In the season of giving, Purdue University Calumet is the grateful recipient of the largest monetary gift it has ever received.
The Dean & Barbara White Family Foundation and the Bruce & Beth White Family Foundation announced a $5 million contribution to benefit the university’s hospitality and tourism management program. The gift will be used to enhance the undergraduate efforts and will be renamed the Purdue University Calumet White Lodging Center for Hospitality and Tourism Management program.
Indiana Chamber member White Lodging Services is “one of the fastest-growing, fully-integrated independent hotel ownership, development and management companies in the country,” according to the company’s web site. Based in Merrillville, White Lodging’s current projects include the JW Marriott Indianapolis among other hotels in Indiana and across the nation.
The gift will fund renovation and conversion of the university’s conference center into a nearly 13,000-square-foot instructional facility. It will also support a scholarship fund for high-performing students and create a hospitality and tourism management honors program. The rest of the funding will establish two endowed professorships within the program.
“We have been fortunate to employ many Purdue Calumet students and graduates and have found them to be well prepared, ambitious and steady contributors to our company’s growth and success,” White Lodging Services Chairman and CEO Bruce White said in the press release. “We hope to build and grow on that relationship by providing these expanded facilities and even greater faculty support.”
The renovated educational facilities will include a teaching kitchen, beverage service laboratory, working restaurant, computer labs and faculty offices, the release notes. Planning for the new center will begin in early 2010 with construction and renovations to start in the summer. The center is expected to be completed for the 2011-2012 school year. Read the full press release online.