June 1, 2023

Alumnus and wife give $10 million in unrestricted support to Purdue’s new Daniels School of Business

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University has received a $10 million commitment from Gerald (BSCE ’64, MBA ’71) and Nanette Lyles for unrestricted support of the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business.

The commitment represents the latest in a long history of giving for the Lyles family, which can trace its Purdue ties back to Gerald’s maternal grandfather, who was both a student and a professor at the university. Gerald’s parents, brother and sister are also graduates.

The Lyles family, which has found success primarily in the construction business, gave $15 million to Purdue in 2014 to name the Lyles School of Civil Engineering. The family and its members have also helped establish the Lyles Family Ideas to Innovation Learning Laboratory, the William M. Lyles Computational Laboratory and Lyles-Porter Hall, among a wide variety of other contributions.

“It’s only natural that we give back to Purdue because the university has played such a big part in our success,” Gerald Lyles said. “I feel like Purdue has done so much for me and my family. When I studied engineering and business at Purdue, I received a great foundational education and then learned the skills I needed to be competitive in the world. We truly believe in the new direction Purdue is taking with the business school, and we want our gift to amplify the impact it can make for the facilities, faculty and students.”

This gift is the latest contribution made in support of the reimagined Daniels School, which was unveiled as Purdue’s next big move in February. Among other major commitments are:

  • $50 million from the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation to name the undergraduate program the Bruce White Undergraduate Institute.
  • $10 million from Marshall and Susan Larsen to fund the Larsen Leaders Academy in perpetuity, offering impactful experiential learning opportunities.
  • $4 million to name the Raytheon Technologies Chair in Integrated Business and Engineering to support faculty leadership, discovery and engagement within business and STEM intersections.
  • A transformational gift from Tom Howatt to support the areas of greatest need.

Below is a list of additional supporters who, along with four anonymous donors, have each contributed $1 million or more:

  • Norm and Karen Blake
  • Michael Byers
  • Jeannie and Jim Chaney
  • Nathan and Beth Gabhart
  • Jim and Barbi Hayes
  • Scott Kozuch
  • Jerry and Pam Rawls

“Purdue is fortunate to have dedicated partners like Gerald and Nanette Lyles, who have enthusiastically embraced their family’s history of giving and our vision for the future of the university,” said Purdue President Mung Chiang. “This generous contribution will help us build the foundation for a world-class business school, one that will educate many future leaders in a technology-driven, free-market economy.” 

Gerald Lyles, who received the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award in 2018, is president of Lyles United LLC and Lyles Investments LLC and serves as chairman of the board and senior vice president of Lyles Diversified. All three entities are part of the Lyles Group. W.M. Lyles Co., a pipeline construction business founded by his parents in 1945, was the original family company. 

As a couple, Gerald and Nanette Lyles have been recognized for their philanthropy with the Purdue President’s Council Crystal Boilermaker Special. They are also members of the Griffin Society and lifetime members of the Purdue Alumni Association.

“Gerald and Nanette Lyles are the perfect example of what giving back looks like – they give when the need is greatest and where their contributions will be used most effectively,” said Matt Folk, president and CEO of the Purdue for Life Foundation and vice president for university advancement and alumni engagement at Purdue. “This gift just adds to an incredible family legacy, and it will certainly elevate the university for generations to come.”

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last five years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://stories.purdue.edu.

About the Purdue for Life Foundation

The Purdue for Life Foundation helps friends and alumni of Purdue University stay connected, get involved and give back. Created on March 11, 2020, the foundation deepens alumni ties to Purdue, drives and coordinates all alumni-related activities across the Purdue family’s postgraduation lives and works with alumni and friends to garner support for the university. Our organization combines the alumni engagement function of the Purdue Alumni Association and the University Development Office, and it includes President’s Council, the John Purdue Club and the Office of Industry Partnerships, as well as alumni lifelong learning programs and on-campus residential opportunities. Learn more at https://purdueforlife.org/.

Writer: Aaron Martin

Media contact: Derek Schultz, dcschultz@purdue.edu

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