North Central College - Naperville, IL

Harold and Eva White Champions of Higher Education

The generosity of Harold ’35 and Eva Anderson ’35 White has touched nearly every aspect of campus during the past three decades, including international programs, forensics, music, education, the sciences and faculty development. Their legacy is an endowed professorship in the liberal arts, a building named in their honor and a First Citizen of the College Award presented at Commencement to someone who represents “the best” at North Central.

In 1993, the couple bequeathed $8 million to the College, the largest single gift ever at that time. This followed their major gift to the 125th Anniversary Development Program, honored by the renaming of the Harold and Eva White Activities Center in 1983. They had found financial success as Naperville grew and built The Naperville Sun into one of the leading community newspapers in Illinois.

“The Whites always championed the cause of higher education and their alma mater in particular,” wrote President Harold Wilde in a message to campus upon Harold White’s death in 1993. “They were in attendance at many events on campus, sponsored internships for North Central students and helped out in many quiet ways that few are aware of.” Eva served on the College’s Board of Trustees and had received an honorary doctor of letters degree from her alma mater in 1987.

During a first meeting between Harold White and Wilde in May 1991, White wrote out a check to the College for $1 million. Wilde later acknowledged the crucial role of the White’s generosity during his first years as president: “There is not one aspect of this College that has not been touched by the magnificent legacy … because of their philanthropy, the 1990s at North Central was their decade.”

North Central Now Spring 2011