Butler University

Table of Contents


  1. Self-Guided Walking Tour

    On campus, but not scheduled for a formal tour? Follow this route to give yourself a tour.


    1. Robertson Hall

      Formally dedicated in 1942, Robertson Hall was completed with donations from Mrs. Carrie Robertson to commemorate the lives of her husband, Alexander, and herself—and members of the Irwin, Sweeney and Miller families. Serving as the College of Religion building until 1958, Robertson was renovated into a women’s residence hall in 1966. It was renovated again in 1997 to serve as the University Welcome Center. In 2004—with a gift from alumna Ruth K. Duckwall Williams—Sweeney Chapel was renovated into the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall, named in honor of her parents, Paul Duckwall and Iva Eidson Duckwall. Dedicated in 2006, the Ford Salon is a gathering space beneath the Recital Hall made possible by a gift from Richard Edwin Ford in honor of his great-grandfather, Dr. James Ford, and grandfather, Edwin Holton Ford, as well as any descendants who attend Butler.

    2. Academic Quad

      In the academic quad, you’ll find Jordan Hall, Gallahue Hall, the Holcomb Building, and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Building.


      GALLAHUE: The primary location of science classrooms on Butler’s campus is the Dorothy and Edward Gallahue Science Hall, made possible by a gift from Butler Trustee Edward Francis Gallahue. The departments housed in Gallahue include biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, and astronomy. Also located in Gallahue are growth chamber facilities, an electron microscope facility, the Center for Urban Ecology, The Butler Greenhouse, and the Friesner Herbarium. The Butler Greenhouse includes over 200 species in a wide array from tropical to desert plants. The Friesner Herbarium is a systematic collection of nearly 100,000 dried, pressed, and preserved plant specimens—the third largest in the state.


      HOLCOMB: Formerly the Holcomb Research Institute, the Holcomb Building was named in memory of James Irving Holcomb and his wife, Musetta, and is home to the Lacy School of Business, Butler Business Accelerator, Ruth Lilly Science Library, and Information Technology. The facility, which was dedicated in 1973, includes a stock trading room, as well as class and meeting rooms equipped with SmartBoard technology.


      COPHS: Built in 1950, the original Pharmacy and Health Sciences Building was renovated in 2008-2009 to include fully mediated classrooms and state-of-the-art research and teaching laboratories. In October 2009, a 40,000-square-foot addition to the original structure was dedicated. The addition later received Gold-level LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification, becoming the first LEED-certified structure on Butler’s campus and the first Gold building at an educational institution in Indianapolis. Home to the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS), the building includes two 135-seat lecture halls, interactive SmartBoards, class-capture technology, two laboratories for the physician assistant and pharmaceutical sciences programs, student and faculty/staff lounges, and faculty offices. Butler’s Health Education Center and Healthy Horizons program, which promotes healthy living to Butler employees, are also housed in the Pharmacy and Health Sciences Building.

    3. Atherton Union

      Atherton Union is the hub of student activities and services. Here, you’ll find computer and lounge areas, the Butler Bookstore, Starbucks, The Efroymson Diversity Center, Campus Club (a food court), and The Market Place @ Atherton (one of two dining halls on campus). Also housed in Atherton are: Band and Spirit Programs; Diversity Programs; Greek Life; International Student Services; Internship & Career Services; Programs for Leadership and Service Education (PuLSE); Residence Life; Student Affairs; Title IX Coordinator; various student organizations (including Student Government Association); and the Volunteer Center.

    4. Greek Row

      Butler has 12 Greek houses, 11 of which are along Hampton Drive. More than one-third of Butler students participate in Greek life. Our five fraternities and seven sororities plan formals and social events, service projects, and stay connected with alumni mentors while maintaining GPAs that are, on average, above 3.4. Additionally in any given semester, Butler’s Greek organizations contribute more than 17,000 hours in service to 175 Indianapolis area nonprofits.

    5. Fairview House

      Butler University, in partnership with American Campus Communities, introduces Fairview House—a state-of-the-art, 633-bed, predominantly sophomore student residence hall—opening in fall 2016. Students will live in six- and eight-person suites with furnished bedrooms, lounge areas, and bathrooms with individual vanities. The residence hall also includes recreation and gaming lounge with a balcony overlooking a courtyard, a media lounge, social space with video display walls and fireside casual seating, a business center with print stations and private study space, a cardio fitness room with modern equipment and workout/yoga space, laundry centers on three floors, and dining facilities.

    6. Irwin Library

      Open for service on Sept. 9, 1963, Irwin Library was designed by world-class architect Minoru Yamasaki and was named to honor members of the Irwin family, who were prominent in the life of Butler University for over a century. The library provides an array of learning spaces for 400 students, including soft seating areas, study tables and carrels, private and group study rooms, and collaborative computer workstations.  The first-floor Information Commons service point provides library research and instructional technology support. The building includes a computer lab that houses rich media equipment and software. Print and media collections in the building support the humanities and social sciences, education, business, and the performing arts. The building’s third floor is also home to the Center for Academic Technology, the Hugh Thomas Miller Rare Books and Special Collections Room, and the University Archives.

    7. Butler Arts Center

      The arts center include Clowes Memorial Hall, the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts, the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall, and Lilly Hall Studio Theatre.


      Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University was conceived by Dr. George Clowes and his wife, Edith Whitehill Clowes, as a center of culture and entertainment. More than 9 million people have seen a performance in Clowes Hall since it opened on Oct. 18, 1963. Clowes, designed by architect Evans Woollen, hosts numerous world-class lectures, concerts, and presentations, including those of organizations such as Broadway in Indianapolis, Music For All (Bands of America), and Butler’s own Celebration of Diversity Lecture Series. In summer 2013, Clowes Hall underwent significant restoration, with new seats, carpet, paint, roof over the concert hall, and sound system added.is a 2,200-seat professional performing arts.


      The 450-seat Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts, which opened in April 2013, was the final piece in Butler University’s Performing Arts Complex. The Schrott Center is “a full-sized laboratory” for students and faculty to participate in and experience the arts. Theater students are able to perform for larger audiences, in a proscenium theater. Dance students are able to showcase their individual performances and choreography on the Schrott stage. The adjustable acoustics can be tailored so music ensembles can maximize their presence and tone. Students studying art and design have the opportunity to exhibit their art in the facility. And arts administration students are able to learn firsthand the ins and outs of managing an artistic venue.


      A 140-seat recital hall that occupies the space of the former Sweeney Chapel, the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall features 300 square feet of white oak floor, as well as walls of oak and mahogany. Made possible by a gift from alumna Ruth K. Duckwall Williams, the hall is named in honor of her parents, Paul Duckwall and Iva Eidson Duckwall, and was dedicated in December 2004.


      Lilly Hall Studio Theatre 168 is Butler Theatre’s main home. Here, the Department of Theatre produces a wide range of classics, world premieres, and devised works. The Studio Theatre is a flexible space that is reconfigured for each production, meaning that the audience is sometimes on one, two, three, or four sides of the action. Whatever the configuration, the audience is never more than several feet away from the stage, which makes for exciting up-close-and-personal theatre experiences. 

    8. Blue House/Center for Faith and Vocation

      Nicknamed “The Blue House,” the Center for Faith and Vocation (CFV) provides opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to reflect on their own passions and how to connect the life they lead to a sense of purpose and meaning. In addition to vocational exploration, the CFV is the center of community for religious life on campus. It is committed to supporting the full landscape of multi-faith, spiritual, and questioning communities at Butler.

    9. Sunset Avenue Parking Garage

      One of the newest additions to the Butler landscape, the 1,033-space parking garage opened in 2015. In addition to parking, the first floor has 17,000 square feet of retail space. The first two tenants, Scotty’s Dawghouse and Pita Pit, opened during the spring 2016 semester.

    10. Health and Recreation Complex

      The Health and Recreation Complex (HRC) opened in 2006 and offers multiple areas to work and play. Counseling and Consultation Services, Health Services, Health Education and Outreach Programs, and the Department of Recreation are all housed in the HRC. Additionally, HRC staff provide fitness assessments and massage therapy. The HRC’s features include: two-court gymnasium; one-tenth mile jogging track; six-lane lap-swimming pool; hot tub; sauna; free-weight room; 60-piece cardio and weight machine area; leisure pool with bubble benches, lazy river, water basketball, and volleyball; locker rooms; two multi-purpose rooms; and conference room. The “living room” at the HRC serves as a student lounge equipped with a big-screen television, pool table, study pods, and more. The Zia Juice Bar serves health foods and fresh-fruit drinks.

