Indiana State University Newsroom

University to present honorary degrees to Donald and Karen Buttrey

April 30, 2012

Indiana State University will honor Indianapolis attorney Donald Buttrey and his late wife Karen with honorary doctoral degrees during spring commencement ceremonies Saturday (May 5).

The Buttreys have supported the university in many areas and have provided scholarships and other direct support for students, including female athletes.

Donald Buttrey, a Terre Haute native and graduate of Gerstmeyer Technical High School, completed a bachelor's degree in business education from Indiana State in 1956 and, after serving in the U.S. Army, a law degree from the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington in 1961.

He is of counsel with the Indianapolis law firm Wooden & McLaughlin. He served with McHale, Cook and Welch from 1963 to 2001. He is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and a Fellow of the American, Indiana and Indianapolis Bar Foundations. He serves on the advisory boards for the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving and the Center on Philanthropy, both at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.

He was a member of the ISU board of trustees from 1992 to 2000 and is a life board member of the ISU Foundation. He also serves on university President Dan Bradley's advisory board. ISU has previously recognized him with the Volunteer Service Award and the Jones Presidential Service Medal. In 2011, the ISU Foundation honored him with the John P. Newton Spirit of ISU Award.

Philanthropist and community leader Karen Buttrey, an Indianapolis native, was a longtime member of that city's Second Presbyterian Church and served the church as a deacon, elder and endowment board member. At the time of her death in November, she served on the boards of Chatham College and McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and the advisory board of the Center on Philanthropy.

The Buttreys created the Lake Institute in 2002 to honor the legacy of Karen's parents. The Institute seeks to build a scholarly foundation, through research, teaching and public service, for the exploration of the idea that religion plays a vital role in philanthropy.

Karen Buttrey also provided generous support to her church, the United Way, the American Red Cross and Salvation Army and numerous other charitable organizations.

She held master's degrees in educational research from the University of Pittsburgh and in educational psychology from Indiana University as well as a bachelor's degree in psychology from Chatham College. Prior to her marriage, she worked in educational and interior design positions.


Media contact: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or