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Butler Park ribbon cutting held

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday, Nov. 11, to commemorate the opening of Butler Park, a green space on campus named after the residence hall that once stood at the site.   

In 2019, the Gamma Upsilon Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) music sorority held a tree planting to commemorate Arbor Day at the site. SAI installed trees and decorative plants at the site, and the University donated a bench that was placed there. Horseshoe pits have also been installed at the park.   

Student Government Association (SGA) President Emily Wiley said the park is an important addition to campus.   

"The area has become a designated space for student recreation. Where it has an open layout, campus community members may use it for whatever designation they'd like," Wiley said. "Also, naming a park translates to naming green space. This is a wonderful opportunity for our campus to protect the limited amount of green space we have and turn it into something positive for our peers."  

The park was designed by freshman Kurt Whitley from Franklin, Tennessee, a civil engineering and construction management major who is an intern in Facilities Management.   

Although Wiley said the SGA has plans to add some trees and seating to the area, she said the idea is to keep the park a primarily open space so students can use the park for a wide range of activities.   

"We found the park to be so important because it resides directly next to Cartmell Hall, one of our University's highest capacity buildings which holds primarily freshman students," Wiley said. "As many know, the pandemic disproportionally affected our recent freshman and sophomores, where they received a lack of in-person interaction during their crucially developmental time as a first-year student. Though it is only a small part of the solution, we hope that those students may take advantage of Butler Park to encourage new friendships and healthy outdoor activities. We are thankful to provide the opportunity to our peers and create an area that will be on campus for years to come."  

Butler Hall was built in 1961 and demolished in 2018. MSU President Dr. Jay Morgan designated the site as a campus green space.   

For more information about SGA, visit or email Wiley at
Photo, left to right: Ethan Wells, SGA executive vice president, senior biomedical science major from Elkhorn City; Emily Wiley, SGA president, senior agriculture business major from London; MSU President Dr. Jay Morgan; MSU Vice President for University Advancement Rick Hesterberg; and Vice President for Student Affairs Russ Mast.