station that played easy listening music … not exactly the stuff of which dreams are made. 

That rather inauspicious beginning led to big things that included working at the then top-rated news station in the city (WIBC), serving as the Press Secretary for four-term Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut, and ultimately landing at Thomson/RCA in 1991 where he became Vice President of Global Consumer Marketing. One of those jobs you think you’ll be in forever—until you’re not. Dave Arland and company at CES“I was there 16 years, but the last five produced a major shift away from the consumer business to B2B,” he recounts. “Every week, I was getting additional budget cuts and having a difficult conversation with someone.” Eventually, his job was eliminated as well, and for the first time in a long time, his future wasn’t so certain. 

Friends encouraged him to launch his own firm—a rather daunting task if you’ve never run a business before. But another friend gave a stellar piece of advice: “What’s the worst that can happen? It’s an epic fail, and you go to work for some big company.” 

Arland started with one client that soon became three that became six. “We moved out of my spare bedroom and into this office about six years ago,” he says, nodding to the wall covered with his beloved deck of the Starship Enterprise (yes, he’s a Trekkie of galactic proportion). “I hired my first full-time employee and then a second. It just grew.” 

In January, Arland Communications celebrated its 10th anniversary. He has built upon the expertise in the consumer electronics industry gained through his time at Thomson/RCA to become a major player working for large manufacturers like LG and Panasonic (both in the U.S. and Japan), as well as the Consumer Technology Association that stages the annual CES. As one of the largest tradeshows in the world—with 185,000 attendees in Las Vegas for four days in a space equivalent to 47 Lucas Oil Stadiums—it garners hours of air time via reporters interested in the “next big thing.” 

Staying nimble and relevant in the fast-moving pace of electronics and technology can present a challenge in and of itself. Calling himself a “reluctant entrepreneur,” Arland credits Butler with the preparation that enabled him to succeed. 

“I picked Butler because of the Radio/Television program; they had a great intern program and offered substantial on-air experience,” he says. “It may not have prepared me for the exact place I am now, but I’d like to think Butler prepared me for new challenges and being willing to learn.” 

And willing to change. He continues, “You have to learn to not fall into the same old way you’ve done things. I keep up by hiring people younger and smarter than me ... they are amazing and do incredible work.” Among those people is Butler graduate Joshua Phelps ’12 as well as a rotation of interns from his alma mater that he touts as “fabulous.” 

Dave Arland in a StudebakerMore than three decades after he graduated, Arland offers three timeless pieces of advice: 

  • Find a way to work somewhere doing something so you get a taste of what the real world is like. It may not be the be-all-end-all, but you have to show initiative, be thorough, and find a way in. In my case, working late at night at an easy listening station led to other opportunities. 
  • If you are a student, immerse yourself in something but experience everything. I didn’t have the highest GPA; I wasn’t aiming for that. But I was very involved—from choir and marching band to the radio station to being an officer in my fraternity (Lambda Chi Alpha). 
  • Get out of your bubble. I took a class called “Change and Tradition” that was taught by noted professor Emma Lou Thornbrough. We were on opposite ends of the political and life spectrum, and I learned so much. If you’re a college Democrat and I bleed blue, or a college Republican and bleed red, get out of your bubble to listen and respect other opinions. The world is not a bubble just for what you want to hear. 
Dave
PeopleCommunity

Beam Me Up, Scottie

“Immerse yourself in something but experience everything.” 

by Patricia Pickett ’82 APR

from Spring 2018

Read more
Dinner

Dinner with 10 Bulldogs

Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We Need You!

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

Dinner
GivingPeopleCommunity

Dinner with 10 Bulldogs

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

by Megan Ward MS ’13

from Spring 2018

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Max

That's the Ticket

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

In October 1956, Schumacher was finishing a two-year stint in the Army and thinking about what to do with his Journalism degree from Butler. He picked up a copy of the Indianapolis Star—he had his subscription forwarded to Fort Sheridan, Illinois, where he was stationed—and read a one-paragraph news brief reporting that Marjorie Smyth, the ticket manager for the Indianapolis Indians baseball team, was leaving. 

