Alumni Award Descriptions and Past Recipients

In 1979, alumni awards were created to recognize alumni whose personal and professional accomplishment bring honor and distinction to Butler University, perpetuating its reputation for excellence, and whose fine example warrants high commendation from the Butler University Alumni Association. Award descriptions are also available on the award nomination form here.

Butler Medal

The Butler Medal is the highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association, recognizing individuals for a lifetime of distinguished service to either Butler or their local community while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession and attaining a regional or national reputation.  Since 1959, it has recognized individuals who have helped immeasurably toward perpetuating the University as a great educational and cultural institution and have had, during their lifetime, a profound influence on the course of Butler University.

Past recipients include:

Clide E. Aldrich
Angelo Angelopolous ’40
Geoffrey Bannister
James E. Bettis ’40
Werner W. Beyer
Charles A. Bonsett ’49
Stephen Briganti ’64
Hilton U. Brown 1880
Bertha Green Caldwell ’28
Howard C. Caldwell Sr. ’15
Louis F. Chenette
John D. Cooke ’62
Clarence Crain ’73
Nicholas M. Cripe
William J. Davey ’47
Dr. Dale W. Doerr
Elizabeth Durflinger
Willard (Bill) Eason ’54
Thomas Elrod ’70
Craig E. Fenneman ’71
Otto N. Frenzel
Edward F. Gallahue
James A. Gloin ’23
John Hargrove, ’69
Kenneth E. Hauck ’51
Charles A. Henzie ’36
Paul D. “Tony” Hinkle
Frank J. Hoke
James I. Holcomb
Harry T. Ice ’26
Jim Johnston ’66 MBA ’68
Judy Johnson ’61
Dodie Miles Kappes ’47
Phil Kappes ’45
Thomas A. King ’66
John K. Kingsbury 1906
Carolyn Lautner ’45
Jane Lewis ’45
Betty L. Lofton ’51
Richard G. Lugar
Dorothy B. Lynn ’23
Vivian White Marbury ’22
Irwin Miller
Nancy Moore ’33
James H. Morris ’40
Max S. Norris ’42
Thomas P. Nickell Jr. ’42
Joseph M. Nygaard
Lloyd W. Olcott ’49
Fey R. Orr ’40
James H. Otto ’34
Nathan E. Pearson
James R. Phillippe
Sanford Rader ’53
Byron Reed ’39
Thomas E. Reilly Jr.
Denis Ribordy ’52 and Carolyn McClurg Ribordy ’54
M.O. Ross
Max B. Schumacher ’54
Herbert F. Schwomeyer ’42 MS ’45
Winstan “Bud” Sellick ’44
Howard Shearon ’61
David M. Silver ’37
Diane Meyer Simon ’68
The Rev. Jean McAnulty Smith ’65
Richard A. Steele ’50
John D. Stegman ’57
Allegra Stewart ’21
Paul R. Stewart
Frank Streightoff MS ’56 BS ’60 MBA ’63
Elsie I. Sweeney 1909
Cullen Thomas 1913
Emma Lou Thornbrough ’34
George M. Waller
John R. Walsh ’53
Robert E. Wildman ’44
Norman W. Wilkens ’57
Hal Wilkins ’51

Butler Service Medal

The Butler Service Medal is the second highest honor conferred by the Butler University Alumni Association. It recognizes former faculty and staff for extraordinary and distinguished service to Butler University, while at the same time achieving a distinguished career in their chosen profession and attaining a regional or national reputation. All recipients have had, in the course of their service, a profound influence on the future course of Butler University.

Past recipients include:

Dr. Howard Baetzhold
Dr. James Berry
Roger W. Boop ’62 MS ’65 EdD
Dr. H. Marshall Dixon
Jack Eaton MM ’55
Dr. Jack Engledow MBA ’64
Dr. Bobby Fong
George W. Geib
Dr. Robert Grechesky, Professor Emeritus, Music
Xandra Hamilton ’58 MS ’60 EdD
Ann Wagner Harper ’63 MS ’68
Dr. János Horváth
Dr. Joseph L. Kirsch Jr. ’64
Dr. Joe Lamberti
Dr. Art Levin
Dr. William Neher ’66
Marvin L. Recht
Dr. Edward Shaughnessy ’58 MA ’63
Margaret Shaw, PhD
Dr. Jeanne Hawkins VanTyle ’74 BS, ’80 MS
Wilma Wohler

The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award

The Hilton Ultimus Brown Alumni Achievement Award is granted to recent Butler University graduates or former students* whose outstanding personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society.

