Butler Beyond Celebration | Butler University

Demia Butler: Good evening! My name is Demia Butler VII Hicks and I am a proud descendant of Ovid Butler, the
abolitionist attorney who founded this university with the help of many others
who were compelled by his vision for an institution of higher learning open to
all. In the school’s Charter, which was passed by the Indiana General Assembly
in 1850, Ovid Butler laid out his vision for an institution of learning of the
highest class for the education of the youth of all parts of the United States.
The university opened its doors on November 1st, 1855 with two professors
and 20 students. From its first day the school admitted women and people of
color this was a, Yes! [applause] This was a bold position in pre-civil
war America. A few months after his death at the age of 80 the chair of Butler’s
Board of Trustees said this about Ovid Butler: the one desire of his heart and
the cherished thought of his life was that this institution should be the
source of blessing to generations yet unborn. Butler University has certainly
changed tremendously since those words were spoken, but I am pleased to know
that there are many and quite a few right here in this room who carry on the
founders’ desire that Butler University would continue to be a source of
blessing to future generations. As I reflect on the founding of this
University I feel great appreciation for my family’s legacy. From a very young age
my mother taught my siblings and me about the Butler family values which
have been passed down from generation to generation. They have been a guiding
force in my own life and they are the values upon which this university was
founded: equality, inclusivity, stewardship. While I am deeply proud that this
university bears our family name, Butler University does not belong to our family.
It belongs to all of you students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, members of your
community. Butler University is yours. And the responsibility is also yours to
carry on the founders’ vision and values building upon the strong foundation that
he laid. I believe that the bold and innovative vision for the
future of Butler University which you will hear about tonight would have made
Ovid Butler quite proud. He seemed to understand and embrace the reality that
this institution would change as the needs of society evolved and he seemed
content to entrust his vision to the others who would carry Butler beyond.
This institution was founded on the idea that access to education would improve
the lives of individuals in their community and that higher learning
should be available to all who desire to pursue it.
This bold idea is just as relevant and compelling today as it was in 1855 and
it is very much alive in the vision you will hear tonight. [humming alma mater] [singing alma mater] [applause] Narrator: Butler University began with a bold idea.
An abolitionist attorney in pre-civil war America believed that higher
education should be available to all people regardless of race, gender, or
religious affiliation. Ovid Butler was so convinced of the value of equal access
to education that he donated 20 acres of his own land for the school’s original
campus at the corner of 13th Street and College Avenue. Butler University opened
its doors on November 1st 1855 to an inaugural class of 20 students and these
founding values of inclusivity, innovation, and philanthropy shaped our
earliest days. We’ve been asking questions
pursuing original ideas and pushing boundaries ever since. In 1867 Ovid
Butler established the Demia Butler chair in English literature, the first
endowed chair in the country specifically designated for a female
professor. In 1922 seven African American educators and Butler students founded
the Alpha chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho known internationally today as one of
the divine nine historically African American Greek organizations. In 1928
preparing for a move to our current campus at 46th Street and sunset Avenue
Butler University constructed the largest basketball arena in the United
States. In 1953 James Irving Holcomb donated funds to acquire the state’s
largest telescope for Holcomb Observatory where students could study
the night sky. As Butler grew it merged with the Eliza Blakers Teachers College
of Indianapolis, the Jordan College of Music, the Indianapolis School of
Pharmacy, and added a School of Business and a College of Communication. Our
progress has not happened by accident. Since our founding in 1855 Butler
University has been shaped by a long history of innovative ideas,
forward-thinking leaders, and visionary philanthropists. All the traditions we
celebrate today are the result of a bold leap into the unknown at some point in
our past. The inspiration to pioneer new frontiers is embedded in our University
DNA. It’s who we are. It’s what has led us here. And now it’s what compels us to
look to what’s beyond. Matt Howard: It’s both humbling and inspiring to reflect on the history
of Butler University. We have a strong legacy of innovation and perseverance
and embracing change. I got to experience all of those qualities
firsthand as a student-athlete. When I arrived at Butler University my freshman
year I was fortunate to join a Butler basketball team stacked with tremendous
senior leaders. Although the principles of The Butler
Way are written on the walls of our locker room, I learned about what it
means to play according to The Butler Way from those guys who embodied the
commitment, accountability, and putting the team before themselves. Those
teammates laid important groundwork for the achievements that were to come. After
that class graduated coach Stevens set a goal for us there my sophomore season
to make the NCAA tournament. That was a good goal for a good but very
