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Butler University names 2-year college to honor founder Ovid Butler’s legacy

The Butler University Bulldog logo is displayed on the campus on Oct. 10, 2019. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Butler University is paying homage to the legacy of its founder by naming a two-year college in his honor.

In a news release distributed by the university, Butler announced that Founder’s College at the school will carry on the mission of Ovid Butler.

Ovid Butler was a lawyer who founded Butler University in 1855 alongside abolitionists who wanted to create a university away from, in Butler’s words, the “pernicious influences of slavery.”…he championed higher education for all.

Butler announced the two-year college in November as part of its efforts to increase college affordability and pave the way for more historically underserved students.

Those students include first-generation students and those from low-wealth families.

“We want to ensure that Founder’s College students not only have access to education beyond high school, but are also given the support needed to be successful in college, get good-paying jobs, develop meaningful careers, and to be engaged members of their communities,” said Brooke Barnett, Butler’s provost and vice president for academic affairs in a release.

“Launching Founder’s College continues our university’s historic pledge to expand higher education access as a means of helping all people access opportunity,” Barnett added

Founder’s College will continue this historic mission by focusing enrollment on Indianapolis-area students who face cost barriers or other obstacles to attending college.

Butler is in a national search for the Founder’s College inaugural dean and other leadership positions, with plans to begin hiring other faculty and staff later this year.

To enroll, Founder’s College students can obtain their associate degree with little to no debt or out-of-pocket expenses and can complete their Butler University bachelor’s degree for approximately $10,000.

Butler will announce the initial associate degree programs offered through Founder’s College this summer.  The first student class will begin in the fall of 2025, and the application for admission opens in August.