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Artwork on Display, Inspired By Biblical Text

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 22 2015

Artists who participated in Butler University’s fall Religion, Spirituality, and the Arts symposium will show their work at a culminating exhibition on January 28 at Christian Theological Seminary’s Shelton Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
Isaac, the Defiant -- by KC Ferrill

More information can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/914161761927732/?ref=22

A reception at 6:00 p.m. will begin the evening with visual work from Kyle Ragsdale, Casey Eskridge, KC Ferrill, Sofiya Inger and Bruce Lowenthal, who were among the participants in this initiative designed to bring together people from diverse artistic disciplines, practices, and religious/spiritual perspectives for sustained study and reflection on a biblical text.

At 6:30 p.m., the program will begin with compositions and performances by Jean Arnold, Gabrielle Cerberville, Anthony Elia, Heidi Fledderjohn, Gail Payne, Wendy Vergoz, Shelly White Wood, and Roger Roe.

Twelve selected participants were part of the seminar, using sacred text to inspire new work that could include music, poetry, visual art, dance, drama, narrative, or liturgical art. The initiative is directed by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and is a project of the Butler Center for Faith and Vocation.

The project continues in spring 2015 with new artists. They are: Von Biggs, Michael Brady, Hector Hernandez, JL Kato, Kris Mobley, Kate Oberreich, Terry Ofner, Sherry Polley, Ben Rose, Jeff Rothenberg, Gary Walters, and Michele Woods.

Faculty participants for round three will be Michael Sells, Julia Muney Moore, and Shari Wagner.

 

 

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

Butler Study Abroad Program Ranked Among Nation's Best

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 22 2015

Butler University’s Global Adventures in the Liberal Arts (GALA) program, in which professors accompany students on a semester-long trip, has been named one of the top study-abroad programs in the country by bestcollegereviews.org.

“This program is perfect for the student who does not want to settle in one place, but wants to experience several cultures,” the website said. “While traveling, the faculty member teaches one course, and then students are joined at different locations by other faculty, who teach other courses related to the locale. In addition to GALA, Butler University offers over 100 other study abroad programs.”

GALA was ranked ninth among “The 50 Best Study Abroad Programs in America.”

More about GALA can be found here.

Monte Broaded, Butler’s Director of International Programs, said most of the courses offered during the GALA programs are designed to satisfy Butler core curriculum requirements that students would normally take in their second year.

“A course from Butler’s Global and Historical Studies program—such as Frontiers in Latin America, East Asian Interactions, Modernizing and Contemporary Europe, or Resistance and Reaction: Colonialism and Post-Colonialism in Africa—serves as an academic anchor for the GALA program,” he said.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu317-940-9822

Celebration of Diversity Lecture Series Announces Spring Speakers

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 21 2015

Actor/social activist George Takei, urban revitalization strategist and Peabody-winning radio broadcaster Majora Carter, and journalist Michel Martin will speak at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University this spring as part of the Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series.

Takei will begin the series on February 16, followed by Carter (March 18) and Martin (April 2).

Admission to all talks in the series is free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available in person at the Clowes Hall Box Office or online at Ticketmaster.com.

There is a limit of two tickets per person.

More about each speaker follows.

George TakeiGeorge Takei
February 16, 7:30 p.m.
Clowes Memorial Hall
“An Evening with George Takei”

Takei is an actor, social justice activist, social media mega-power, star of the upcoming Broadway musical Allegiance, host of the AARP-produced YouTube series “Takei’s Take,” and subject of To Be Takei, a documentary on his life and career.

Takei is known around the world for his founding role in the acclaimed television series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise. He starred in three seasons of Star Trek and later reprised his iconic role in six movies.

Mashable.com in 2012 reported Takei is the most influential person on Facebook, currently with more than 7.2 million likes. Takei also has more than 1.25 million followers on Twitter.

Takei, a Japanese American who from age 4 to 8 was unjustly interned in two U.S. internment camps during World War II, is an outspoken supporter of human right issues and community activist. Takei is Chairman Emeritus and a Trustee of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

The openly gay Takei has served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign "Coming Out Project," and was Cultural Affairs Chairman of the Japanese American Citizens League. He was appointed to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission by former President Clinton and the government of Japan awarded Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to U.S. - Japanese relations.