Schumacher called his mentor, J.R. Townshend Sr., who knew Frank McKinney Sr., the Indians’ Chairman of the Board, to help him arrange an interview. That December, Schumacher went to McKinney’s Fidelity Bank office on East Market Street. After a brief conversation, McKinney wrote a note on a little piece of paper and told Schumacher to take the note to Ray Johnston, the team’s General Manager. 

“He didn’t put it in an envelope,” Schumacher said. “He just handed it to me. He wrote something like: ‘This is the young man I talked to you about for the open position at the ballpark.’” 

Schumacher took the paper to Johnston. He was hired. 

Over the next dozen years, Schumacher advanced from Ticket Manager to Public Relations Director to General Manager to President and Chairman—a position he held for 47 years until he retired at the end of 2016. In that time, the Indians won 19 divisions and eight league championships, turned a profit for 42 consecutive years after periods of financial losses, and moved into a downtown Indianapolis ballpark still considered one of the best in America. 

“After I graduated from Butler, I thought I’d get a regular job—work for the Star, maybe—or be in somebody’s PR department or putting together publications for some corporation,” he said. “This just dropped in my lap.” 

Truly a Butler Family 

Schumacher grew up at 44th Street and Winthrop Avenue in Indianapolis, his academic future seemingly preordained. His father, a musician, and his mother, who worked in a downtown department store and later at a bank, both went to Butler when the campus was in Irvington. His two older sisters preceded him on the Fairview campus. “I never thought about anything else other than Butler,” he said. 

As a sophomore at Shortridge High School, where his classmates included future U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and author Dan Wakefield, Schumacher became interested in Journalism. He also played second base on the Shortridge team, which was coached by Jerry Steiner, a 1940 Butler graduate and future Butler Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. Steiner accompanied Schumacher on a visit to ask Tony Hinkle about an athletic scholarship. They arrived to find Hinkle cutting the grass, his leg in a cast—the result of a lawnmower accident from a previous session mowing the baseball field. 

Schumacher remembers Hinkle’s response. “He said, ‘Well, kiddo’—everybody was ‘kiddo’—‘we have a great school here. It’s a wonderful school. We announce when baseball practice starts, and you can come out for ball.’ He didn’t say baseball. And away we go. Long story short, that’s what I did.” 

Schumacher drove his 1936 Chevrolet Coupe the two miles to Butler (later upgrading to a ’41 Pontiac), where he studied Journalism and walked on to the baseball team. He was surprised at his first game when Hinkle called out, “Hey, Schuey, coach third base.” He did that for two years before earning some playing time in his last two years. (His best game, four hits in four at-bats against DePauw was overshadowed by teammate Norm Ellenberger, who threw a no-hitter that day.) 

When Schumacher wasn’t playing ball, he was in class or writing for The Butler Collegian. He worked his way up to Editor, but when the boss at his summer job—public relations for Junior Baseball, a citywide youth baseball program—asked him to stay on during the school year, Schumacher chose the paying job. 

Time to Go to Work 

That turned out to be the right decision: The man who ran Junior Baseball, J.R. Townsend Sr., would later provide the introduction to Frank McKinney Sr. with the Indianapolis Indians. 

By his senior year, Schumacher also had a second job with the Indianapolis Times. He took calls from sports correspondents at high schools, gathering information for box scores and game stories. He also wrote his own stories occasionally—like on the night of March 20, 1954, when he was sent to the tiny town of Milan to see if there was anyone around. (Almost everyone was in Indianapolis, watching their team win the state high school basketball championship.) 

“I loved that,” Schumacher said. “I really loved that. That got me hooked on Journalism.” 

With what he learned in classes, on The Collegian, and through his outside jobs, he graduated with skills that translated well for what was to come next. 

“I thought at the typewriter better than longhand, so to have correspondence that had to go out to somebody for Indians’ business, I could sit down and compose a coherent letter and fire it into the mail to them,” he said. “I was very happy with my education. It helped me develop the necessary skills to be successful, and I had what it took to get started.” 

Building a Franchise and Family 

From 1957 until he stepped down in 2016, Max Schumacher experienced enormous successes—and the occasional hiccups. He once traded a future Cy Young Award winner (Mike Cuellar), but he also helped assemble teams that won four consecutive championships in the 1980s. The 1986 title, won in the bottom of the ninth inning of the seventh game when the Indians’ Billy Moore drove in the winning run off future star Rob Dibble, remains a personal favorite. 

