The inauguration of Butler University’s President Jim Danko will honor the president and his wife Bethanie and welcome them to the university.
This year’s theme is “Imagine the possibilities,” which will be represented by many exhibits and events in the Butler neighborhood.
Organizers of the inauguration festivities said they expect the events to showcase the university’s relationship with the Indianapolis community.
“Me and Jim [Danko] would rather the event not be about us but about Butler in the whole community,” Bethanie said. “If we can be an excuse for that to happen, then great.”
One of the first events will be an exhibit at Irwin Library from Nov. 4 to Nov. 11. The exhibit starts during Family Weekend.
The exhibit will include displays from all six of the university’s colleges, the Center for Global Education and the Center for Citizenship and Community.
Each group will have an interactive multimedia display that showcases its relationship to the community.
Darlene Waddell, who represents the College of Education on the academic affairs subcommittee, said the education display will include elements of how Butler has worked in partnership with Indianapolis Public School Lab School 60 and Shortridge Magnet High School.
“I think [the display] will draw in the community and showcase the academic side of Butler,” Waddell said. “I hope the community can see we still have dreams and that there are possibilities that we can use our imagination to reach.”
The inauguration committee is also planning its gala at the Indianapolis Museum of Art on Nov. 12 at 6 p.m.
The event is invitation-only and 350 guests are expected to attend. Those invited include the Board of Trustees, volunteers who work on the behalf of various university committees, the alumni board, faculty members and students.
The gala will feature performances from various student performing groups, including Out of the Dawg House, Butler’s male a cappella group.
“I want [the gala] to showcase the talents of our staff and students at Butler and celebrate where we have been as a university and also the next step we want to go,” Rachael Burt, co-chair of the gala committee, said.
The inaugural committee also allowed student input in the planning.
Student Government Association President Al Carroll and Council on Presidential Affairs Chair Mike
Tirman both serve on the committee to represent the student voice on campus.
Carroll said one way he has tried to get more student involvement in the process is by using money in the student initiative fund in SGA to pay for the regalia robes to be worn at the Installation Ceremony at Clowes Memorial Hall on Nov. 12 at 11 a.m.
A representative from each student organization on campus will wear the robes.
“[Butler Catholic Community] thought it would be good to be there for [Danko] since he and his wife sometimes come and celebrate Mass with us, and she even bakes cookies for us,” junior pharmacy major Eileen Carroll, who will be representing BCC at the ceremony, said.
Al Carroll said he hopes that students will participate in the inauguration festivities.
“The inauguration is not only about the new president but also about the university as a whole,” he said.
The committee is also planning to have different events on campus year-round as part of the inaugural celebration.
PuLSE Office Director Caroline Huck-Watson, the co-chair for the day of service subcommittee, said that her committee is planning to host a service event in April for students and faculty.
“It is great because we are encouraging people to think of creative ways to think about the university,” Huck-Watson said.
Huck-Watson said the committee is waiting for the inauguration week before making a final decision on what the spring service event will be.
Bethanie is also co-chair of the committee to plan the end-of-the- year event.
“[The event] is about how Butler students engage the community,” Bethanie said. “We want to figure out how to take students to new places. We definitely want [the event] to be student-focused.”
Bethanie said she wants the inauguration to allow the community to get to know Jim Danko better.
“Part of what [Jim’s] first 100 days is about is understanding what people are saying and to begin with that,” Bethanie said.
“It is about him listening and the community to be inspired and getting to know him.”
Jim Danko said he hopes the inauguration will reinvigorate excitement around the university.
“I hope [the inauguration] energizes the community to think beyond current ways of thinking,” he said. “I want it to be a time of self-reflection and a chance to celebrate the community.”