young team and we achieved it. In March of 2009 we made the tournament but lost
in our first round game. We were disappointed to lose but in many ways we
felt that that season was a success because we’d reached the goal that we
had set out to achieve. That summer our team took a trip to Italy. As part of the
trip we took a tour of the Coliseum in Rome. As we walked along the
Concours the gladiators once stood our tour guide made a comment that would
later shape our season. He said when this Colosseum was being constructed it was
designed to last forever. It was built for eternity. We all quickly forgot that
comment but coach Stevens spent the next few weeks dwelling on that thought and
what it might mean for our team. When we got ready to start my junior season, that
fall of 2009, coach told us this is our mission for this year, this is our
tagline: build for eternity. He told us he felt he didn’t set the bar high enough
for us the year before and that he had sold us short. We could do more than make
the tournament, we could win it. You know by the way guys the title game is in
Indianapolis this year so why not? That mindset was such a shift for us. Setting
the bar out beyond what we reasonably thought we could achieve set the tone
for our season. And when you cast a bold vision a strong team will rally together
to pursue it. The rest of that story and that season is familiar by now. Young
guys overachieving upperclassmen providing steady leadership and the
bench guys pushing us by bringing their very best to practice every day. And
coach Stevens kept our eyes on pursuing this big goal The Butler Way. I feel
incredibly fortunate to have been on those teams at that time. Those
tournament runs were amazing experiences but it’s not lost on me that we would
never have achieved those lofty goals without a great supporting cast. From the
former players who had laid the groundwork for our team’s culture to our
professors, classmates, and family members. And of course all the fans who packed
Hinkle Fieldhouse to cheer us on, every role was crucial in moving us toward
our goal. To me three things stick out as I reflect on those years and where
Butler is heading in the years to come. First, build for eternity wasn’t
a tagline just meant to help us reach an athletic goal. It was a mindset meant to
help us consider whether our energy was being spent on pursuits
that would last and leave a legacy. I think Butler excels at
developing this mindset in its students. We’ve seen so many Butler grads leave
this campus full of energy for meaningful pursuits. Second when you cast
the bold vision strong teams rallied together to pursue it. You’re going to
hear the bold vision for Butler beyond from President Danko tonight and I
believe the Butler University community is the kind of strong team capable of
rallying together to pursue it. Third every role is critical in achieving a
lofty vision. Whether you’re a member of the faculty or staff, a community partner,
a donor, an alum, or a current student your role is important and your
contribution matters. There’s no question those seasons created a pivotal moment
for Butler. The momentum of back-to-back championship appearances brought a
lot of attention, an opportunity to Butler’s doorstep and beg
the question what comes next? We are about to find out. Craig Fenneman: I think part
of what Butler did was not only show they had good basketball players but
they had good students. So they were the right kind of team, not just a winning
team, but really representative team for Butler. As you probably know the number of
applications skyrocketed, the general goodwill, the whole halo effect on the
university was because of that sports program. Barry Collier: The trustees saw an opportunity to seek a leader that would have a vision for
opportunity and what we could make Butler into. And clearly there’s a very
very strong can-do attitude at Butler right now. And that credit goes to Jim
Danko. Jim Danko: Well you know Butler at the time was one of those perfect fits in terms
of the opportunity, the needs of the institution, what the trustees were
expecting in the next president, what the community was expecting in the next
president in my own career path up until that point. The Butler 2020 plan
was very much premised on recognizing that was an opportunity in time and we
needed to leverage that success for the greater good of the university. Fenneman: Jim given
his background and talked about innovation from the day he was on campus
and it is simply looking for new opportunities, new waves of educating
people. Lynne Zydowsky: Well I think we’ve been very smart about how we have changed the
university. You know one always has to look to the future and say you know this
is a new generation what are their needs, what are the jobs going to look like in
the future? Kate Morris: We opened the Schrott Center for the
Performing Arts, we’ve opened two new residence halls, you know so those are
things that we’ve done to invest in the infrastructure so that students really
have a phenomenal experience. Zydowsky: Their shared workspaces, their shared
studied spaces, their shared living spaces. You know how they think and move and form communities and innovate. Paul Valliere: We’ve gotten attention in recent years in the media for being a very innovative place.
Butler has already set a good example for a lot of our peer institutions of
what’s possible in the world of higher education. Lavall Jordan: When I was here there was no
HRC or a rec center, there was no junior apartment village, which there is now.
Somebody had to have the vision and obviously had to have the support. It
gives you an excitement about the next steps for Butler. Morris: The enthusiasm of our
faculty to continue to lean in and move forward and be the very best teachers
they can be with the best knowledge that we have about how good teaching happens.
