The temperature was in the mid-90s and the exhaustion of touring so many campuses in such a short period of time had set in by the time the tour buses rolled onto the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis, but it’s safe to say our group was re-energized by the welcome we received when we disembarked.
How re-energized were we? Considering we had arrived at the school ranked number one in the nation for school spirit, it’s safe to say we were substantially replenished by our time spent there!
Some readers may recognize Butler from their historic run in the NCAA basketball championship a few years back, but there’s a lot more to the university than just basketball (though athletics are certainly popular on campus). Namely, Butler is one of those rare higher educational unicorns – that is, a private liberal arts college of a medium size (around 4,600 students enrolled) in a big city to provide easy access and broad opportunities (Indianapolis) with distinctive athletic, academic, and extracurricular programs.
(And yes, equestrians, they participate in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association – more on that at the end.)
Whether they’re talking about classroom education, internships, campus life, or athletics, if you talk with someone from Butler long enough, you’ll hear one word consistently repeated over the course of the conversation: community. But instead of just talking about it, the faculty, staff, and students at the university make sure they all live the idea – whether it’s ensuring that every student completes a required service interaction in the city as part of the Indianapolis Community Requirement (see? there’s the word again) or walking students step-by-step along the path to their goals through the Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement (CHASE). With an average class size of just 21 students and a 12 to one student to faculty ratio (great numbers for a school of their size!), the Butler community is able to easily interact on a regular basis.
Education, the sciences, business, and the arts – specifically theatre and dance – are among Butler’s most popular and prominent academic programs. (The ballet program in particular is ranked second in the nation behind only Julliard.) And if you’re a fan of the arts or hope to pursue a career in them (or both!), it’s worth noting that there are an average of 300 shows on campus to which students receive free or reduced price tickets and theatre students get the opportunity to work with experimental and rarely-seen shows as part of the breadth of their education.
Butler equestrians ride in nearby Zionsville (a 25 minute drive) at Greyhavens Farm Sporthorses and compete in IHSA hunt seat competition. Students build their own lesson schedules around their academic requirements and compete in a challenging region that includes competitor colleges Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Purdue, and Indiana University to name a few.