Purdue University says it plans to use a $30 million gift to transform an existing building into a world-class hotel. The gift from Bruce White, a Purdue alumnus and former trustee, his wife Beth, and the Dean and Barbara White Foundation, will fund the renovation of the Union Club Hotel, which will also serve as a laboratory learning environment for students.
The university says the renovations will feature upgrades in furnishings, fixtures, and amenities for the hotel, as well as an expansion of some rooms to suites. There will be an overhaul of the hotel’s entry to include a grand entrance and atrium. The project will also include the addition of a formal restaurant and bar which will give students training and internship opportunities.
The Union Club Hotel was built in 1929 as an addition to the Purdue Memorial Union. A timeline for the renovation efforts has not yet been determined.
The gift was announced Saturday as part of the Homecoming celebration at Purdue.
"We couldn’t be more thankful to Bruce and his family. We are excited to work with the White family on this long-needed modernization of our historic Union," said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. "We know our alumni, our future guests, and our faculty and staff will be equally thrilled to see the all new Union Club Hotel come to life."
Bruce White is the founder and chief executive officer of Merrillville-based White Lodging Services Corp. and graduated from Purdue in 1975 with a degree in management. He served on the Purdue Board of Trustees from 2011-2015.
White has made previous donations to the university, including establishing an endowment fund for future Hospitality and Tourism Management students on the West Lafayette campus. Additionally, Purdue University Northwest renamed its hospitality and tourism management program to the White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management following a gift from the Bruce & Beth White Family Foundation and the Dean & Barbara White Family Foundation.