Butler University celebrates three major anniversaries this fall: Clowes Memorial Hall and the Irwin Library both turn 50, and the Center for Faith and Vocation commemorates 10 years.

Clowes Hall turns 50 this year.

Clowes Hall turns 50 this year.

“Clowes Hall, the Irwin Library, and the Center for Faith and Vocation each enrich Butler academics and student life, while serving the greater community with ready access to information, knowledgeable guest speakers, and entertainment,” Butler President James M. Danko said. “Butler and Indianapolis are richer for having them as part of our campus and our city.”

Clowes Hall, which opened Oct. 18, 1963, 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 the 10,000-plus performances there, presented by luminaries such as Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, and the rock band Cream.

The venue ranks among the top 100 theaters in the world for number of tickets sold.

Clowes also serves as a centerpiece for pre-K-12 educational programming. During the 2012-2013 school year, education programs alone brought better than 30,000 students to the 2,100-seat hall, which was designed by famed Indianapolis architect Evans Woollen.

Clowes Hall will celebrate its 50th with events that include:

-Mark O’Connor with Butler University School of Music Ensembles/Butler Ballet performance of an original piece by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano – Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. (free)

-Colbie Caillat and Kenny Loggins – Friday, Oct. 25, at 8 p.m.

-Whoopi Goldberg – Saturday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m.

-Disney’s Pixar in Concert with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra – Sunday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now. More information is available from the Clowes Hall box office, (317) 940-6444.

One month before Clowes Hall opened, Butler moved its library collections from cramped quarters in Jordan Hall to its new library building. Students found 12 large reading areas, nine seminar or study rooms, five lounges, and 51 individual study carrels with built-in desks waiting for them. At that time, the library held 165,000 books; today, that number is around 880,000.

On May 1, 1965, the library was formally dedicated as Irwin Library. The ceremony honored the contributions of the Irwin, Miller, and Sweeney families, who had played prominent roles in the life of the University for more than a century.

Architect Minoru Yamasaki, whose best-known work includes the World Trade Centers, designed the library.

The library will celebrate its anniversary with an open house from 2-4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9. Festivities will include cake, a display of historic and contemporary photos of the building, and personnel dressed in clothing from the 1960s.

For more information, call (317) 940-9235.

The Center for Faith and Vocation, located in the Blue House (4615 Sunset Ave.), gives students space to reflect on faith and spirituality during their time at Butler. Its mission is to encourage and challenge students to think about how they are being called to make a difference in the world.

The center strives to deepen students’ understanding of their own faith, diverse religious traditions, and the meaning of vocation. Students can explore these issues through internships with religious, community, and service organizations; on-campus programs; one-on-one counseling; and opportunities for international travel.

Among the center’s contributions to the community is the annual Seminar on Religion and World Civilization. This year’s theme is “Freedom of Expression and Religion.” The topics to be explored are: “Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Faith: Understanding the First Amendment and Its Global Implications;” “Islam and Free Expression;” “Mr. Putin Goes to Church: Religion and Freedom of Speech in Modern Russia;” and “Academic Freedom and Faith in Higher Education.”

More information is available at www.butler.edu/faith-vocation/.

Founded in January 2003, the Center for Faith and Vocation at Butler University is one of 88 Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.


Media contact:
Marc Allan
(317) 940-9822