Monte Bute

Professor Teaches About Life and Death Through his Fight with Cancer

A terminal case of pulmonary lymphoma did little to stop Monte Bute, a professor at Metropolitan State University. He was handed a 14-month expiration date but Bute didn’t throw in the towel. Throughout his treatment, he has taken the opportunity to teach his students as much as he can. He captivates each class and takes them deep into the world of philosophy, history, literature, life and death.

Bute has been many things in his life, none of  which are considered conventional. Bute has experienced all 65 years of his life quite fully- from juvenile delinquency, to a peace activist hippy and now, a revered professor. Much to the joy of his inspired students, Bute’s cancer is currently in remission. Unfortunately, this particular type of cancer has a way of returning more aggressively than the first time. Bute is ready for it, happy to have extended his time on Earth by even the littlest amount. He told Minnesota Public Radio, “Death showed up at my door on my birthday last year and I’ve been playing him a game of chess. I may win or lose, but I’m willing to keep taking it on. If I win, I live. If I lose, he takes me.”

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