We welcomed the most diverse class in University history, supporting our students with new initiatives that improve access to a Butler education. We shared our Bulldog pride across the country, hosting much of March Madness® and making our Netflix debut. We kept adapting to pandemic shifts, celebrated our ties to Indianapolis, and worked toward our vision for Butler’s future.

Here’s a look back at the top stories of 2021.

We supported our students.

Butler University Launches Student Food Pantry
Organized by the Volunteer Center, the new program provides support for students in need of food assistance.

Butler University to Freeze Tuition for 2021-2022 Academic Year
Butler’s Board of Trustees approved the tuition freeze to help ease the financial burden many students and families have faced during the pandemic.

Butler University Welcomes Most Diverse Class in Its History
It is the third-largest class in Butler’s history, and more than 21 percent of first-year students identify as people of color.

Butler University and Ivy Tech Community College Announce Statewide Transfer Agreement
In February, the institutions partnered to create their first transfer agreement, making a seamless process for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. New transfer agreements for Business and Art + Design were added in August.

Butler University Launching Online Graduate Degrees for Adults
Offerings include MBA, MS in Data Analytics, and MS in Strategic Communication.

We continued to adapt.

Immunizing Indy: Pharmacy Students, Faculty, Alumni Provide Vaccines at Local Clinics
​​Members of Butler’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences are volunteering their skills to help protect the community against COVID-19.

As COVID-19 Cancels Shows Across the Nation, Butler Theatre Stays on Stage
Strict safety measures allow students to keep rehearsing, performing, and learning together.

Butler University to Host Seven Commencement Ceremonies to Accommodate More Guests
Separate ceremonies were held in Hinkle Fieldhouse for each of Butler’s six colleges, plus an additional ceremony for the Class of 2020.

We set our sights forward.

Butler Receives Nearly $10 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc.
The grant will help fund initiatives in the University’s Butler Beyond strategic direction.

Butler Receives $1M Grant from Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation for Modernization of Clowes Memorial Hall
The project is part of a larger plan to enhance and remodel the venue’s exterior plaza.

Philanthropy Advances Butler’s Strategic Vision Amidst Pandemic Challenges
Donations totaled more than $28 million from 16,224 individual, corporate, and foundation donors.

Butler University Names Bill and Joanne Dugan Hall in Recognition of $7 Million Gift from Butler Graduate
The gift from 1951 graduate Bill Dugan supports the state-of-the-art facility that houses the Lacy School of Business.

Butler University to Begin Construction on New Esports Facility
Opening in fall 2022, the Butler Esports Park will serve as an esports entertainment venue while creating opportunities for competitive and curricular growth.

We ranked #1.

Butler University Ranks #1 in US News list of Best Midwest Universities for Fourth Consecutive Year
Butler also ranked as the No. 1 Most Innovative School, No. 1 for Undergraduate Teaching, and No. 1 Best College for Veterans. 

Butler Named a Top College by The Princeton Review For Fourth Straight Year
The company’s annual college guide showcases only about 14 percent of America’s 2,700 four-year colleges. 

We celebrated new leadership.

Butler University Welcomes Two New Trustees
Andrew Greenlee ’90 and Chris Miskel ’96 are each serving three-year terms that began June 3, 2021.

Lorraine Ortiz to Serve as Vice President, Human Resources at Butler University
Ortiz is leading the transformation of Butler’s Human Resources division into a strategic, trusted campus partner that provides responsive policies, services, and programs for the Butler community.

Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh Named Interim Dean of the College of Communication
Geertsema-Sligh had served as Director of the Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media since 2016.

Craig Caldwell to Serve as Interim Dean of Butler’s Lacy School of Business
Caldwell, who previously served as an Associate Dean in the LSB since January 2015, began his new role July 3.

We hosted basketball—on a national stage.

Home for the Madness
As a host site for the 2021 NCAA® Men’s Basketball Tournament, Butler welcomed visitors from across the city and the nation—all while boosting its brand exposure around the globe.

Butler Blue to Become Mayor of March, Presiding Over City’s Hoops Madness
Butler’s live bulldog mascot seized the opportunity to be more than just host of Hinkle.

The History of Hinkle Fieldhouse
Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse has seen nearly a century of basketball, community events, famous visitors, and other historic memories.

We became Netflix stars.

Netflix Series ‘Dogs’ to Feature Butler’s Live Mascots
The show’s second season began streaming in July, with one episode telling the story of Blue III, Blue IV, and their human handlers.

Behind the Scenes of ‘Dogs: Season 2, Episode 1’
Netflix cameras followed Butler’s live bulldog mascots and their handlers for nearly six months. But the crew didn’t just watch as Trip retired and Blue IV began—they helped celebrate a year full of life-changing moments.

We innovated, researched, and more.

STEM New Educator Academy Aims to Keep More Teachers in Indiana
A partnership between Butler University, The Children’s Museum, the Indianapolis Zoo, and Codelicious, the new program provides mentorship and professional development for early-career STEM educators.

Butler Professor’s Research Aims to Help More Black Women Join STEM
Supported by a $68K grant from the NSF, Psychology Assistant Professor Dr. India Johnson is studying the influence of race and gender on the effectiveness of role models.

From Bulldog to Paralympian: Dani Aravich ’18 to Compete in Tokyo
After just two years of training, the former Butler distance runner qualified to sprint the 400 meter at the Summer Paralympic Games.

Catching a Glimpse
At Butler, a research project called Indy Wildlife Watch is helping the community be more mindful of its furred and feathered neighbors.  

Sustainable Sustenance
Through research, education, and empowerment, Butler’s Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability (CUES) seeks to end food insecurity in Indy.