Sunday, May 25, 2014

"Across the country, we will all celebrate Memorial Day in different ways. For many it is the unofficial start of summer that ushers in the season of backyard barbecues, boating and bedazzling fireworks.

Memorial Day is also a day to celebrate and honor the memories of those who died for our country. It is a time for heroes -- both those who have fallen and those who are still living.

Before we embark on our respective traditions, I encourage you to join me in saluting all of our servicemen and women -- wherever they are at this moment -- and especially those who are no longer with us. I thank them and their families for all that they have sacrificed to protect our freedom.

There are many former military who have been associated with Florida Keys Community College and they all deserve special recognition. Today, however, I am honoring the late Frank Butler: a true champion of education in the Keys and especially the students of Florida Keys Community College.

Colonel Butler, originally from Missouri, retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after 28 years of service in 1987 and then dedicated the rest of his life contributing to this community.

Butler, who managed an engineering consulting firm, was appointed to FKCC's Board of Trustees by then-governor Jeb Bush for two terms, from 1999 until he passed in 2005. He led the college trustees locally as chairman in addition to representing them at the state level as the vice chairman of the Florida Commission of Community Colleges Trustees.

He provided further support to FKCC by serving on the FKCC Foundation Board of Directors, which raises and stewards funds to support student scholarships and academic programs.

Devoted to advancing educational opportunities at all levels in the Keys, Butler also served on the boards of the Monroe County School District, the PACE Center for Girls, the Monroe County Education Foundation and the Key West Montessori School. His career in education also included an associate professorship of U.S. history at Purdue University, where he earned his master's in business administration.

In addition to educational work, Butler made an indelible impression on our community and touched the lives of many through his numerous other associations -- from the Rotary Club of Key West and AIDS Prevention to the Lower Florida Keys Hospital Board and the local chapters of the Retired Officers of America and the Military Order of World Wars.

Florida Keys Community College remembers and salutes Butler this Memorial Day 2014. We continue to value his leadership and service to our country, state and community."

-- Jonathan Gueverra, president

Florida Keys Community College