Purdue University has received a $10 million commitment from Gerald 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.
The Lyles family is familiar with giving to Purdue with their $15 million gift they provided in 2014 to name the Lyles School of Civil Engineering. The family also helped establish the Lyles Family Ideas to Innovation Learning Laboratory, the William M. Lyles Computational Laboratory and Lyles-Porter Hall, among 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 in a release. “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.”
Purdue President Mung Chiang commended the generosity of the Lyles family.
“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,” Chiang said in the release. “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.”
Lyles is the president of Lyles United LLC and Lyles Investments LLC and serves as chairman of the board and senior vice president of Lyles Diversified. According to Purdue, all three entities are part of Lyles Group. W.M. Lyles Co., a “pipeline construction business” founded by his parents in 1945.
“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, in the release. “This gift just adds to an incredible family legacy, and it will certainly elevate the university for generations to come.”