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.