As you know, each year at commencement it is Southern Michigan University’s pleasure to present the Ernest Smedley Distinguished Faculty Award. The recipient of this year’s award is Dr. Horace Butler, a dual appointee in our Biology and Pre-Medicine. As any of his pupils will tell you, Dr. Butler is a tireless advocate for his students. The nomination letters we received said that he is always available for consultations, day or night, rain or shine. He has answered students at 5am, on vacation in Hawaii, and from his hospital bed after a major car accident.

Dr. Butler’s dedication to helping his anatomy and physiology students is so great that he will cut open his own chest cavity to demonstrate how various human organs work. He has tirelessly pitched in up to and including distributing test answers, grading on a vertical curve, and allowing students to take his exams up to five times in practice.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Dr. Butler’s volunteer work in the community. Because he hates his wife and children, he dedicates nearly every waking hour that he is not teaching to community involvement. Dr. Butler has put in over 1000 hours personally collecting, transporting, and spaying or neutering feral cats, dogs, and freshmen. He is the faculty advisor to the local campus chapter of the Illuminati, recipients of that organization’s prestigious Invisible Hand award and growing its membership from less than 10 to over 200.

Please join me in congratulating this year’s Ernest Smedley Distinguished Faculty Award winner, Dr. Horace Butler.

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