Butler University building Howard Schrott theater


What’s former Emmis Communications CFO Howard Schrott been up to lately? He’s building a theater. More precisely, he’s paying for his alma mater to build a theater which will carry his name.

Butler University in Indianapolis says the school’s 450-seat theater slated to open in fall 2012 will be named the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Performing and Visual Arts. Schrott, a 1976 alumnus and member of the University’s Board of Trustees, has committed $6.5 million toward the $13 million construction project.

“We appreciate Howard Schrott’s generosity and devotion to Butler University. We thank him for reaching out with a gift that will benefit both Jordan College of Fine Arts and the University,” said Butler President Bobby Fong.

Groundbreaking on “The Schrott,” pictured below, is scheduled for spring 2011.

“This gift is the manifestation of an ongoing conversation with Butler about planned giving – giving that is less about what one can afford today, and more about discovering inventive ways to give that are beneficial for both parties,” Schrott said. “Before we began these conversations, I would never have imagined this gift would be possible during my lifetime. My hope is that this will encourage others to examine what is possible during their lifetime.”

The school noted that this is the latest of many generous gifts Schrott has made to Butler University over the years, including the endowment of the Howard Schrott Lecture Series for the College of Communications and the Master Control Room in the Fairbanks Center. “My first ‘gift’ to Butler was a $10 check in 1979,” Schrott said, laughing.

Schrott, now president of San Francisco-based Schrott Consulting, was previously CFO for Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications (1991-1999) and South Carolina-based Liberty Corp. (2001-2006), which was purchased by Raycom Media in 2006 for nearly $1 billion.

“For whatever success I’ve had in my career and life, Butler set the trajectory. I feel real fortunate to have come to Butler,” said Schrott.