Nov. 28, 2007
Bulldog backers Keith and Tina Burks of Indianapolis have once again demonstrated their support for Butler University by giving the single largest gift to date toward the athletics facilities component of the ButlerRising human capital campaign.
"Tina and I are pleased to be able to support Butler University and Bulldog athletics," said Keith Burks, who earned an MBA from Butler in 1990. "We believe this gift will have a positive and lasting effect on the experience of our student-athletes."
Athletic Director Barry Collier said the gift of more than $250,000 is the largest amount his department has received as part of the campaign. ButlerRising seeks to raise $2.85 million for improvements to Hinkle Fieldhouse and the Butler Bowl, and $125 million overall. "We thank the Burks family for taking this leadership role, and we hope others will join them on our team to help fund these projects," said Collier.
Burks chairs the Advisory Panel of the Butler Business Accelerator and serves on the University's Board of Trustees. Burks "clearly has a passion for Bulldog sports," according to Collier. "He has courtside seats for basketball and regularly attends football games."
When Keith and Tina offered their gift, they declined to have their names attached to any of the renovated areas, Collier said. "Keith told me, `We just want to help.' That speaks to their generosity."
Keith Burks said that, whether you're an alumnus or just a fan of great playing, watching sports in Hinkle Fieldhouse and the Butler Bowl "makes you feel a part of Indiana history." He appreciates Butler's commitment to preserving the vintage qualities of the Fieldhouse and the Bowl while making needed upgrades and expansions.
"We have a beautiful setting" in the Butler Bowl, Collier agreed. "We just need to enhance it." He said the stadium has been "missing some important components" since the demolition of the Hilton U. Brown Theatre - which backed up to the bowl's south end - and construction of the Apartment Village student housing units east of the bowl. With those changes in terrain, Collier said, "we lost 70 percent of the seating and all of the bowl's restrooms."
Extending seating down the field's entire west side is a ButlerRising objective, along with construction of a larger press box and new restrooms. Turf installed in the bowl last year is also covered under the campaign goals.
Another key upgrade to be funded by ButlerRising is the update of lower-level locker rooms on the west end of Hinkle Fieldhouse. Built in 1928, decades before the addition of several Bulldog teams, the locker rooms have poor ventilation and limited locker, shower, restroom and storage space.
Modernizing the rooms will "assist Butler in providing an exceptional student-athlete experience," said Collier. "Tina and Keith Burks share our feelings that the facilities in which Butler houses its teams should match the overall high quality of the university."
Keith and Tina Burks show similar regard for improvement of the greater Indianapolis community, according to Collier. A partner with Bindley Capital Partners, LLC and chairman of Concentrics Research LLC, Keith Burks is a past chairman of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association and a member the Young Presidents Organization. Tina Burks has been active in fundraising for The Wellness Community cancer support center.
"Keith and Tina are just great, giving people," said Collier. "We're very grateful for all they've done on behalf of Butler."
To learn more about the ButlerRising human capital campaign and the athletic improvements priority, visit butler.edu/butlerrising or call 317-940-9712.