History Alumni Updates

From Edward and Margery (Harder) Bennett ’52

Edward Bennett and his wife, Margery (Harder) Bennett, both graduated from Butler in 1952 with degrees in history.

Edward has a wealth of experience teaching in universities; serving on committees and national organizations; writing articles, essays and books; making speaking appearances; reviewing books and manuscripts and much more.  The majority of his work, extending from the early ’60s to the early ’90s, was with Washington State University. His national experience includes reviewing grant applications for the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as the U.S. Department of Education.  He has been honored with numerous awards, including Outstanding Teaching Award on more than one occasion. Since 1976 he has been included in Who’s Who in America.

Edward and his wife, Margery, have partnered in writing publications through the years. Edward says that Margery is his research assistant, editor, typist, partner, and you name it.

From John Schuchman ’61

After my wonderful education as a history major at the hands of Beeler, Thornbrough, Silver, Comfort, and of course Waller followed by graduate degrees from Bloomington, I went on to become a history professor and VP for Academic Affairs at Gallaudet College in Washington, DC. During the course of that career, colleagues and I developed what is now referred to as “Deaf community history.” Personally, I completed work on the history of film/television and its impact on the lives and image of deaf people in the United States, oral history techniques with deaf subjects, and finally on the Holocaust experiences of deaf persons. Now that I am retired, my wife and I are downsizing.

My hope is to donate my collection of deaf history monographs to Butler’s Irwin Library.  I believe it runs to about 90 volumes or so.  I plan to bring the collection to Butler sometime in 2011 which is the 50th anniversary of my graduation in 1961.  For those who might be puzzled by my connection to deafness, I should add that my parents were profoundly deaf and went to the school for the deaf there in Indianapolis.   Added Fall 2010

From Susan (Saunders) Stepleton ’70

After Susan (Saunders) Stepleton’s 1970 graduation from Butler with a BA in history, she continued her education earning an MA, MSW, MBA and a PhD in Policy Analysis and Administration. Since 2002, she has served as President and CEO for the Parents as Teachers National Center, which is an international early childhood parent support and education program. Prior to 2002 Susan served in various social services administrative positions, including 13 years as Executive Director for Edgewood Children’s Center, an organization which works with severely emotionally and behaviorally challenged children. Susan was awarded the CORO community Leadership Award; has been recognized as Distinguished Alum at two universities; was honored with the Reinhold Niebuhr Servanthood Award…and has received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Webster University. Through the years, Susan has volunteered for the Child Welfare League, the Brown School of Social Work, the Eden Theological Seminary, the Missouri Women’s Forum and the St. Louis YWCA. Susan is married and has two adult children.

From Elton (Gene) Sullivan ’71

Elton (Gene) Sullivan is a 1971 Butler graduate with a BA degree in history. He is owner of Athletic Enterprises, which is a sales agency representing numerous sporting goods manufacturers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. He and his wife, Deborah, have two children and two grandchildren. Elton is looking to retire to South Carolina in 2013.

From Mayor James Brainard ’76

After graduation from Butler, I received a Juris Doctor from Ohio Northern University and a diploma from the University of San Diego Institute on Comparative and international Law.

I was elected Mayor of Carmel, Indiana in 1996 and have served in that position since then, having been re-elected three times.

I served as President of the Butler Alumni Association in the 1980s and as a Trustee of the University.

As Mayor, I have presided over one of the fastest growing cities in the country. I was elected as a one of 13 Trustees of the US Conference of Mayors and serve with the mayors of major cities throughout the US.

I have been quoted recently in Time Magazine, the Financial Times of London, the Christian Science Monitor and many other publications. I have instituted the use of roundabouts in Carmel, building more than any other city in the US resulting in a city-wide per-mile decrease in injury accidents of over 65%.

In 2008 I received the US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Award beating out over 100 eligible cities.

From David Locke ’92

David Locke graduated with a history degree from Butler in 1992. He continued his education, earning his J.D. at Indiana University School of Law in 1995. After graduating from law school and passing the bar exam, he served as a federal law clerk for the late Chief Judge Allen Sharp. He then turned to private practice with Stuart & Branigin, where he received Martindale-Hubbell’s top, AV® peer-review rating from fellow lawyers and judges.

An experienced litigator, David helps to continue the firm’s long-time commitment to the defense of railroads. His 1994 Note, titled “Counter-speech as an Alternative to Prohibition: Proposed Federal Regulation of Tobacco Promotion in American Motorsport,” was selected for publication in the Indiana Law Journal. The Note provided a unique bridge between his earlier profession as a racing driver in the Sports Car Club of America’s Can-Am Challenge Cup series and a career in the law.

David went on to become editor-in-chief of the Indiana Law Journal. David has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and holds memberships in the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, the Defense Research Institute, and other professional associations.

Outside the office, he has served as president of the Lafayette Christian School Board of Trustees and is back on the race track in the Sports Car Club of America’s club racing program.

David and his wife, Tracy, have been married since 1995, and have a daughter, Erin.