Perhaps his greatest success in those years was meeting and marrying Judy Whybrew, an Indiana University graduate who worked on the Indians’ ticket staff. Schumacher had been hired to replace her friend Marge Smith as ticket manager, “and I was not real well received because I was replacing her friend,” he said. “But we got to know each other well, and we fell in love later.” Bruce, their first son, who succeeded Max as Indians Chairman of the Board and CEO, was born in 1959, followed by Brian, Karen, and Mark, and they now have five grandchildren. 

Over the years, Schumacher had opportunities to go to the major leagues, but he turned them down. He grew up in Indianapolis and, except for his two years in the Army, has lived here his entire life. With the Indians, he was more or less his own boss, and he was instrumental in building one of America’s great minor-league franchises. He’s particularly proud that for the team’s employees, “to have on their resume that they worked for the Indianapolis Indians is a pretty good line to have.” 

“I never had the feeling that I wanted to be a big guy in my industry,” he said. “A lot of people think if you work in baseball, you need to get to the major leagues if you want to be a success. So many people have said to me, ‘I thought you would have been in the major leagues by now.’ If you’re an attorney, do you have to work in New York or Chicago or Los Angeles to be successful in your profession? No. And I don’t, either.” 

Max
AthleticsPeopleCommunity

That's the Ticket

Can one little newspaper story change a life? It did for Max Schumacher ’54. 

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

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Marc Williams

A Philanthropic Vibe

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

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

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

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

The through line for all of this? Butler. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marc Williams
GivingPeopleCommunity

A Philanthropic Vibe

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

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

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Ramonna

Accentuate the Positive

Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

During her 25 years as a public relations practitioner, Ramonna Robinson ’93 has seen the best and worst the world has to offer. 

Within a year after graduation, she was traveling handling communications for the Pan Am Games, Goodwill Games, and the Olympics. 

Six years later, she’d been the Lakewood (Colorado) Police Department’s spokesperson for just six weeks when the Columbine High School shootings occurred. “It was trial by fire,” Robinson said, “and that is where I learned ‘on the job’ and honed my crisis communication skills.” 

At those jobs and others, Robinson has used what she learned at Butler—and in the field—to accentuate the positive and minimize the negative for a slew of clients. 

“I rave about Butler all the time,” said Robinson, whose first name is her mom’s middle name, Ann, and her dad’s first name, Omar, spelled backwards. “I got a great education, a great mixture of professors and adjuncts who came in from the real world—especially in some of my advertising classes, where we looked at campaigns and how things are applied—and values that were instilled in me that stick with me to this day.” 

Robinson grew up in Greenwood, Indiana, and chose Butler for radio/TV. But as a member of the WAJC staff, she kept losing her voice. An examination discovered nodules on her vocal cords, so she switched her major to Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. 

She remembers Gay Wakefield, who ran the department, and her advisor, Journalism Professor Art Levin, as being particularly influential and helpful. Levin helped arrange her schedule so she could study at Murdoch University in Australia for a full year and still graduate from Butler on time. 

One of Wakefield’s classes helped propel Robinson into the sports industry upon graduation—first leading communications for a national gymnastics organization and then to Indiana Sports Corp., where she handled communications for events in Indianapolis like the Olympic trials for swimming and diving. 

In 1998, Robinson visited Colorado “and realized that the sun comes out in the winter and people get outside year-round to enjoy the mountains and everything Colorado has to offer.’” Though the closest she’d been to law enforcement was getting a speeding ticket, she got the job with the Lakewood Police Department. In her first year there, she worked on Columbine, two officer-involved shootings, and a record number of homicides. 

After that, she had the opportunity to take over the marketing and public relations for Swedish Medical Center outside of Denver. She spent five years there in a role that expanded to include physician relations and new business development. While there, Robinson helped the hospital celebrate its 100th anniversary by putting together a commemorative book, arranging publicity for a community immunization project, and planning a gala celebration. 

