When everything changed 10 months ago, Butler University adapted. Our students, faculty, and staff found ways to replace vanished opportunities with new ones, continue caring for one another, and focus on the things that matter most—all while making sacrifices to keep our campus safe.

This year, Bulldogs also committed to helping others. From the Pharmacy students who made hand sanitizer for hospitals and other Indianapolis organizations; to the faculty member who helped parents and educators provide emotional support for children; to the graduate whose art helped people across the nation understand an invisible virus; we demonstrated the Butler Way.

And still, we celebrated. We kicked off 2020 by meeting Butler Blue IV, whose puppy photos have filled our social media feeds and invited us to smile even in some of this year’s hardest moments. We named new deans, launched our Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement, and welcomed our third-largest class of first-year students. Through a difficult season that may continue for months to come, we have found ways to be joyful together.

Here’s a look back at Butler’s top stories of 2020.


Butler Faculty Put Students First in Switch to Online Learning
When the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of in-person classes last spring, faculty made the best of a difficult situation.

With Summer Internships Canceled, Business School Finds New Opportunities for Students
Butler’s Lacy School of Business created about 20 last-minute internship positions built on remote, project-based work.

In Switch to eLearning, Butler Student-Teacher Finds What Matters Most
Patrick Conway developed new online content for seventh-graders at Zionsville West Middle School.

Butler Offers Free Online Course About COVID-19 to Incoming Students
The class helped students connect with the Butler community while reflecting on the effects of a global crisis.

Caring for Mental Health During COVID-19
Three Butler experts explain the pandemic’s psychological impacts and offer advice for staying well.

What Does an Online Music Class Look Like?
Dr. Brian Weidner of Butler’s Jordan College of the Arts explains how he met the challenge of holding remote music education courses.

Pool Noodles Provide Social Distancing Guide for Physical Education Classes
The College of Education’s Dr. Fritz Ettl found ways to keep teaching hands-on, sport-specific skills this fall.

Butler Team Preserves, Improves Access to Artifacts through 3D Digital Replicas
While this grant-funded project began well before the pandemic, the researchers found low-cost ways to scan and share physical artworks in an online world—a method that’s especially useful when viewing art in-person isn’t possible.


How to Care for Children’s Minds During COVID-19
The College of Education’s Dr. Lori Desautels offers guidance for educators and parents as the pandemic causes uncertainty, isolation, and restraint. To learn more about how Desautels teaches students about their brains, check out our pre-pandemic story How Neuroscience Helps Kids Heal From Trauma.

Butler, Old National Partner to Support Businesses Owned by Underrepresented Groups
The Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence—a partnership between Butler University and Old National Bank—is waiving membership fees for companies owned by people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

Butler Pharmacy Prof Receives $1.39M NIH Grant to Support Cancer Research
Dr. Chioniso Patience Masamha is studying an oncogene commonly linked to Mantle Cell Lymphoma and other types of cancer.

Pharmacy Students to Fill Indy’s Prescription for Hand Sanitizer
A trio of graduate students made 50 liters of sanitizer for donation to community programs and facilities.

Butler Theatre Gives Health Professionals SWAG
Theatre faculty and staff joined the Indy-based Safer With a Gown project, using their skills to help produce gowns for healthcare workers.

Grad Students from Butler’s College of Education Create Guide to Help Schools Reopen
Cohort members from the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP) released Blueprint 2020: A Guidebook for School Leaders Moving Forward.

Butler Grad Helps Americans See Coronavirus Up Close
At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Austin Athman ’09 is part of a team that captures images of microscopic diseases.

This Team of Alumni Helped Butler Go Remote
Four grads in the Center for Academic Technology knew that strong relationships would be key to online learning.


Butler Blue IV, next live mascot for Butler, revealed, ready to report to work
In January, the 12-week-old English Bulldog was set to take the reins as Butler’s fourth live mascot. Butler Blue III (AKA Trip) retired in May.

Butler Ranked No.1 in Midwest for Third Straight Year by U.S. News & World Report
The University also ranked among top universities in three national categories.

Butler Welcomes Third-Largest Class Ever Despite COVID-19 Challenges
More than 1,125 first-year students logged on for their first day of classes on August 24.

Butler University Launches a Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement
With leadership from Dr. Terri Jett as Faculty Director, the Hub will serve as an institutional command center to address systemic racism and Black oppression.

Butler Receives $2.5 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Fund New Butler Beyond Transformation Lab
The Transformation Lab will serve as a hub of resources, expertise, and activity to accelerate the development of future-oriented education models.

Kandel-Cisco Named New College of Education Dean
Dr. Brooke Kandel-Cisco was Interim Dean since May 2019 before filling the position permanently this past March.

Hilary Buttrick Named Interim Dean of the Lacy School of Business
Dr. Buttrick served as an Associate Dean in the Lacy School of Business (LSB) before being named Interim Dean on June 9.

Loyal Donors and New Strategic Direction Help Butler Thrive Through Unprecedented Year
Total giving during the 2019-2020 fiscal year included $16.6 million toward scholarships and $28.5 million toward the Butler Beyond campaign.

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
News Content Manager