I think that’s another exemplar of something that’s come out of Butler 2020. Michelle Jarvis: as the years have gone by we watched the community within the arts grow. We watched the community in the sciences
and athletics, We watch things happen around us and among us. Valliere: The growth has
been breathtaking and positive and it has allowed Butler to do all sorts of
things that we wouldn’t have been able to do without it. Jordan: In all aspects it is
our way to stay competitive. Zydowsky: You can just see you know how it’s
continued to even get better. It’s continued to evolve, it’s continued to push
those boundaries that are important and I’m very proud of that. Fenneman: But the surprise would be that it’s still the same spirit have a common goal that they care about
one another all of those things I think are part of that Butler Way. Collier: It probably goes without saying but it’s an exciting place that we are right now and we
should be building on that, that’s our plan. Catherine Pangan: It has certainly been an exciting
time to be a faculty member of Butler University. My name is Dr. Catherine
Pangan and I’m on the faculty of the College of Education. I am proud to be
here tonight representing my incredible colleagues. One of the things I love most
about teaching at Butler is the collaboration that happens among
our faculty across six colleges and across the community. Unique
interdisciplinary programs are giving our students a broad range of
distinctive learning experiences that are not only enriching their own
academic experience but positively engaging our community as well. One
example of the work from the College of Education partnership is with the Children’s
Museum of Indianapolis. Our students gain practical teaching experience, designing
and implementing STEM days to hundreds of students and families at the
world-class Children’s Museum right here in Butler’s
own backyard. You can feel the energy and excitement from all those learners
during those days it doesn’t matter if they’re 5 or 21. This partnership is one
of many between Butler and our community offering the students the opportunity to
blend classroom knowledge with real life during their undergraduate experience.
Because of these opportunities Butler students graduate not only ready
to enter the global workforce but they are experienced, prepared, and confident
to contribute to their communities and workplaces in meaningful ways. Our
graduates are teaching in classrooms around the world but we have outstanding
educators and other settings as well. One of our graduates is an education
director at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago,
another writes NASA writes curriculum for NASA. How cool is
that? And another works for the United Nations leading the education and
emergencies division, traveling extensively around the globe to support
our youngest citizens in times of crisis. I joined the faculty at Butler in 2007
and in 2008 my husband Roland and son Hudson, who was three years old at the
time, and I agreed to spend our first years at Butler as a faculty in
residence living in an apartment in a dorm with the students. As a faculty in
residence our role is to act as a bridge for students between their academic life
and life outside the classroom. Eleven years later we’re still living on campus
among the students and now I have an eight-year-old daughter who grew up on
campus and we wouldn’t trade it for the world. All of my early worries about the idea of raising our children among 18 to 22
year olds were quickly washed away by the experience of getting to know the
students. These vibrant, caring, thoughtful young people are tremendous role models.
As my son learned to ride his bike along Hampton Avenue he did so to the sounds
of students cheering from the windows out of the dorms in Greek houses
encouraging him along the way. And it’s not just faculty in residence who have
these types of experiences. The bond between Butler faculty and our students
is special and enduring. My children would tell you that students are a part
of our extended family. We love when new students arrive on campus each August
and our Butler family continues to grow. We love hearing the stories of why these
students chose Butler and how they became Bulldogs. Some of our students
come to us thanks to a visit from Butler’s most effective recruiter. He’s
personally delivered 230 admissions packets in 18 states and 44 percent of
the students he has visited choose Butler. After all who could say no to
this face? Michael Kalternmark: Butler Blue the third and Evan Krauss everybody! Thank you Everett. You know delivering these admin packets
is one of the most rewarding things I get to do here at Butler. It’s not
only fun to just put on our Butler gear and travel the country but to really
surprise these students is amazing. It represents the culture and values of
Butler University. And furthermore these visits, they kind of represent the
type of experience that students can expect to have when they come to campus.
But don’t just take my word for it let me introduce you to a few of my
friends who chose to come to Butler after receiving one of these special
surprise visits. Thomas, Nadia, Brooke come on out. Thomas let’s start with you. Tell us what
it’s like to receive a visit from Trip. Thomas Dziwlik: Yeah it was it was pretty amazing it
happened on the morning my 18th birthday. And in our house we have our tradition
where we always get breakfast in bed but that morning my mom told me that we were
running late and to get dressed and just come downstairs. So I decided to
get dressed come downstairs and in hindsight I probably should realize that
something was up but I came downstairs and to my amazement was Trip sitting
at my kitchen table in a little party hat. [laughter] And my older brother was there
as well which was really special since he hadn’t been able to spend the past
couple of birthdays with me. So it was like Trip brought my butler bound
banner and my brother with me. Kaltenmark: We kind of got the whole family
involved in the surprise at that time and if I remember right Trip really
enjoyed your birthday pancakes. yeah you Dziwlik: Yeah he had about four of them. Kaltenmark: It’s a pretty fun way to find out that you’ve been admitted to Butler, but Nadia I want to
know, did the experience of that visit live up to the hype of becoming a Butler
student? Nadia Issa: It has more than lived up to the hype. When Trip, Michael, and Evan came to
see me I realized that at Butler I was more than just a number. I have value.