During that time, she mentioned to a friend that she was open to new opportunities. That friend connected Robinson with Laura Love, the owner of GroundFloor Media, and “I left a 100-year-old hospital for a 4-year-old PR agency.” 

That was in 2005. Robinson has since become part owner of the agency, which is located around the corner from Coors Field. She’s helped the firm evolve into digital marketing and social media strategies, guiding clients through successes and crises, and is building a culture that has landed the agency in the top five on Outside magazine’s best places to work list for the past five years. (One of her clients is Sun King, the hugely successful Indianapolis-based brewery founded by her dad and her brother Clay.) 

Though Robinson’s plan had been to be in the media, she said everything has worked out well. She credits Butler with kick-starting her career. 

“The education I got there and the class size and the attention to detail that I learned at Butler,” she said, “has stuck with me and served me well.” 

Ramonna
People

Accentuate the Positive

During her 25 years as a public relations practitioner, Ramonna Robinson ’93 has seen the best and worst the world has to offer. 

by Marc D. Allan MFA ’18

from Spring 2018

Read more
Chad

Engine of Opportunity

Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

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

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

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

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

Effective keywords 

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

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

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

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

Intelligent search 

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

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

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

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

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

Results returned 

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

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

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

Giving Back by Giving Chances 

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

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

Chad
AcademicsGivingPeople

Engine of Opportunity

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

by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Spring 2018

Read more
marielle slagel

Marielle Slagel Keller '14

Megan Ward MS ’13

from Fall 2017

She had it all planned—her schedule, dorm, roommate. She was certain she was going to Purdue. I mean she grew up in Lafayette, Indiana—home of the Boilermakers.  

But, you know what they say about best-laid plans. 

Marielle Slagel Keller ’14 decided to take a campus tour at Butler a week before her final decision was due. Slagel Keller confided, “I had never seen anything like Butler. I knew it was where I needed to be.”  

While the campus tour may look a bit different now with all of the physical changes taking place, Keller said she thinks “Butler has been smart about the changes so that it doesn’t impact the overall community Butler inspires.” 

Keller did admit it was hard to watch Schwitzer get torn down. Understandable given the impact her first-year roommate had on her life—Keller says she taught her about the unique challenges minorities face. A lesson that served her well while getting her degree in Elementary Education, and now as a Kindergarten and First Grade Teacher at the IPS/Butler University Lab School in Indianapolis. 

Keller says something that defines her teaching is the project work she does with her students. From the creation of an insect hotel at the school for insects that are losing their habitats in the city to this year’s “Peace Project” that, among other things, included making wind chimes (renamed “kindness travelers”) that students placed randomly around the city. 

Her favorite student project, however, is a quilt of the city with silhouettes of the students flying over it. Keller shared, “[The students] painted and sewed it themselves ... and wrote their hopes and dreams for the city on it.” 

Working at the IPS/Butler Lab School, Keller remains tied to Butler in a way many alumni are not. As she put it, “I’m lucky to be at the Lab School where I get to see my professors on a regular basis.” 

A professor who has had a particular impact on Keller is Cathy Hartman. They even represented the United States together at a global conference in China—modeling teaching in front of hundreds of people. While Keller served as a Vice President of the Student Government Association, she says she gained perspective at Butler and met her husband, Mike Keller ’14.  

It’s clear that the relationships built at Butler matter. And it’s one thing Keller hopes will never change at Butler—students becoming family. 

“I would walk to class and say hello to 20 people on the way. I hope Butler doesn’t lose that.”

 

marielle slagel
People

Marielle Slagel Keller '14

by Megan Ward MS ’13

from Fall 2017

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What's It Like To Find a Roommate

By Malachi White '20

One of the most stressful and exciting aspects of going into your first year of college is who your roommate is going to be. Will I like them? Will they like me? What if they stay up all night, or aren’t very clean? What if they like to go to bed early and are super clean?

Having a random roommate can be a fabulous experience because you may become best friends. However, if your random match seems a bit too random, Butler University opens a window of time to switch roommates or switch dorms.

Another option other than going random is to use Facebook as a resource to find a compatible roommate(s). When accepted into Butler, students are added to a group on Facebook with the rest of their class. Many students use Facebook to meet and chat with potential roommates instead of getting paired. By selecting their own roommate, some find peace of mind because the decision is in their hands rather than the school’s.

