In 1944 I was enrolled at Butler as a naïve 17 year old. The war with Japan was still in progress. Thus, most males 18 and over were in the military. As a consequence, the ratio of females to male students was about 5 to 1, which I viewed as the social opportunity of a lifetime. It was not, however, conducive to academic excellence. In short, I never missed a party or a dance, but I did cut a class or two.

It was no surprise when my faculty advisor explained that my only achievement during my first semester as expulsion. He did, however, agree to seek readmission on probation if I agreed to make a radical change of my pursuit of an education. The deal was accomplished.

I worked hard during the next semester and summer school before entering the U.S. Army. After 18 months of service, I was discharged and reenrolled at Butler. It quickly became apparent that Butler was the right school for me – a broad curriculum and a faculty of such quality as to assure a solid education from a variety of disciplines for students who wanted to learn – and yes, that included me. My attitude changed from one of relief if I received a C or a D to one of disappointment if I did not receive an A.

In short, after a rocky start, I became a serious married student. I worked hard and with help from a great Butler faculty, I graduated with honors in 1949.

The fun of university life is undiminished and unforgettable to this day. I have often wondered how life might have been different had I attended a university with a faculty less interested in students and individuals seeking a quality education.

The reason I have given to Butler University is to help other students to achieve the same quality education that I did.


To see John’s handwritten letter, click here.