Missouri Valley College Hall of Fame
Robert “Tom” Butterfield
Class of 1996
Tom graduated from Missouri Valley College in 1963, with a double-major in Psychology and Education. Active in both football and track Tom was voted sophomore class president and elected student body president his junior year.
In 1962, while still a student, Tom became a foster parent for a young boy he found in a state mental institution. This youngster served as the catalyst for the founding of Butterfield Boys Ranch, which would later become Butterfield Youth Services.
Tom completed a Master Degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1970, and in 1973 was certified as a social worker.
Tom convinced Warner Brothers and CBS to come to Marshall in June of 1981 to file “The Children Nobody Wanted,” the story of the founding of Butterfield Youth Services. As a result, Reader’s Digest published a story entitled, “Unforgettable Tom Butterfield.”
Since his death in 1982, Tom has been recognized posthumously by the University of Missouri-Columbia, the Missouri Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame, and has received Presidential Awards from Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton.
The inscription in Tom’s yearbook described him best: “A young man who’s every thought was in behalf of his fellow man.”