In 1965, Lew Butler met Dan Koshland. This chance meeting sparked a remarkable friendship—the first in a series of relationships that would lead to the founding of Butler Koshland Fellowships in 2002.
As their friendship grew, Dan became Lew’s mentor in public service. Learning from this extraordinary citizen, Lew quickly came to see the power of mentorship in the service of good works. In tribute to the guidance he had received from Dan, Lew was grateful for the opportunity to become a mentor to Dan’s grandson Bob Friedman in 1971. In his own turn, in 2002, Bob gathered a group who had been touched by Lew’s work and together they launched a fundraising campaign called the “Friends of Lew” to support his philanthropy. Hundreds of people came forward to give. These funds and the spirit in which they were given led to the creation of Butler Koshland Fellowships.
Modeling Butler Koshland Fellowships after his relationships with Dan and Bob, Lew settled on a simple but powerful idea: find great people who are working to change the world and partner each with a talented younger person. Each pair would work closely together, their unique personal exchange generating new ideas and energy in service of the common good.
In 2012 when the funds from the original campaign had been fully committed, those who had benefited from Butler Koshland Fellowships came together to ensure that the gift of mentorship would be shared with another generation. And so the legacy continues….