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The Union Club Hotel to be renovated thanks to multi-million dollar donation

Bruce White and his wife Beth donated the $30,000,000 donation that will help Purdue University renovate The Union Club Hotel.

Posted: Sep 22, 2018 7:55 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The Union Club Hotel on Purdue’s campus has not seen an update in recent years.

It currently lacks features and amenities that are now considered customary to traveling guests, but that is all about to change thanks to a new large donation.

The hotel will get a $30,000,000 update.

"What is so significant about it is how significant the Union is to so many people," said Chairmen of the Board of Trustees at Purdue, Michael Berghoff.

Purdue alumnus and former trustee Bruce White and his wife Beth donated the money. The White family owns successful hotel management company White Lodging.

The Union Club Hotel was built in 1929 as an addition to the Purdue Memorial Union, which opened in 1924 as a memorial to Purdue students who served in the First World War.

“We're almost to 100 years and that's why this redevelopment is so darn expensive,” said Berghoff. “We are totally redoing this thing through the gift that Beth and Bruce are providing."

This renovation will preserve the historic outside while modernizing the inside. Something Purdue President Mitch Daniels is emphasizing.

"We love tradition at Purdue and one of our greatest traditions is this terrific building,” he said. “It's been a long time since anything has been done to modernize it."

The renovation will completely update the check-in lounge and service desk. All hotel rooms will also see updates. Some of the money is also being used for more retail space and a new outdoor terrace on the south side of the building for students.

"You'll see a lot more students using the union than we even have today," said President Daniels.

Berghoff attributes the vision of bringing the Union into modern times to Mr. White.

"With the combination of the State Street redevelopment, kind of transforming the way this street looks and the sense of place, that's what we are aiming to do with the Union," he said.

Berghoff said that once the project is complete, The Union Club Hotel will be one of, if not the nicest, university hotel in the country.

And now is the perfect time to start a new chapter for the historic hotel as Purdue kicks off its 150th anniversary.

President Daniels says the university wants to have a proper place for visitors and returning alumni to enjoy what campus has to offer for the next 150 years.

"Campus will be filled with important people and thinkers and we want it to be like that on an ongoing basis and when you do that, you better have a very nice place that is convenient," he said.

Project planners have yet to set a start date for when the renovations will begin. However they estimate it will take a total of 24 months to complete.

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