IUP Trustees Recognize Culinary Gifts With Naming Resolutions

Posted on 12/12/2019 3:18:04 PM

Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Council of Trustees approved two resolutions on December 12, 2019, to name spaces in the new Academy of Culinary Arts facility in recognition of gifts from the Hardy Family Trust/Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and the Frank and Sharon Roberts family, of Punxsutawney.

Laurie Kuzneski; IUP Academy of Culinary Arts Chef John Kapusta; and IUP President Michael Driscoll.

From left, IUP Council of Trustees member Laurie Kuzneski; IUP Academy of Culinary Arts Chef John Kapusta; and IUP President Michael Driscoll. Chef Kapusta accepted the resolution for the naming of the Kristen Butterworth Demonstration Kitchen on behalf of Chef Butterworth.

“The new Academy of Culinary Arts remains a primary focus in our comprehensive campaign,” IUP Vice President of Advancement Khatmeh Osseiran-Hanna said. “Gifts from the Roberts and the Hardy Family/Nemacolin Woodlands demonstrate the value of the academy and the importance of retaining the label of being the premier culinary school in western Pennsylvania. There is great potential for growth at the Academy of Culinary Arts, and thanks to generous private support, we will be able to make the new academy a reality.”

The Hardy Family Trust/Nemacolin Woodlands Resort $100,000 gift is made in honor of Kristin Butterworth, a 2002 graduate of the Academy of Culinary Arts, who is the executive chef at Laurtrec, a Forbes five-star dining restaurant at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Funds will be used to create a demonstration kitchen, which the Council of Trustees approved naming as the Kristin Butterworth Demonstration Kitchen. 

Butterworth, originally from Northern Cambria, honed her skills in Italy after completing her studies at the Academy of Culinary Arts. She has been a featured chef three times at the James Beard House in New York City, is a recipient of the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond awards every year since 2010, and is the youngest Five-Star, Five-Diamond female chef in the world.

Butterworth continues to support IUP by welcoming current students at the Academy of Culinary Arts a chance to complete their academy externships at restaurants on the property at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. In presenting the resolution, the Council of Trustees recognized Butterworth’s “strong appreciation for the education and training she received at IUP.”

From left: IUP Council of Trustees member Laurie Kuzneski; IUP Council of Trustees member Joyce Fairman; and IUP President Michael Driscoll.

From left: IUP Council of Trustees member Laurie Kuzneski; IUP Council of Trustees member Joyce Fairman; and IUP President Michael Driscoll. Fairman accepted the resolution for the naming of the Frank and Sharon Roberts Family Cafeteria on behal of the Roberts family.

In a separate resolution, the Council of Trustees approved naming the cafeteria in the new facility as the Frank and Sharon Roberts Family Cafeteria. The resolution recognized the Roberts family’s “close relationship with IUP and with the Punxsutawney community, starting with the late Ralph F. Roberts, a former IUP trustee.” Ralph Roberts was the founding member and past president of the Punxsutawney Area College Trust, which established the IUP Punxsutawney campus and the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts.

The resolution also recognized Frank Roberts for his service on the Foundation for IUP Board of Directors, the Punxsutawney Regional Advancement Council, the Academy of Culinary Arts Advisory Board, and the Punxsutawney Regional Development Corporation, as well as the philanthropic commitment to IUP and the Punxsutawney community by Frank and Sharon Roberts and their family business, Frank Roberts and Sons.

In September 2018, the Foundation for IUP gifted the Fairman Centre in downtown Punxsutawney, which includes classrooms and residence facilities for the Academy of Culinary Arts, and two buildings adjacent to the Fairman Centre.

As funding becomes available, these two buildings beside the Fairman Centre will be razed to permit the construction of a new facility to house the Academy of Culinary Arts.

The total project is estimated at between $15 million and $18 million. Fundraising is already underway by IUP for this initiative through IUP’s Imagine Unlimited fundraising campaign. A timeline for the project has not yet been finalized.

The Fairman Centre (the former J.B. Eberhart building), was gifted to FIUP by the Punxsutawney Regional Development Corporation and the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce in November 2006. After a year-long, $4.7-million renovation, the building was repurposed with classrooms and teaching kitchens for the Academy of Culinary Arts. The first floor of the building is retail space.

Since its founding in 1989, more than 4,000 students have studied in Punxsutawney at the Academy of Culinary Arts, which has continued to meet and exceed its enrollment goals.

The 16-month program offered at the Academy of Culinary Arts is nationally recognized and accredited by the American Culinary Federation. After completing a final semester at a paid externship, graduates earn a certificate in culinary arts and can also complete a separate baking and pastry program through the Academy.

Starting in 2019, the Baking and Pastry program became a stand-alone program, allowing for additional growth for this program. Academy of Culinary Arts graduates can now complete an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts with an additional semester of study at IUP Punxsutawney.

IUP’s $75-million Imagine Unlimited Campaign will enable IUP to step forward as a national leader by transforming the student experience through scholarships, program enhancements, and new and modernized facilities. A new Academy of Culinary Arts building is a focal point of the campaign. From Nemacolin Woodlands Resort to the Biltmore, the Breakers Palm Beach, the Boca Raton Resort and Club, and the Ocean Reef Club thousands of IUP Academy of Culinary Arts alumni have proven themselves to be leaders in world-class culinary and hospitality settings. The academy is the premier culinary school in western Pennsylvania.