5 things to know (Week 1)

Don’t have time to watch or read the news? No problem! The Butler Collegian’s editor-in-chief has compiled a list of the top five things he thinks readers should know this week.

Let’s keep this relatively short, sweet and to the point. After all, you need to get homework done so you can party in peace.


Fact 1: The Butler mascot wasn’t a bulldog until 1919: We were previously known as the “Christians.” Before a big game against the rival Franklin “Baptists,” the Butler Collegian was trying to conceive of a way to get people excited for the big game when Shimmy, a bulldog owned by one of the fraternities, wandered into the office. Shimmy inspired cartoonist George Dickson to draw a bulldog labeled “Butler” taking a bite out of John The Baptist. Butler lost the game, but we gained the best mascot in college sports.


Fact 2: Going to college is still a great option: For high-school graduates without an advanced degree, the unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in December. For those with a bachelor’s degree, the rate was more than 2 percentage points lower—2.9 percent, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report published Jan. 9. This may not seem like much, but when you compare lifetime earnings—the sum of earnings over a career—a bachelor’s degree earns students $570,000 more, according to a report by the Brookings Institution. Nevertheless, that figure is an average so the benefits for each individual can vary, depending on which school you attend and your choice of major.


Fact 3: Our bulldogs have the best bite: The Butler men’s basketball team is the only squad to make consecutive Final Fours while not being a No. 1 or  No. 2 seed either time. We were a No. 5 seed in 2010 and an No. 8 seed in 2011. Unfortunately, we’re also one of only four teams to lose back-to-back titles. Ohio State fell victim to Cincinnati twice in 1961 and 1962. Coach Guy Lewis led Houston to the big game but things turned sour in 1983 and 1984. Finally, Michigan’s infamous Fab Five lost in 1992 and 1993. Nonetheless, Michigan’s Final Four appearances have since been vacated because their players accepted money from Ed Martin, compromising their amateur status.


Fact 4: The “King of Pop” dominated the charts, or did he?: Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, Michael Jackson is credited with selling a hundred million copies of his most popular album, “Thriller.” Other reports estimate that the singer sold 750 million records worldwide over his entire career. But in the 1970s and 80s, Billboard charts were compiled by phone surveys of record-store employees who were simply asked “what was selling.” Bill Wyman, the journalist, not the former bass player for the Rolling Stones, said companies did not have an accurate picture of sales projections at the time. Since 1991, album sales in the U.S. have been counted by a company called SoundScan, which records the actual purchases of CD sales in actual stores. SoundScan showed that the traditional charts had been based on many misconceptions. Either way, Michael is still the man, whether it’s Jackson, Tyson, Jordan or Michael Phelps.


Fact 5: An underground tunnel connects Atherton Union to Schwitzer Hall: Sally Childs-Helton, special collections and rare books librarian, said she has seen blueprints of the tunnel, according to a Collegian article. In Schwitzer, there was a dining room in the basement so the tunnel was used to carry food to the dorm. This tunnel has been bricked over since then, so don’t go looking for it—unless you really want to, of course.


There you have it. Check the news section next week for another set of facts you can use to impress (and annoy) your friends with. Who doesn’t love a smart aleck, right?

P.S. About that whole party business, don’t worry. Your not-so-secret is safe with us.

Written and compiled by Julian Wyllie