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Straight from the Bulldog's Mouth: You're #ButlerBound!

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PUBLISHED ON Dec 15 2014

Any college can send out acceptance letters, but only Butler University is delivering its Big Envelopes by Doggy Express.

Trip gives his stamp of approval to the Class of 2019.
Trip gives his stamp of approval to the Class of 2019.

 

On Friday, December 19, at 5:00 p.m., every applicant who is accepted to Butler will get the news from the University’s beloved mascot, Trip, via email. A sneak preview can be seen here.

Not only that, but about 20 prospective students in the Chicago, the Gary area, and Indianapolis regions will receive a surprise visit from Trip and his handler, Director of External Relations Michael Kaltenmark, sometime December 16–19. They plan to stop at homes and schools to deliver the good news in person.

“Trip is ready to recruit some new pups to the Butler litter,” Kaltenmark said. “He’s excited to venture off campus to bring the good news early to a few lucky future Bulldogs.”

All told, Butler is sending out 4,700 acceptances to students who applied for early action decisions.

Students who applied for regular decision will get their news delivered in mid-February.

 

 

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

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Grant Will Help Butler Students Intern in Asia Next Summer

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PUBLISHED ON Dec 11 2014

Butler University’s Center for Global Education has been awarded a grant of nearly $100,000 from the Freeman Foundation to enable students to complete internships in East and Southeast Asia in the summer of 2015.

The Center will organize a group experience—Butler Summer in Shanghai—in which 12–14 students will travel with a China-specialist member of the Butler faculty to Shanghai for a six-week program of individually designed internships combined with group excursions and cultural immersion activities.

Monte Broaded, Director of the Center for Global Education, said the Center will also be able to award 5-7 “at-large” grants to individual students who organize their own internships during summer 2015 or during the 2015-16 academic year.

In all, the grant will enable the Center to make 19 awards of $5,000 each, which will offset a significant portion, though not all, of the total participation cost.

The Center will hold information sessions about the program in the first two weeks of the spring semester. Applications for the summer program will be due by Friday, February 6.

Broaded said that because of Butler’s emphasis on combining liberal arts education with pre-professional training, experiential learning opportunities—such as internships—play an important role in each of Butler’s six colleges. More than 600 Butler students participate in internships and related experiences each year.

Butler also has a strong commitment to global engagement. The University consistently ranks in the top 25 master’s institutions nationwide in the proportion of undergraduates who study abroad. In recent years, Butler has placed 4-6 students each year in academic-credit-bearing internships in East and Southeast Asia locations, including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

 

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

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New MBA Class Offers a 360-Degree View of Sports

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 24 2014

Students in Butler University’s MBA program said they wanted to learn more about the economy of Indianapolis, and the College of Business listened: It created Business Practicum (MBA522), an experiential 2½-day, two-credit course designed to explore a specific local economic cluster.

This spring, the course will focus on the business of sport, including an in-depth look at the finance, marketing, entrepreneurial, and overall impact of sports in Central Indiana.

Butler University's College of Business building June 26, 2013.During the class, which will meet March 4­–6, students will visit multiple teams, venues, and related businesses around Indianapolis.

“In the Butler MBA program, ‘real life, real business’ is not just an advertising tag,” said Tim Bennett, the College of Business’ Director of Graduate Programs. “It’s a guiding force for how we deliver our curriculum. We’re telling the Central Indiana community that if you engage in this graduate education, it’ll be about real life, real business. Every opportunity we can take, we will expose you to that real life, real business.”

Bennett said that after students visit with people involved in the world of sports in Indianapolis, they will be split into groups and assigned to work on a research question. They’ll present their findings to a panel of judges that includes industry leaders in the sports field.

“This course was designed based on student feedback and a desire to look at an entire economic cluster, not just one organization, and to be exposed to a 360 view,” Bennett said.

In future sessions of Business Practicum, students might examine segments of the economy that include life sciences, heavy manufacturing, and energy.

“There are lots of ways we could go,” he said. “For this class, sports just bubbled to the top.”

 

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

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Are You Ready for Some Paper Football?!

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 21 2014

Deep in the basement of Jordan Hall, Room 048 is a plain, run-of-the-mill conference room, home to ordinary staff meetings and brainstorming sessions.

But come Fridays at lunchtime, the room becomes tense with calculated finger flicks as a paper football soars across the table dividing two athletic enemies.

This is the Butler University Paper Football League.

paper football“I’m quite competitive,” said Elesia Yoon, Senior Instructional Designer in the Center for Academic Technology (CAT). “I try to channel inner relaxation, but I can’t help myself. I’m usually the one who starts the trash talking.”

“And I’m the kind of person that has to respond,” said Tim Thomas, Associate Director of CAT.

Their game is played with a small, triangularly folded paper, in which all edges are tucked in neatly to create an aerodynamic, dense kicking surface. Each player alternates flicking the paper football across the table to try to score a touchdown, which occurs when an edge of the paper football hangs slightly over the opponent’s end of the table.

Players receive an extra point for “kicking” the paper football through goalposts, made by the opponent’s outstretched index fingers and upright thumbs, after scoring a touchdown. The player with the most points at the end of the 10-minute game wins.

The traditional goal of a paper football game: to obliterate the opponent with precision and accuracy.

The Butler league goal of a paper football game: to relax (mostly) and have fun (usually) while meeting some cool new people (competition).

Thomas founded the league when he came to Butler less than two years ago as a way to form relationships among Butler staff and take a break from work. All Butler staff, faculty, and students are welcome to join the league for its 2014-2015 season.

“I think it’s a nice break from the day,” he said. “It takes you out of the work setting for a while, and it’s a great way to meet and connect with people other than in a meeting. In the course of these games, you get to learn about what people do.”

Butler’s finest paper football flickers from the Center for Academic Technology, Information Technology, Butler Libraries, and several other departments participated in the season last year, leading up to the finale football fans of all kinds are familiar with—the Super Bowl.

Players must participate in at least three games to qualify for the playoffs. The final two playoffs and Super Bowl are held in late January and include nothing short of what is expected from a typical NFL Super Bowl: dedicated fans, greasy food, nerve-racking nail biters, and, of course, entertainment.

Last year featured a moving impersonation of Enrico Pallazzo’s National Anthem by Josh Petrusa, Associate Dean for Collections and Digital Services of Irwin Library.

Sally Neal, Associate Dean for Instruction and User Services, stole the halftime show with a Hugh Jackman sing-along to Oklahoma’s “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top.” All the while, fans showed their support with cheers, boom sticks, the wave, and a special appearance by Super Fan in a wild, colored wig.

“It was a great turnout,” Yoon said. “Just the fan base was huge. We were cheering for somebody, and then they’d lose, and you’d quickly cross their name out and write the next player’s name to keep on cheering.”

Chad Miller, Senior Director of Technology Development, won gold last year after entering the playoffs as the lowest-seeded player. But he left with more than just pride and the fresh glow of victory. Miller took home a tall and picturesque trophy, complete with a golden paper football on top.

“It was kind of glorious,” Thomas said.

“It was very glorious,” Yoon replied.

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Remembering Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig

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PUBLISHED ON Nov 19 2014

Abdul-Rahman Peter Edward Kassig, who studied political science at Butler University in 2011 and 2012, was remembered during a memorial service held November 23 at Clowes Memorial Hall. More than 800 people attended. (The recorded video of the ceremony is available at www.butler.edu/live.)

Kassig, 26, was born on February 19, 1988. His parents were notified of his passing on November 16, 2014.

Headshot copyThen known as Pete, he graduated from North Central High School in 2006. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a Ranger. Deployed to the Middle East, he served his country well and returned home a decorated veteran with an Honorable Medical Discharge.

Upon his return, he attended Hanover College, and also trained as an EMT before transferring to Butler University. A spring break journey to Beirut, Lebanon, planted the seeds of a calling that led him to forsake the halls of academia for a life serving those in desperate need.

