WMU-Cooley board member James Butler III dies at age 77


WMU-Cooley Law School Board of Directors member James W. Butler III died Aug. 7 at the age of 77.

Butler served on the law school’s board of directors since 2007, serving on multiple committees, including: Executive, Audit, Strategic Planning, Nominating, Straits, and Investment.

“On behalf of our entire board, we extend our condolences to his wife, Rishan, and his entire family,” said WMU-Cooley Board Chair and 54-A District Court Judge Louise Alderson. “James was an active and trusted member of our community and WMU-Cooley Board. A friend to colleagues and faculty alike, James was a long-serving member of our Straits Committee whose purpose is to strengthen and bridge the communication and relationship between the board and faculty.”

Butler also served on the boards of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority, the Sparrow Health System, and Physicians Health Plan.

He served as a member of the Dr. Martin Luther King Commission of Mid-Michigan and Michigan’s Broadband Authority. 

He was employed for 30 years by IBM and was a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served in Vietnam and received two Purple Hearts and four Bronze Stars.


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