Purdue founded the R.B. Stewart Society to recognize special benefactors who make commitments to the future of the University in their estate plan through a will bequest, retirement plan, living trust, insurance policy, charitable gift annuity, or charitable remainder trust – regardless of the amount.
Purdue is the beneficiary of the drive of a man who couldn’t stop building. R.B. Stewart came to Purdue as controller in 1925. Then, Purdue enrollment stood at 3,000, the physical plant was worth $3 million, and the endowment totaled $340,000.
In 1945, he also was named vice president and treasurer. When he retired from that position in 1961, enrollment was 22,000, the physical plant valued at $160 million, and yields from the $25 million endowment were producing funds for research, student scholarships, and grants.
His pioneering ways of financing University expansion through trust gifts and interest free bonds enabled Purdue to grow as needed and it became the benchmark for every U.S. university.
On a national level, R.B. was known as a “Father of the G.I. Bill”, the post-World War II training programs that brought thousands of returning veterans to campuses all over the country and ultimately fueled our national growth and prosperity.
When R.B. donated his home, “Westwood”, to the University in 1971, it was valued at $1 million. Since that time, Westwood has served as the home of the Purdue president and as an event and entertainment venue.
The R.B. Stewart Society honors individuals who embody the spirit of Purdue’s master builder, R.B. Stewart. Today’s benefactors who provide for Purdue’s future through planned gifts reflect his dedication and generosity.
A written confirmation of intent is needed for inclusion in the R.B. Stewart Society. This might be a signed statement of support, a copy of the will or trust documents, a letter or email from the donor or completing the R.B. Stewart Society Membership form.
R.B. Stewart Society Members enjoy special benefits including:
Learn more about planned giving options on the Gift Opportunities page.