From Zachary Fuqua ’97

I graduated from Butler in 1997 with a BA in History. I continued my education at Lexington Theological Seminary where I earned a Master of Divinity in 2002.  I recently started work toward a PhD in Higher Education—Policy Studies. Following that I served at the Seminary for 4 years in admissions and recruitment. Currently, I work at the University of Kentucky as an Academic Advisor. I work specifically with freshmen and sophomores who are still exploring their major. I live in Lexington, Kentucky and am married to Holly Spencer Fuqua and we have two beautiful children, Kennedy and Spencer. I am so thankful for the experience I had at Butler where I learned a valuable lesson that I try to instill in my current students, choose a major you will love.  Then, find a job you will love and utilize the skills you learned within that major. I have found that while I don’t use history in a direct way, the skills and information I learned through that degree are used daily.

From John Messner ’99

John Messner graduated from Butler in 1999 with a BA in history. He continued his education at the University of Leicester, England, where he earned an MA in Museum Studies in 2001. John has served as Curator for several museums, including the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester; the World of Glass Museum in St. Helens, England; and the National Football Museum in Preston, England. Today he is Curator for the Museum of Transport in Glasgow, Scotland, with a goal of expanding the collection there, and making it more accessible to the public. John is married to Heather Milligan of Stewarton, Scotland.

From DeAnna (Brunner) Poon ’00

DeAnna (Brunner) Poon graduated from Butler in 2000 with a history degree. She continued her education earning a J.D. from Ave Maria School of Law. After law school DeAnna joined the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission as an Administrative Law Judge. In addition to her work, she serves as a board member for USS Indianapolis Museum. DeAnna is married to Peter Poon.

From Patrick Reilly ’02

Patrick Reilly graduated from Butler in 2006 with a history degree. He continued his education, earning his J.D. from Ohio State University in 2009. After law school, Patrick joined the firm of Baker & Daniels LLP in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is married to Molly (Callon) Reilly, who is also a Butler graduate.

From Rhea Cain ’03

Since completing my undergraduate degree at Butler, I have completed an MBA in Marketing and Non-Profit Management from the University of Indianapolis. This combination has been invaluable in both my volunteer and professional life.

I am currently serving as the President of the League of Women Voters of Indianapolis. I have been lucky enough to have been involved with the Indianapolis League, an all-volunteer organization, in various capacities for over eight years. I have also been a volunteer at the Indiana Medical History Museum since my undergrad days at Butler. It allows me to work with the public and assist with research and programs.  In my professional life, I am currently the Controller and Human Resources Director for P.H. Drew, Inc.

I have recently completed a large scale project for the League which included working with Well Done Marketing to launch an extensive public relations campaign to promote the League’s Voter Information Portal: Vote411.org. I also produce and manage LWV Indianapolis’ communications, both online and print.

After many years away, I’ve moved back to Speedway to live in a fantastic 90 year old house with my husband Jason, our new daughter Beatrice, and three ornery cats. On various Saturdays, you can find me out and about in Indy registering voters or giving tours at the Indiana Medical History Museum.

From Krista (Chernausky) Ruud ’05

Krista (Chernausky) Ruud is a 2005 graduate from Butler, majoring in secondary education, and minoring in history. She continued her education at the University of Illinois, earning an MS in Library & Information Science in 2010. Krista has been able to apply her expertise teaching US history and social studies to 8th graders in both Kansas City and Urbana, Illinois. She currently serves in a middle school in Urbana as Library Media Specialist. Krista’s other accomplishments include presenting at Write Traits in 2007 and 2008, as well as being involved with the American History Teachers Collaborative as a fellow and a presenter for three years, from 2008-10. She volunteers her time at Windsor Road Christian Church with high school students. Krista and her husband, Collin Ruud (BA ’04), have a one-year old son, Colton Michael.

From Stephanie Hicks ’05

I graduated in 2005 with a Minor in History (my Major was in Finance).  After graduation, I went to law school at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit. I graduated cum laude in 2008. I am currently practicing with Cardelli, Lanfear, & Buikema, P.C. in Royal Oak, MI focusing on insurance defense.

Also, I focused a lot on German history for my minor, and took several classes with Prof. Cornell that I really enjoyed. I backpacked through Germany right after the bar exam in August 2008 for a month, and visited a lot of places that I studied during Prof. Cornell’s classes (especially his contemporary Germany and history of Berlin class).

From Jim Knytych ’05

Jim Knytych graduated from Butler in 2005, with a history degree. He continued his education, earning a Masters in Education from St. Xavier University in Chicago. Jim is now teaching Social Studies at Plainfield East High School. In addition to teaching, he also serves as Assistant Varsity Baseball coach at the school. Jim is married to Alissa Davis, who is a 2007 Butler graduate.

From Andrew Zach ’05

Andrew Zach graduated with a BA in history and political science from Butler in May 2005, Since then, Andrew has lived in Washington, DC, working for the U.S. House of Representatives. He worked for Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner prior to working for the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. In December 2009, Andrew completed the Professional MBA program from George Washington University, with a concentration in Strategic Management and Public Policy. Andrew was a founding member of the Butler University Washington, DC Alumni Chapter and continues to serve on the chapter’s steering committee.