Hal Wilkens '51
Wilkens came to Butler in 1947 as an undergraduate, brought here as
the marching band's drum major by its director, Dr. Chuck Henzie.
He was active in Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, as well as many other
After graduating with a degree in psychology, Wilkens went
directly into the Army and spent the next 18 months stationed in
France. After his discharge, he moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he
met his wife Megan.
In 1957, after learning of an opening at Butler from Dr. Henzie,
Wilkens became Butler's first alumni director. During his 11-plus
years at Butler, he restructured the Alumni Board and started many
of the programs that still exist today. He takes special pride in
having started the annual fund and the President's Club (now the
Ovid Butler Society), the alumni club program and the alumni
achievement awards program.
Wilkens went on to work in development at Illinois State
University and Florida State University, where he would spend 22
years and hold multiple positions, including vice president of
Wilkens maintained involvement with the B-Association, the Ovid
Butler Society, the Fariview Heritage Society and the Alumni Board
of Directors. In 2001, he was honored with the Butler Medal, an
award he created.
Butler Medal, 2001
It is only fitting to honor Hal Wilkins 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 Hal
Wilkins in the name of Butler University's historic position and
Hal graduated with a degree in psychology from Butler in 1951,
where he was active as a drum major for the marching band and was a
member of the psychology club, Phi Mu Alpha, Kappa Kappa Psi and
Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He remains active through the
B-Association, the Fairview Heritage Society and the Ovid Butler
Society. He was employed at the university from 1957 to 1968 as
Butler's first alumni director. During his tenure, he established
the Butler Medal, the annual fund, the alumni club program and the
President's Club. He later served on the alumni board of
From 1968 to 1972, Hal served as the director of development for
Illinois State University and executive director of the ISU
Foundation. During his 22 years with Florida State University, Hal
served as vice president for development, president of the Florida
State University Foundation and development director for the
college of engineering. Before retiring from FSU, he established
public relations and fundraising programs for the new, emerging
college of engineering. He also served as counsel to the Florida
State capital campaign, which had a goal of $200 million-which was
Hal has established a strong national presence as an alumni
relations and development expert, consulting for numerous education
and not-for-profit institutions. He has been a regular participant
in the American Alumni Council conferences, as well as an active
member and officer for the Council for the Advancement and Support
of Education and chairman of the 1973 AACU national conference.
Hal is a member and elder of the Fellowship Presbyterian Church
in Tallahassee. He has held or holds memberships in the Tallahassee
Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the
Foundation Board of the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, the PGA Nike
Tour Tournament, Tallahassee Open PGA Golf Tournament and the
Easter Seals Society.
Hal married Megan M. Jones of Columbus, Ohio, in 1955. They have
three children, five grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
As Hal's early efforts as alumni director at Butler led to the
creation of the Butler Medal, it is quite fitting that he is a
recipient of this esteemed honor. Professionally and personally,
Hal is an outstanding Butler alumnus who has made an indelible mark
on the world.