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Butler University
Butler University marker.jpg
Motto Education, Research, Service
Established 1855
Type Private coeducational liberal arts
Endowment $113 million[1]
President Bobby Fong
Staff 328[2]
Students 4,512 (Fall 2009)[2]
Undergraduates 3,897 (Fall 2009)[2]
Postgraduates 615
Location Indianapolis, IN, USA
Campus Urban: 290 acres (1.2 km²)[2]
Athletics 19 Division I NCAA teams[2]
Colors Blue/White
Mascot Bulldogs

Butler University is a private liberal arts university in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. It was founded by abolitionist and attorney Ovid Butler in 1855. It serves over 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students in 60 degree programs through five colleges: Business, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Jordan College of Fine Arts.[2] Butler's tuition, room and board total $37,710 annually, and over two-thirds of students receive some form of need-based aid.[2]



On November 1, 1855, Butler was opened and was originally known as the North Western Christian University. In 1875, the university moved to a 25-acre (100,000 m2) campus in Irvington. It was there that the school was renamed Butler University "in recognition of Ovid Butler's inspirational vision, determined leadership, and financial support." At the dawn of the twentieth century, the thriving young university counted Edgar W. Abbott and Clara McIntyre among their distinguished faculty. McIntyre came to Indianapolis’s prestigious institution from Lexington, Massachusetts while Abbott had been formerly connected with the University of Chicago. After brief tenures at Butler, the two became engaged to be married. They were living rather happily until the night of July 24, 1901. On that mid summer’s evening, Abbott, who had been at Butler for just two years, decided to take a bath in nearby Broad Ripple Creek. Somehow, while in the process of bathing, the thirty-five year old professor of languages tragically drowned. The incident garnered national attention.[3] Over two decades later in 1922, Butler purchased Fairview Park, and in 1928, moved their campus to the current Fairview location. The campus consists of thirty-one buildings covering an area of 290 acres (1.2 km²).[2] The University master plan for 2009-2014 calls for the construction of 2 new dorms, a new student union, 2 new parking garages, a new business building, 2 classroom buildings, a new mid-sized concert hall and a connection between the new concert hall and Lilly and Clowes Halls, renovations to most buildings including the Butler Bowl, additions to Holcomb Building, Gallahue Science Hall, Atherton Union, Irwin Library and Robertson Hall. One new dorm will be located in the previous Ross Hall parking lot and the other will be located behind Schwitzer Hall where the previous Schwitzer parking lot is. The union will be next to Atherton on Hampton Drive . The business building will be next to Irwin Library with the two academic buildings to the east of the new business building. The parking garages will be located behind the new concert hall and next to Schwitzer Hall.


National guides give Butler high marks for academic quality with an emphasis on the liberal arts and sciences. Butler ranks 2nd in the US News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2010 for Top Midwestern Master's Universities.[4] The university emphasizes practicality of knowledge. Butler University offers individual attention to its students with its small class size and no teaching assistants. Butler University increased its focus on faculty and student research with the Butler Institute for Research and Scholarship (BIRS), bolstered by a million dollar grant from the Lilly Endowment.[5] The University provides student research opportunities, such as the Butler Summer Institute, a 10 week program where Butler students are granted funding to perform independent research with a faculty member.[6]

Colleges and Programs

Over 55 undergraduate, one first professional and 17 master's degrees are offered in five academic colleges: Business, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Fine Arts.

College of Business

Butler's four year business program began in 1937 and offers B.S. degrees in accounting, economics, finance, international management, management information systems, and marketing.[7] A unique program in the College–the Butler Business Accelerator–allows students to serve as consultants for central Indiana businesses.[8] The school boasts 609 undergraduates, as well as 16 MBA students.[7] The average class size is 25 students, and no class has more than 50 students.[7] The College of Business is ranked 63rd in the nation.