Majora CarterMajora Carter
March 18, 7:30 p.m.
Clowes Memorial Hall
“Home (town) Security”

Carter is probably the only person to receive an award from John Podesta's Center for American Progress and a Liberty Medal for Lifetime Achievement from Rupert Murdoch's New York Post. Fast Company named her one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business; The New York Times described her as "The Green Power Broker;" and the Ashoka Foundation's Changemakers.org recently dubbed her "The Prophet of Local."

Carter hosts the Peabody Award-winning public radio series "The Promised Land" and serves on the boards of the U.S. Green Building Council and The Wilderness Society. She has a
long list of awards and honorary degrees, including a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship.

Carter founded and led Sustainable South Bronx, from 2001 to 2008, when few were talking about "sustainability"—and even fewer in places like the South Bronx.

By 2003, Carter coined the phrase "Green the Ghetto" as she pioneered one of the nation's first urban green-collar job training and placement systems, and spearheaded legislation that fueled demand for those jobs. Her 2006 TEDtalk was one of six presentations to launch that groundbreaking website.

Since 2008, Carter's consulting company has exported climate adaptation, urban revitalization, and leadership development strategies for business, government, foundations, universities, and economically underperforming communities.

Michel MartinMichel Martin
April 2, 7:30 p.m.
Clowes Memorial Hall
“Tell Me More”

Martin has spent more than 25 years as a journalist—first in print with major newspapers and then in television. Her NPR show “Tell Me More,” which aired from 2007–2014, marked her debut as a full-time public radio show host. Martin has also served as contributor and substitute host for NPR newsmagazines and talk shows, including “Talk of the Nation” and “News & Notes.”

Martin joined NPR from ABC News, where she worked since 1992. She served as correspondent for “Nightline” from 1996 to 2006, reporting on such subjects as the Congressional budget battles, the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, racial profiling and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At ABC, she also contributed to numerous programs and specials, including the network's award-winning coverage of September 11, a documentary on the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas controversy, a critically acclaimed AIDS special, and reports for the ongoing series "America in Black and White."

Before joining ABC, Martin covered state and local politics for the Washington Post and national politics and policy at the Wall Street Journal, where she was White House Correspondent. She has also been a regular panelist on the PBS series “Washington Week” and a contributor to “NOW with Bill Moyers.”

 

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

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

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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
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

Butler University Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 16 2015

The Butler University Celebration of Diversity 2015 proudly presents the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration “Preserving the Legacy – Fulfilling the Dream” January 17-30 at various locations on and around campus.

Below is the schedule. For more information on these events, contact the Office of Diversity Programs at 317-940-6570.

Martin Luther King Jr.January 17

11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Peace Learning Center’s 17th Annual “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival” celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Enjoy music, dance, poetry, a community fair, and a free lunch. The festival will be held at the Christian Theological Seminary, 1100 West 42nd Street. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Peace Learning Center at 317-327-7144.

January 19

Noon

Songs of Freedom and Celebration Carillon Concert, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., performed by William E. Engle, University Carillonneur. The concert will take place in Holcomb Gardens, on the Butler University campus.

10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

MLK Day at the Indiana State Museum. All are invited to join the Indiana State Museum in celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with demonstrations, activities, and performances throughout the day. Admission is free with each canned good donated to Gleaners Food Bank.

11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

All are invited to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Indianapolis Museum of Art., 4200 North Michigan Road. Enjoy a day full of interactive activities to honor Dr. King’s legacy, including gallery tours, games, art activities, and continuous film screenings designed for all ages. Admission is free. For more information, call 317-923-1331, ext. 214.

6:30 p.m.

“Fulfilling the Dream,” a candlelight reflection honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The ceremony will be held in the Efroymson Diversity Center, Atherton Union 004.

January 20    

7:00 p.m.

Diversity Expressions Series, celebrating films on the Civil Rights Movement, presents

King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis (1970), an Academy Award-nominated documentary that follows the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his decades of civil rights activism. Narrated by Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. The screening will take place in the Efroymson Diversity Center. Refreshments will be served.

January 22

7:00 p.m.

The Diversity Expressions Series presents Four Little Girls (1997), Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed documentary that chronicles the story of the four young victims of the Birmingham church bombing. The screening will be held in the Efroymson Diversity Center. Refreshments will be served.

January 24
6:00 p.m.

