Office of Planned Giving

Making a Difference

Every gift makes a difference at Butler University. And there are many different ways to show your support. Read on to learn how a few alumni and friends chose to leave a lasting legacy at the University.



"We're really sold on Butler…for what it is today and for what the future holds for it."

Herb and Jo Ann Dixon ~ Show Story

Herb Dixon '54, M.S. '56 never dreamed that he would be able to provide a scholarship for tennis players at Butler University. In fact, growing up in Mishawaka, IN during the difficult times of The Great Depression, Herb did not even know if he would be able to afford his own college education, much less anyone else's. 

An academic scholarship allowed him to enroll at Wabash College in Crawfordsville. But after attending for two years, Herb learned that in order to graduate with a degree in education he was going to have to attend for longer than the traditional four years. Concerned about how he would be able to come up with additional money for an extra semester, he spoke to Jack Frayman with whom he played tennis at Mishawaka High School and who was attending Butler who encouraged him to transfer. This friend spoke to tennis coach Frank "Pop" Hedden about Herb's predicament. Somehow, "Pop" was able to pull together a tennis scholarship that would allow Herb to come to Butler for free. 

That was the start of what would become a lifetime of service and commitment to Butler University for both Herb and wife Jo Ann Kershner Dixon M.S. '64. In addition to playing on the tennis team, Herb went on to join AF-ROTC and acted as President for both the senior class and Sigma Chi Fraternity. He also served as Resident Advisor in the men's dormitory (now Ross Hall) and the Butler Board of Trustees (1976-1979) as an Alumni Trustee. Jo Ann taught in the Butler graduate division. They are both recipients of the 2006-2007 Ovid Butler Society Mortar Award, which is given to those who exemplify the Butler spirit through time and resources.

Herb and Jo Ann recently funded a charitable gift annuity. The proceeds will ultimately endow a scholarship that will provide financial support for male tennis players, just like the one Herb received that enabled him to attend his last two years here. They have been delighted with their gift. "We're really sold on Butler University," Herb said. "Not just for what it did for us, but for what it is today and for what the future holds for it." 

For Herb and JoAnn, creating the charitable gift annuity was a chance to give back the gift of a scholarship Herb received long ago. They hope their gift will serve as an inspiration, and encourage others to consider how they can support students at Butler. Herb said, "everything is a gift, and the more you give the more you are blessed."



"Our experience at Butler shaped our entire lives."

Margery and Edward Bennett ~ Show Story

Margery Harder Bennett and her husband, Dr. Edward Bennett feel a lot of gratitude toward Butler University. Marge said, "our experience at Butler shaped our entire lives, and it is with fond recollections of that experience and those opportunities that we decided to try to help young students advance their careers."

It is because of the educational opportunities she and her husband received at Butler that they decided to give back in an impactful way. Margery and her husband, Dr. Edward Bennett, established an endowed scholarship that would provide aid to academically deserving but financially disadvantaged Butler students majoring in history. It was their desire to afford others the same opportunity that Ed received as a result of the GI Bill that provided the resources to receive an education when it would not have otherwise been available.

In December of 2007, the Bennetts found a new way to give back to Butler. They added significantly to a scholarship they had established by transferring funds from their IRAs tax-free.  "It was so easy to accomplish," Marge said. "If we had any other IRAs, we would do it again without hesitation."

For Marge and Ed, making a gift through their IRAs was their way to "pay back for the Butler experience." The Bennetts are now helping history majors through their scholarship.