Hilton Ultimus Brown will always be known for keeping alive and shepherding to fruition the ambitious vision of a “new Butler.” Though he himself lived most of his life in Irvington, and had earned his undergraduate degree from Butler there in 1880 (and his MA in 1882), he knew the future of Butler was much bigger and demanded more growth than the small and constricted campus in Irvington could ever accommodate.  His career achievements and service to the University began when he was just a recent graduate.  It was during his lifetime of service- he served on the Board of Trustees for an incredible 71 years and was President of the board from 1903 to 1956- that he saw his “big dream” become a reality when he led the relocation of Butler from its old Irvington campus to the ten-times bigger Fairview Park.  In his chosen career, he was an award-winning newspaper journalist and Managing Editor at the Indianapolis News for over seven decades and recipient of numerous awards, including the Butler Medal.

Past recipients include:

Mark Adler ’99
William Brooks Jr. MBA ’96
Ed Carpenter ’03
Brent S. Claymon MBA ’95
LCDR Jennifer A. Cockrill ’04
Jonathan R. Evans ’92
William C. Evans ’85
Joanna G. Eyer ’95
Shawn M. Gage ’04
Brandon M. Gaudin ’06
Andrew Golomb ’01
Nadja Halilbegovich ’02
Dana L. Harrison ’97
Michael Kristopher Hole ’08, MD, MBA
Kouty Mawenh ’95 MBA ’98
Marni McKinney ’88
Christopher C. Miskel ’96
Dr. Warren G. Morgan, II ’06
Kevin Morris ’95 MBA ’96
Susanne Neckermann ’84
Elizabeth Newton ’03
Brad Plunkett ’92
William Soards II ’96

*former students must have completed at least 30 Butler University credit hours

The Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award

The Joseph Irwin Sweeney Alumni Service Award is granted to recent Butler University graduates or former students* who have demonstrated a significant commitment of outstanding service to the University ultimately assisting in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution.

Joseph Irwin Sweeney served the University as Editor of The Collegian for two years, Editor-in-Chief of the College Annual, Manager of the football team, Manager and Soloist of the Glee Club, and Secretary of the Indiana Oratorical Association.  As a freshman, he was selected by area students to serve as Chairman of the city’s annual celebration honoring Washington’s birthday. During the ceremony, he gave a speech that captivated the audience and inspired a column in the Indianapolis Journal.  At the time of his untimely drowning death in the summer of 1900, he was only 19 years old, yet was about to enter his senior year.  Joseph Sweeney accomplished an incredible amount as a student in an abbreviated college career.

Past recipients include:

David H. Arland ’85
Julie Yancich Beggs ’94
Michael R. Bennett ’09
John D. Currier Jr. ’92
Jenna Daugherty ’04
Craig Davenport ’91
Shannon Alexander Farrar ’93
Christina Fugate ’04
Bradley A. Hamann ’04
Delia A. Harris ’99
R. Kyle Inskeep ’12
Amy N. Lenell ’07
Virgil Madden ’80
Teresa Mask ’93
Tiffany B. Moore ’89
G. Branden Renner ’02
Michael J. “Mickey” Rogers ’92
Heather Simnick Roth ’99
Becky Ruby-Wojtowicz ’05
Ralston Simmons ’91
Catherine Healey Snedeker ’89
Jennifer N. Williams ’98 MS ’00
Marc A. Williams ’07
David Whitfield ’90
Laura Slusser Yurs ’98

*former students must have completed at least 30 Butler University credit hours

The Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award

The Katharine Merrill Graydon Alumni Service Award is granted to Butler University graduates or former students* who have demonstrated a significant commitment of outstanding service to the University ultimately assisting in perpetuating Butler as a great educational and cultural institution. The Katharine Merrill Graydon Service Award recognizes those who have earned their degree more than fifteen years prior to the presentation of the award.

Katharine Merrill  Graydon came to Butler with a legacy.  She was the granddaughter of the first Treasurer of the State of Indiana, and the niece of Catharine Merrill, a Professor of English Literature at Butler who was only the second female full professor in the US.  She graduated from Butler in 1878, and was a Professor of English Literature at the University from 1907 to 1930, receiving an honorary doctorate of literature in 1928. Graydon served as the Alumni Secretary and Editor of the Alumnal Quarterly from its first edition in 1922 until her retirement in 1929, when she was named Professor Emerita. During World War I, she maintained correspondence with Butler students and alumni serving on the Western Front. She compiled a volume of these letters, including an account of Butler men who had served in the Civil War and the Spanish–American War, and helped raise funds for memorials honoring Butler’s war dead of the Civil War and World War I.

