The Next Big Move - Purdue’s reimagined School of Business launches into the future

The 2022-23 academic year at Purdue’s business school has been highlighted by a series of major announcements ushering in the University’s next big move in a decade-long series of major strategic investments.

Plans were unveiled in September to reimagine the School of Management into a new School of Business that will redefine the preparation of business leaders for today’s technology-driven world and tomorrow’s unknowns. The initiative is supported by a substantial university investment along with a major fundraising effort designed to reengineer a top-ranked school that will prepare tomorrow’s leaders and entrepreneurs, grounded in the hallmarks of a Purdue education, including STEM disciplines and business analytics.

In February, Purdue honored a celebrated president who led transformative change during his tenure, as plans for the state-of-the-art Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business were approved by the university’s board of trustees. The board committed to retaining the Krannert name, long associated with the school’s graduate offerings since the naming began, for its graduate and executive degree programs within the newly named Daniels School.

"Through the launch of the Daniels School of Business, Purdue will have a world-class business school that carries out even more top-caliber research and educates many future leaders of a technology-driven, free market economy."

- Purdue President Mung Chiang

Later that month, the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation committed $50 million to help launch the reimagined School of Business and name its undergraduate institute, which will be named the Bruce White Undergraduate Institute. This commitment represents the lead gift to establish the school and the largest monetary contribution ever made to the Daniels School of Business.

Change Makers

Charting a new course for business education, the Daniels School will be marked by graduates who embody the values of wisdom and creativity, grounded in a firm grasp of today's technologies and their likely evolution. They will possess an awareness of the history of progress that freedom of enterprise has created and continues to advance, and will be trained to lead and inspire others with strength and decisiveness. The reimagined Daniels School will instill these values and qualities, preparing each graduate as they leave Purdue to found and lead businesses and be the successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders of tomorrow.

“To be associated with any aspect of Purdue’s academic enterprise is an inestimable honor, but this one in particular touches me deeply,” says Daniels, Purdue’s 12th president, who retired from the role in December. “Practiced with integrity, business careers are the noblest of life choices; they create new jobs and wealth for others and bring into being the resources which the public and nonprofit sectors take to pursue their goals. This modernized School of Business will send out its graduates armed with a sense of mission and the tools to fulfill that mission in the most complex of enterprises.”

The new name not only celebrates Daniels’ acclaimed tenure as Purdue president, but also his highly reputed business acumen in the private sector and his service as the 49th governor of Indiana.

“President Emeritus Mitch Daniels is regarded as the most innovative university president in America, and his private sector business leadership is as outstanding as his public service. It is truly fitting and exciting to place his name upon this impactful growth to the Purdue landscape,” says President Mung Chiang. “Through the launch of the Daniels School of Business, Purdue will have a world-class business school that carries out even more top-caliber research and educates many future leaders of a technology-driven, free market economy.”

Bruce White
Bruce White speaks during the naming of the White Lodging-J.W. Marriott, Jr. School of Hospitality and Tourism Management in October 2021. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood)

Bruce White, who died January 19, was founder and chairman of White Lodging, a former member of the Purdue Board of Trustees, and a longtime university benefactor.

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

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.

“Purdue is recognized as a dynamic national leader in higher education, where it has redefined the meaning of value. As such, Purdue is seen as a strategic partner of our foundation,” says Bill Hanna, executive director of the White Family 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.”

Building Momentum

The advances of science across almost all economic sectors have created a clear need for a future crop of business leaders who fully understand not only the data in front of them, but also from where the next breakthrough may come. At the Daniels School, students will master the skills of gathering big data and using it to drive business decisions to become the most valuable working professionals of today and tomorrow. This transformation will be rooted in preeminence in business analytics and degrees that blend business with technology, which will enable Purdue to scale innovation.

Capitalizing on the momentum of a 33% enrollment increase since 2019, bucking the trend of declines in college-going rates nationwide, the Daniels School of Business relaunches with ambitious plans to increase the undergraduate student body significantly, double the enrollment of the graduate school, and significantly add to the facility’s physical size through expansion and renovation.


The initial phase will also include attracting large cohorts of preeminent faculty and national thought leaders, as well as curricular and experiential education additions. With excellence at scale, the Daniels School positions Purdue to become a world leader in business education and a top-10 business school, with its graduates uniquely prepared to bring discoveries to the marketplace and scale up innovations.

To create a revised curriculum that equips graduates to lead at the intersection of business and technology, the Daniels School will identify the best aspects of its top existing programs and build on the success of new degree pilots launched between fall 2021 and fall 2022.

These pilot programs include the integrated business and engineering (IBE) and business analytics programs. IBE launched with twice the number of expected students, and the new school’s goal is to grow the number of IBE and business analytics degree students to 1,600 — a full 40% of its undergraduate population.

Another successful new program, for a real estate finance minor, was part of an earlier transformational commitment from the White Family Foundation. That gift, a $20.8 million commitment announced in April 2022, launched the Dean V. White Real Estate Finance program — and initiated conversations to reinvent the School of Management as a School of Business. The Larsen Leaders Academy, propelled by an additional $10 million gift from Marshall and Susan Larsen, also creates a competitive advantage for students entering business.

Mike Berghoff (BSIM ’85), chair of Purdue’s Board of Trustees, said Purdue will invest a minimum of $100 million into the relaunch, along with a fundraising campaign of $200 million from loyal donors, underlining the determined commitment to making the Daniels School of Business one of the foremost business schools in the nation.

“The university and its donors are investing in remaking our business school into a qualifier for top-10 status by adding departments, faculty, twice the space, and business majors for students interested in a business degree that includes a high-tech curriculum,” Berghoff says. "As a result, they can be CEOs, presidents, and directors of companies driving our high-tech economy worldwide.”

By Derek Schultz and Aaron Martin

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