Niagara U officially dedicates Statler Foundation Hospitality House

Tue, Nov 20th 2018 01:45 pm

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY — Niagara University officially dedicated the Statler Foundation Hospitality House, a residential living and learning community for students studying event management at the university College of HosGifted Students Recognized at St. Francis High School.

Kevin Rautenstrauch, St. Francis class of 2005, served as keynote speaker at the St. Francis High School's Paduan Scholars Recognition Ceremony . The ceremony was held at St. Francis High School.

While at St. Francis, Rautenstrauch was a Paduan Scholar, worked on the yearbook staff his junior and senior year and served as class president from sophomore through senior year. He also participated in football and lacrosse all four years.

His academic success at St. Francis earned him a partial academic scholarship to Union College in Schenectady, NY, where is graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science. After Union College, Rautenstrauch graduated Magna Cum Laude from Albany School of Law, where he also played football and lacrosse all four years and was the editor for the Government Law Review.

Currently, his practice focuses primarily in the areas of business law, commercial and residential real estate and estate administration and settlement. He has practiced law for over six years and is admitted to practice in all of the courts of the State of New York. He is a member of the New York State and Erie County Bar Associations and serves as the Town Prosecutor for the Town of Concord,.

Those junior Paduan Scholars recognized included: Drew Allaire, David Bartholomew,  Lucas Bell, Jack Bickerstaff, Blake Dase,  Harrison Davis, Alec Dobinski, Jacob Donaldson, Pierce Drake, Alexander Dzimian, Benjamin Eggloff, Kyle English, Dylan Felser,  Nicholas Giglio, Mark Lanning, Jackson McCarthy, Devin McDonnell, Benjamin Miller, Zachary Miller,Mario Moretti, Aidan Nasca, Hunter Oliver, Jeffrey Paryz, Benjamin Piwko, Zachary Pecas, Joshua Quinn, Aidan Reichenberg, Jack Rooney, Joseph Rowell, Robert Rusin, Connor Sedia, Peter Smokowski, Blaise Strittmatter, Easton Warner, and TY Webb.pitality and Tourism Management.

The Statler House is a refurbished Tudor-style residence hall that will now serve as both a residence hall and learning environment for students who will be part of the planning of more than 40 Niagara University special events, including conferences, symposiums, guest speakers, gala dinners, alumni events and reunions. The center has been made possible by a donation from the Statler Foundation, a longtime partner and supporter of the institution via funding for scholarships, programs and capital improvements. Positioned centrally on the university's campus, the two-story residence, formerly known as Varsity Village House No. 2, has undergone a complete renovation.

The dedication took place Oct. 19, with Niagara University President Father James J. Maher, CM; Provost Timothy Ireland, Ph.D.; CHTM Dean Kurt Stahura, Ph.D., and Robert M. Bennett, chairman of the Statler Foundation in attendance.

"The continued generosity of the Statler Foundation has, for many years, allowed us to augment the programming and facilities for our hospitality and tourism students," said Father James J. Maher, CM, president of Niagara University. "This next phase of our transformative partnership truly exemplifies our collective vision for a living-learning laboratory at Niagara University."

At the heart of the project is the opportunity for about 10 tourism and event management majors to live in community and supplement their classroom learning with the practical application of planning and executing university events.

"This new initiative will give students unique access to the planning, organization and management of events, directly leading to opportunities in hospitality careers," said Dr. Kurt Stahura, dean of NU's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management. "We are grateful to the Statler Foundation for helping us to maintain and expand this focus, making our students even better prepared and more desirable for selection by future employers, and allowing our nationally ranked program to improve its reputation."

The College of Hospitality and Tourism Management's focus on practical industry applications has allowed NU to build relationships with some the best hospitality companies in the industry. It is also one of the founding members of Hotel Schools of Distinction (formerly Leading Hotel Schools of the World).

The Statler Foundation was established in 1927 by the estate of hotelier Ellsworth M. Statler, whose will directed that his foundation support research and training efforts to benefit the hotel industry. In 1999, it provided $1.52 million to help transform the fourth floor of St. Vincent's Hall at Niagara University into a top teaching and dining facility. The foundation philanthropy has also furnished NU with funding to bolster student scholarships, develop academic programming, bring experts to campus, create cutting-edge learning spaces, and expand the college's international programs, including joint degree offerings with partner schools in Peru and Germany.

Niagara University's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management offers undergraduate degree programs in hotel and restaurant management, sport and recreation management, and tourism and event management, as well as a graduate program in sport management.

For more information call 716-286-8279 or visit  

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