David H. Arland '85
Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award, 2000
Joseph Irwin Sweeney attacked his college experience at Butler
University with unfettered enthusiasm and stamina. David Arland is
an alumnus who exhibits a similar passion and dedication both to
his profession and his alma mater.
Dave started at Butler in the fall of 1981 as a radio/television
major, a distinction that meant his first college class was in the
basement of the cinderblock transmitter building at the old WAJC
radio station. He decided to attend Butler after winning a $10,000
Eisenhower Scholarship and visiting with radio/television Professor
Ann Harper. It was on his 1983 WAJC classical music program that
the city's first classical music was broadcast from a compact disc
player. An active collegiate member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity,
Dave still serves on the fraternity's House Corporation board of
He graduated in 1985 after an internship at WISH-TV and started
work as a part-time news reporter at WIRE Radio. Hired by WIBC news
director Fred Heckman in 1986, Dave spent many long evenings at
City-County Council hearings (where he met his future wife) and at
IPS School Board meetings. He even did a stint as the fill-in
traffic reporter aboard the WIBC helicopter (when they had a
In 1988, Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut hired Dave as executive
assistant for media relations. Dave served as the mayor's liaison
to the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors
and as the spokesman for the mayor.
Dave says he made the most significant decision of his life in
1990 when he proposed to Karen Little at a holiday party. A
musician who enjoys playing the piano and writing songs, Dave
proposed in song with more than 30 singing witnesses!
Dave and Karen were married in 1991, and he moved on to Thomson
Consumer Electronics just two weeks later. Named to community and
government affairs positions at Thomson, Dave was promoted in May
1999 to director of government and public relations for Thomson's
U.S. operations which are headquartered in Indianapolis. Thomson
makes and sells RCA entertainment products.
Dave is former president of the Butler University Alumni
Association and has served two years as a university trustee. He
assisted the university in its transition to a deferred rush
recruitment for fraternity and sorority members and remains
involved in fraternity issues.
Dave and Karen serve as music ministers at their church, Holy
Spirit Parish at Geist. They have one daughter, Katy.