The Butch Carpenter Memorial Scholarship


Alden J. “Butch” Carpenter was born in Flint, Michigan and graduated from Flint Southwestern High School. He received a scholarship to the University of Michigan, where he excelled academically and athletically as a Division I football player. For three years, Butch started as a defensive end for the University and was co-captain of an undefeated team.

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Butch worked briefly in Detroit and returned to his stomping grounds of Ann Arbor to matriculate at Michigan Law in 1977, demonstrating the same leadership skills, aptitude, and commitment that marked his stellar undergraduate academic and athletic careers. His natural gifts made Butch an effective advocate for social justice. As a member of the law school community, Butch dedicated his professional objectives to the survival and growth of economically depressed communities, believing that the development of such communities was greatly dependent upon the leadership and skills of businesspersons and lawyers. Those acquainted with him were impressed with his enthusiastic spirit and his singular, driven purpose to use his professional talents for the benefit of urban communities.

At the age of 28, Butch collapsed while playing basketball and died on February 2, 1978. To some, his untimely death meant the loss of a fine athlete, to others, the loss of a future legal star. But to all, his death meant the loss of a great man.

In 1999, Alden J. “Butch” Carpenter was inducted into the Greater Flint Afro- American Hall of Fame with the following headline: “Alden ‘Butch’ Carpenter made his mark in Flint’s sports history. Gone but not forgot-ten.”

BLSA Members at the 2017 Butch Carpenter Memorial Gala.

BLSA Members at the 2017 Butch Carpenter Memorial Gala.


On February 21, 1978, the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) at Michigan Law, recognizing the importance of Butch’s chosen life work, voted unanimously to honor his memory and vision by establishing the Alden J. “Butch” Carpenter Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Fund’s purpose is to promote the attributes exemplified by Butch, and to motivate law students toward the high level of social commitment that he demonstrated.

Each year, BLSA hosts a memorial gala to raise money for the Fund and to reflect upon the principles that Butch personified. As a part of the annual gala, the Fund currently awards scholarships to outstanding first-year BLSA member law students who have demonstrated commitment to combining business and law to promote community development. Last year, the Fund awarded a total of $40,000 in scholarships to three deserving students. 

If you have any questions regarding the event or would like to donate to the Fund, please contact, Omotunde Okesanya at  Thank you for taking this opportunity to express your commitment to community service, minority recruitment, and supporting the University of Michigan Law school community.

The Butch Carpenter Scholarship Gala is almost completely funded by the generosity of sponsors, and we hope that you will consider making a contribution to this effort.