People at Butler cared about me personally and that truly means a lot to
me. I have grown truly at Butler and it has helped me to explore the world and
find my true purpose. Being a part of Butler’s community has helped me realize
what truly matters to me in life and to go after it and to help me find my
dreams and actually conquer them. I’m truly grateful to be part of Butler and
to call Butler my home. Kaltenmark: Now Brooke you were you’re a junior now
so you’re a few years removed from our visit and we surprised Brooke in her
high school basketball locker room before a big game. I’m pretty sure that
Trip and I were the last people you thought would walk in that door but
speaking of doors, what doors of opportunity have opened for you now that
you’ve become a Butler student? Brooke Blevins: There have been so many different experiences that I’ve gotten to have here at Butler starting immediately my
freshman year. I attended fall alternative break which really kind of opened the
door for me to realize my passion for service. I’ll be going on my third
fall alternative break trip this October and I’ve actually stepped into the role of
co-coordinator for that organization so it’s helped me kind of find my passion
for service. I’ve gotten a job at our on campus volunteer center and just been
able to get a lot of leadership experience through that passion that
Butler kind of helped me discover. Kaltenmark: Brooke, Nadia, Thomas thank you for being
here tonight and sharing with us. Dr. Pangan. Pangan: All right, thank you Michael and
students and Trip for being here tonight and sharing your stories. Of course these
are just a few of the thousands of heartwarming and life-changing stories
that are unfolding every day at Butler. I’m so proud of our students, faculty and
all this community has accomplished together. I’ve never been more excited to
be a bulldog, but I also know the future keeps evolving and changing and we as a
university must continue to evolve and change with it. Melissa Beckwith: Higher education is going
through tremendous change and that change will only accelerate over the
next several years. Frank Ross: Our students have changed, their needs
have changed, our campus has evolved and we have to continually evolve and have
the agility to evolve to meet the needs of our students. Beckwith: We need to celebrate
what we do today that has been so successful and will continue to be
really an important part of Butler but also recognizing that these changing
dynamics will cause us to have to think differently about what is Butler’s role
in the higher education landscape. Matt Pellish: There’s stories in The Chronicle of
Higher Education you probably see them in mainstream media all the time about
colleges failing. College is going under shutting their doors because they didn’t
innovate, they didn’t think about what their students needed. If you don’t do
that, if you’re not keeping pace with the times, and pace with the market, and pace
with industry, your students are going to select another option. Chris Gahl: And that same
student who’s debating between Xavier, Georgetown, Stanford, Duke, and Butler will
lose. Pellish: And then if you look out for the next
ten years you actually have a demographic decline. If your model is
based off of recruiting and enrolling eighteen year olds, there will be fewer
of them by 2029 everybody can’t win. Morris: One of the things that’s got me the most
concerned is about accessibility to a Butler education. Families are having a
harder and harder time funding a college education let alone a private college
education. Lori Greene: And so it’s it’s more and more important that you know we sit here at
Butler we try to think of those individuals making that tough decision
and wanting that student to be a part of our class and saying how do we make it
accessible? Jim Danko: There’s hardly any industry that you
could cite out there that hasn’t been disrupted or transformed. This tidal
wave of change has hit the shores, right? We can’t just be complacent, we can’t
just say hey let’s ride it out. Let’s budget cut our way to success. Butler needs to thrive. It’s not a matter of just standing by
and letting it wash over us it’s a matter of taking charge. Beckwith: We need to think beyond our traditional model of education and we need to do
programs that take us into new areas into new markets. Serve a different way
of thinking about students. Gahl: We compete daily, viciously with other universities
for talent attraction, talent retention. Morris: Our faculty continue to need resources in
order to be able to access cutting-edge materials to keep abreast of their
fields. Quite frankly there are some academic programs that we might want to
offer that are really difficult to offer without a significant infusion of
resources. Pellish: We like to talk about Generation Z, current student population
coming out of high school. They’re gonna expect to use technology and they can’t
just come to a university and go into a standard classroom and get lectured at
anymore. It’s got to be the use of technology, it’s got to be collaborative
workspaces. Morris: Gallahue Hall was built in the same year that the handheld calculator was
introduced. So if you think about this our science faculty are teaching
students in the equivalent of the handheld calculator compared to the
computing power that we have now. Gahl: We cannot rest. We cannot sit idle. We have
to think about what Butler University will look like 10, 20, 30 years from now. Pellish: Puts a lot on an expectation on Higher education. It puts a lot on Butler to have
to do that, but that’s the reality of what the situation starts to look like. Gahl: I think Butler’s done an incredible job anticipating those changes. Yet again, we
can’t sit idle because we’re at a place now where you look at turning of the
page from Butler 2020 and that vision that’s been executed. We’re turning the
page and what’s beyond? Danko: From the moment I met the Presidential
Search Committee in 2011 I felt tremendous excitement about the
possibility of joining the Butler community. Not only was I honored to be
considered I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, perhaps
the leadership role I was working towards my entire career. By the way, that
meeting was held on March 26, 2011. Later that same day in New Orleans
Butler defeated Florida in dramatic overtime to earn a spot in the Final
Four. [applause] Matt Howard scored 14 points.
