Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis


Strategic Communication: Public Relations and Advertising

First Advisor

Mark Rademacher


The following is a case study analyzing the founding values of what is today Butler University and comparing this founding to values promoted in the university’s modern marketing communications. The findings explore the life of Butler University’s primary founder, Ovid Butler, and the events which led him to believe so passionately in the construction of what was known at the time of its founding as North Western Christian University (NWCU). Findings also include a brief overview of the school’s operations between its opening in 1855 and modern day before diving into examples of contemporary marketing communications. Based on the information compiled in this research, it is apparent that Butler University has a long history of being ahead of the curve. The university was founded by an adamant abolitionist whose wish it was to provide a high standard of education to all who were willing to work at achieving academic success, to include female students and students of color. However, this triumphant past is often lost or forgotten in the university’s modern brand image which portrays a youthful and future-focused university. At the conclusion of this project, the data suggests that Butler University is passing up a valuable opportunity to connect Ovid Butler’s driven, forward- thinking vision with the university’s current brand. A thoughtful and intentional integration of Butler University’s past into present-day marketing communications could help the university further distinguish itself amongst fierce competition.

Included in

Communication Commons