The Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation supports projects that promote new economic development, demonstrate a sustained positive impact, and benefit community foundations, educational institutions, civic entities, local government, and non-profit organizations through matching gifts.

  • October 3, 2023

    Building Indiana

    Five Catholic elementary schools are equipped with playgrounds

    In late-summer of 2022, Big Shoulders Fund Northwest Indiana announced the completion of first-time playgrounds for Catholic elementary schools that did not have playgrounds in Northwest Indiana.

  • August 20, 2023

    NWI Times

    Donation equips Catholic elementary schools with new playgrounds

    A $500,000 gift from the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation, as well as a partnership with Indiana-based Kidstuff Playsystems, equipped five Catholic elementary schools with new playgrounds.

  • August 16, 2023

    The Lowell Tribune

    Funding for Nassau Park renovations in Lowell is on the way

    Joe Svetanoff, an attorney for the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation, told he was “proud to report” they have approved the grant application in the amount of $3.5M for the renovations on Nassau Park.

  • July 13, 2023

    Chicago Tribune

    White Foundation plans community center in Shelby, Indiana

    With help from township trustee, county officials, and local citizens, planning steps are underway for a community center in Shelby proposed for development by the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation.

  • June 15, 2023

    NWI Times

    New YMCA camp lets children explore the outdoors and build skills

    The Y operates "branch" summer camps at six locations across Lake County. The Y created Triangle Hills to expand their summer offerings to older kids; most of the Triangle Hills campers are between ages 10 and 14.

  • June 13, 2023

    Chicago Tribune

    Expansion gives Aquinas room to grow in Merrillville, Indiana

    Aquinas celebrated a $3M expansion project which includes upgrades to the school’s front entrance and office, two new classrooms, and a space to accommodate students with additional learning needs.

  • June 12, 2023

    NWI Times

    Aquinas School in Merrillville celebrates $3 million expansion

    Bishop Robert J. McClory of the Catholic Diocese of Gary joined with other officials Monday for the dedication of the $3 million expansion at the elementary school on the grounds of Holy Martyrs parish.

  • June 9, 2023

    Lakeshore Public Media

    Aquinas Catholic Community School to unveil $3M expansion

    Aquinas Catholic Community School will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of a $3M expansion project to accommodate the school's rapidly growing student population in Merrillville.

  • June 8, 2023

    Valpo LIfe

    Crown Point making progress on Sauerman Woods Park Project

    The City of Crown Point is moving along with work at Sauerman Woods Park. During arecent meeting, Crown Point Mayor Pete Land provided an update on the project, which broke ground last fall.

  • May 24, 2023

    NWI Times

    Survey provides visions for $30M Tolleston Opportunity Hub project

    Leaders of the Tolleston Opportunity Hub project conducted an online and telephone survey resulting in 579 people's ideas for the planned Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana community center.

  • May 22, 2023

    Chicago Tribune

    Residents want family programs, fitness and community gardens

    Respondents were given the opportunity to weigh in on what they would like to see offered by the Tolleston Opportunity Campus, an expansion of the the Gary branch of the Boys and Girls Club.

  • May 12, 2023

    Chicago Tribune

    An accessible treehouse for all at Lake Eliza in Valparaiso

    The Opportunity Enterprises Accessible Treehouse is well under construction thirteen feet above the ground. The 400-square-foot all-abilities treehouse will be open for educational enrichment.

  • May 10, 2023

    Chicago Crusaders

    Nelson Treehouse and Opportunity Enterprises team up

    Located just steps from OE’s new Lakeside Respite Center currently under construction, the 400 square foot treehouse will provide access to the tree climbing experience to children and adults of all abilities.

  • May 3, 2023

    NWI Life

    Crossroads YMCA breaks ground on new destination YMCA

    Crossroads YMCA breaks ground on a new Hammond Destination YMCA through a partnership with the City of Hammond and Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. to create a new and expanded $70M YMCA.

  • April 21, 2023

    Building Indiana

    Accessible treehouse revealed by Opportunity Enterprises

    In partnership with Nelson Treehouse of the popular television show Treehouse Masters, Opportunity Enterprises’ treehouse will provide children and adults with disabilities an exhilarating treetop experience.

  • March 15, 2023

    Building Indiana

    $30M allocated to Tolleston Opportunity Campus in Gary

    Approximately $30 million has been allocated to fund the Tolleston Opportunity Campus in Gary, Indiana to provide childcare, exercise classes, community programing, health care, workforce development and more.

  • February 14, 2023


    Purdue University receives record $50 Million gift

    Purdue University has announced that it has received a $50 million gift from the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation — the largest monetary donation ever made to support an undergraduate institute.

  • February 13, 2023

    Purdue News

    White Family Foundation commits $50M to Purdue School of Business

    The White Family Foundation has committed $50 million to help launch the Purdue University’s reimagined School of Business and name its undergraduate institute to Bruce White Undergraduate Institute.

  • February 13, 2023

    NW Indiana Business

    Bruce White legacy continues with $50M donation to Purdue

    Bruce White's legacy will continue long after his death on January 19. His many contributions to the Region will include a $50 million donation that will help fund the Bruce White Undergraduate Institute.

  • January 25, 2023

    The Lowell Tribune

    Lowell receives $3.5 million grant for Liberty Park renovation

    The Town of Lowell made a special announcement to the community, stating the Dean & Barbara White Family Foundation awarded the town a $3.5 million matching grant for the renovation of Liberty Park.

  • May 24, 2022

    NWI Times

    Memorial planned for Lake County’s fallen in World Wars I and II

    Crown Point and the Veterans Memorial Parkway have entered an agreement granting access to Sauerman Woods Park to develop a memorial to those from Lake County who served in World Wars I and II.

  • May 19, 2022

    Lakeshore Public Media

    New site chosen for World War I and II memorial

    The Crown Point Board of Works approved a 99-year lease with the Friends of the Veterans Memorial Parkway, allowing the memorial to be placed at Sauerman Woods Park, replacing the previously location.

  • April 25, 2022

    Purdue News

    Dean V. White Real Estate Finance Program launches

    Purdue University’s School of Management formally announced the new Dean V. White Real Estate Finance Program on April 22 at its 2022 Krannert Alumni Awards Celebration Dinner.

  • March 7, 2022

    Building Indiana

    MAAC receives $1M from Dean and Barbara White Foundation

    The MAAC Foundation first responder training campus has received a $1 million gift from the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation in matching funds for the construction of a Residential Tactical Training Village.

  • February 19, 2022

    NWI Times

    Tactical training village to come to MAAC Foundation campus

    A state-of-the-art training village will begin construction this summer in Valparaiso following a $1 million grant that will allow first responders a three-dimensional, immersive training experience.

  • February 17, 2022

    Globe News Wire

    The Union Club Hotel joins Autograph Collection

    As part of Autograph Collection Hotels, The Union Club Hotel joins a collection of 200+ independent hotels around the world selected for their craft and distinct perspectives on design and hospitality.

  • February 16, 2022

    Purdue Exponent

    Union Club Hotel rebranded under Marriott

    As part of the announcement of the (hospitality) school’s name change, Marriott International, White Lodging and Purdue are working to designate the Union Club Hotel at Purdue as an Autograph Collection Hotel.

  • February 8, 2022

    NWI Times

    Aquinas Students Supported by the Big Shoulders Fund

    The Big Shoulders Fund is a private organization that supports Catholic education in the Chicago area. The fund will provide $16 million over 10 years to serve all 20 schools and about 6,000 students.

  • October 2, 2021

    NWI Times

    Hospitality school named after White Lodging and J.W. Marriott, Jr.

    Purdue University named its hospitality school after Merrillville-based White Lodging and hotelier J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr. because of the White family's significant and ongoing financial support.

  • October 1, 2021

    Purdue News

    White Lodging and Purdue University honor J.W. ‘Bill’ Marriott, Jr.

    At the request of Bruce White, the hospitality school’s name will honor the career and contributions of J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., executive chairman and chairman of the board of Marriott International.

  • August 2, 2021

    Purdue News

    The Union Club Hotel at Purdue University reopens

    Purdue University is ushering in a new era in hospitality to campus with the reopening of the historic Union Club Hotel. The 182-room hotel recently completed a comprehensive $35 million, yearlong renovation.

  • July 9, 2021

    NWI Life

    Big Shoulders Fund launches the NWI White Family Scholarship

    To further its reach in the community and provide accessible funding for students looking for quality, private education, Big Shoulders Fund has launched the Northwest Indiana White Family Scholarship.

  • May 26, 2021

    Chicago Tribune

    Merrillville residents to receive free use of new community center

    With proper ID, Merrillville residents will now receive free access to all the new state-of-the-art fitness equipment at the Dean and Barbara White Community Center. Other programs are available at a discount

  • May 24, 2021

    Inside Indiana Business

    Crossroads YMCA plans new location in Hammond

    Crossroads YMCA in Hammond has announced plans for a new and expanded facility. The organization is partnering with the city to create the $45 million destination YMCA at the former Woodmar Mall.

  • May 21, 2021

    City of Hammond

    Crossroads YMCA announces new Hammond YMCA

    Crossroads YMCA is pleased to announce a partnership with the City of Hammond and Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. to create a new YMCA at the former Woodmar Mall/Carson Pirie Scott site.

  • March 11, 2021

    White Lodging

    Introducing Launch Hospitality Immersion Program

    White Lodging’s LAUNCH Hospitality Immersion Program is designed to propel university students into the industry by providing paid, hands-on experiences across all hotel and restaurant operational areas.

  • March 1, 2021

    Chicago Tribune

    Merrillville’s new community center gets rave reviews

    Merrillville’s dazzling $22.7 million Dean and Barbara White Community Center opened Monday with prospective patrons ogling the 35-foot climbing wall, adjacent fitness center, gymnasium, and indoor track.

  • February 28, 2021

    NWI Times

    The Dean and Barbara White Community Center is set to open

    It’s been years in the making, and the Dean and Barbara White Community Center is set to open. The 94,000-square-foot facility at 6600 Broadway features a variety of amenities for indoor and outdoor activities.

  • October 15, 2019

    Philanthropy News Digest

    Big Shoulders Fund receives $16 Million to support students

    The organization will use the gift to extend its programming to northwest Indiana, build the capacity of school communities in the region, and support students and families in areas of greatest need.

  • July 24, 2019

    PR Newswire

    Purdue selects White Lodging to operate Union Club Hotel

    Purdue University has selected White Lodging to operate the Union Club Hotel on its West Lafayette, Indiana campus. The iconic property was built in phases from 1929-53 as an addition to the Purdue Memorial Union.

  • June 3, 2019

    Chicago Tribune

    Crown Point opens $11M Bulldog Park with fanfare, ribbon cutting

    A multimillion dollar recreation and event space touted as a game changer not only for Crown Point, Indiana but for the region, officially opened Friday as officials cut the ribbon on Bulldog Park.

  • April 5, 2019

    Chicago Tribune

    Southlake YMCA ready to show off new facilities in Crown Point

    The $35 million, 9-acre expansion of the Dean and Barbara White Southlake YMCA is ready to open soon. The new space is located at the corner of Court Street and Burrell Drive in Crown Point.

  • April 4, 2019

    Inside Indiana Business

    Southlake YMCA renovations are nearing completion

    The new facility was funded in part by the DBW Foundation. The foundation donated $21 million to the project, individual donors gave nearly $10 million and and the general public donated $3.4 million.

  • May 2, 2018

    NWI Life

    Groundbreaking today on new Bulldog Park in downtown Crown Point

    The City of Crown Point is already gearing up for winter fun. On May 2, preparations for Bulldog Park, an all-seasons event center, were officially announced. Mayor David Uran led the groundbreaking ceremony.

  • September 15, 2017

    NWI Times

    Southlake YMCA breaks ground on expansion project

    The dirt-moving ceremony took place a year to the day of Region billionaire Dean White's death, whose family's gift of $21 million led the way to the new Dean and Barbara White Southlake YMCA.