His initial efforts included providing volunteer medical services to those fleeing the turmoil in the region. He soon realized that people needed more and founded his own NGO, Special Emergency Response and Assistance (SERA), to quickly provide much-needed food, cooking supplies, clothing, and medical supplies and services. In addition, he taught trauma care skills to dozens of civilians. Lives are being saved today as those skills live on.

His life among the Syrian people led him to explore Islam and, with the help of his friends, he began a journey that would lead him to embracing the Islamic faith.

On October 1, 2013, while riding in an ambulance on a medical mission to Deir Ezzour, he was abducted and taken hostage, setting off a chain of events that drew worldwide attention to the plight of the Syrian people. Initially held in the same cell as a Muslim cleric, he converted and chose the name Abdul-Rahman, which means “Servant of the Most Merciful.” In mid-November 2014, he laid down his life for the Syrian people he came to know and love.

Greeting him on the other side are his grandparents, the Reverend Jerry Hyde and Betty and Ed Kassig Sr.

Abdul-Rahman Peter Edward Kassig is survived by his parents Paula and Ed Kassig; his grandmother Martha Hyde; uncles Erik Kassig and Steve Hyde (Donnita Hall); aunts Julia (Matthew) McCormick, and Ruth (Jim) Crisp; cousins Penny and Isaac McCormick, Del Hall, and Benjamin and Kate Hanus; and his birthmother, Rhonda (Jeff) Schwindt and siblings Samuel and Jana Schwindt.

He will be fondly remembered by friends around the world.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Syrian American Medical Society at sams-usa.net or 3660 Stutz Dr. #100, Canfield, Ohio 44406.

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The Generation Rx Prescription: Make Learning Fun

BY Sarvary Koller '15

PUBLISHED ON Nov 19 2014

More than 70 rambunctious Girl Scouts poured into the cramped basement of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Plainfield on Friday evening to discuss a topic important to the health of young Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors—prevention of prescription drug abuse.

Kailey Meadows '16 teaches some Girl Scouts about prescription drugs.
Kailey Meadows '16 teaches some Girl Scouts about prescription drugs.

 

The kindergarten to early high school-aged girls of the Wagon Trails Service Unit of Girl Scouts of Central Indiana crowded around tables with Butler University students from Generation Rx, the organizers of the program, to learn the facts about prescription drugs. Generation Rx is a student-run initiative of the Butler Student Association of Pharmacy and students of the Butler College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences who seek to educate and raise awareness on the proper use of medication.

The scouts were divided into small groups by age and spent time rotating to different stations. One station, for the younger girls, featured pictures depicting the differences between candy and prescription medicine. Another table hosted a lively game of two truths and a lie, in which girls were asked to identify the false statement about prescription drug use.

The most popular station featured a science experiment, in which girls could compound their own lip gloss. Butler students assisted scouts as they heated and mixed petroleum jelly and flavored Kool-Aid packets to make their own Generation Rx-labeled canisters of colorful and tasty lip gloss to take home.

Kailey Meadows ’16, Generation Rx Coordinator and pharmacy student, said Generation Rx members tried to create fun and age-appropriate activities to engage the girls.

But they also wanted to impart a message: If a prescription doesn’t have your name on it, don’t touch it.

Didi Harris, Girl Scouts Service Unit Manager, said the event exposed some of the younger scouts to the issue of prescription drug abuse for the first time. As a scout leader and a parent, she said schools often overlook the issue. Even parents often neglect to teach the impact of prescription drug abuse.

“These girls aren’t getting it from anywhere else,” Harris said. “When you think of drug abuse, you think of older girls. You never think of how prescription drug abuse can affect the younger girls. That’s why this is so great for them to hear.”

Ainsley Paton '16 talks with girls about the difference between candy and medicine.
Ainsley Paton '16 talks with girls about the difference between candy and medicine.

 

Meadows said the event also served to introduce girls to different careers in health and science, such as pharmacy. The Girl Scouts learned about the Butler Pharmacy program and how pharmacists are vital to the health industry through compounding and influencing the prescription of medication.

Spreading the message of health, safety, and science to young Girl Scouts hits especially close to home for Meadows, a Lifetime Girl Scout who has been an active member since kindergarten.

