Annual Board of Trustees dinner sparks conversation, collaboration

LJ Board of Trustees Dinner

Conversation flowed from the Johnson Room in Robertson Hall Friday, as Butler University’s Board of Trustees and the Student Government Association hosted an annual dinner.
The event gave student leaders around campus the opportunity to speak and share their work with board members and school administrators.
This year marked the sixth consecutive year the dinner has been held. Board of Trustees president Craig Fenneman and board member Howard Schrott both said the dinner was their favorite event of the school year because of the interaction it allowed them to have with students.
Students from various campus organizations—including SGA—shared time with Butler Board of Trustees members and administrators during an approximately one-and-a-half hour dinner.
Butler President James Danko and his wife, Bethanie, attended the event. Danko said via email the event has “consistently been one of the more successful and meaningful board events” for Butler’s trustees.
“They truly enjoy the opportunity to interact with students, especially as our board is quite cognizant of the fact that the overarching work of the university is about educating Butler students,” Danko said. “I heard many positive stories from our trustees about their discussions with students. A consistent theme was how impressed the trustees were with our students and their accomplishments.”
Close to 100 people were in attendance for the event, which was kicked off by Fenneman and SGA president Craig Fisher.
“The annual dinner is a tradition that brings together Butler students and trustees for an evening of shared purpose,” Fisher said via email. “Our trustees invest so much in us students, so to personally share with them some of the great things our students are doing is rewarding.”
Fenneman briefly discussed the duties of Butler’s board, saying many students likely think of it as a “group of old people.”
Fenneman also asked each board member in attendance to stand and share his or her graduation year and line of work to show that the board is composed of everyday people who have been “moderately successful” in some line of work.
Following the dinner, Fisher invited three student leaders to speak about the work they do on campus.
Junior Alex Petersen, student director of Butler’s Volunteer Center, spoke about the work the center has done this semester. Junior Becky Pokrandt, president of College Mentors for Kids, then followed with an explanation of her program and what it means to those involved.
The third speaker was junior Eric Day, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010.
He talked about the Stay Positive campaign that spawned from his interactions with a six-year-old child during cancer treatment.
The campaign has resulted in Stay Positive bracelets and a newly-created on-campus organization.


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