My Experience

My first year experience was unique because I lived in Fairview House during its inaugural year. I had six pod mates and all of them were randomly assigned except one, Sean, who I met on Facebook. Moving from high school to college, from home to a dorm, came with a lot of change for everyone. The year was filled with a lot of laughs and some of your typical first-year drama. Maybe we were always destined to be friends or maybe it was the circumstances of first year, but of my six roommates, I found two of my very best friends, Sean who I met on Facebook and Eric, who I will live with again next year.  

Although we are very different, Sean and I can tell each other almost anything. He’s a supportive friend who has stood by me through thick and thin. When recruitment during Greek rush did not work out in my favor, Sean never turned his back on me even when he did receive a bid/invitation to join his now fraternity. I went to all his philanthropy events that I could fit into my schedule, and he came to as many of choral concerts as he could. We even had a near death experience when going to visit his best friend at Notre Dame where we slid on the road one snowy night!

Although Eric was randomly assigned to me my first year on campus, we realized pretty quickly that we had a lot in common. One of those similarities is that we are both very picky eaters. I can’t tell you how many times we took field trips to new local restaurants around Indianapolis to escape having to eat in the dining hall every day. I’ve gone back home with him and his girlfriend for Fall Break and finally had the opportunity to explore Chicago. Sure things aren’t always perfect...I can’t even count the number of times we’ve argued, but at the end of the day I know that Eric always has my back and vice versa.

No Perfect Formula

Like my own experience, there is no perfect formula when it comes to finding roommates. You may find two best friends, or probably just as likely, you may not. Stories of awful roommates are told all the time, but so are the stories of roommates who end up being groomsmen and bridesmaids. However, no matter the outcome, Butler provides a community for everyone to be a part of. College is a time for growth and learning, new experiences, and new people. So be optimistic about your first year at Butler and the people you will be surrounded by, because you can definitely create some of your fondest memories together.

 

 

Roommates
Student LifePeople

What's It Like To Find a Roommate

​One of the most stressful and exciting aspects of going into your first year of college is who your roommate is going to be.

mark dobson

Changing Communities for the Better

Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Fall 2017

Mark Dobson ’84 credits his Butler University professors for turning him into “an ornery SOB” and his father for teaching him to “do the right thing.”

“They all fired me up,” he said, laughter and gratitude in his voice.

While his alma mater is sparking new community groups among student-residents, Dobson has been sparking community involvement in local government for two decades. He’s had one overarching mission: To get individuals directly involved in creating social change in their communities. 

Passion and bluster

Dobson willingly admits he entered public service “with bluster.” Prior to his current position as President/CEO of the Elkhart County Economic Development Corp., he was President/CEO of the Kosciusko County and St. Joseph County (now South Bend Regional) Chambers of Commerce in northern Indiana. Before then, he was President of the St. Joseph County Commissioners and once told the South Bend Tribune that the real burden on taxpayers was the many layers of local government.

“Coming in, I had all these grand ideas and probably made some statements that would’ve been offensive to folks that had actually served in government,” he said ruefully. “But I finally learned it’s typically not the people that are the problem. It’s the systems we give them [to operate within] that cause the problems. I changed my attitude tremendously.” 

Dobson quickly became known for his fiery advocacy of reducing government’s influence on people’s lives. In St. Joseph County, he established a Community Leader Forum and rebuilt the state’s Public Policy Division to ensure residents and businesses had a voice. He then led the Kosciusko Chamber through unprecedented growth and implemented the Chamber’s visionary strategic plan, earning him the Indiana Chamber Executive of the Year title in 2014. 

Calling himself “a fairly average student at Butler,” some of Dobson’s success surprises himself.

“I didn’t set the world on fire then, but a couple of things stayed with me,” he said. “The Butler Way was alive and well in the 1980s—we just didn’t have it branded that way. But the principles were the same. And professors in Butler’s business department really challenged us to think outside the textbook, to think for ourselves, to have a lifelong learning experience.”

He recalled one frighteningly motivational entrepreneurial class in particular.