College of Education

Butler assimilated the Teachers College of Indianapolis to form a College of Education in 1930.[9] For the past seven years, the College has experienced a 99 percent (or above) placement rate for its students.[8] Undergraduate majors offered through the College are elementary education, middle childhood, middle/secondary education, physical education and health, and music education.[10] The College also offers graduate degrees for those who complete the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP), the master's program in school counseling, or the master's program for effective teaching and leadership[10]

Jordan College of Fine Arts

The Jordan College of Fine Arts offers both graduate and undergraduate programs, including degrees in Arts Administration, Dance, Dance-Performance, Dance-Pedagogy, Theatre, Recording Industry Studies, Multimedia, Electronic Media, Music Composition, Instrumental Performance, Jazz Studies, Lyric Theatre, Music Performance, and Voice Performance.[10]

Radio and broadcast television

From 1950 until 1994 Butler University owned and operated, what was at one point, the most powerful student-run radio station in the United States, WAJC, with an effective radiated power of 48,212 watts and circularly polarised transmitting antennas at 500 feet (150 m). The tower and transmitter building were located adjacent to Hinkle Fieldhouse. WAJC was initially assigned to 91.9 MHz FM in 1947. Objections from the engineers of a local TV station on channel 6, WRTV, based upon the proximity of the channel 6 audio signal (87.75MHz) to the low end of the FM band, raised concerns about potential FM capture interference from WAJC to channel 6 viewers in the near-northside of Indianapolis, in the immediate vicinity of the WAJC transmitter site. WAJC was moved to 104.5 MHz in 1956 to reduce the possibility of interference. 104.5 would later be allocated to the commercial portion of the US FCC's bandplan for FM radio, while 92 MHz and below was reserved for educational stations. This meant the 104.5 frequency became very commercially valuable in years to come as the band was filled to capacity. In 1993 Butler sold the station and used part of the seven million dollars earned through the sale to upgrade the Telecommunications major and improve a donated building at 2835 N. Illinois Street, the former WIBC (then 1070 kHz AM) and WNAP (then 93.1 MHz FM) radio studios, to support the program. The School started WTBU, a PBS affiliate, on channel 69. After competing for years with WFYI for PBS audiences, in 1999 then president Geoffrey Bannister then signed agreement to operate under a joint operating agreement, which eventually saw WFYI absorb control of the station, leaving Butler to run the academics. In 2001 the new Butler President Bobby Fong opened the Richard M. Fairbanks Center for Communication and Technology building on Butler's campus, and almost simultaneously announced the sale of the traditional broadcast station to Telemundo, moving WTBU to a cable-based campus-only broadcaster. The Telecommunications Arts program was renamed "Media Arts" in 2004 although the focus stayed on broadcast skills, including audio production. The department has temporarily suspended its campus-cable channel, and has focused its attention on the web. The department now produces several shows including the BU Beat, Random Acts, Music Box, and the new sports show, the Bulldog Blitz.[11] The Bulldog Blitz was picked up by Comcast-On Demand in Indiana in 2008.


Butler's Department of Theatre is known for producing works not commonly seen elsewhere. Focusing on physical and International theatre, Butler has staged experimental interpretations of Samuel Beckett, a complete season of Caryl Churchill works, St. Joan as a montage performance piece and productions incorporating music, dance and media projection in collaboration with the other three departments of the Jordan College of Fine Arts. Each summer a professional artist is invited to present a two-week intensive course on a topic not covered in the usual academic text. This has included work with Italian and Russian directors, an Indian classical dancer, Australian installation artists and a multi-national montage performance group. Butler Theater's web page is: and yahhhh


Butler University athletics logo

Butler University's athletic teams, known as the Bulldogs, compete in the NCAA Division I Horizon League and the Pioneer Football League.

Hinkle Fieldhouse

Butler's basketball arena, Hinkle Fieldhouse, was the largest basketball arena in the US for several decades. It is considered a Hoosier Hysteria icon: from its opening in 1928 until 1971, it was the site of the final rounds of the Indiana state high school basketball tournament and was the site for the championship game in the movie Hoosiers. In 1954, Butler hosted the historic final when Milan High School (enrollment 161) defeated Muncie High School [now Muncie Central] (enrollment over 1,600) to win the state title. The state final depicted in the 1986 movie Hoosiers, loosely based on the Milan Miracle story, was shot in Hinkle Fieldhouse. A renovation of the Butler Bowl (football stadium) is now finished and includes field turf, which allows the Butler Bowl to host football, soccer, and other events.

An interior panorama of Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse, constructed in 1928, during a game between the Bulldogs and the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.

