Bruce White Undergraduate Institute to be established

The Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation has committed $50 million to Purdue University to name the undergraduate institute in the Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. School of Business after Bruce White, founder/chairman, White Lodging, who died earlier this year.

The institute will be known as The Bruce White Undergraduate Institute.

This commitment represents the lead gift to establish the school and the largest monetary contribution ever made to Purdue’s School of Management/Business. The initiative to relaunch the School of Business, which began while Daniels was university president, will continue to be championed by new President Mung Chiang and the board of trustees.

“The White Family Foundation has long been a truly dedicated partner in helping Purdue achieve excellence at scale,” Chiang said. “The naming after Bruce White, one of the most prominent Boilermakers our university has ever known, is particularly meaningful to us. This gift ensures Purdue will educate exceptional undergraduate business students who will create and grow competitive businesses in a technology-driven, free-market economy.”

Announced last September as Purdue’s next big move in a decade-long series of major strategic investments, the new school will build on the heritage and historic strengths of the School of Management and Krannert Graduate School. This gift will help restructure and scale degrees and provide transformational education experiences for undergraduate students.

The Bruce White Undergraduate Institute will serve as a flagship element of the Daniels School of Business. The Krannert name will be retained for the Krannert Graduate Institute. The new names of both institutes are subject to approval by the executive committee of the board of trustees in the coming days.

“Purdue is recognized as a dynamic national leader in higher education, where it has redefined the meaning of value,” said Bill Hanna, executive director, White Family Foundation. “As such, Purdue is seen as a strategic partner of our foundation. Bruce was an instrumental part of Purdue’s progress over the last decade and more, working closely with senior university leadership as both a trustee and a dedicated alum. He represents a true north that students can look to as a model, and the White Family Foundation is proud to support the Bruce White Undergraduate Institute.”

The White family has been a prominent contributor to Purdue over the past three decades, including a combined gift of $30 million that helped transform the Union Club Hotel. The hotel serves as both the university’s boutique on-campus lodging option and a learning laboratory for students studying hospitality at Purdue.

“My brother Bruce was a phenomenal human being,” said Craig White, president of the board of trustees at the White Family Foundation. “His success in business was tremendous, but his success as a person and as a leader is even more impressive—he put his heart and soul into every aspect of his life, and he has inspired countless other people to do the same. Naming the undergraduate program after him couldn’t be more natural.”

Also, in 2021, Purdue renamed its hospitality and tourism school the White Lodging-J.W. Marriott Jr. School of Hospitality and Tourism Management in honor of the company’s ongoing support and partnership.

“Bruce was a wonderful husband, father and friend,” Beth White said. “He was successful in his personal and business life because he was himself in all settings. Integrity was not just a word to Bruce; it was foundational. His values were matched by a tremendous drive to constantly improve in all aspects of life, to never accept the status quo and to have the courage to ask the tough questions—even of himself. When a leader like that shows up, things become dynamic. Everyone is inspired to give their best, and a journey toward excellence begins. Our family is very honored and pleased to know that the values and qualities Bruce lived by will be instilled and replicated in future generations of leaders who get their start at the Bruce White Undergraduate Institute.”