I suspect the search committee might have been distracted and that may be the
real reason I’m standing here today. At the time many considered Butler’s Final
Four appearances to be a David versus Goliath storyline with David confronting
the giant Goliath with only a slingshot. But as I told the search committee why
the underdog make that under bulldog David versus Goliath competition that
Butler was bringing to life on the basketball court was a compelling story
you can’t depend upon a slingshot forever. And the real enemy, better stated
the risk, for Butler was and continues to be the challenge of the disruptive
forces that are redefining higher education.
We simply cannot confront this challenge without the resources found at many
other American universities. At the same time we are fortunate to have here this
evening many supportive alumni and friends who have given of their time,
talent, and treasure. We take great pride in the momentum we’ve built together
over the past decade. Please join me in taking a moment to celebrate the impact
of your collective generosity. [applause] With your help our achievements under
the butler 2020 strategic plan have prepared us to move forward from a
position of strength. Tonight I’d like to share with you where we intend to go
from here. Butler University has always been a
place filled with dreamers and doers who view obstacles as opportunities for
growth and progress. As we saw in the video a moment ago trends at higher
education make one thing abundantly clear at this pivotal time. A great
University like Butler simply cannot stand still. We cannot rest on our
laurels. It’s not wise and it’s also not who we are as a community.
Butler University was founded on the premise that we must challenge the
status quo and seek answers to some of the big problems facing the world. And so
we must ask ourselves now what barriers do we confront? What new frontiers in
higher education should we explore? Which problems are we here at Butler
University uniquely positioned to solve? I believe that universities remain the
very best places to test new ideas and find solutions to the immense problems
we confront. Furthermore a college education remains one of the most
influential factors in guaranteeing a person’s lifetime well-being and success.
Butler’s mission in our role in the community remain as relevant as ever, but
only if we are willing to be bold and to take risks and pursuing programs,
partnerships, and initiatives that may look very different from what is
familiar to us now. As we look beyond we see ahead of us three major areas of
opportunity that warrant our focused and collective energy. The first is
strengthening our traditional approach to undergrad education as we pursue
opportunities to be more relevant and cost-effective. No doubt
there will continue to be students who seek a traditional college experience.
Butler will remain committed to providing the very best educational
experience to those students. One that blends the liberal arts with
professional education in a vibrant living and learning environment. Secondly
in order to meet the needs of learners at every career and life stage we must
add educational options that go well beyond our traditional approach. We will
incorporate the latest in technology where we will create innovative
partnerships and we will meet learners where they are. Embracing a lifelong
learning model allows Butler to adapt to the changing needs of tomorrow’s students.
While diversifying our resources thus ensuring Butler’s long-term
sustainability in pursuit of our mission. Our third area focus is recommitting
ourselves to our founding mission by aggressively exploring new educational
models that are more accessible and affordable. We currently invest over
seventy eight million dollars in student financial aid annually. And even with a
robust financial aid program of this size, there are still many deserving
students who simply cannot afford to attend Butler. We hear this often from
prospective families and frankly it’s heartbreaking. We must find a way to
solve the issue of affordability. In the spirit of our founding mission we must
remove the financial barriers that are excluding promising students who wish to
pursue higher learning at Butler. Can we design and deliver a quality Butler
education and degree for a fraction of the current cost? Can we renew our
commitment to our founders mission that Butler University would be an
institution of higher learning open to all? It’s a bold vision but with your help
I believe we can. It will require strong partnerships
within our community and beyond, continued philanthropic investments in
our talented students and faculty, and a willingness to test new business models
that will help to fund our educational mission.
