Schrott Center

Groundbreaking Video & Photos

Butler University broke ground Friday, May 13, 2011, on the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts.

Schrott told about 200 people gathered for the groundbreaking - including trustees, past and present deans and faculty members - that he remembered talk of a performing arts theater when he was a Butler student. He recalled Jim Phillippe, the head of the radio-TV department, walking down the hall with a set of drawings of the theater that Phillippe hoped would be built.

Schrott also remembered his counselor and instructor Ann Harper, who taught him and his classmates "the finer points of our chosen profession." Harper was on hand for the groundbreaking.

So was Joe Collier, who worked in admissions at Butler for 32 years. One day in fall 1971, Collier showed up at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., where Schrott was a senior. Schrott said he was called out of band class and told to go to the guidance office. There, he was introduced to Collier.

"He tells me he was from a university that I had never heard of, in a city I had heard of but had to look at a map to make sure I knew where it was," Schrott said. "He shows me pictures of a beautiful campus, he tells me about a radio-TV department, a 40,000-watt FM radio station (when that sort of thing was important in the radio-TV field). If it were not for the fact that Joe Collier stopped by T.C. Williams High School on that day, I don't think we'd be here."