College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Bill Swanson

Liberal Arts Statement

It was early spring 1973 that I first met with Dr. John Pelton, Chair of the Botany Department.  Snow was still on the ground.  Buds still quiet.  But excitement was in the air.  As a rather focused young man just beginning to think about my college career and life, in a haphazard way that John would come to tolerate, I came to his office.  The reason for my visit was one of discovery, guided by the question: would Butler University, and more specifically the Botany Department and faculty be willing to accept me?  I was nervous but tried to hide that with youthful assertiveness. John saw right through me.  Yet his patience, skill and experience made me feel at ease with my first official visit to campus.  By the end of our short first meeting I knew the answer to my question.  Little did I realize how important that answer and my subsequent decision to join the ranks of new students in the class of 1978 would be to me and my future.

In the four short years of undergraduate training in liberal arts and sciences at Butler, the faculty put forth an unimaginable buffet of life choices before me and said it was my responsibility to select the course best suited for my success.  Little did they realize that I had never been able to just select a few good morsels.   The staff and faculty of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences valiantly guided me through the choices and supported me as though I was the only student enrolled.  How do you put a dollar value on this, perhaps priceless!

It is hard to imagine that after 34 years I still practice all the skills learned at Butler.  Robert Fulghum wrote that "all I really need to know I learned in kindergarten" maybe true.  I would add that all I use today started with the people at Butler University.