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Developing the Next Generation of Hospitalitarians

Showcasing its meticulous transformation, The Union Club Hotel at Purdue University, Autograph Collection – This link opens in a new browser tab. inspires guests to celebrate Purdue University’s legacy through contemporary design celebrating the evolution, pioneering spirit, and excellence of the 153-year-old public institution.

As part of Autograph Collection Hotels, The Union Club Hotel joins a collection of more than 200 independent hotels around the world hand-selected for their inherent craft and distinct perspectives on design and hospitality. Around every corner, guests can explore the imaginative use of Purdue’s classic gold-and-black colors with deliberate nods to academia and visible pride for remarkable alumni.

Owned by Purdue University and managed by White Lodging, The Union Club Hotel was built in 1929 as an extension to the Purdue Memorial Union and underwent a complete transformation during the 2019-2020 academic year where history merged seamlessly with luxury amenities and timeless design.

Heartfelt Design & Storied Legacy

The transformation of The Union Club Hotel is concealed behind the classic, untouched historic building facade featuring the same brick and American Gothic-inspired architecture common across many prestigious universities.

As guests pass into the main lobby space, they are greeted with custom black-and-gold mosaic tile that creates a sense of place next to the two-story front desk area featuring a backdrop of monochrome bookshelves. The bookshelves come alive with projections of Purdue artwork and famous figures, including Amelia Earhart. Distinctive surprises celebrate Purdue’s legacy throughout the lobby gathering area, including upholstered fabric furniture reminiscent of professor jackets and suiting collections; inlaid Purdue icons; and a hidden lobby bar.

Artwork adorns the shelves and walls throughout the guest rooms and public space, and offers a progressive peek into Purdue’s accomplished history. Curated and sourced with the assistance of Purdue archivists, the collection appropriately reflects the diversity of the student population and the university’s place as a top public research institution developing practical solutions.

Since The Union Club Hotel’s transformation last year, it has earned many accolades, including the Best Boutique Hotel of 2021 by Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Association (BLLA). The hotel also received a 2021 Gold Key Award from Boutique Design Magazine for Best Lobby; Best Hotel Renovation and Restoration from the AHEAD America’s 2021 Awards; and Silver Award for Interior Design-Renovation from the 2020 IDA Design Awards.

Eat, Drink and Celebrate

The culinary anchor of The Union Club Hotel is 8Eleven Modern Bistro – This link opens in a new browser tab.. The upscale eatery incorporates the building’s historical architectural features and celebrates the trailblazing tradition of two of NASA’s most daring aerospace programs, Gemini 8 and Apollo 11, as well as the missions’ command pilot, Purdue alum Neil Armstrong. The bistro’s menu pairs regional, seasonal ingredients with a culinary nod to beloved bistro classics, including Roasted Bone Marrow, Braised Beef and Pan-Roasted Chicken. A unique open kitchen, and featured Chef’s Table, provide guests a firsthand look as culinary craftsmanship comes together. 8Eleven has quickly earned a top spot in the area’s culinary scene, including achieving the number 1 spot on TripAdvisor.

Boiler Up Bar – This link opens in a new browser tab. – open for lunch and dinner – honors the university’s treasured traditions and iconic personalities. In this refined and sophisticated cocktail lounge, fresh garnishes provided by Purdue’s College of Agriculture enhance farm-inspired cocktails, while an extensive selection of bourbons and whiskeys that tells the story of Indiana’s best small-batch distilleries. That story is further enhanced in the bespoke Whiskey Room, a semi-private area immersed in a table-to-ceiling backlit whiskey display showcasing a carefully curated collection of the classic spirit.

Leaps Coffee & Artisan Pastries – This link opens in a new browser tab. is an energetic hub for grab ‘n’ go goodness. Featuring a coffee and pastry counter with coffee and artisan teas from regional purveyor Hubbard & Cravens, and made-in-house pastries, this outlet pays homage to the generations of Purdue innovators who make the world better by leaps and bounds.

Additionally, for events, The Union Club Hotel’s 16 unique meeting spaces can host everything from intimate to grand gatherings, including ballrooms, boardrooms, and an outdoor patio.

Developing the Next Generation of Hospitalitarians

The Union Club Hotel enjoys the tremendous opportunity to develop the next generation of hospitality professionals. By collaborating with Purdue’s well-respected and newly named White Lodging – J.W. Marriott School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, the hotel acts as a hands-on learning laboratory for students where they spend time working and learning about hotel and restaurant operations while earning college credits. Joining the Autograph Collection gives students additional learning opportunities, as the systems, processes and resources used to operate the hotel are supported by the world’s largest hospitality company, Marriott International.

“Throughout history, generations of Purdue graduates have left their mark, in small steps and giant leaps,” said Vicki Wicks, General Manager of The Union Club Hotel at Purdue University, Autograph Collection. “Joining Autograph Collection Hotels is a giant leap for Purdue’s hospitality program and further reinforces the world-class amenities we offer at The Union Club Hotel.”

The Union Club Hotel is also host to the LAUNCH Hospitality Immersion Program. Directed by White Lodging – the hotel’s manager – LAUNCH is a planned multi-year talent development program crafted to propel a select number of high-caliber university students into the industry by providing paid, hands-on experience at the hotel and internship/job opportunities at White Lodging.

Autograph Collection Hotels participates in Marriott Bonvoy, the award-winning travel program from Marriott International. Marriott Bonvoy members will earn points for their stay at The Union Club Hotel at Purdue University, Autograph Collection, and at other hotels and resorts across Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, as well as through everyday purchases with co-branded credit cards. Members can redeem their points for experiences including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments, or through partners for luxurious products from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. With the Marriott Bonvoy app, members enjoy a level of personalization and a contactless experience that allows them to travel with peace of mind.

For more information, please visit the Purdue Union website – This link opens in a new browser tab. or call 1.765.494.8922 – This link opens your default phone application..

About Autograph Collection® Hotels

Autograph Collection Hotels advocates for the original, championing the individuality of each of its over 240 independent hotels located in the most desirable destinations across 41 countries and territories. Each hotel is a product of passion, inspired by a clear vision, soul, and story that makes it individual and special: Exactly Like Nothing Else. Hand-selected for their inherent craft and distinct perspectives on design and hospitality, Autograph Collection properties offer rich immersive moments that leave a lasting imprint. For more information, please visit the Autograph Hotels website – This link opens in a new browser tab., and explore on social via Instagram – This link opens in a new browser tab., Twitter – This link opens in a new browser tab., and Facebook – This link opens in a new browser tab. to be inspired by immersive moments that are #ExactlyLikeNothingElse. Autograph Collection Hotels is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy®, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments – This link opens in a new browser tab. and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit the Marriott website – This link opens in a new browser tab..


White Lodging, established in 1985 by hospitality icon Bruce White, has evolved into one of the country’s largest privately held hospitality companies focused exclusively on highly curated urban and lifestyle properties. The company develops, owns and manages a portfolio of brands in destination-driven markets, including Austin, Chicago, Denver, Nashville, Indianapolis, and Louisville. With a focus on elevated and experiential service, White Lodging’s portfolio consists of approximately 60 premium hotels; a private collection of world-renowned luxury ranches; 50 locally relevant, award-winning restaurants; and 10 market-leading rooftop bars. White Lodging focuses on hiring and developing Hospitalitarians that are committed to exceptional service and fostering meaningful connections. White Lodging is the second highest in the 2021 J.D. Power Guest Satisfaction Benchmark for third-party management companies, and has been near the top since the first benchmark was published. For more information about White Lodging, visit or follow the company on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.


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