Distinguished Alumni Spotlight: Joseph O. Butcher, AB’36

I’m pleased to announce that the IUAA will be spotlighting alumni who have named and special scholarships that are awarded during the annual DASA weekend. Through these alumni profiles, we hope to highlight the exemplary service of these distinguished alumni, and in turn, we wish to inspire greater generosity. Two such exemplars are the late Jane and Joe Butcher of Bloomington.

The Major General Joseph O. Butcher Award is named for General Butcher who earned his degree at Indiana University Bloomington in 1936. He served his country in the US Marine Corps from 1936 to 1968, retiring as a Major General. In 1968, he returned to Bloomington and served as Director of the University’s 150th Birthday Fund Drive and later as an Assistant for Ceremonies and special projects under then-University President, John Ryan. In 1967-68, General Butcher served as the national chair of the Alumni Association. In his book Being Lucky, Herman B Wells, BS’24, MA’27, LL.D’62, said of General Butcher’s appointment to lead the fund drive during IU’s sesquicentennial, “…he enjoyed a wide acquaintanceship with our alumni. He was well suited for this responsibility which he performed remarkably well.”

In addition to many military awards and recognitions during World War II and the Korean War, General Butcher was honored with the DASA in 1965.

His wife, Jane Bayer Butcher, AB’37, also made outstanding and long-lasting contributions to the IU community and beyond. She was active in the Navy Relief Society and was a long-time member of the National Council of the USO due to her integral knowledge of the Marine Corps life. After she and her husband retired to Bloomington, she became active in more civic organizations, leading campaigns at the United Way and serving on the Public Health Nursing Association board. Among her IU service was her position on the IU College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Board, IU Alumni Association Executive Council, and the Woodburn Guild. She earned the IUAA Gertrude Rich Award, the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

The Major General Joseph O. Butcher Award was established by Mrs. Butcher to honor the legacy of her late husband upon his death in 1988. This scholarship is given each year to the student with the highest-grade point average of those selected to receive DASA Scholarships.

Posted in History and Inspiration, Spotlight

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