College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Sandy Rader, J.D.

Liberal Arts Statement

When I arrived as a freshman at Butler University in September 1949 from New Jersey, I assumed that I would pursue a career as an accountant. The United States was in a period of relative peace between World War II and the War in Korea. However, Butler did have an outstanding Air Force ROTC Program and -- as a patriotic young American who vividly recalled Pear Harbor and the Holocaust -- I joined the Air Force ROTC.

I realized during my freshman year that accounting was not my passion, but I was interested in business, economics, philosophy, psychology, English, public speaking and literature, and therefore pursued the Liberal Arts with an emphasis on business.

During my junior and senior years, I developed an interest in the Visual and Performing Arts as electives in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The psychology, philosophy, and leadership courses in ROTC prepared me to be a United States Air Force Commander. I obtained the rank of Colonel and retired after the first War in Iraq. After the September 11th attack, I volunteered again and continue to work with the United States Air Force. My Butler education also served me well when I enrolled in Rutgers University Law School after my first active tour of duty. I practiced Law in New Jersey while remaining in the Air Force Reserve and I still work as a trial lawyer and Senior Counsel to my law firm.

While at Butler I was privileged to have courses with and develop a professional relationship with the late Dr. David Silver, Dean Emeritus of the School of Liberal Arts and an expert in the politics surrounding the Civil War and the Lincoln Supreme Court. When 9/11 occurred, I was called upon to defend some alleged terrorists and the legality of the suspension of Habeas Corpus and warrantless searches. My recollection flashed back to a book written by Dr. Silver, Lincoln's Supreme Court, where President Lincoln did suspend Habeas Corpus and had the Attorney General conduct searches without a warrant. The Lincoln Supreme Court sustained President Lincoln, and I was immediately able to refer to the cases cited by Dr. Silver.

The electives taken at Butler have also been valuable. It was a New Year's Eve Performance at the Metropolitan Opera about 15 or 20 years ago: I looked up from the orchestra and saw Dr. Emily Thornborugh in one of the side boxes. I had not seen Dr. Thornborugh since graduating from Butler, where I was privileged to have her for several Constitutional Law classes. I would not have been at the Metropolitan Opera but for my experience in my elective music appreciation courses at Butler.

I am grateful for the total educational experience I received at Butler and the impact that it has had on my military, professional, and personal life. But for the Liberal Arts foundation and the skills provided at Butler, my success in my chosen profession as an attorney and my career as an Air Force Officer in peace and war would never have developed and provided a benefit to my colleagues, clients, and my country.