“Girl Scouts works to make you the best girl you can be, whether it be through health, education, or community service,” Meadows said. “We are just adding to that message. The girls can go out and help their community now, tell their friends what they learned about prescription drug safety.”

Deana Potterf, Chief Communications Officer of Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, said the Girl Scouts are committed to ensuring the health and well being of its members in the decisions they make, and the Generation Rx students provided scouts with another tool for healthy living.

“Butler University has an outstanding reputation when it comes to its Pharmacy program,” Potterf said. “Girl Scouts is really proud to work with them on this program.”

At the end of an energy-packed evening, Meadows slowed down to ask the girls a final question: After tonight, how many girls are interested in potentially entering the field of science?

At least three-quarters of the squealing girls in the room raised their hands, their fingers still sticky from mixing lip gloss.

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She Won a Contest. Now the Kids Are Having a Ball

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 19 2014

Jill B. Allen ’13 needed physical education equipment and resources for her Movement Studio classroom at the Butler Lab School and, thanks to the participants in the NFL PLAY 60 DonorsChoose.org Showdown, she’s getting it.

lab school picAllen’s class will receive an array of volleyballs, basketballs, soccer balls and other gear after her project, called “Help Us Get Moving in Class and at Recess!,” was featured in the NFL/DonorsChoose competition. The NFL Play 60 Rush initiative is a weekly contest that pits two deserving youth health and fitness projects from the corresponding cities who play on Monday Night Football against each other each week. Fans vote for the winner.

“My students are diverse and love being able to explore in multiple ways,” Allen wrote on the NFLRush website. “That is why I am requesting movement manipulatives, balls, and other PE equipment so my students can learn the importance of physical activity, living a healthy life, and what it means to be skillful.”

Allen’s project won against a school from Queens, New York, which will receive 50 percent of the money it requested.

“This is a new program and I'm starting from scratch,” Allen said. “The kids only have about six items to play with at recess and some of the equipment is too young for them. This will really build our physical education and recess equipment base.”

Mindy Welch, Coordinator of the College of Education’s Human Movement and Health Science Education (HMHSE) program, said Allen has established “a remarkable impact” at the Lab School.

“Securing the funding for this DonorsChoose project is simply one fine example,” Welch said. “Through Jill's leadership, initiative, and innovations, she is really helping to build community in new ways through the Movement Studio curriculum.”

Allen was one of six Butler juniors who were in an inaugural physical education practicum at the Lab School in the spring 2012. HMHSE students and faculty have provided the school’s only movement education since then, until Allen was hired this fall.

Welch, who is on sabbatical this fall, is working with Allen to develop the Movement Studio curriculum.

 

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

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

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 17 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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A 4,763-Mile Trip for Five Minutes Onstage? Yes, Please.

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 17 2014

Butler Dance Professor Marek Cholewa took five Butler Ballet students to Bratislava, Slovakia, November 19-24 to participate in the “International Concert of Dance Schools,” a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the prestigious Dance Conservatory of Eva Jacz.

Marek Cholewa with Eileen Frazer and Ricardo Dyer
Marek Cholewa with Eileen Frazer and Ricardo Dyer

 

Butler students Ricardo Dyer, Eileen Frazer, Marie Harrison, Taylor Nash, and Renee Roberts, who were selected through an audition process, performed on a program that includes conservatories from Berlin, Budapest, London, and Vienna, as well as professionals from around Europe.

Each group was only onstage for five minutes, but Cholewa said the 4,763-mile trip was worthwhile for the students and the Butler Ballet program.

“There’s a certain level of PR for us presenting our school among the best schools,” he said. “We will be seen by many very well-known choreographers and teachers. It is a very important opportunity for the dancers. Since we will be bringing three seniors who will be looking for jobs in the near future, there will be a chance for them to network on a global level, which doesn’t happen that often for dancers from the United States.”

Cholewa said when dancers are auditioning for a company or in the audition process, they typically can only demonstrate their technical skills.

