is a private liberal arts university
. 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 Administration, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Jordan College of Fine Arts.
North Western Christian University was the name when the school opened on November 1, 1855, at what is now 13th and College, with no president, 2 professors, and 20 students. In 1875, the university moved to a 25 acre 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." In 1922, they purchased Fairview Park, and in 1928, moved their campus to the current Fairview location. The campus consists of 31 buildings covering an area of 290 acres (1.2 km²).
Bobby Fong is the president of Butler. National guides give Butler high marks for academic quality with an emphasis on the liberal arts and sciences. Butler ranks 4th in the US News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2008
for Top Midwestern Master's Universities.
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 has increased its focus on research with the Butler Summer Institute, a 10 week program where Butler students are granted funding to perform independent research with a faculty member. Butler's tuition, room and board total $36,440 annually.
Radio and broadcast television
From 1950 until 1993 Butler University owned and operated, what was at one point, the largest student-run radio station, WAJC
. It had a classical format, and existed on 91.9fm, then moved to 104.5fm in 1956. 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 on Illinois Street to support the program. The School started WTBU
, a PBS
affiliate, on channel 69. Though Butler has schools for dance, music, and theater, it never developed or showed its own original content 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 New Butler President Bobby Fong
opened the Telecommunications 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.
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:
Butler University's athletic teams, known as the Bulldogs, compete in the NCAA Division I Horizon League. 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". Butler holds two national championships in men's basketball; one from 1924, and one from 1929.
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.
The 2006-2007 men's Butler basketball team won the NIT Season Tip-Off, which in part helped them to be named one of the top 12 underdog sports stories of 2006 by ESPN. For the third time in six years, the Bulldogs won their first ten games. Butler finished the regular season ranked No. 19 in both the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches and AP Top 25 Polls. 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 five NCAA Tournaments. The now-unique style of team play that many have said harkens back to the Hoosier glory days, as well as being called the way the game should be played, has been dubbed "The Butler Way" by the Bulldog program.
During the 06-07 season, Butler junior guard AJ Graves was named a Wooden Award National Player of the Year finalist in men's college basketball, while Head Coach Todd Lickliter was also awarded the 2006-07 mid-season Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year and the National Association of Basketball Coaches National Coach of the Year honors.
In the 2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament Butler earned a 5th seed, the highest seed in the school's history. It's previous highest seed was 10th in 2001. Butler was ranked in the AP Top 25 throughout the 2006-2007 season, and as high as No. 9, another school record. In the first round of the Midwest Regional, Butler defeated 12th seeded Old Dominion University 57-46. In round two of the Midwest Regional, Butler defeated the 4th seeded 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 has reached the Sweet Sixteen.
Butler reached the Sweet Sixteen as a No. 12 seed in the 2003 NCAA Tournament by defeating No. 5 Mississippi State and No. 4 Louisville, becoming that year's Cinderella. Butler also defeated Wake Forest, 79-63, in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament as a No. 10 seed, while their heartbreaking 69-68 overtime loss to eventual national runner-up Florida in the 2000 tournament as a No. 12 seed has seen regular rotation on TV over the years as an ESPN "Classic." Butler's exclusion as a 25-5 team from the 2002 tournament was also considered by many as the biggest NCAA selection "snub" in several years.
Of note, 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. 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, and has advanced to postseason play eight of the last ten years (5 NCAA's, 3 NIT's). Butler has been to six NCAA Tournaments since 1997.
Butler also has a strong history in soccer. The Bulldogs reached the NCAA Tournaments round of 16 in the sport in both 1995 and 1998. Butler has won the Horizon League (formerly MCC) tournament title in 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001. 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.
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, and Olly Laws. Coach Joe Franklin was named NCAA Division I Coach of the Year for leading the Bulldogs to their 2004 4th place finish.
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.
- Kurt Vonnegut, attended & honorary degree
- Marguerite Young (author of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and criticism)
- David Starr Jordan (PhD, President of Indiana University and first president of Stanford University)
- Bobby Plump (Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee, and hero of the 1954 Milan High School Championship Basketball Team.)
- Ed Carpenter (IndyCar Series Driver)
- Michael Lynn Miles (Walgreens' first pharmacist)
- George Ryan (former Illinois Governor)
- Howard Caldwell (long-time Indianapolis TV news anchor)
- Peter Lupus (actor and bodybuilder)
- Lance McAllister (Cincinnati talk show host)
- Corey McPherrin (sportscaster)
- Thad Matta (Ohio State Men's Basketball Head Coach)
- Todd Lickliter (University of Iowa Men's Basketball Head Coach)
- Jim Jones (minister, founder, cult leader People's Temple)
- John Minko (WFAN update anchor, play-by-play announcer for Army football)
- Pat Neshek (MLB - Minnesota Twins Pitcher)
- Dan Johnson (baseball) (MLB - Tampa Bay Devil Rays Infielder/ DH)
- Johann Sebastian Paetsch (musician and cellist)
- Robert Marshall (attended; international speed skater)
- Lawrence Trissel (pharmacist and author of Trissel's Tables)
- Sarah Fisher (attended; IndyCar Series Driver)
- Harry S. New (U.S. Senator from Indiana and Postmaster General)
- Thaddeus Davis (Notable choreographer of contemporary ballet)
- Dave Calabro,(Current track announcer for Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Sports Director/Anchor for WTHR in Indianapolis)
- Arthur C. Cope (deceased), American Chemist and originator of the Cope elimination and Cope rearrangement
- Barry S. Collier (Athletic Director Butler University and former Head Basketball Coach)
- Avriel shull (Notable Mid-Century Modern architect
- 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
- Joe Franklin, 2004 NCAA Division I Cross Country Coach of the Year
- Jerry Farrell, mathematics professor best-known for designing some famous New York Times crossword puzzles, such as 1996 "Election Day"
- Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle, developed the orange basketball
- James Mulholland, prolific composer of choral and instrumental music
- Arkady Orlovsky, principal cellist of Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
- Lauren Smith, actress
- Dr. Jon Sorenson, mathematician and head of the computer science department
- Dean Michael Zimmerman, biologist and anti-creationist activist.
- Rosanna Ruffo, Former dancer with the Mariinski theatre.
- Jim Phillippe (deceased), Former track announcer for Indianapolis Motor Speedway and recipient of Butler Medal of Honor
- Gordon Clark (deceased), American philosopher and Calvinist theologian
Points of interest
- America's Best Colleges 2006. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved on 2006-01-24..