“Stand Together for Justice, a prayer vigil and interactive discussion on “knowing your rights,” with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. The event will be held in the Reilly Room, Atherton Union. Sponsored by the Black Student Union.

January 27

7:00 p.m.

Diversity Expressions Series presents Freedom Riders (2010), the critically acclaimed documentary by Stanley Nelson that chronicles the inspirational story of American civil rights activists’ peaceful fight against racial segregation on buses and trains in the 1960s. The screening will be held in the Efroymson Diversity Center. Refreshments will be served.

January 28

6:00 p.m.

I Can’t Breathe! What Would King Do? A dialogue to explore the impact of Dr. King’s philosophical perspective on contemporary societal issues, with a focus on the resurgence of social and political activism. The dialogue will be held in the Efroymson Diversity Center. Refreshments will be served.

January 29

7:00 p.m.

Gospel in the DC, an evening of music, praise and fellowship, featuring Butler’s Voices of Deliverance Gospel Choir. The performance will be held in the Efroymson Diversity Center. Co-sponsored by Diversity Programs and the Voices of Deliverance Gospel Choir.

Film Screenings and Dialogue

Continuous Screenings will be held in the Efroymson Diversity Center, Atherton Union, Room 004

January 20
The Speeches Collection, Volume 1 (2002). Follow Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s electrifying speeches from his early days as a young pastor in Montgomery to the march on Washington.

January 22

Martin Luther King Jr. The Man and the Dream (1997). A&E Biography profiles Dr. Martin Luther King, providing rare footage and exclusive interviews go beyond the myths and bring his story to life.

January 27

KING: Go Beyond the Dream to Discover the Man (2008). A&E History takes viewers through the extraordinary life and times of America’s civil rights visionary.

January 30

Eyes on the Prize, Part 1 (Episode 6)Bridge to Freedom: 1965 (1987). PBS’s groundbreaking documentary on the American civil rights movement. This episode covers Bloody Sunday and the historic Selma-to-Montgomery march.

Butler University's "Celebration of Diversity 2015" Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday activities are sponsored by the Black Student Union, Efroymson Diversity Center, Voices of Deliverance Gospel Choir, Student Government Association, R.E.A.C.H., Clowes Memorial Hall, Division of Student Affairs, Peace Learning Center Inc., Indianapolis Museum of Art, Morton-Finney Leadership Program, and the Office of Diversity Programs.

The Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series is a Collaborative Diversity Initiative between Butler University and the Office of the Mayor, City of Indianapolis, with generous support from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Citizens Energy Group, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Old National Bank, The Kroger Company, Radio One, and The Columbia Club.

 

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

Fred Hammond to Headline 26th Annual GospelFest

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 13 2015

Fred Hammond, the “father of urban gospel,” will headline Butler University’s 26th annual GospelFest on Saturday, February 7, at 7:00 p.m. in Clowes Memorial Hall, with special guests Hezekiah Walker and Le’Andria Johnson.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $36 for seniors, and $32 for students. They’re available at the Clowes Hall box office and Ticketmaster. For more information, contact the Butler University Office of Diversity Programs at 317-940-6570.
Fred HammondGospelFest 2015 is presented by the Butler University Office of Diversity Programs, Efroymson Diversity Center, djgeno.com, Meridian Media Productions, WHMB-TV, and the stations of Radio One.

More about the artists follows. (Information from allmusic.com)

Hammond, a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and vocalist for the soulful black gospel group Commissioned during the 1980s and 1990s, also became one of the most popular praise and worship leaders in the field. Born in Detroit, Hammond began singing with his church choir at the age of 12. He played bass and sang with the Winans during the early 1980s, then joined Commissioned later in the decade. Hammond's concurrent solo career began in 1991 with I Am Persuaded. Hammond set up his own label imprint, Hammond Family Entertainment, and released the CD/DVD set Life in the Word in 2010. God, Love & Romance followed in 2012. Hammond is a Grammy winner, and has won multiple Dove and Stellar Awards.

Brooklyn, New York-based Pastor Walker was the leader of the Love Fellowship Tabernacle Church Choir, one of the most popular choral groups in contemporary gospel. Debuting in 1990 with Crusade Choir, Walker and his singers quickly became one of the star attractions on the church circuit, earning their greatest success to date when 1994's Live in Atlanta at Morehouse College scored a Grammy. His most recent recordings include Souled Out (2008) and Azusa: The Next Generation (2013).