Butler Basketball

The Butler program has traditionally been one of the best of the so-called "mid-major" basketball programs over the last decade, having won at least 20 games and reached postseason play eight of the last ten seasons, including six NCAA Tournament appearances.[12] Butler also holds two national championships in men's basketball from the pre-tournament era; one from 1924 (earned via the AAU national tournament), and one from 1929 (selected by the Veteran Athletes of Philadelphia).[13]

In the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, the Bulldogs' heartbreaking 69-68 overtime loss to eventual national runner-up Florida in the 2000 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament as a No. 12 seed has seen regular rotation on TV over the years as an ESPN "Classic." The next year, Butler defeated Wake Forest, 79-63, in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament as a No. 10 seed. Butler's exclusion from the 2002 NCAA Tournament as a 25-5 team is considered by many as the biggest NCAA selection "snub" in several years. [14][15] In the 2003 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, Butler reached the Sweet Sixteen as a No. 12 seed by defeating #5 Mississippi State and #4 Louisville, becoming that year's Cinderella.

The 2006-2007 men's Butler basketball team won the NIT Season Tip-Off, which helped them to be named one of the top 12 underdog sports stories of 2006 by ESPN.[16] For the third time in six years, the Bulldogs won their first ten games. Butler finished the regular season ranked No. 17 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll[17] and #21 in the AP Poll.[18]

During the 06-07 season, the Wooden Award National Player of the Year finalists in men's college basketball included Butler junior guard AJ Graves, while the 2006-07 mid-season Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year was awarded to Head Coach Todd Lickliter.[19] Lickliter was the second coach to win the award while coaching at Butler. It was also awarded to former legendary coach Jim Anthony who won the award 3 times in 1968, 1969,and 1972. He remains the only coach in college basketball history to win the award 3 times.

In the 2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament Butler earned a #5 seed, the highest in the school's history. Its previous highest seed was #10 in 2001. Butler was ranked in the AP Top 25 throughout the 2006-2007 season, reaching as high as #9 (also a school record). In the first round of the Midwest Regional, Butler defeated #12 seed Old Dominion University 57-46. In round two, Butler defeated #4 seed Maryland by a score of 62 to 59, earning a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in St. Louis, MO to play #1 seed University of Florida. This marked the second time in five years and the third time in the school's history that Butler reached the Sweet Sixteen.

Butler has the best winning percentage and most wins of all D-I men's basketball programs in the state of Indiana over the last decade (21.6 wins per year through 2006), while having won the last six meetings with in-state rival Notre Dame and two of the last four against Indiana University.[20][21] Butler defeated both Notre Dame and Indiana during the 2006-07 regular season, while also defeating in-state rival Purdue to move to 2-0 against the Boilermakers this decade. Butler has also been the defending champion of the Hoosier Classic men's basketball tournament since the 2001-02 season,[22][23] and has advanced to postseason play eight of the last ten years (6 NCAA's, 2 NIT's). Butler has been to nine NCAA Tournaments and three NIT's since 1997.


Butler has also had a rich tradition in football. Over the course of 60 seasons from 1934 to 1994, Bulldog football teams have won 31 conference championships. This includes seven straight Indiana Collegiate Conference titles from 1934 to 1940, league titles in 1946, 1947, 1952, and 1953, and seven straight from 1958 to 1964, all under the late great Tony Hinkle. Following the move from the College Division to NCAA Division II, Butler won 4 straight conference championships from 1972 to 1975, and in 1977, all under the guidance of Bill Sylvester, Sr. The Bulldogs and fellow ICC members added Ashland to form the Heartland Collegiate Conference. Butler went on to win league titles in 1983, 1985, and three straight from 1987 to 1989, under coach Bill Lynch. The Bulldogs also went to the NCAA Division II playoffs in 1983 and 1988. Butler and fellow HCC member schools joined with the Great Lakes Valley Conference to form the Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference (now the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference). Butler added back to back league titles in 1991 and 1992 with Ken LaRose at the helm, including a trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs in 1991. The following season, Butler and member school Valparaiso moved up to NCAA Division I-AA (now Division I FCS) to join with Dayton, Drake, Evansville, and San Diego to form the Pioneer Football League. Butler capped its decade of dominance, seven league titles in ten years with three playoff berths, by winning another conference championship in 1994. The Dawgs were led by the great Arnold Mickens who broke numerous NCAA Division I rushing records, including eight straight 200 yard performances during the campaign. In 2009, Butler won it's 32nd league title by winning the PFL championship under coach Jeff Voris. The Bulldogs set a school record with 11 wins and went to the Gridiron Classic winning over Central Connecticut State 28-23.

Hoosier Helmet Trophy

The Hoosier Helmet was established as the trophy helmet for the rivalry football game played between Butler University and Valparaiso University.

