College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Mike Eikenberry

Liberal Arts Statement

As a small town kid from Northern Indiana, I arrived at Butler looking for my escape from the label of being the "Principal's Kid".  I envisioned my time at college would be exploring and finding myself in the big city of Indianapolis while having a safety net in Butler and its small community.  Little did I know that my safety net would end up being my proving ground.
I found that after a less than stellar start as a business student that my passions were being stirred through instructors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Classes such as Biology 110 provided great life lessons about perseverance and when to realize that through adversity one can find success in different pursuits.  William Watts challenged me to craft and communicate my opinions effectively in Composition and Critical Thinking and Hilene Flanzbaum exposed me to Jane Austen and her writings.  John Beversluis brought Gustav Mahler to me through his philosophy class, and my Sociology department allowed me to examine deviance, criminality, and travel to East St. Louis to experience and critique the subject of educational disparity that Jonathon Kozol wrote about in Savage Inequalities.
Butler University provided this small town boy exposure to the arts and ideas that have whetted my appetite for knowledge and fueled my desire to constantly expose myself to new points of view.  My liberal arts education provided critical thinking skills and the ability to communicate in an effective manner with ones audience.
I have not only been enriched through the classroom, but also as a member of a Greek organization and the life lessons learned through managing a 70 man chapter.  These lessons have provided an ability to approach all challenges with the goal to provide the best outcomes for all involved.

Our household is doubly thankful for all we gained from the Butler College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  I think that it is crucial in the education of tomorrow's workforce that employees are able to balance technical expertise with a well rounded background of the principles and lessons that have shaped the current society today.  In summation Albert Einstein stated it best when he said "it is not so very important for a person to learn facts.  For that he does not really need a college.  He can learn them from books.  The value of an education is a liberal arts college is not learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks."