In memory of her dedication to veterans at Ivy Tech Richmond, the Kimberly "Kim" Butts Veteran Scholarship has been established. Your contributions will help support this fund to continue Kim's commitment to veterans in perpetuity.
An alumna of Ivy Tech, Kim always had a passion for veterans and active military service men and women. Her brother, Michael, is a U.S. Navy Veteran, Retired, E7 Chief. To this day, his fatigues are still in Kim’s former office. She has several other family members who served as well. Kim was viewed by the statewide Ivy Tech VA community as a leader in the field. She often gave training sessions and presentations to VA staff members from around the state of Indiana.
Born Kimberly Susann Pendergrass in Fullerton, California, Kim arrived in the Richmond area when she relocated to be closer to her mother. Her relationship with Ivy Tech began in May 2004 when she arrived on campus through a position with a local temp agency. Kim soon became the part-time Financial Aid Assistant and eventually moved to full-time in April 2007.
In July 2012, Kim became Assistant Director of Financial Aid/Veteran’s Affairs. In this role, she was the School Certifying Official (VA) and the advisor for the Student Veterans Organization (SVO). While under her leadership, the organization received a significant grant, written and submitted by Kim. In the words of Chancellor Chad Bolser, “Kim always took pride in ensuring that we honored our veterans and made their experience with Ivy Tech Community College the absolute best it could be.”
Perhaps what her co-workers remember the most about Kim is the other side of her story. We knew she was special and unlike any other employee we ever had. Her eyes were always happy. She had a smile and laugh which was contagious, but more than that, Kim had a natural and sincere way of making YOU feel special -- YOU as her child, family, students, and colleagues.
She treated “her” VA students as if they were her own family! YOU were her priority. She didn’t know a stranger and everyone was her friend. Kim had a true giving heart filled with spirit, faith and love that was ready to give the second you walked into the room. Her hugs were generous, her talks were non-judgmental, and she had a gentle, kind, and humorous soul. Kim always put others before herself, working tirelessly as a single mother of five children (Kayla, Rebecca, Maurice, Michael, and Taj’ae) and even supporting other children that needed her help, love, and affection.
Valerie Ray, former Executive Director of Development at Ivy Tech Richmond, said, “Kim’s heart for our students was demonstrated in so many ways. She even directed her personal giving for 13 years providing textbook funding for students.”
Kim was well-deserving of her many awards as staff member of the year and advisor of the year. Her dedication to all who knew her went above and beyond as she cared to fight for what was right all while being self-confident and professional.
Those who knew Kim were most blessed. To know a person that had all the qualities people strive to be is a rarity. Kim was taken from us way too soon on June 8, 2019, just 5 days after her 45th birthday. She had more to give to her family and especially to her grandchildren. But also, to us, her Ivy Tech family and all the students that would get to know and love her as we have. Cancer stole her life. Throughout her years with cancer, she still managed to remain the same Kim we knew and loved. On days that Kim didn’t think she was going to make it, she pushed through and always came to work. Kim fought hard and worked for students right up to the end. Her courage was contagious and an inspiration to us all. She will forever be missed in our hearts and she left a legacy we will cherish endlessly.
This scholarship is a token of gratitude for having had the privilege to be touched by Kimberly "Kim" Butts. Kim would want you to know: “YOU CAN DO THIS!"