Past recipients include:

Karen Schultz Alter ’85
Clarrean Anthony ’38
Michael D. Asher ’71 MS ’74
James M. Bagnoli ’75
Doris Barrett ’41
Don Benbow ’62 MS ’66
Mark Bohnert ’77
Katharine Carr ’66
John Davies ’49
Robert ’70 and Barbara ’70 Davis
Robert W. Dearing ’57
Thomas Dick ’61 MM ’70
Maribeth Zay Fischer ’74
Bud Gremel ’62
Barry G. Hohlfelder ’66
Patricia Parrish Marmion ’53
Mary Young Marsh ’70
Karen Klink Marshall ’66
Kevin J. McDevitt ’77
Eldon Palmer ’50
Jeffrey Peek ’79
Jamie Phillippe ’73
Darrell C. Pike ’73
Bobby Plump ’58
Mary L. Shaw ’93
Howard Waits ’60

*former students must have completed at least 30 Butler University credit hours

The Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award

The Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award is granted to Butler University graduates or former students* whose outstanding personal and/or professional accomplishment brings honor and distinction to the University, and individual attainment and/or contributions for the betterment of society. The Robert Todd Duncan Alumni Achievement Award recognizes those who have earned their degree more than fifteen years prior to the presentation of the award.

Robert Todd Duncan ’25, made his operatic debut in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana at New York’s Mecca Temple in 1934. In 1935, George Gershwin personally selected Duncan to play the role of Porgy in the first staging of Porgy and Bess, a role he performed more than 1,800 times.  His 1936 performance of the role resulted in the first desegregated performance at the National Theatre in Washington, DC.  In 1945, he broke the color barrier, becoming the first African American to sing with a major white opera company in the role of Tonio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci at the New York City Opera Company. He sang at the White House for three different presidents, and taught voice at Howard University for more than fifty years.  In 1983 he received the Alumni Achievement Award from Butler University.

Past recipients include:

Joseph N. Allegretti ’59
Craig A. Anderson, Ph. D. ’76
Kevin Ault ’84 MD
Thomas A. Baima ’76
James Brainard ’76
Wayne C. Burris ’77
Jennifer Christensen ’94
Diane Coburn Bruning ’79
Stanley T. Crooke ’66
Carl K. Doty ’53
John D. Doyle ’74
Price Fishback ’77 PhD
Richard D. Hailey ’71
Judy E. Horst ’62
Patricia Irwin Johnston ’68 MS ’73
Jay Love ’76
Thad M. Matta ’90
Michele McConnell ’93
Corey McPherrin ’77
Gary Miller ’66
Rebecca Graham Paul ’70 MA ’75
Maurice Schankerman ’51
Max Schumacher ’54
Allen Sharp MA ’86
Jane Magnus-Stinson ’79
Wendi C. Thomas ’93
E. Lynne Weisenbach ’75 EdD

*former students must have completed at least 30 Butler University credit hours

Alumni Association Awards

As stated above, alumni awards were created in 1979 to recognize alumni whose personal and professional accomplishments bring honor and distinction to Butler University and whose fine example warrants high commendation from the Butler University Alumni Association. In 1995, the Alumni Association Board of Directors established specific, named awards previously listed in this program. The following recipients were bestowed awards prior to 1995. Those recipients include:

Henry W. Abts ’41
Toni Sue Ax ’62
Louise Terry Batties
Nancy Niblack Baxter ’59 MA ’67
Elaine Bauer ’71
Sally Bell Beck ’53
Albert W. Bloemker ’27
Brown Bolte ’30
Canfield “Buddy” Boone ’71
Georgia Gianakos Buchanan ’48
Barbara Sherow Busche ’50
Gary Butkus ’88
Jerry D. Butler ’61
Howard C. Caldwell Jr. ’50
C. Carson Conrad ’34
Nancy Cotterill ’72
William Davis ’35
P. R. Duke ’59
Robert Todd Duncan ’25
Thomas R. Elrod ’70
Thomas J. Faulconer III ’49
David A. Gentry ’57
Gladysmae Cissna Good ’62
Ruth Marie Griggs ’33
Lee C. Grimm ’64
Jane Halonen ’72
William L. Hart ’39
Mark M. Holeman ’42
Karl R. Kalp ’48
Philip S. Kappes ’45
John Keach ’50
Harvey S. Kelly ’72
Manert H. Kennedy ’56
Thomas A. King ’66
Betty J. Koss ’46
Sandy Schwomeyer Lamb ’69
B. T. Maxam ’47
E. Carver McGriff ’49
James T. Morris ’70
James T. Neal ’41
Sally Cornelius Ohleyer ’53
Nancy Ostrander ’47
J. Corbin Patrick ’27
James W. Pyles ’61
J. Douglas Reeves ’63
Nancy J. Ribordy ’85
Thomas P. Rhoades Jr. ’30
Denis E. Ribordy ’52
Anne C. Schuster ’41
Raymond Sears ’35
Dennis Shearer ’63
William R. Shover ’52
Jean McAnulty Smith ’65
Nick Smyrnis ’47
James J. Stewart ’34
William L. Sylvester ’51
Chris C. Theofanis ’52
James A. Thom ’60
J. Russell Townsend Jr. ’31
Mary Vance Trent ’37
Jean Brown Wagoner 1919
R. Luke Walton ’37
Sidney H. Weedman ’60
Jean Wells Whitcraft ’44
Billie Lou Carpenter Wood ’51