President Jim Danko announced that Butler University will develop a $5 million fund for innovative ideas and creative thinking during his Nov. 12 inaugural address at Clowes Memorial Hall.
“I have heard many wonderful, creative ideas from Butler community members over the past 100 days,” Danko said. “It is this creativity that makes me confident about our future. We must invest in those ideas.“
Danko said that through the fund, the most deserving ideas developed by faculty, staff and students will be placed on a “funding fast track” through an approval process by a group of Butler community members.
“Recognizing that while not all ideas will be successful, enough of them will be successful to help advance our institution to national prominence and to improve the education we provide to our students,” Danko said.
Danko said that over the past two weeks, with the help of the Board of Trustees, he has managed to raise more than $1 million for the fund. He said both he and his wife, Bethanie, have personally invested in the fund.
Before Danko’s announcement, Gary Butkus, president of Butler’s alumni association, said that Danko had the support of alumni behind him to guide the university, in part by helping with Butler’s fundraising efforts.
“We are grateful for President Danko’s leadership and accept his challenge to work with him to ensure that the university’s mission is fulfilled,” Butkus said. “We are your partners in imagining the possibilities of the future of Butler University.”
Student Government Association President Al Carroll said he has plenty of ideas for the use of the fund.
“As soon as he announced it, my mind started going a thousand miles a minute,” Carroll said. “One of the great things President Danko is doing is being very open to ideas coming from students. We’re very much looking forward to starting that dialogue and having that conversation.”
Danko said he’s excited to hear what ideas will come from the community. He has ideas of his own, but he said he wants the money to go directly to people in the community.
—Additional reporting by Olivia Ingle