Skip to Main Content

Alumna Supports Former Foster Youth, Honors Late Husband

Seletha Butler

Seletha Butler

When the late Judge Willie J. Lovett Jr. was in high school, he made a vow to attend an Ivy League university.

“His parents were not college educated, but he was very driven,” recalls his widow, Seletha Butler.

Willie followed through on this plan, graduating from Yale University and Harvard Law School. Seletha set similarly big goals, enrolling in the Capstone Summer Honors Program at The University of Alabama before joining UA as a full-time student majoring in corporate finance. She then went on to earn a law degree at Harvard.

Thanks in part to their strong educational backgrounds, Seletha and Willie pursued successful and fulfilling careers. As a presiding judge of Georgia’s Fulton County Juvenile Court, Willie discovered he could make a positive difference in the lives of vulnerable youth. “He found his passion in life through working with young people,” Seletha says. “That was a big reason why we decided to create this scholarship after he passed.”

The Hayden, Butler and Lovett Endowed Scholarship supports former foster youth in the REACH program at the Capstone. In addition to this family-funded scholarship, Seletha has also made a gift through her estate plan to UA.

“Willie and I shared a desire to improve access for all individuals seeking higher education,” she explains.

Judge Willie J. Lovett Jr.

Judge Willie J. Lovett Jr.

Shannon Hubbard, Alabama REACH Program Coordinator, applauds Seletha and her family’s generosity.

“What a meaningful way to honor Judge Lovett,” says Shannon. “We are touched and grateful that Seletha and her family have chosen to give back to The University of Alabama through this scholarship and estate gift.”

A UA Education for All

By making a gift to UA in your estate plan, you can join Seletha in creating educational opportunities for deserving young scholars. Contact W. Vance Bristow at 205-348-4770 or to learn more.