Butler Community College Announces $10 million Campaign

Published April 21, 2015 at 08:26 am Foundation Forever Butler gathering

Dr. Kim Krull, Butler Community College president, standing before a crowd of supporters Tuesday night, announced the Forever Butler Campaign.

The $10 million effort will aid students and programs. The campaign is historic for Butler, as few community colleges in Kansas have embarked on an endowment and deferred giving campaign. Deferred giving will ensure a lasting impact on the college for decades to come.

“Thanks to the generosity of many and the work of the National Campaign Leadership Committee, we have already raised $7.2 million in current and deferred gifts for this exceptional institution,” Krull said. “Butler’s alumni and friends are charting new opportunities for our students through scholarships and funds which directly support academic programs.”

The National Campaign Leadership Committee is currently comprised of donors across the country. “We have committee members in 28 communities across 14 states and more continue to join,” said Stacy Cofer, vice president of Institutional Advancement. “From this amazing group of people, we’ve utilized the energies of our local committee members to form an active leadership council which has provided enormous vision and enthusiasm for the campaign.”

True Knowles of Dallas, National Campaign Leadership Committee member and honorary campaign co-chair, greeted those attending the special event via video. Knowles, a 1957 Butler graduate and retired CEO of Dr. Pepper, and his wife Elizabeth have been longtime generous donors to Butler.

“This campaign is all about planned giving and will change fundraising at Butler,” Knowles said. “Donors today are continuing a sustainable tradition that will open incredible doors. This is the beginning of forever.”

As part of the evening, participants had the opportunity to see firsthand every day learning activities demonstrated by Butler students in Nursing, Visual Arts, Interactive and 3D Technology, Fire Science, Culinary Arts and more.

“The cost of higher education is the number one impediment for students wanting to earn a college degree,” said Shawn Lancelot, President, Bank of America, Wichita, and a member of Butler’s National Campaign Leadership Committee. “When you see how hard these students work to earn an education, you can’t help but be proud of them.”

William Watson, a pre-medicine major from Wichita, knows the impact of receiving a scholarship. “I feel very fortunate to have [received a Foundation scholarship],” Watson said. “While I attend Butler full-time, I also have a full-time job to help pay for my tuition and to support my family. When I graduate, I hope that I can use what I have learned at Butler to make a difference in people’s lives, the same way that [donors] have made a difference in mine.”

The Forever Butler campaign is also allowing the college to establish endowed chairs for nursing and the Early College IT Academy located in Andover; something Cofer says is quite unique for a community college.

“We are grateful and proud of them (Butler students) and our donors who are making this campaign a reality,” Cofer said. “Butler is blessed to have dedicated and passionate supporters across America. Their leadership and investment in Butler makes us a stronger and more vibrant college for the students and communities we serve.”

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