In other words it will take more than a slingshot. We are very proud today to
announce the launch of our Butler beyond strategy and comprehensive fundraising
campaign as we build upon the strong foundation laid by our founders. As we
join together to move Butler beyond we will hold firmly to the traditions and
values that define the Butler Way. And we will evolve to meet the changing
needs of our community. We will take new risks in pursuit of the mission set down
by our founders in 1855 that higher learning should be open to all. We
believe the old and the new can coexist and that innovative ideas and approaches
will enrich and enliven our historical strengths. Butler Beyond will blend the
very best of our past with our highest aspirations for the future. [music] [applause] Sam Varie: President Danko says something to the
effect that you should be spending your time thinking about what comes next and
also thinking about selectively forgetting pieces of the past that are
no longer important to pushing yourself forward. And essentially what that saying
is honor your past but if something in your past is holding you back from
future success, do you need it? Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh: We have done great with what we’re doing but
that’s not good enough going forward. You know we have to adapt, we have to
innovate, we have to change. Okay here we are looking forward. What is it that we
want? What is it that we can do? How can we do it? I think there’s a lot of people
who are excited about the future Ross: We’re focusing on developing well-rounded
graduates who are civic minded and who’ve developed leadership skills to go
do amazing things in the world. Greene: We want everybody to have the
opportunity to education. Race, religion, gender, and so forth and so did our
founding father. Varie: When I come back in ten years I want
every student to be able to come to this University, prospective students, current
students to say that is a university that I feel I can call home. Morris: I don’t know that there’s too many students who come to Butler who aren’t deserving of or in
need of philanthropic support to help them simply pay that bill. Varie: It means everything. I’m now able to immerse myself in the college experience instead
of being taken away from it because of financial burdens.
And so what it’s allowing us to do is to create immersive, holistic college
experiences that speaks again to our core mission, allowing access for diverse
voices at our institution. Carmen Salsbury: Butler over the years has really positioned themselves well in that we’ve attracted very high-quality faculty, staff, and
administration that are here because their number one priority is to teach.
They look for all kinds of ways to do that teaching in sort of the traditional
way but also in non-traditional ways outside of the classroom. Chris Roman: Innovation in
teaching and learning isn’t just chasing the next fad. Innovation for me is
thinking smartly about where things are evolving and where things could be
better in a meaningful way and not pursue different just for the sake of
being different. Geertsema-Sligh: We are going to look at new ways of teaching, maybe online
teaching, maybe for adult learners. Variety of interesting things that we’re
still working on. Jarvis: We are able to bring disciplines together. I know in a
chemistry class we have a fine arts professor joining in and we’re talking
about the paint and how the paint is made from the chemistry side. And then
actually bringing these two topics together into coursework. To me that’s
innovative teaching. Roman: We’ve had the pharmacy practice program that’s
graduated doctorate level pharmacists for a long time
and we are just preparing to open our doctor of Medical Sciences program.
By creating that degree it’s opening a new space for healthcare professionals
to develop themselves and have a greater impact in the healthcare system. Jarvis: The Lacy School of Business of course has this internship program that is just
absolutely fabulous. That makes such a difference for a student. It’s that
hands-on learning that hands-on experience that we do really well here
at Butler. Salsbury: How can you not be excited about
innovation? That’s generally a large part of what scientists do. They have to be
innovative but just we got to give them the right facilities to do it. Butler has
been known for a long time as being a strong school in the sciences and I
think would just you know wait to see what we can do. I think it is gonna be really
exciting. Gahl: Indianapolis and Butler go hand-in-hand. There’s so many
opportunities with Fortune 500 companies here in Indianapolis, with blue chip
companies, with nonprofits. Butler continues to forge those relationships
with the community. Beckwith: Butler does a lot of great things right
now with its lab school, with the arts programs, with the athletics camps, with
the students that go out and serve in the community. Our vision for community
partnerships is bigger than that moving forward. We want to really work to solve
challenges that our community faces around education. And that might look
like new programs that we co-develop. It might look like guidance to technology
startups that are happening here in Indianapolis. It might look like new
companies that we helped start. It might look like
partnering with foundations to support non-traditional models of education. Salsbury: And I would say if you ask any of those partners there’s a great benefit both
