Butler University inaugurated President Jim Danko Nov. 12 at Clowes Memorial Hall in front of a crowd of students, faculty, staff and community members.
Danko’s inaugural address announcement of the $5 million idea fund was just part of the inauguration day festivities to welcome him as Butler University’s 21st president.
William Tate, a Butler alumnus who attended the inaugural events, said he expected the day to be an exciting one for the university.
“Events like this enrich the Butler community culture,” Tate said. “It’s good seeing friends and old colleagues.”
Inauguration day events consisted of a student breakfast, the inauguration installation ceremony, a luncheon and an evening gala at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
“It’s important to note that President Danko started his inauguration day the same way he started his first day on campus—eating with students,” Student Government Association President Al Carroll said.
Council on Presidential Affairs Chair Mike Tirman said the breakfast was a time for Danko to interact with students.
“[The inauguration executive board] wanted to start dialogue with students about what are the possibilities they envision and how we can make Butler a better place for everyone,” Tirman said.
At the breakfast, Danko said that his first three months on campus, meeting and getting to know the students, have been a blast for him.
“It has been great already getting to work with our student leaders,” he said. “The students here are more committed and dedicated than any place I’ve ever been. It really is remarkable the talent that [students] have and the time that you share with us at the university.”
At the end of the student breakfast, the four class presidents robed Danko with academic regalia, welcoming him to the Butler community.
After the breakfast in the Johnson Room, Blue II led a student procession to Clowes Memorial Hall, where the official inauguration took place.
At 11 a.m., a procession of student organization delegates, learned society delegates, institutions of higher education delegates, faculty, deans, vice presidents, the provost, the Board of Trustees and the platform party marched down the aisles of Clowes.
The ceremony included welcoming statements from speakers such as Faculty Senate Chair Margaret Brabant, U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and Butler Board of Trustees Chair Craig Fenneman.
Lugar described Danko as a good friend.
“I’m impressed with the fact that his idealism has been matched by achievement at each stage in his career,” Lugar said. “He already has formed in his own mind a great number of very thoughtful suggestions as to how the greatness of Butler is going to increase.”
Fenneman marked the inauguration as the beginning of a new era for the university.
“It provides us with the opportunity to celebrate the history and achievements of Butler University and its alumni, as we also accept President Danko’s challenge to explore new possibilities and move Butler forward as a national leader in higher education,” Fenneman said.
In his inaugural address, Danko announced the new innovation fund and highlighted what he has learned in his new position thus far.
“Above all, I have come to know a university that inspires creativity and a bold, progressive spirit of innovation that links theory with practice in original ways and that emphasizes responsible citizenship, both here in our neighborhood and around the world,” Danko said.
He said the administration and faculty at Butler need to focus collective energy on formalizing a shared vision for the university over the short and long term.
“The most important part of this shared vision will be its focus on our academic mission,” Danko said.
He said being entrusted with the leadership of Butler is the single greatest privilege he has ever had.
“I can think of no profession more noble than the education of young people within a caring, yet challenging, academic environment, and I can think of no institution that does that better than Butler University,” Danko said.
Here are photos from Jim Danko’s installation ceremony Saturday, Nov. 12, at Clowes Memorial Hall.