Alumni & Parent Programs

Hal Wilkens '51

H WilkensHal 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 student organizations.

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 development.

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 future progress.

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 directors.

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 exceeded.

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.

Updated 2001