More Pizzagate Fallout: Purdue Takes Name Off Building, Offers to Return $8M Gift - Higher Education
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More Pizzagate Fallout: Purdue Takes Name Off Building, Offers to Return $8M Gift

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The John H. Schnatter Center for Economic Research will soon revert to its old name as the Purdue University Research Center in Economics, and the school is offering to return $8 million Schnatter once donated following revelations that the Papa John’s founder used the n-word during a conference call in May, ABC News has reported.

John H. Schnatter

The development is the latest fallout from the pizza mogul’s offensive comment, which was made in a conference call in May. The company removed Schnatter as CEO last year after comments he made about athletes protesting the national anthem. Last month, he resigned as chairman of the board after Forbes magazine reported his racial slur in that May conference call. And Schnatter has resigned as a University of Louisville board of trustees.

The economics building at Purdue was renamed in Schnatter’s honor after his John H. Schnatter Family Foundation donated $8 million to Purdue in April to fund economics research, a month before the infamous slur. On Friday, the school’s trustees voted unanimously on the name change and refund offer.

Purdue issued a statement saying that “the board believes this action is necessary to avoid distraction from the center’s work, counterproductive division on the campus, and any inference of any deviation from the university’s often stated stance on tolerance and racial relations.”

Schnatter’s alma mater, Ball State University, has said it won’t change the name of a building that was named after him.

In a statement from Ball State’s board of trustees, chairman Rick Hall said: “Based on our current understanding of what transpired, John’s response to the current situation, and our experience with him, the Board will continue our support of the John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise. In our experience with John, he has never expressed racist views. He has demonstrated himself to be an individual who is very appreciative of his fortunate situation and cares deeply about creating an environment in which all enterprising individuals have the opportunity to succeed.”

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