The Hoosier Helmet was created prior to the 2006 season to commemorate the football rivalry that has existed since 1921. The helmet trophy was created to further intensify the rivalry between these two teams. A group of Butler players, along with their head coach, Jeff Voris, came up with the idea for the helmet. After Valparaiso head coach Stacey Adams agreed to play for the helmet, the Butler equipment manager put the helmet together.

The white helmet is mounted on a hardwood plaque and features each team's logo on respective sides of the helmet. A gold plate is added each year to commemorate the winner and score of the contest. Currently, Butler holds a 3-1 series lead when playing for the Hoosier Helmet.

Both Butler and Valparaiso compete in the NCAA FCS (formerly division 1-AA), non-scholarship Pioneer Football League.


Butler's men's soccer qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2009, reaching the round of 16 in 1995 and 1998. Butler won the Horizon League (formerly MCC) tournament title in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001. They also won or shared the regular season title six times, including 1994, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2008 and 2009. The 1998 squad enjoyed national rankings as high as No. 8 in the country.


In 2000, the Butler University Hockey Team won the American Collegiate Hockey Association's Division III National Championship, beating National Runner-Up Georgia Tech. The tournament was hosted by the US Naval Academy.

Cross Country

Some of Butler's most notable athletic accomplishments have come in Cross Country. Butler has won nine straight Horizon League Championships in Men's Cross Country and five straight Women's Championships. The Men's team has placed as high as 4th in the nation in recent years, earning a team trophy at the NCAA Division I championships in 2004. Both teams have frequently qualified for nationals in recent years, placing individuals as high as 3rd (Mark Tucker, 2003). All-Americans from the Butler Cross Country Team include Julius Mwangi, Justin Young, Fraser Thompson (A Rhodes Scholar), Mark Tucker, Olly Laws, and Andrew Baker. Former coach, Joe Franklin, was named NCAA Division I Coach of the Year for leading the Bulldogs to their 2004 4th place finish.

Fight Song

Butler War Song
We'll sing the Butler war song,
We'll give a fighting cry;
We'll fight the Butler battle--
Bulldogs ever do or die.
And in the glow of the victory firelight,
Hist'ry cannot deny
To add a page or two
For Butler's fighting crew
Beneath the Hoosier sky.

Notable alumni

  • Dave Calabro (Current track announcer for Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Sports Director/Anchor for WTHR in Indianapolis)
  • Howard Caldwell (long-time Indianapolis TV news anchor)
  • Ed Carpenter (IndyCar Series Driver)
  • Barry S. Collier (Athletic Director Butler University and former Head Basketball Coach)
  • Arthur C. Cope American chemist and originator of the Cope elimination and Cope rearrangement
  • George Daugherty (Conductor of major American and International symphony orchestras; Emmy Winner and 5 time Emmy nominee.)
  • Thaddeus Davis (Notable choreographer of contemporary ballet)
  • Scott Drew (Baylor University Men's Basketball Coach)
  • Ensemble 48 (Modern classical music ensemble)
  • Sarah Fisher (attended; IndyCar Series Driver)
  • Dan Johnson (baseball) (MLB - Tampa Bay Devil Rays Infielder/ DH)
  • Jim Jones (notorious founder of the Peoples Temple)
  • David Starr Jordan (PhD, President of Indiana University and first president of Stanford University)
  • Mike Leckrone (Director, University of Wisconsin - Madison Marching Band)
  • Todd Lickliter (Former University of Iowa Men's Basketball Head Coach)
  • Jay B. Love (CEO of eTapestry)
  • Peter Lupus (actor and bodybuilder)
  • Drew Waddell (Rhode's Scholar, author of You Didn't Write the Code, It Wrote You)
  • Lance McAllister (Cincinnati talk show host)
  • Corey McPherrin (sportscaster)
  • Robert Marshall (attended; international speed skater)
  • Thad Matta (Ohio State Men's Basketball Head Coach)
  • Arnold Mickens (Division I-AA All-American Football Player)
  • Michael Lynn Miles (Walgreens' first pharmacist)
  • John Minko (WFAN update anchor, play-by-play announcer for Army football)
  • Pat Neshek (MLB - Minnesota Twins Pitcher)
  • Harry S. New (U.S. Senator from Indiana and Postmaster General)
  • Johann Sebastian Paetsch (musician and cellist)
  • Bobby Plump (Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee, and hero of the 1954 Milan High School Championship Basketball Team.)
  • Kevin Riel (surfer)
  • George Ryan (former Illinois Governor)
  • Avriel Shull (Notable Mid-Century Modern architect)
  • Lawrence Trissel (pharmacist and author of Trissel's Tables)
  • Kurt Vonnegut (attended, honorary degree)
  • Marguerite Young (author of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and criticism)
  • Kaitlin Olufs (U.S. President and former Senator from Chicago)