ways. Anytime I think you put people together
that are focused on a particular question or mission,
students are doing some work they’re learning, at the same time they’re
helping the community partner. It’s a mutual, it’s a win-win. Gahl: Again as we turn the page from the vision of 2020 and what’s beyond, those community partnerships will
be invaluable it’s really the linchpin of how the university progresses over
the next 20 to 30 years. Greene: So it’s beyond the borders. It’s beyond how we think of
Education today in terms of how it’s delivered. It’s a student thinking beyond
just their first degree program and really ultimately learning what it takes
for you to be successful in your personal life to your professional life. Jonathan Purvis: For me Butler was the first college
campus I ever stepped foot on and this place shaped my understanding of what
higher education offers. My older brother Mike was a music performance major right
here at Butler. And at six years old I came to campus in watched him played the
lead role in a performance of Godspell. Under the bright stage lights I saw my
brother completely transformed and I knew it was Butler that opened up this
whole new world of opportunity for him. At it’s best
that’s what higher education offers and that’s certainly what Butler offers to
our students in our community. When students come to Butler and when the
community engages with Butler and when donors give to support Butler, a world of
opportunity opens up. That’s what my brother encountered as a
student here years ago. And as we’ve heard in so many ways tonight that’s
still what Butler students are encountering on this campus every single
day. We find ourselves now at another pivotal moment in Butler’s history and
we have a responsibility to future generations to be good stewards of this
institution that has been entrusted to us. Now is the time to take bold action
to ensure that Butler can evolve and continue to be a place that opens doors
of opportunity by providing life-changing experiences. Along with so
many of you in this room I care deeply and personally about Butler’s future.
When I came to this campus for my first interview one of the very first things
that impressed me about this place is the incredible team that president Danko
has assembled. From our academic faculty, our athletic staff, our leadership team
absolutely across the board, Butler has a first-rate team of leaders and thinkers
who are completely committed to our students through the responsibility
we have at this moment to usher Butler into its next great chapter. Butler
University is in very good hands and that is why I’m incredibly proud to
introduce to you a few of those visionary leaders who are guiding
us and moving Butler beyond. Our co-chairs of the Butler beyond campaign
Keith and Tina Burks. Representing our board of trustees and extensive Butler
volunteer communities, Jay and Roop Sandhu. Representing our faculty and
academic leadership provost and vice president of academic affairs Kate
Morris. And of course the 21st president of Butler University President James M
Danko Danko: Thank You Jonathan and thank you to the
entire leadership team. It has been my honor to work alongside so many
innovative and forward-thinking people who share a bold vision of Butler’s
future. It’s also important to note that Butler circle of leaders extends far
beyond this stage. We have so many supporters who have already stepped up
to pave the way for making Butler Beyond a reality. First I’d like to extend our
appreciation to the trustee leaders represented on stage by Jay Sandhu.
Their support has placed Butler in an unprecedented position of strength. I’d
also like to thank the many alumni and community members who have found it in
your hearts to invest in Butler. We couldn’t do it without you.
I also, given this great show we put on here today, have to send out special
thanks to Betsy Weatherly and the entire advancement team that made this happen. And thank you to all of you in the room here tonight. Your commitment to joining
us on this historic evening speaks volumes for the future of Butler
University. Thank you. Together we have already raised more
than 171 million dollars toward our campaign goal of 250. But it’s not about the number, it’s about
the impact that this number represents. The transformational difference that
will make in people’s lives and that’s something worthy of our investment. Valliere: If you compare Butler’s record of growth and development in the last 30 years, our
story is just very positive. Is that a record that is worthy of your attention,
your time, your investment? Gahl: Butler has given me so much. I am very grateful for
Butler University and how it has shaped me, prepared me, enabled me. How it has
given me these opportunities in life. Again both professionally and personally.
I attribute everything I have that is good in me to God, my family, and Butler. Fenneman: My love affair with Butler has been long. When I look back in my life those
institutions and people that affect us Butler was a great experience for me.
I’d like to see future generations have that kind of experience. A wonderful,
educational, and social opportunity. Varie: But it comes at a cost, right? Private
philanthropies at its core, supporting the premium model that I get to
experience, that Bulldogs in ten years get to experience. Jarvis: Philanthropy provides
the opportunity for us to do the things we need to do to step into the future.