“The professor told me I’d fail if I didn’t get McDonald’s to move into the new food court on campus, and I believed her,” Dobson said. “I learned so much by engaging with a McDonald’s Franchise Director. It was an invaluable learning experience.”

Dobson has infused his government work with his entrepreneurial spirit, education, and early work experience in the private sector. The one constant ingredient for success?

“For years in the corporate world, we valued and involved our people. Why wouldn’t we do the same in government?” he said.

mark dobson
People

Changing Communities for the Better

by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

from Fall 2017

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bill dugan

Butler's Heart Remains the Same

Marc D. Allan

from Fall 2017

As a young man, Bill Dugan ’51 walked the Butler campus at a time when Hinkle Fieldhouse sat 15,000 and the Butler Bowl held 35,000, male students wore jackets and ties to basketball games, Robertson Hall was known as Sweeney Chapel, the Pharmacy Building and Atherton Center (now Union) were being built, and the campus had no dormitories.

Dugan, 87, who lives on the north side of Indianapolis, comes back to campus fairly often, and he says that while Butler’s exterior has changed, the heart is very much the same.  

“There were so many good people at Butler when I was in school—and there are still so many good, caring people
today,” he said.

Dugan spent most of his early years on a farm outside Huntingburg, in southern Indiana, the son of school teachers. He chose Butler after visiting campus with a high school friend. An academic scholarship paid a third of the $150 tuition bill, and he earned the rest by working as a campus janitor.

He lived off campus at 39th Street and Kenwood Avenue his first year and would catch a city bus or walk to campus. Sometimes, he said, Butler basketball star Marvin Cave
(later an Indiana Basketball Hall of Famer) would stop and pick him up. In his later years at Butler, he lived in the Sigma Nu house.

Dugan was going to be a teacher—his father talked him out of that—but majored in accounting instead. “I was a good student,” he said. “I studied hard because it was my money I was spending.”

One of his favorite professors was Bill Shors—“We called him ‘Wild Bill’ because he always had tales”—who taught accounting. Dugan said Shors was a great example of how much Butler professors care for their students.

“If you went to school there, he got you a job,” Dugan said. “My brother graduated from Indiana State a year after I did, and I called Bill Shors and he got my brother a job, too.”

Dugan’s first job was in accounting with Kingan’s, a meat-packing company at Washington Street and the White River. Around that time, he also began dating Joanne Aiman ’53, a Butler Business major who became his wife. They were married for 56 years until she died in 2014 (Bill gave a gift to the Hinkle Campaign to name the Dawg Pound’s North End in her memory. He also gave a gift to name the Interview Suite in the Career Development area of the new Lacy School of Business building.)

After Kingan’s, Dugan spent four years in the Air Force as an auditor at a General Electric plant in Cincinnati. When he got out of the military, he went to work for Spickelmier Company, a building-materials company, then Bowes Seal Fast, which sold automotive parts, and, finally, as a consultant for Barth Electric. 

Dugan always wanted to own a business, and he ended up buying two, both of which he still owns: NCS, an embroidery and screen printing business in Indianapolis; and Sign Crafters, an Evansville company that designs, manufactures, and installs business signs. He still owns both businesses today.

In the 1990s, while raising their daughter Candy, Dugan was commuting between Indianapolis and Evansville and Joanne was running D’Arcy’s Children’s Wear, a clothing store they bought. Candy went on to graduate from Butler in 1990, as did her husband, Neal Stock ’91.

Dugan said he has had a wonderful life, and he appreciates all that Butler has done for him.

“I’ve been so blessed and so lucky,” Dugan said. “I never dreamed that I’d have even an ounce of the success I’ve had that’s come my way. I have nothing but high praise for Butler.”

bill dugan
People

Butler's Heart Remains the Same

by Marc D. Allan

from Fall 2017

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afton

Feeding Our Future

Marc D. Allan

from Fall 2017

Four Butler alumni are doing their part to make sure that 7,500 children in Grand Rapids, Holland, and Muskegon, Michigan, have dinner tonight and every night.

What are you having for dinner tonight? For 7,500 kids in Grand Rapids, Michigan, today’s evening meal will be a hard-boiled egg, banana, and bags of snap peas and trail mix packed in a brown paper bag by some of the hundreds of volunteers who show up at Kids’ Food Basket (KFB) every day. 