Notable faculty

  • Dan Barden, author of John Wayne: A Novel
  • John Beversluis, author of C.S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion and Cross Examining Socrates
  • Igor Buketoff, conductor and teacher
  • Gordon Clark, philosopher and Calvinist theologian
  • Jerry Farrell, mathematics professor best-known for designing some famous New York Times crossword puzzles, such as 1996 "Election Day"
  • Joe Franklin, 2004 NCAA Division I Cross Country Coach of the Year
  • Dr. Andrea Gullickson, widely regarded as one of the best and most well known concert oboists in the world (wife of Michael Zimmerman, below).
  • Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle, developed the orange basketball
  • James Mulholland, prolific composer of choral and instrumental music
  • Jim Phillippe, former track announcer for Indianapolis Motor Speedway and recipient of Butler Medal of Honor
  • Rosanna Ruffo, former dancer with the Mariinski theatre.
  • Lauren Smith, actress
  • Dr. Prem Sharma, mathematician
  • Dr. Jon Sorenson, mathematician and head of the computer science department
  • Dr. Michael Zimmerman, evolutionary biologist and founder of The Clergy Letter Project (husband of Andrea Gullickson, above).

Greek organizations




  • Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity, Alpha Beta Chapter
  • Sigma Rho Delta, National Dance Fraternity/Sorority, Alpha Chapter
  • Tau Beta Sigma, National Honorary Band Sorority, Epsilon Chapter

Professional Fraternites

Points of interest


  1. ^ U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009 (NACUBO), retrieved 2010-03-16
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h At a Glance - Butler University, retrieved 2010-03-16
  3. ^ "Drowned While Bathing - Butler University Professor Loses Life in Broad Ripple Creek." New York Times 25 July 1901: 5.
  4. ^ Master's Universities (Midwest) Rankings (U.S. News & World Report), retrieved 2010-03-16
  5. ^ Institute for Research and Scholarship (Butler University), retrieved 2010-03-16
  6. ^ Butler Summer Institute (Butler University - Institute for Research and Scholarship), retrieved 2010-03-16
  7. ^ a b c Butler University College of Business Administration (Business Week), retrieved 2010-03-16
  8. ^ a b Butler University College Profile (Peterson's), retrieved 2010-03-16
  9. ^ Butler Tarkington (The Polis Center), retrieved 2010-03-16
  10. ^ a b c Colleges and Programs (Butler University), retrieved 2010-03-16
  11. ^ Bulldog Blitz (YouTube), retrieved 2010-03-16
  12. ^ ESPN's NCAA Basketball Tournament History - Butler Bulldogs (ESPN), retrieved 2010-03-15
  13. ^ Butler To Induct Seven Individuals, Two Teams Into Hall of Fame (Butler University - The Official Athletics Site), retrieved 2010-03-15
  14. ^ NCAA Selections Shows New System Has Its Flaws (Butler University - The Official Athletics Site), published 2002-03-12
  15. ^ 'Butler Way' includes sense of urgency (USA Today), retrieved 2010-03-15
  16. ^ '06 made the downtrodden downright delightful (ESPN), retrieved 2010-03-15
  17. ^ 2007 NCAA Men's Basketball Rankings - Week 17 (Mar. 5) (ESPN), retrieved 2010-03-15
  18. ^ 2007 NCAA Men's Basketball Rankings - Postseason (ESPN), retrieved 2010-03-15
  19. ^ Butler's Todd Lickliter Earns Jim Phelan Mid-Season Honors (Jim Phelan Award), retrieved 2010-03-15
  20. ^ 2006-07 Notre Dame Men's Basketball Media Guide, retrieved 2010-03-15
  21. ^ 2005-06 Butler Men's Baksetball Media Guide (Butler University - The Official Athletics Site), retrieved 2010-03-15
  22. ^ 'Dog Days (New York Post), retrieved 2010-03-15
  23. ^ 2001-02 Men's Basketball Schedule and Results (Indiana University Athletics), retrieved 2010-03-15

External links

39°50′22″N 86°10′17″W / 39.83944°N 86.17139°W / 39.83944; -86.17139

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