“Granted, that is a necessary stage in the process,” he said. “However, the artistry and beauty of the dancer that is garnered from a choreographic piece cannot be demonstrated that way. The totality of a dancer cannot be ascertained through just the means of an technical audition.”

The invitation to perform in Slovakia came after Cholewa had taken a group of 36 students to Europe in May. One of the stops was Bratislava, where the Butler group worked with the Eva Jacz conservatory.

The piece they performed at the November 21 event is called “Displacements.” Cholewa, who choreographed the dance to an original score written by Butler Dance Department Chair Larry Attaway, describes the choreography as a contemporary new work that tells the story of a group of people who attempt to drift from one another as a way to create change within their own lives. But they also have to acknowledge that this is not possible and soon realize that the attraction that bonds them is inseparable and cannot be undone.

Attaway said the trip was an incredible opportunity for the Butler dance program to be seen on a truly global stage.

“We are so honored to be included in this extraordinary group of dance schools,” he said, “and we are so proud to present this quintet of performers as international ambassadors representing dance in the United States.”

 

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

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

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 16 2014

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

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

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

James M. Danko
President, Butler University

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He Sings, He Dances, He Teaches Math

BY Sarvary Koller '15

PUBLISHED ON Nov 13 2014

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

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

Duane Leatherman as Ben Franklin
Duane Leatherman as Ben Franklin

 

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

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

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

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

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

Wayne Wentzel
Wayne Wentzel

 

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

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

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

Roger Boop
Roger Boop

 

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

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

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

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

 

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To Hone Their Skills, Recording Industry Study Students Get a Backstage Pass

BY

PUBLISHED ON Nov 07 2014

Recording Industry Studies juniors Dan Fuson and Jesse May had two of the best seats in the house when Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett from the band Little Feat played Indianapolis in late October. In fact, they had something better than seats: They were on the side of the stage, making a recording of the concert that may end up as a live album.

From left: Jesse May, Mark Harris, Fred Tackett, Paul Barrere, Cutler Armstrong, Dan Fuson
From left: Jesse May, Mark Harris, Fred Tackett, Paul Barrere, Cutler Armstrong, Dan Fuson

 

The two College of Communication students, working with Technical Services Coordinator Mark Harris and Communication Instructor Cutler Armstrong, spent about 10 hours in the theater that day, setting up equipment, recording the show, and packing up as part of their coursework in CME 220—Remote Recording Lab.

“It was a great experience,” May said. “That’s something you can’t get inside of any other class. In recording classes, we’re doing studio recordings and working with artists, but it’s still on campus. So to have an event where you’re going to work off campus in a real environment, that kind of experience is unmeasurable.”

“You can teach students all sorts of things in the classroom,” Harris agreed, “but here they got to go out and actually do something different than what they’d been doing. They also got to meet some legendary guys, hang out with them a little bit, work with them. It was really special.”

The opportunity to record the show came together after Harris conferred with his friend Mark Butterfield, an Indiana concert promoter who brought Barrere and Tackett to Indianapolis as part of his Indy Acoustic Café series.

Butterfield put Harris and Barrere in touch with each other, and they worked out a handshake agreement to allow the recording.

In the CME 220, students are required to make three remote recordings, mix the sound on one recording, and write an essay. Typically, the students record groups on campus, including the Butler Symphony Orchestra.

“The best part of this experience in my eyes was learning how to setup equipment in a completely foreign environment,” Fuson said. “I learned how much time it takes to get the necessary equipment not only for recording but for live sound set up at a professional level. Patience is necessary.”

Neither Fuson nor May knew much about Barrere and Tackett before the concert. They came away impressed. So did Armstrong, who described the musicians as “very nice guys, very unassuming.”

“It was super cool for those students because they got to work with and interact with these guys, and we had a bird’s eye view from the side of the stage,” Armstrong said. “We were able to be that close, and just to see that genius and that level of performance and dedication and professionalism was great.”

Now everyone involved is hoping the recording will be released sometime next year.

“And if and when it does,” Harris said, “Paul Barrere’s already told us that the students will have recording credits.”

 

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

 

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