Johnson was the twice-divorced single mother of three children when she fell on hard times, losing her home to foreclosure the day before a friend convinced her to drive to New Orleans in a borrowed car to audition for the BET’s Sunday Best. Johnson ended up being declared the winner at the end of the show's third season in 2010, a placing that not only came with the gift of a new car and a cash prize, but also, in time, a recording deal. A debut seven-song EP, The Awakening of Le'Andria Johnson, was released in 2011, earning her first Grammy for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music performance for her debut single, "Jesus." This was followed by a second seven-song EP, The Evolution of Le'Andria Johnson, in 2012. A second full-length, live CD, Le’Andria Johnson - The Experience, also appeared in 2012.

Delta Gammas Wrote to Ellen DeGeneres -- And You Won't Believe What Happened Next!

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 12 2015

Ellen salutes Butler's Delta Gammas. Photo by Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.The girls of Butler’s Delta Gamma sorority wrote to TV talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres to tell her how they get together at 3:00 p.m. weekdays to watch her show.

On Thursday, January 8, DeGeneres answered their email, surprising them with a Skype phone call and a multitude of prizes.

The show aired Monday, January 12. See the segment here and read more about it here.

 

 

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

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

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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 Salon.com. “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: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Huck-Finns-America/Andrew-Levy/9781439186961

 

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

President Danko's Mid-Year Update

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 12 2015

One year ago, we introduced the Butler 2020 Vision—the culmination of two years of discussion and feedback from Butler students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Twelve months later, we have made major strides and are poised for great achievement in the months and years to come. I would like to begin the year by sharing updates on key accomplishments and opportunities—all made possible by your support and engagement, and that of the entire Butler community.

Jim DankoAcademics
The first platform of the Butler 2020 Vision outlines our strategy to distinguish Butler through innovative programs and a strengthened commitment to community engagement, experiential learning, and international education. 2014 brought exceptional recognition of our work in these areas, as U.S.News recognized Butler as one of the top schools in the country for undergraduate education that supports student success. Butler—listed among the nation’s best for internships, undergraduate research, service learning, study abroad, and first-year experience—was one of only three universities in the United States recognized in five or more categories, and was recognized in more categories than all other Indiana schools combined.

The New Year has already brought further affirmation of Butler’s efforts, as the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognized Butler with its Community Engagement Classification, which acknowledges colleges and universities that have gained national distinction by developing mutually beneficial partnerships with local organizations and surrounding communities.

These accolades reflect the exceptional work of faculty and staff across the University. In the year to come, we will continue to build upon these accomplishments as we launch new programs, expand online offerings, continue to fund innovative initiatives, and further distinguish Butler within a crowded higher education landscape.

Health and Safety
There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our students. With the topic of sexual violence front and center at college campuses around the country, Butler has taken proactive steps to build a Community of Care. In 2014, we expanded student programming focused on education and prevention, collaborated with government stakeholders and peer institutions, and worked to improve Butler’s sexual assault policies, procedures, and enforcement efforts.

Last spring, we announced plans to create a commission of students, faculty, and staff to build upon current efforts to stop sexual violence at Butler. The Presidential Commission on Sexual Assault—which includes representation from students, faculty, and staff from across the University—will meet actively throughout 2015 and provide Butler’s leadership with ongoing recommendations to improve assessment, education, and prevention.

At last year’s Convocation, it was inspiring to watch our incoming students stand together and take the #ButlerPledge to care for one another and keep each other safe. I am proud of our community’s efforts to uphold these commitments and look forward to a safe and healthy 2015 at Butler University.

Leadership
We are fortunate to welcome two new members to the University’s leadership team in 2015—VP for Advancement Jaci Thiede, and VP for Enrollment Management Lori Greene. Jaci and Lori bring significant talent and experience to Butler and I am confident they will help lead their divisions and—in partnership with our existing leadership team—our University to great success in the years to come.

Congratulations also to Chris Holtmann, who was named men’s basketball Head Coach on January 2. Coach Holtmann has done a tremendous job leading the team in recent months and we are confident in his leadership—and that of all athletic coaches and staff—as our Bulldogs complete their second year of BIG EAST competition. We appreciate Brandon Miller’s many contributions to Butler over the last 18 months, and wish him well.

