Following the announcement of a $200 million donor gift to DePauw University last Feb. 7, President Lori S. White and Board of Trustees Chairman Doug Smith discussed their upcoming plans to implement infrastructural and institutional enhancements across various academic departments in line with the 2027 Bold and Gold Strategic Plan.

According to Dr. White, one of the highest priorities of the university and the Board of Trustees is the renovation of residential buildings across campus.

“We had a chance to see which of our facilities we would say are top of the line, which of our facilities are in that mid-range, and then which of our facilities [are marked for] improvement,” Dr. White said. “And then our next step is now to put together a plan and strategy as to how we are going to improve our residential facilities.”

The university also continues to evaluate the economic feasibility of renovating existing residential buildings or constructing new housing units across campus.

Moreover, Dr. White noted that students won’t observe immediate changes in their financial aid packages. This follows the recent 3.5% increase in DePauw’s cost of attendance for the 2024-2025 academic year, including $57,990 for tuition costs, $15,330 for housing and meals, and $1,080 for mandatory fees.

“However, over the course of time as our endowment grows…the interest from the endowment will enable us to feed that back into student financial aid. If you think about the universities that have endowments that are greater than ours, they are able to use the purchasing power of their endowment to be able to fully fund students’ financial needs. That is our hope and our dream and my goal for DePauw,” Dr. White said.

Chairman Smith added that over 90% of DePauw students receive financial aid from the institution primarily through the support of alumni donors. The Board of Trustees continues to educate alumni about the importance of financial gifts toward the long-term success of DePauw students.

In line with prospective advancements toward DePauw’s three-school model, Dr. White highlighted the approval of faculty handbook changes to align with the interdisciplinary curriculum of the School of Business and Leadership, the Creative School, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This involves the hiring of faculty replacements for previous retirees and collaborative discussions among the deans of the three schools.

“I would just say nationally that we are getting a lot of attention from other institutions [because of our three-school model.],” Dr. White added. “I interact with other [university] presidents and they're really interested in the ways in which DePauw is articulating a reimagining of the liberal arts for the 21st century…[as the curriculum is] preparing you all to succeed, not only in the jobs of today, but the jobs that we can't even imagine for tomorrow.”

Furthermore, Dr. White elaborated on the university’s continuous coordination with the Greencastle City Council and Putnam County representatives for renovating various establishments across downtown Greencastle. These project proposals will be prospectively funded by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

“One of the proposals that we are likely to submit is one for housing for employees of DePauw or folks who live here in the Greencastle area,” Dr. White said, pointing out the lack of housing facilities for employees from the university and Greencastle organizations.

The proposal involves the addition of over 100 residential areas, public green spaces, and street connectivity improvements across Downtown Greencastle. Another infrastructural proposal under the same grant aims to provide a connective walking space between Greencastle and DePauw’s campus with improved lighting fixtures and green spaces.

“We see [this collaboration] as a responsibility that we have as a board and a university, [as we collaborate] with Downtown Greencastle on working those pathways,” Dr. White said. “The more exciting and vibrant Greencastle is, the more exciting and vibrant our campus [will become.]”