Alumni & Parent Programs

Dr. Geoffrey Bannister

Butler Medal, 2000

It is only fitting to honor Dr. Geoffrey Bannister with the highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association. Recognizing individuals who "have helped immeasurably toward perpetuating the university as a great educational and cultural institution," the Butler Medal signifies the undeniable success achieved by Dr. Bannister in the name of Butler University's historic position and future progress.

Born in England and raised in New Zealand, Dr. Bannister received bachelor's and master's degrees in geography from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Toronto, Canada. He became an American citizen in Indianapolis on July 4, 1989.

Dr. Bannister became the 17 th president of Butler University on Jan. 1, 1989, after serving as the university's executive vice president for a year and a half. Dr. Bannister came to Butler from Boston University where he was dean of the College of Liberal Arts and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Bannister has been active as a consultant to corporate, government and educational organizations. His research publications have been in the fields of population and economic forecasting, regional development, real estate forecasting, economic theory, mathematical cartography and international boundaries.

In 1991, Dr. Bannister was named by Mayor Hudnut as chairman of SPIRIT-Strategic Plan for Indianapolis Residents: Investing In Tomorrow. In 1992 he was recipient of the Martin Luther King Award, presented by the King, Walker, Wilkins, Young Foundation. In 1993, he was honored as Indianapolis International Citizen of the Year and made a "Sagamore of the Wabash." Dr. Bannister was chairman of the 1994 World Rowing Championships held at Eagle Creek.

Until 1999, Dr. Bannister served as chairman of the board of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) which is based in Washington, D.C. He is chairman of the Indiana Campus Compact, a consortium which seeks to increase campus community service. He also is on the board of directors of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. Dr. Bannister is an honorary member of the Scarlet Quill chapter of Mortar Board and Phi Beta Kappa.

Local boards on which Dr. Bannister has served include the United Way, Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Indiana Sports Corporation, International School of Indiana, Indianapolis Commission on African-American Males and Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association.

He was a national champion cyclist and record holder in New Zealand. He is a worse than average golfer who still yearns to play his normal game, just once.

Updated 2000