Campus Environment
Following the 2013 completion of the Schrott Center for the Arts and West Campus infrastructure improvements, we made major strides in 2014 toward advancing Butler’s educational mission through superior campus amenities.

In April 2014, the University—in partnership with the City of Indianapolis—broke ground on the Sunset Streetscape Project, intended to beautify the eastern border of Butler’s campus, while improving safety and sustainability. The bulk of the project was completed this fall, with finishing touches scheduled for this spring, prior to Commencement.

In September, we broke ground on a multi-use parking facility that will address long-standing parking concerns and bring new dining and retail options to Butler’s campus. The five-story facility, expected to open in August, will house 1,038 parking spaces and 15,000 square feet of retail space.

Thanks to the generosity of thousands of supporters, the Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse formally concluded at the end of 2013 and raised approximately $18 million for the preservation and enhancement of Butler’s 86-year-old national landmark. Renovations—many focused on supporting student-athlete well-being and academic success—were completed in October, in time for the 2014-2015 basketball season. The team did an incredible job maintaining Hinkle’s charm, while providing modern amenities to athletes and fans, alike. If you haven’t yet seen the updates, I encourage you to attend a men’s or women’s basketball game this year.

Also in 2014, the University entered an agreement with American Campus Communities (ACC), a national leader in campus housing, to develop world-class residential facilities to serve the next generation of Butler students. The first phase of development will begin this March, when the University and ACC break ground on a state-of-the-art 630-bed residential facility along Sunset Ave. north of ResCo. This facility, which will also feature a large community space at Sunset and Butler Way, is scheduled to be complete by fall 2016. Planning is underway for future phases of housing development, which will ultimately include the renovation or replacement of beds in Schwitzer, Ross, and ResCo.

For a closer look at the impact these projects will have on Butler’s campus aesthetic, click here. In the long term, these projects are all necessary precursors to planned expansion and modernization of academic spaces. The Science Commission made great progress in 2014 on its recommendations for developing state-of-the-art science facilities in Gallahue and Holcomb, while a new task force began planning for a new academic building to house the College of Business and additional programs.

As Butler builds and grows, we remain committed to sustainability. In August 2014, the University approved and submitted a Climate Action Plan as part of the American Colleges & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which we signed in 2012. The plan, which will require extensive collaboration among campus stakeholders, outlines short- and long-term strategies to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

Final Thoughts
At Butler’s December board meeting, our trustees expressed great confidence and enthusiasm in the University’s vision, strategy, and progress to date. They also acknowledged the significant challenge ahead as we seek to grow and distinguish Butler in the face of demographic and marketplace shifts that will confront higher education in the coming years. I share our trustees’ confidence in Butler’s future, and I am thankful for the great people of Butler—our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends—who make this future possible. Thank you again for all you do for Butler University, and I look forward to working alongside you to accomplish great things in 2015 and beyond.

Carnegie Foundation Recognizes Butler's Community Engagement Efforts

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 07 2015

Butler University has been selected to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s 2015 Community Engagement Classification, a distinction that recognizes the University’s efforts to connect with the Indianapolis community.

This designation acknowledges the ongoing involvement of college students, staff, faculty, and community partners in working together to improve the quality of life in Central Indiana and beyond.

clear1x1Carnegie Foundation"The classification recognizes our commitment to partnering with communities as we provide experiential learning opportunities,” Butler University President James M. Danko said. “Our students connect with the community, and together we serve the common good."

In the award notification letter to the University, representatives of the Carnegie Foundation noted Butler’s application “documented excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.”

“The importance of this elective classification is borne out by the response of so many campuses that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national, and global communities,” said John Saltmarsh, Director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education. “These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities, and revitalizing their civic and academic missions.”

Butler is one of 361 institutions nationwide to receive the Community Engagement Classification—and one of 240 selected for 2015.

In earning the Carnegie classification, Butler is cited for programs such as its Indianapolis Community Requirement (ICR), a unique component of Butler’s core curriculum through which all students take at least one course that involves active engagement with the Indianapolis community. More about the ICR is here.

