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Who was Bruce White?

To describe Bruce White in one word it would be passionate. He was passionate about hospitality, family, philanthropy, and pursuing excellence in every component of his life. This passion accelerated White Lodging’s growth and Bruce’s iconic status in the hospitality industry.

Bruce was the son of Dean and Barbara White and was born in Crown Point, Indiana, which is a suburban town about 30 miles from downtown Chicago. Dean was a successful entrepreneur that influenced many across the state.

There’s no question that Bruce’s values, work ethic, and focus on lifelong learning was a direct reflection of his parents’ influence on him – and he too wanted something that he could call his own and build into an industry leader that positively impacts the lives of its associates and communities for generations.

In 1985, Bruce planted the seed of what would at one point become one of Marriott’s largest franchisees and ultimately one of the country’s largest privately held hospitality companies focused exclusively on urban, experiential and lifestyle hotels, rooftops and restaurants.

With hotels in some of the country's most coveted urban destinations, White Lodging remains headquartered in Northwest Indiana - where Bruce's legacy all started.
White Lodging founder Bruce White sits in a school classroom, drawing with a young student.


Bruce’s passion for excellence was carried through his leadership philosophy where he sought to bring the best out of every leader and tap into their boundless potential. Constantly challenging the status quo and seeking continuous improvement is embedded into White Lodging’s culture and Bruce’s focus on higher education and lifelong learning.

In addition to industry-leading training and development for White Lodging associates, Bruce established a one-of-a-kind relationship with Purdue University that puts this focus into action. The combination of programs and support is unlike anything in the hospitality industry and is creating the next generation of hospitality leaders.

This includes the creation of the White Lodging – J.W. Marriott, Jr. School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Known as one of the leading hospitality schools in the nation, the partnership combines the practices of the largest hospitality company in the world with White Lodging’s innovative approach to hospitality development, ownership, and management.

Bruce also invested in the historic hotel on Purdue’s campus to transform it into a luxury hotel and hands-on learning laboratory for hospitality students. The Union Club Hotel at Purdue was named the Best Boutique Hotel in the U.S. in 2021 is now part of Marriott’s exclusive Autograph Collection of luxury boutique hotels and holds the iconic spot as the only student-run Autograph Collection Hotel in the world.

White Lodging also created the LAUNCH Hospitality Immersion Program at the Union Club Hotel at Purdue, Autograph Collection. The multi-year program propels high-caliber university students through real-world experiences that ultimately are designed to accelerate leadership positions in hospitality upon graduation.

The company’s support for Purdue, provided through the generosity of the White Family, extends into scholarships, the creation of a hospitality honors program, and the creation of a real estate finance program.
A presentation at Purdue University for the White Lodging-J.W. Marriott School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, where one man in a suit stands behind a podium onstage.

The White Family

You can’t know Bruce without knowing his family. Bruce married his wife, Beth, in 1987. Both graduated from Purdue and raised their three, now adult, children in Northwest Indiana. Beth, as well as the three adult children, are involved in White Lodging in various capacities and sit on the company’s Board of Directors. The family’s philosophy, underpinning everything they do from business decisions to philanthropy, fall under the pillars of Educate, Enhance, and Enjoy. Ultimately, Bruce’s vision for White Lodging was to create a sustainable, multi-generational, family company that is recognized as the very best at what it does.
Exterior view of Brush Creek Ranch Lodge
5 members of the White family sit in the bed of a blue pickup truck parked in a sunny field, wearing white tops and blue jeans.
The White family visiting a school classroom, sitting and engaging with 3 students at their desks.


Consistent with the values of Bruce’s parents and aligned with the family’s philosophy, giving back is a pillar of the White Family and White Lodging. Over the past five years, the White Family, together with their family foundations, have invested or pledged more than $100 million in legacy investments that are designed to transform communities. In addition to the tens of millions of dollars invested in the Purdue relationship, the support has created new state-of-the-art community centers and programs for inner-city youth education.
The brink exterior of a community center building, surrounded by grass and gardens
White Lodging Milestones