With gratitude and excitement, we announce a $1 million gift from the Lawrence E. White Family Foundation to Lake Highland’s Together We Can: Elevate Highlanders Campaign.
The White family’s generous investment names the Lawrence E. White Family Wrestling Center, a signature component of the 48,000-square-foot Multisport Athletic Facility at the Lake Highland Athletic Complex (LHAC). This training and competition center, which includes the Ramey Family Wrestling Fitness Center and dedicated wrestling locker rooms, will bring our nationally ranked wrestling program back on campus and provide state-of-the-art facilities that match the excellence of our outstanding wrestlers.
In addition to the Lawrence E. White Family Wrestling Center, the Multisport Facility will provide exceptional facilities to serve 690+ Highlander Athletes on 54 teams across 17 sports. The project includes a new competition gym and tournament venue with seating for 1,200+ spectators, the Davis Archery Range, a sports medicine center, multisport locker rooms, a second fitness center, a film room, a golf simulation room, coaches’ offices, and a hospitality suite. The project also includes a new turf field with lights.
LHP President Jim McIntyre shares, “Lake Highland is immensely grateful to Larry and Patrick White and their family for their generous leadership gift naming the Lawrence E. White Family Wrestling Center. The White family has been instrumental in building and supporting our wrestling program since it began. Their philanthropy represents their lifelong dedication and generosity to LHP and its wrestling program.”
Patrick White ’93 described the family’s enthusiasm and motivation behind their philanthropic decision. “We’re very proud to be part of the Multisport Facility at Lake Highland. We believe in the importance of this facility to all Highlander student-athletes, but specifically the dedicated wrestling center on the campus for this nationally ranked wrestling program. The campaign is something we wanted to get out in front of and help make happen.”
The White family has a long and devoted history with Lake Highland. They boast four Highlander graduates: Patrick ’93, and Patrick and his wife Shannon’s three sons, Forrest ’11, Hunter ’13, and Parker ’15. Shannon is a long-time, beloved LHP teacher and Forrest is LHP’s Human Resources Manager.
Larry White’s achievements in wrestling laid the foundation for the family’s remarkable dedication to the sport. Larry wrestled at Lehigh University, a small private university but a perennial wrestling powerhouse. “My father found wrestling when he went to college at Lehigh,” Patrick shared. “What he found in the wrestling room was the sort of work ethic, dedication, and determination that he then took into his life and businesses after college and graduate school.”
Larry earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a Ph.D. at Lehigh before building a successful career in real estate and as an entrepreneur. Additionally, he made time to give back to the sport of wrestling as a volunteer assistant coach for several Central Florida high schools over more than 35 years.
The Whites point with pride to the impressive results Coach Mike Palazzo has achieved both on and off the mat leading the Highlander wrestling team. Successful first in business, Palazzo was called to serve the sport in 2008 when he became Lake Highland’s second head wrestling coach. LHP placed second last season at National Preps. Princeton, Harvard, Penn, the University of Chicago, Stanford, and the Naval Academy – to name a few – have all welcomed Highlander wrestling alums in recent years. “These elite institutions come to our campus to recruit our kids because they know our athletes will succeed at their schools given LHP’s academic rigor and Mike’s preparation of elite student athletes. He not only develops wrestling skills, but also the skills to succeed in life,” shared Patrick.
LHP’s Chairman of the Board Greg Ramsby ’85 praised the Whites’ visionary generosity and leadership. “The Highlander community owes Larry and Patrick White immense gratitude for their long-term commitment to our wrestlers. The impact of their generous naming gift will serve generations of LHP athletes, and it provides great momentum for our fundraising efforts to build this amazing new athletic facility.”
The White’s major naming gift boosts Lake Highland’s Elevate Highlanders Campaign which launched in 2020 and features three transformative capital projects that are phased: Phase I – the Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics which opened in August 2023; Phase II – the Multisport Athletic Facility & Field Renovation; and Phase III – The Arts District. We invite you to learn more about the Elevate Highlanders Campaign and how you can make an impact. If you have questions or would like to discuss making a pledge or gift, please contact a member of our Advancement Team and we will gratefully assist.