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Spotlight on Sports: Carthage Speakers Series

Carthage will welcome two-time NBA All-Star, author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and media pers...A Modern Day Renaissance Man — The Journey of Beloved NBA Legend Caron Butler

On Nov. 17, 2020, Carthage welcomed Caron Butler, two-time NBA All-Star, assistant coach of the Miami Heat, author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and media personality, for a virtual event highlighting his incredible journey from his upbringing in Racine, Wis. to ultimate success in the NBA.

We are grateful for his words of wisdom and for sharing his inspiring story with the Carthage community. Thank you to all who were able to join us.

Watch the recording


About Caron Butler

From a young gang member and drug dealer to a dedicated community leader, accomplished professional athlete, businessman, and devoted humanitarian, Caron Butler overcame adversity to defy all odds. After a stellar college career at the University of Connecticut, Mr. Butler was taken with the tenth overall pick of the 2002 draft by the Miami Heat. During his 14-year career, he played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Detroit Pistons, and Sacramento Kings.

Despite retiring from being an active player, Mr. Butler shows no signs of slowing down. He is a burgeoning businessman with restaurant franchises, tech investments, and an ever-growing real estate portfolio. His knowledge and articulation of the game of basketball have led him to a second career as a commentator and analyst. In October of 2015, Mr. Butler released his first book, “Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA.”

In 2020, Mr. Butler has continued to push the envelope with his activism, specifically focused on the cause of racial injustice. Mr. Butler appeared on CNN to promote LeBron James’ “More Than A Vote” campaign and has taken on a role as a board member at the Vera Institute of Justice. Mr. Butler also hosts the “1-on-1 with Caron Butler” interview series on the NBA Cares YouTube page, in which he discusses social justice issue with everyone from NBA and WNBA players to politicians and team executives. In 2019, Butler helped lead a Juneteenth celebration in Racine, where “Caron Butler Drive” was unveiled on the street where Butler’s basketball journey began.

Mr. Butler is extremely active with organizations that specialize in youth outreach, particularly in Racine, where he recently acted as a principal of a local school to continue to inspire kids. He has also made it a point to improve the relationship between youth and law enforcement officers across the country. During the holidays, Mr. Butler can be found giving back with toy drives at home and abroad.

Above all else, Mr. Butler is a proud father and a dedicated husband. His motto is “family first” and he exemplifies that through his unwavering commitment to his family.

The Spotlight on Sports Speakers Series is made possible through the Sam and Gene Johnson Distinguished Visitors Program and the Craig L. Leipold Fund for Sports Management.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

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    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $22,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …