Purdue University Removes Papa John's Name From Building

Purdue University has officially dropped Papa John's founder John Schnatter's name from a building at the school and is offering to return an $8 million donation the pizza chain founder's charity gave them in April 2018. 

“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,” read a statement from Purdue.

The building on Purdue's campus was briefly known as the John H. Schnatter Center for Economic Research, but will now revert back to its original name of the Purdue University Research Center in Economics. According to the Associated Press, Purdue's Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Friday to revert the building's name and offer Schnatter's foundation a refund. 

Schnatter resigned as the Chairman of the Board for Papa John's after a report in Forbes revealed that he used the N-word during a conference call in May. According to the article, Schantter used the racial slur while participating in a media training exercise with a marketing firm, complaining that the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken never had to face a public backlash for using the N-word. 

During the call, Schnatter also reportedly talked about his time growing up in Indiana, where he said people used to drag African-Americans from the back of trucks until they died. The remarks were apparently intended to reflect an antipathy to racism, but the Forbes report said multiple people on the call had been offended by them. 

Purdue isn't the only university that's dropped Papa John's name from a building lately. The University of Louisville also removed the pizza chain founder's name from its stadium, renaming it "Cardinal Stadium." UofL also removed Schnatter's name from their Center for Free Enterprise inside the business school located there. 

Schnatter says stepping down from the board as chairman was a "mistake." He had already been previously removed as CEO for the pizza chain last year for comments he made while discussing the national anthem protests. 

Photo: Getty Images

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