Wearing T-shirts that say “Nourishing kids to be their best, in school and life,” they come to this 9,500-square-foot warehouse because they want to make sure that children in their community, who would otherwise go hungry, have something nutritious and tasty to eat when they go home from school. They come—lawyers, waitresses, and retirees alike, from all over the area—because they want to be part of the solution. 

“We all come to this organization in different doses,” said Renee Tabben ’94, “but I believe and feel the outcome we’re all working toward is very pure.” 

Tabben, a Director for Merrill Lynch, is one of the co-chairs of Kids’ Food Basket’s “Feeding Our Future” campaign to raise $6.4 million for the organization, and she’s one of four Butler graduates at KFB taking to heart the message that she learned as an undergraduate: We make a life by what we give. 

“I thought I was going to Butler to get an education, so all the focus was on how many credits I can take every semester,” Tabben said. “And I took a lot. I realize now that it wasn’t about the academics. The academics were great, and I’m very proud of that work, but it was more about the life experience and the expectations that were put out there that you contribute in a meaningful way.”

Tabben, an Arts Administration major at Butler, started as a Kids’ Food Basket volunteer after she moved to Grand Rapids in 2014. She ran into Matt Downey ’95, a fellow Arts Administration major who also lives in Grand Rapids and volunteers with KFB. He recommended that Tabben give time to the organization. 

Downey knows something about philanthropic organizations—he’s the Nonprofit Services Program Director for the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. 

“Not only is the mission important, but this is one of the most innovative, impactful organizations I’ve come across,” he said of KFB. “My team, we’ve worked with about 150 organizations in 17 Michigan cities every year. KFB has a way of thinking about their operations and innovation that is head and shoulders above most nonprofit organizations.”

Downey grew up in Kalamazoo and moved to Grand Rapids to take the job at Grand Valley State. It was there—in a master’s program—that he was “shocked” to meet another Butler alum, Afton DeVos ’05, who would later become the Associate Director of Kids’ Food Basket. DeVos had grown up in Grand Rapids and moved back after meeting her future husband, who had a thriving business here, at a wedding in Indianapolis. 

DeVos, an Integrated Communications major at Butler, wanted to be in the nonprofit world—she had been active in Relay for Life and other philanthropic endeavors as an undergrad—but found that she didn’t have the connections or the experience. So she went to Grand Valley State and got her Master of Public Administration with a nonprofit leadership focus. That led to jobs with the Christian Reform Church, followed by Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, a cancer support community. Then five years ago, Bridget Clark Whitney, the Executive Director of KFB, recruited her.

“The thought of a child going hungry was just unbelievable to me,” she said. “My husband and I had been regular volunteers at KFB, and my husband was on the finance committee. When the opportunity came to me, it felt like the right fit at the right time.”

DeVos has helped institute systems—like an ergonomically sound table, designed by Amway, which is headquartered here—to make the operation run more efficiently. In the last five years, KFB has grown to a mid-sized nonprofit with a staff of 36 and a reputation that Downey said is the envy of other organizations in the area for its ability to raise money and recruit volunteers. 

Kristen Guinn ’01, a Grand Rapids-area native, started volunteering at KFB when she moved back to west Michigan in 2008. Guinn, who came to Butler to study Pre-Law, ended up being a Math major—and then went to law school and became a trial attorney. Her firm volunteers regularly at KFB. Guinn had known DeVos for 20 years—their older sisters were good friends in high school—and when DeVos asked her to be part of the fundraising campaign committee, she said yes.

“There’s definitely a Butler bond,” Guinn said. “With Afton and I, just because we knew each other before, there’s a mutual respect and trust. Adding Butler to it is nice. I know a couple of other Butler folks in the area. You just kind of assume they’re good people.” 

And they are people doing good. If they have any doubts, they can look at the letters they get from children
who benefit. 

“Thank you for the sack suppers!” one child wrote. “I love the pink yogurt and sweet [sandwitch]. Food helps me think better. Your friend, Luis.”

afton
People

Feeding Our Future

by Marc D. Allan

from Fall 2017

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