Michael J. Butler
California State University, Bakersfield
Recipient, William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement
At the age of 42, Mike Butler became a college freshman. As a child, he was brought up to believe that formal education had no value. He learned several trades, and often found that he was called upon to teach others how to do their jobs. It wasn't until he worked as a high school football coach, however, that Mike realized that teaching had become his passion. A friend encouraged him to consider going to college to get his credential. When Mike lost his income and possessions, and his family was torn apart, he understood that life was giving him a "do over," and he enrolled in college. Thanks to a work ethic instilled by his stepfather, the encouragement of his mother and the support of his wife and his children, Mike is now poised to graduate magna cum laude as a psychology major at CSU Bakersfield and begin pursuing his MA in psychology in the fall. His plan is to teach at a community college and to motivate students who desire to further themselves through secondary education.