Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Point Park renaming business school

Will be named for donor’s grandfathe­r

- By Bill Schackner

More than two years after Point Park University disclosed its biggest-ever donation, officials are renaming the school of business for the family of George and Kathleen White, who provided that $15 million estate gift before their deaths.

A $5 million endowment for what now will be called the Rowland School of Business is part of the couple’s donation, officials said in making the announceme­nt Tuesday. It was one among a series of gifts over the years that made them Point Park’s biggest benefactor­s.

Rowland White was George’s grandfathe­r, raised in the late 1800s. He was a family role model and the owner of a modest hardware store in Berea, Ohio, and although George never knew him, he was a lifelong influence, campus officials said.

George, a longtime university supporter who died in 2012 at age 82, saw Rowland as the family patriarch.

“George was aware that his own name was hanging on some things at Point Park, and we talked about potential future naming opportunit­ies,” Point Park president Paul Hennigan said. “[George] said, ‘If the school of business were ever to be named in my honor, I would want to bestow that upon my family, and Rowland in particular.’’

George White was a physicist and his wife an electrical

engineer. They moved to Pittsburgh in later life and developed an affinity for the small Downtown institutio­n, a former junior college rooted in business training.

They served as adjunct instructor­s in business, an outlet for their fascinatio­n with the field. They also were avid patrons of the arts, including the Pittsburgh Playhouse, the university’s performing arts center.

The couple’s largesse was felt from Point Park’s dance studios and theater to the George Rowland White Professors­hip of Finance and Accounting. That legacy was honored at an event on the campus Tuesday.

A priority of the Rowland school will be further developing a co-op program for students lasting 15 weeks that already has dozens of corporate partners, Mr. Hennigan said.

“The Whites’ advocacy for business, finance and accounting education is a foundation we take very seriously and continue to build on today,” Point Park’s newly appointed business dean, Stephen Tanzilli, said in a statement.

Mr. Tanzilli has been chair of the department of management since 2014. Before joining Point Park, he was the owner and founder of Sports Legends Group, a sports talent agency.

Mr. White was a physicist who worked at Sperry Rand Corp. and at Xerox Corp., where he spent two decades in product developmen­t and engineerin­g. He later became a senior research fellow at Harvard Business School.

In the mid-1980s, he took a job at the University of Pittsburgh, overseeing transforma­tion of an industrial lab in Harmarvill­e into the University of Pittsburgh Applied Research Center.

Mr. White became a Point Park trustee in 1995 and served for 17 years. His wife became a trustee in 2012, the year before her death.

He taught an MBA-level course at Point Park. His wife taught investing, Mr. Hennigan said.

Mr. White earned his undergradu­ate and doctoral degrees in physics from Wesleyan University and Iowa State University.

He also had an MBA from UCLA.

He met his wife just after college. She was a Purdue University graduate. The couple lived in Downtown.

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