By Jeff Murphy, September 6, 2023
Foreground from left, Col. Keith Butler, commander of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, and his wife, Diane, met with Courtney Swoboda, director of military and veterans services, during a recent visit to the University of Central Missouri. UCM President Roger Best accompanied the couple to the Military and Veterans Success Center.
WARRENSBURG, MO – Col. Keith Butler, commander of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, and his wife, Diane, had an opportunity to learn more about how the University of Central Missouri serves active duty military members, their dependents and veterans as part of a campus visit on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
The UCM Office of the President coordinated the tour, which David Pearce, executive director of governmental relations, helped organize. It included a meeting with senior administrators, including President Roger Best; Philip Bridgmon, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Shari Bax, vice president for student experience and engagement; and Bill Hawley, vice president for finance and administration. In addition to their meeting at the Administration Building, the Butlers also stopped at the Elliott Student Union where they visited the Military and Veterans Success Center. They met students along with Courtney Swoboda, director of military and veteran services, to learn more about specific ways this facility assists individuals who have served their country. They also had an opportunity to hear from individuals who utilize MVSC services.
“We appreciate Col. Keith Butler and Diane Butler taking time to meet with our administrative leaders and individuals who work directly with the men and women who serve our nation,” Pearce said. “We value a strong relationship with Whiteman Air Force Base, and opportunities like this are very important to us.”
The Butlers are no strangers to UCM. Col. Butler became commander at WAFB during a ceremony on June 21. He is a former 509th Operations Group commander who returned to the base from Edwards Air Force Base, California, where he commanded Detachment 5, Air Operational Test and Evaluation Center. Diane Butler has served at UCM previously as an adjunct faculty member.