Commencement 2010 - Doctor of Divinity Recipient Lee Butz

Recipient of the Degree of Doctor of Divinity:
Lee Butz

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Allentown, PA contracting executive Lee A. Butz was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree May 21 during commencement exercises by The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). Butz, chairman of Alvin H. Butz, Inc., headed the contracting firm from 1973 to 2007, then assuming his current role.

In awarding the degree, Philip D. W. Krey, LTSP president, introduced Butz as heading for many years "the oldest and largest contracting company of its kind in Pennsylvania" and celebrated Butz as having been committed to "a life of community interests including the church, this seminary, the arts, health education and social services. Few persons know this campus better than Lee Butz."

Krey told the commencement audience that Butz's companies have built the Wiedemann Center, the seminary's primary residence hall; the Brossman Learning Center and most recently the William Allen Plaza, a public square on the perimeter of the campus adjoining Germantown Avenue. Krey said the next campus project undertaken by the Butz Companies will be a handicapped accessible entryway connecting the Learning Center to the seminary's 102-year-old Krauth Memorial Library.

"You have done your work here with exquisite skill and a tireless pursuit of integrity, professionalism and dedication," Krey said. "You have been a friend to this school dedicated to the development of urban areas in the same way we have as a seminary dedicated ourselves to urban pursuits in the City of Philadelphia. You have led and witnessed corporately as evidenced by your receiving the 2010 Inner City 100 Award. Your company has been a model of inner city entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and jobs creation and you have demonstrated public values and a high caliber of citizenship as you have lived out your baptismal vocation." 

Krey commended Butz for his selfless service to the President's Advisory Council, for the compassion he and his wife, Dolly, have shown for early childhood education and for their establishment of the Lee and Dolly Butz Scholarship Fund designed to underwrite at LTSP "the next generation of public leaders who will work to revitalize our urban communities."

In brief remarks after receiving the award, Butz said that "this award means a great deal to me." He expressed his "growing respect" for LTSP "and all it is doing for the neediest people in the urban core of our cities." He thanked those graduates in the audience who are doing "their thing" by entering into urban ministry "to make a difference in our cities."


A special In the City for Good event was held in Allentown in May to celebrate the contributions of Lee and Dolly Butz to the city and the region. Participants included LTSP President The Rev. Dr. Philip Krey and professor The Rev. Dr. Katie Day. Here's a photo show from the event: