Auburn University Opens Tony & Rivera Lane Culinary Science Center

The Tony & LibbaRane Culinary Science Center, a world-class hospitality management educational facility at Auburn University, officially opened last week.

Officials and academics gathered in the green space of the new center to formally commemorate the campus’s unique global building and academic resources.

“This is a moment born from what seemed like a dream at first,” said Susan Hubbard, dean of the College of Human Sciences. “It is an academic center unlike any other in the world, providing students with an advanced hospitality management education and providing visitors with an advanced hospitality experience, giving the world the opportunity to see Auburn in a way never seen before.” It offers.”

Hans van der Leyden, Founder and CEO of Itaka Hospitality Partners, said:

Auburn University President Christopher B. Roberts and Auburn Board of Governors Bob Dumas applauded everyone involved in the project for embodying the university’s mission.

“Our mission as a land grant agency is to put actionable knowledge into the hands of those who can use it to create economic opportunity and improve our quality of life,” said Roberts. “I believe the Rane Culinary Science Center does just that.”

Dumas called the day a historic one for Auburn. “We recognize Auburn’s mission as a land grant agency that improves our community, state, nation and world by providing superior facilities and experiences for our students, the entire Auburn family and many others.”

On a personal note, Dumas said he was also happy with his friend and board member Jimmy Lane. The 1968 Auburn Alumni and the Lane family made major contributions to establish the Culinary Science Center in Auburn in 2017. The board later honored the family’s dedication to the project by naming the facility after Rane’s parents.

“Jimmy, it is a dream for Jimmy to see this impressive structure and all it stands for and know that it so well honors the name and memory of your father and mother, Tony and River Lane. “I know it must be a realization,” said Dumas. It will forever be a reminder of the enormous dedication they had to the world, and they generously shared their passion with others.”

The building may bear his last name, but Rane decided to focus on his beloved college.

“Today is Auburn Day,” he said. “I owe this institution, the teachers, and the administrators who have helped me. I try to remember them and honor them for how much a difference they made in my life.”

Rane doesn’t hold back from being the first in his family to earn a college degree and the fact that his time at Auburn hasn’t been easy for him. Yet his love for Auburn never wavered.

“Auburn is a wonderful place. I can never repay you for the many great things this college has done for me,” he said.

a shared vision

Even if creating a unique culinary science center in Auburn wasn’t a dream, the work of leaders at the College of Human Sciences, including Hubbard and then-Dean June Henton, certainly gave rise to the idea nearly two decades ago. is. Horst Schulze, founder and former CEO of Ritz-Carlton, recommended that Auburn pursue an educational experience in hospitality management.

The team conducted years of research, ultimately visiting globally recognized programs and facilities in countries around the world, including Singapore, Australia, South Africa, and throughout Europe and the United States.

According to Rane, the team has found that there are best centers in one area of ​​hospitality management, such as cooking and distilling, but none are the best and some offer everything under one roof. There was not.

Martin O’Neill, now head of the university’s Hospitality Management department and frequent traveler with Van der Leyden and others, said Auburn’s programs have long been known for providing excellent service. said there is.

Today, Auburn is known for much more, thanks to its excellent educational facilities.

“Many programs, both national and international, may have an educational restaurant or partner with a management company that manages hotels. I was. “They have wine education. They have distillers. They have microbreweries. They have a la carte training kitchens. They have quantity food training kitchens. and a patisserie kitchen.

With the additional vision and support of the Auburn University Board of Trustees, especially Lane and Raymond Herbert, the Tony & Riva Lane Culinary Science Center will come to fruition in August and become an educational facility unlike any other in the world. established Auburn as its home base. .

“The Tony & Rivera Laine Culinary Science Center is already changing the landscape of Auburn and drawing attention to the entire hospitality industry,” Hubbard said.

The center is unique as it has all the components of the hospitality management industry under one roof. No other hospitality management facility in the world has it.

Students will learn, practice, and master culinary skills and techniques from qualified faculty, work and run elegant restaurants with world-renowned chefs and staff, and run luxury hotels with top hoteliers. experience first-hand what it takes to

They learn about brewing, winemaking and distilling. They learn from master sommeliers and additional beverage experts around the country. Students also assist in the planning and execution of events in the center’s rooftop garden and street-level green space.

Massive 142,000-square-foot, six-story building on East Sack Avenue and South College Street demonstrates experiential learning by offering students traditional lectures and real-world experiences under one roof doing.

“We’ve long touted that our students’ education happens in and out of the classroom,” Roberts added, adding that visitors “would be happy to eat, stay, or attend an event at the center. You can see this in real time,” he added.

By experiencing the Tony & Libba Rane Culinary Science Center, guests and visitors will contribute to the training of future hospitality experts.

Anna Plana, Lecturer in the Department of Hospitality Management at Auburn University’s School of Human Sciences, speaks with guests who visited the Tony & Ribbah Raine Culinary Science Center during its September 15 opening ceremony. (Contribution)

unlike others

The Rane Culinary Science Center is unlike any other building in Auburn, as it is the first campus building to blend core academic and revenue-generating elements. Proceeds from The Laurel Hotel & Spa, Educational Hotel and Spa, Educational Restaurant 1856, and other features of the Center will help pay for additional professional staff such as Master Sommeliers and Chef-in-Residences. among other aspects.

The center will also house the Hospitality Management School, which offers the only professionally accredited hospitality management program in Alabama. The center is expected to be attractive to students currently participating in top culinary programs at high schools in Alabama and across the country. It will also be a destination for alumni and new guests who enjoy food and beverage tourism.

“With no detail overlooked, this state-of-the-art facility will be an asset that attracts not only students, staff and our community, but visitors from all corners of the globe,” Leyden said. “We envision Tony & Ribba Laing Culinary Science Center as a destination for those who love good food, drink, hospitality and educational opportunities.”

“This was made for students. This was made for education,” said Hubbard. “Every aspect of this facility has an educational mission, including food hall incubators, ground floor laboratories, and accommodation experiences. I will leave.”

A longtime member of the Auburn University Board of Trustees, Lane was delighted to attend the dedication of the Tony & Rivera Lane Culinary Science Center on his birthday, September 15th. (contribution)

“Gather for delicious things”

Rane’s interest in helping plan the university’s Culinary Science Center grew when he learned of Van der Reijden’s passion for making dreams come true. Van der Reijden’s enthusiasm reminded Rane of his own father.

Born the son of Italian immigrants, Tony Rane is a successful entrepreneur with multiple restaurant, retail and hotel franchises.

Jimmy Rane followed in his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps by founding Great Southern Wood Preserving Inc. in 1970 in Abbeyville, Alabama. He is the chairman, president and CEO of a wood products manufacturer.

Five years ago, the Board of Directors approved the name of the future Culinary Science Center to be declared the Tony & River Lane Culinary Science Center in honor of Jimmy Lane and the Lane family.

“I had the privilege of knowing Tony and Riva Laing. Their love of sharing good food and spreading friendship and family joy will live on in this center named after them.” I know,” said Hubbard. “Thank you to Jimmy and the entire Lane family for sharing their love and passion for Auburn University in a way that will shape future leaders and give us all a special experience today.”

This story originally appeared on the Auburn University website.

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