Far into our future. Danko: The great thing is is we’re moving
through to our new strategy in our campaign, we’re doing so from a position
of strength. If you believe in the mission and the way we’re educating
students and the impact were making on lives, the impact that we’re making in
the community that’s a pretty darn good investment. Varie: When you invest in Butler you
become a part of the Butler community. Jordan: Community is not a place but it’s what takes place. Greene: It’s not about a building, it’s about what goes on in the building. Geertsema-Sligh: But once you fill it with people you fill it with enthusiasm, you fill it
with new ideas, I think that’s what makes it exciting. Beckwith: But I also give to Butler because I truly believe in the vision of where the
university is going. I really believe in the students that come out of this
university and what they go on to do. Varie: I give for the person who sits next to me
in class. I give for the person who comes after me, I give for the people who live
down the hall from me. Gahl: I’ll be giving to the campaign out of gratitude and I want to give back to ensure that 30 years from now people are benefiting from
Butler University, even maybe my kids. Zydowsky: It’s extremely important if we value
this university that we continue to give it the resources that it needs to go
forward to grow, to evolve, to innovate. Salsbury: The impact of those dollars is gonna be
felt for a long time by a lot of people. Collier: But it will require a significant team
to make that happen and that’ll be a team of believers in Butler’s future. Roman: Think about what’s important to you as a person. What are your priorities. What do
you think makes the world a better place. Zydowsky: Based on your life based on your career to make a difference. Danko: This is a really exciting and the right time for both the city of Indianapolis and Butler University to be ascending. Beckwith: If you want
to contribute financially to something that actually makes a difference in
someone’s life, it would be to give to Butler. Jay Sandhu: Many different experiences have
brought us together this evening. We each have our own story, our own reasons why
Butler is so special to us, and our own motivations for contributing to Butler
beyond. In my case there have been two parts to that Butler experience that
have made this place so special to me and to my family. First my experience
here as an undergraduate student. I moved to this country with my family from
India when I was 4 years old. Growing up as an immigrant in this country I
struggle at times to feel accepted. But when I came to this campus I found a
warm community, I know, the picture. Some things should not be shared. But
I found a warm community where I could grow as a person, develop my confidence,
and consider what I wanted to contribute with my life. Along with important
friendships and relationships I have developed here as a student that have
shaped my life I also learned to think critically and
was prepared for a successful career because of the rigorous academic
training I had here at Butler. The second part of my passion for Butler stems from
my 16 years on the Board of Trustees. I have seen this university grow
tremendously both in our physical structures, as well as in our stature, and
national reputation. I’m proud of the positive trajectory we’ve seen at Butler
during my time at the board of trustees and I am full of optimism about Butler’s
future Butler. It’s an extremely special place to me and my family. Every time I
step foot on this campus it feels like I’m coming home. And I remember the
feeling acceptance I found here as an 18 year old. My wife Roop and I are
passionate about making sure that future students have access to that same
experience. That’s why we’re committed to supporting Butler beyond. As you think
about this campaign and all that we’re working to accomplish together, as you
think about the vision you’ve heard for Butler beyond, I ask you to ponder some
important questions. First how have your experiences with Butler University
impacted your life? What value have you received? And what difference has it made
for you personally? And second how do you personally want to make a difference in
the lives of future generations? As Demia Butler Hicks stated at the
beginning of this evening it was our founders’ hope that this institution
would be a source of blessing to future generations. That is still our hope today.
How will you help ensure that those future generations will succeed in
college and in life? That they will have access to a Butler education, that they
will be challenged by the best faculty, that they will enjoy the benefits that
are possible because of their Butler experience.
And that the Indianapolis community and any others touched by Butler graduates
will be immeasurably enriched. These are important questions and the answers will
have far-reaching impact. So I ask you to consider your passions and where you
want to get involved. If you’re passionate about helping students of all
ages and backgrounds gain access to a Butler education there’s a place for you
to make a difference through Butler beyond. With your help Butler will
prepare smart and compassionate future leaders for successful careers in every
industry. We’ve all experienced the influence one excellent educator can
have on the course of our lives. If you’re passionate about seeing this
campus continue to be filled with the nation’s best and brightest faculty and
to teach and mentor our students, then there’s a place for you to make a
difference through Butler beyond. With your help,
Butler faculty will have the support they need to explore their innovative
ideas for teaching and learning. Butler has an important role to play in the
well-being of our community and our campus is richer and more dynamic
because of our community partnerships. If you’re passionate about unleashing the
potential of our brilliant faculty and students there is a place for you to
make a difference through Butler beyond. With your help we will increase our
engagement with community partners to collaborate in ways that will benefit
our students and our city. [alma mater] Sandhu: I invite you to find your passion and to
join me investing in the future of Butler. Together we can achieve this bold
vision. It’s up to me and it’s up to all of you so let’s join together and take
Butler beyond! [alma mater continues] [applause] [Butler war song plays] [applause] Narrator: Thank you for your participation tonight
please join us outside for dessert and continuing the celebration of Butler

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