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Pictured is an exterior shot of the School of Business located in West Penn Hall at Point Park University. | Photo by Daniel Kelly

Honoring George and Kathleen White, largest benefactors in University history

George & Kathleen White cropped
The late Kathleen and George
Rowland White

Point Park University announces the naming of its School of Business to the Rowland School of Business, honoring the family of the late George and Kathleen White, the University's largest benefactors to date.

A formal announcement was made today on campus with Point Park University academic leaders, administrators, faculty, students, and corporate and community partners in attendance.

The naming of the Rowland School of Business at Point Park University culminates the White's legacy of support and giving which was established in 2014 with a more than $15 million bequest and the single largest gift in the University's history.

Pictured is Point Park University president Paul Hennigan, Ed.D. and the late George Rowland White. | Photo by Richard Kelly
President Paul Hennigan, Ed.D.,
and George Rowland White

"George and Kathleen's dedication and advocacy for Point Park University continues to be an inspiration to all," said Paul Hennigan, Ed.D., president of Point Park University.

"Their generous gift - the $5 million endowment to the Rowland School of Business - will help support our continuing efforts to provide innovative, experiential learning opportunities for our business students. Indeed, we anticipate that the Rowland School of Business will be a national leader in business education," Hennigan added.

Rowland White, a role model for his family

George White's grandfather Rowland grew up in the late 1800s and became the owner of a small hardware store in Berea, Ohio.

Pictured is Rowland White in November 1927.
Rowland White

Although George never knew his grandfather, Rowland was recognized in the family as a role model for hard work, perseverance and business know-how.

His grandfather's legacy had a lasting impact on George as he grew up to become a scientist, businessman and urban visionary. He earned several degrees, including a doctorate, and spent most of his career in industrial engineering.

After two decades with Xerox Corp. in product development and engineering, he transitioned to a career in higher education, with Harvard University and then the University of Pittsburgh Applied Research Center.

The latter position brought him and his wife Kathleen, a math and science graduate of Purdue University and a talented investor, to Pittsburgh.

Pictured is the Brown Hardware Store owned by the late Rowland White.

"They loved the city's warm and friendly people and quickly adopted Downtown Pittsburgh as their home," said Carol White Shogren, George White's older sister. Both George and Kathleen served as Trustees of the University.

New vision, new energy

The importance the Whites placed on a business education continues to be a driving force at the Rowland School of Business said its newly appointed dean, Stephen Tanzilli, J.D. "The Whites believed we were well-positioned to be leading business educators by leveraging our proximity to corporations, non-profits and sports franchises, many of whom are located in Downtown Pittsburgh," Tanzilli said. "The White's advocacy for business, finance and accounting education is a foundation we take very seriously and continue to build on today."

Pictured is Steve Tanzilli, J.D., director of the SAEM program.
Dean Steve Tanzilli, J.D.

In his role as dean of the Rowland School of Business, Tanzilli will have broad oversight of all academic programs, including information technology, management and accounting as well as the sports, arts and entertainment management program which includes such innovative learning efforts as a dedicated classroom at Stage AE on Pittsburgh's North Shore and the Pioneer Records label.

Along with these programs, the Rowland School of Business will continue to leverage the White's advocacy for accounting, particularly with regard to expanding diversity in the field. In 2011, a $1 million bequest by the White family established the George Rowland White Endowed Professor of Accounting and Finance and the establishment of the Urban Accounting Initiative.

Both were catalysts for the University's annual hosting of an Accounting Career Awareness Program each summer, in conjunction with the National Association of Black Accountants, where minority high school students attend classes on careers in accounting and business, personal development and college preparation as well as meet and learn from mentors in the fields.

Pictured is Celina DiPietro, information technology student and data scientist co-op employee for Othot. | Photo by Christopher Rolinson
Co-op student Celina

Innovative and experiential learning

One of the signature programs of the Rowland School of Business will be expanding its cooperative education effort. The cooperative education, or co-op program, emphasizes innovative and experiential learning that enables students to gain real-world, full-time, paid work experience while at the same time, earning college credit.

"Our co-op program gives students a unique opportunity to dive into a real-world work environment and at the same time earn credit toward their degree," Tanzilli said.

The University is working with some 40 corporate partners to date and plans to expand the co-op program are well underway. Tanzilli added: "Reaction to the opportunities the program offers has been overwhelmingly positive."

Learn more

Explore the undergraduate and graduate programs offered in the Rowland School of Business. Request information, schedule a campus visit or apply online.


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