Other programs across Butler's six colleges also encourage community engagement, including:

  • The Butler-Shortridge partnership, engaging Butler faculty and students in various curricular and programmatic collaborations with Indianapolis Public Schools' Shortridge Magnet High School for Law & Public Policy.
  • The Early College Program, which brings select Shortridge juniors and seniors to campus each semester to earn college credits and contribute to the Butler community.
  • Partnerships with local organizations such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, The Immigrant Welcome Center, and A Caring Place.
  • The Butler Community Arts School, which provides low- and no-cost music and arts education to hundreds of students across the community.
  • The Community Screening Practicum, through which Butler students in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program conduct speech, language, and hearing screenings for children enrolled in Indianapolis community schools.
  • Generation Rx, a joint effort of Butler Student Association of Pharmacy and students of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences that strives to educate and raise awareness about prescription drug misuse.
  • Writing in the Schools, a collaboration between Butler’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program and Shortridge Magnet High School, has worked directly with more than 300 of Shortridge’s 900 students.
  • The Butler Business Consulting Group, which helps Indiana companies and the Butler College of Business grow by leveraging our depth of experience and breadth of resources in a spirit of teaching, learning and caring.

Danko said Butler-Indianapolis connections help students learn about themselves and others, while engaged in meaningful community service.

“This experience,” he said, “is an investment in their future as engaged citizens who will continue to recognize diverse viewpoints, understand the value of collaborating with others, and work together on solutions to problems.”

 

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

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151 Graduate at Winter Commencement

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PUBLISHED ON Dec 21 2014

One hundred fifty-one students became alumni on Sunday, December 21, at Butler University’s winter commencement. Graduates include 47 from the College of Business, 42 from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 30 from the College of Education, 17 from the College of Communication, nine from the Jordan College of the Arts, and six from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

_BS19831Jauvon Gilliam ’01 and Betty Kessler, who earned her teaching certificate from Butler in 1937, received honorary degrees.

Gilliam, who was named Principal Timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2009 at age 29, told the graduates that “this is the first step in a journey that only gets better from here.”

“Butler has equipped you with the tools needed to survive and thrive in this thing called life,” he said. “You’re ready. Trust yourself and know that your life, and the experiences you’ve had, in all their uniqueness, have placed you right where you need to be at this very moment. Jump in with both feet, and enjoy the ride.”

Kessler, 97, arrived at Butler in 1935 with only one dress in her suitcase and a strong determination to become a teacher of young children. 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.

Tina Burks, the wife of Butler Board of Trustees Chair Keith Burks, had Kessler as a fourth-grade teacher in Morocco, Indiana. Burks told the graduates that Kessler taught her students “to see and experience other parts of the world.”

“My fondest memory of Mrs. Kessler involves a Christmas gift,” Burks said. “For some odd reason, she picked my name out of the Christmas grab bag, and she gave me a beautiful world globe. While most fourth graders would not ask Santa for a globe, that gift made me feel soooo special…. In our small, rural town, this amazing teacher gave me the world.”

 

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

 

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Kiplinger Again Labels Butler a 'Best Value in Private Colleges'

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PUBLISHED ON Dec 17 2014

 

 

 

 

Butler University has made Kiplinger Personal Finance’s list of the best values in private colleges for 2015.

_D7W1078The list, which includes 100 private universities from across the country, can be found at Kiplinger.com/links/college.

Butler ranked 60th overall—up one spot from 2014.

Butler also finished 194th among all schools. This was the first time the magazine put together a combined list.

Kiplinger said its rankings "reward schools that meet our definition of value – a high-quality education at an affordable price. Among the factors that we consider: high four-year graduation rates, low student-faculty ratios, reasonable price tags, generous need-based aid for students who qualify and low student debt."

Butler President James M. Danko said the findings demonstrate that “Butler is committed to providing a strong return on the investment that students—and their families—make in their education.”

The complete rankings include the top schools overall as well as the best values in public schools, private universities and private liberal arts colleges. The rankings will also appear in the February 2015 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands January 6, 2015.

Kiplinger’s rankings measure academic quality and affordability. Academic criteria include the student admission rate (the number of students accepted out of those who apply), the test scores of incoming freshmen, the ratio of students to faculty members, and the four- and five-year graduation rates. On the value side, Kiplinger’s measures total cost of attendance, the availability and average amount of need-based and merit-based financial aid, and the average student debt at graduation.

This is the sixth time Butler has appeared in the Kiplinger rankings. In recent years, the University was No. 66 (in 2010), No. 84 (2011), No. 73 (2012), and No. 61 (2014).

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

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