Staff, students and community members celebrated the next president in the history of Butler Community College with the official inauguration of Dr. Kimberly Krull Tuesday.
Krull was selected as Butler’s fifth president after the retirement of Dr. Jackie Vietti.
“We are just delighted to have her join our leadership team,” said Dr. Karla Fisher, vice president of academics during the welcome which followed the processional, presentation of colors by Butler Public Safety, National Anthem by the Butler Headliners and invocation by Rev. Michael L. Blaine from Park Avenue Baptist Church.
“This inauguration is a milestone in this college,” Fisher continued.
She talked about the history of inaugurations, saying the word dates back to the mid-16th Century.
“It is a celebration with traditions rooted in Medieval times,” she said. “Today’s installation ceremony is the heart of our inauguration.”
Next, Trustee Chair Ron Engelbrecht offered a welcome to Krull from the Board of Trustees and extended a particular welcome to the members of other Kansas colleges and community colleges in attendance. He also recognized the selection advisory committee.
Following the opening comments, the swearing in ceremony got underway. Engelbrecht led Krull in the swearing in, including upholding the timeless institutional values of quality, integrity, serving and caring, then presented her with the Chain of Office and Mace.
The Chain of Office is burnished bronze and features a large central medallion with the Butler logo “B” and the words Butler Community College, Kansas, as well as the four timeless institutional values.
The Mace is an ornamental staff symbolizing the power of the college. It is made of hickory and features large central medallions with the Butler logo and a continuous band demoting the establishment of the college in 1927 and the values.
Next, Kelly Price, operational staff president, presented Krull with a crystal vase.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected as Butler Community College’s fifth president in an 86-year history,” Krull said. “I truly appreciate the trust and confidence you have placed in me.”
She thanked the staff for their dedication and encouraged students they will work together to chart the future of the college.
“Faculty and staff are the heart and soul of this institution,” she said.
Krull also thanked the Butler Foundation board members and donors.
“Without you we would not be in the position we are,” she said.
She went on to thank those who put the inauguration together.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this such a special day,” she said. “I was told how lucky I am to be here, but I have big shoes to fill.
Page 2 of 2 - “I really am humbled to follow in her (Vietti’s) footsteps. Thank you for all you have done and welcoming me. This is a great place of vitality, promise and inspiration.”
She said she did not come here to change the great foundation laid for Butler, but rather to lead the college into the future.
She went on to talk about the history of the college. She said there was an overwhelming support to establish the college, with 75 percent of the voters turning out for that election and 1,669 votes for the college and only 312 against.
Then in 1964 was a bond for the construction of the current campus.
“Just think of all of the lives that have been touched in these 86 years,” Krull said.
She went on to talk about changes in colleges and community colleges and challenges they face in the future.
She said by 2018 two-thirds of jobs will require a post-secondary degree or certificate.
Krull said they need to refocus their mission and role to meet 21st Century needs.
“As we redesign at Butler we ensure student success and completion,” she said.
She said they take students at whatever point they are at in their lives and help them meet their educational goals.
“We are here and our doors are open for all of these students,” she said. “As community college professionals we touch lives by opening doors to all who want to learn. I have challenged the Butler family to be innovative and creative. How can our students lose when we are single-minded in their success?
“Today is about the next chapter in Butler’s history. It is about all of us working together.”
The ceremony concluded with a presentation of flowers to Krull by the Student Government Association, a performance of “Over the Rainbow” by the Headliners and the benediction by Rev. Christine Gilson of Trinity Episcopal Church before the recessional.