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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

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Sarah Butler, Wofford’s Launch Program Manager, looks to make connections

Photo courtesy of Lordwin Neal of One Spartanburg Inc.
This image features Sarah Butler. She recently joined the Wofford community as the Launch Program Manager.
Photo courtesy of Lordwin Neal of One Spartanburg Inc. This image features Sarah Butler. She recently joined the Wofford community as the Launch Program Manager.

Sarah Butler recently joined the Wofford community as the Launch Program Manager in the Career Center. Butler is a West Virginia native and graduate from Marshall University. 

At Marshall, she discovered her love for interacting with students as a resident advisor during her years as a graduate student. She also met her current husband during her time at Marshall, which ultimately led her to Spartanburg.

“I did a two year graduate program in a year because my guy proposed on undergraduate graduation day,” Butler said. “I was turning in graduate school work the day of my wedding rehearsal. Then, I got married on a Saturday and moved to Spartanburg on a Monday and have been here ever since.” 

Butler previously worked at USC Upstate in Student Life.

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“Being tied to a campus community made me realize that there is a larger community that we are a part of,” Butler said.

After learning she was expecting her first child, Butler became involved in advising and getting connected with the local community.  

“My mother and grandmother really instilled in me the importance of volunteering and being an active participant from an early age,” Butler said. 

She became connected to the Spartanburg County Foundation and Spartaburg Young Professionals through the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, which is now known as One Spartanburg, Inc. 

“We particularly tackle issues in development working opportunities for young professionals,” Butler said. “And I love that your ideas are heard, supported and ignited (at Spartanburg Young Professionals).”

Through becoming heavily involved in the Spartanburg community, Butler has been able to discover one of her true passions – minority and small businesses. She makes it a point to support locals in Spartanburg, whether that be eating at Blue Moon, getting ice cream at Spill the Beans or drinking coffee at Pharmacy. 

Because of her passion for small businesses and love for the community, Butler was asked to facilitate the Amplify African American Business Accelerator to help community members create and develop a business plan.

Being the Launch Program Manager at Wofford is the perfect intersection of Butler’s love for connecting with students and entrepreneurship. 

“What I know is that students have demands from classes, and staying up all night, being involved on campus, eating, sleeping and exercising, and then tacking on a business, which has its own set of circumstances,” Butler said. “I have to meet you where you are because not everyone wants to have a sustaining business, or be the next Mark Zuckerburg, some people just want to grow their side hustle.” 

“In a way, I’m like a 1950s phone operator,” said Butler, “and I can connect you to people who are experts in different fields.”

Currently, Butler is seeking feedback from current Launch students and entrepreneurial minded students. 

“My overall goal is to establish some type of structure with accountability,” Butler said. “I would like to establish some type of cohort based on where students are in their business process, whether that be in the ideation phase, launch phase or growth phase; continue the terrier startup; entertain an entrepreneur in residence who will act as a mentor to student entrepreneurs; and play around with interim time to provide certificates for different skills related to business and entrepreneurship.”

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