    11. Athletics: Hinkle Fieldhouse/Butler Bowl

      The Butler men's basketball, women's basketball, and volleyball teams play their home matches in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, which has reigned as one of the nation’s great sports arenas for more than eight decades. The classic facility was constructed in 1928 and it has stood up to the test of time, maintaining the splendor, character and atmosphere that made it one of the nation’s most famous basketball arenas for nearly a century. And during the summer of 2014, the Fieldhouse underwent a major $36 million renovation that provided significant upgrades and improvements.


      The Butler Bowl serves as the home of Butler's football team and men's and women's soccer teams. After a $2.6 million renovation in 2010, the Bowl now features bleacher seating for 5,039 across the west side of the field—including 250 chairback seats—as well as capacity for 434 for visitors along the east sideline. Construction of the Bowl was completed in time for the start of the 1928 football season, and Butler inaugurated the stadium by defeating Franklin, 55-0. The original Butler Bowl had seating for 36,000 spectators, with an option to enlarge the seating capacity to 72,000.

    12. Holcomb Observatory

      The J.I. Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium was completed in 1954 as a gift from Mr. Holcomb and his wife, Musetta, in honor of Butler’s centennial celebration in 1955. One of the largest public observatories in the world, it houses a 38-inch Cassegrain reflector. The observatory’s lobby floor features a 14-foot replica of the zodiac in brilliantly colored terrazzo, and the 60-seat planetarium equipped with a Spitz A3P projector serves both as a laboratory and theater. Also in the observatory are a clock room and classroom. Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium serves Butler students as well as the public, and offers both public and private tours of the facility in addition to scheduled public viewing times.

    13. Holcomb Gardens

      Completed in 1950 amid 20 acres, Holcomb Gardens includes thousands of trees, flowers, shrubs and other horticultural specimens, as well as a lake, waterfalls, a garden house, poets’ corner and philosophers’ bench. A 500-foot-long grass mall leads into the heart of the garden and to the statue of Persephone, who according to Greek mythology was worshipped as the goddess of vegetation. The gardens were designed and laid out by James Irving Holcomb and Arthur Lindberg in 1949.


      The J.I. Holcomb Garden House, located amid stately trees and adjoining the canal, was dedicated in 1952. For years, it was the site of wedding receptions. The house features a large meeting room and kitchenette and, in 1959, the Carillon Room was added to accommodate the carillonneur and his instrument. James Holcomb served on Butler’s Board of Trustees from 1936-1961.


      Industrialist and benefactor J.I. Holcomb donated the carillon to Butler in 1959, hoping it would be “an inspiration to all those who come within the range of its beauty in music.” The carillon itself is located in the Memorial Room of the Garden House at Holcomb Gardens; the carillon tower towers over Holcomb Lake. The carillon looks something like a church organ, with two levels of 61 keys (five full octaves) and 32 foot pedals that duplicate the sounds from the keyboards. The carillonneur plays the keys, which send an electrical signal to a hammer that strikes a metal rod that has been tuned to the exact overtones of a corresponding bell so the pitches are the same.


      Holcomb Lake, sometimes called “Reflection Lake,” is a one-acre pool of fresh running water surrounded by a cluster of trees by the carillon tower. Its waters run toward a stone quarry that forms a 12-foot fall that can be seen a few hundred yards from the Holcomb Gardens entrance. On a clear day, the bell tower reflects crystal-like on the lake. The lake was created in 1953.

    14. West Campus: Canal, CUE Farm, Baseball/Softball fields

      The Indiana Central Canal Towpath, which runs along the canal and the west side of campus, is a popular trail for runners, walkers, and bicyclists. The trail runs north into Broad Ripple and south past the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Everything west of the canal is known as West Campus. West Campus is where you’ll find Butler’s baseball and softball fields, the tennis bubble, and the parking lot known as the I-Lot. Also located in west campus is the CUE Farm, a sustainable agriculture project of the Center for Urban Ecology. You are welcome to visit the farm on Thursdays from 4:00-6:00 PM June through October to purchase fresh produce harvested just a few feet away.