Ivy Tech Northeast expands hospitality space for growing program with $200,000 grant

A recent $200,000 grant has been awarded to Ivy Tech Community College Northeast through the Ivy Tech Foundation from the English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation and Mike Eikenberry, former regional president of PNC Bank and foundation chair. The grant allows the college toEikenberry expand its Hospitality Room, which is used primarily by Hospitality Administration students.

Ivy Tech Northeast’s Hospitality Administration program is the second largest such program in the Ivy Tech Community College system, and it is commonly seen as one of Indiana’s elite hospitality programs. This expansion will allow the program to grow, whereas with current space constraints, it is stymied. During the 2011 academic year, the program served 722 majors and provided more than 100 courses, and this pledge will allow for the expected growth of the program.

“This is the perfect space for Hospitality Administration students to sharpen their customer service skills and show off their culinary talents,” says Jeff Bunting, program chair of the Hospitality Administration department. “This expansion, which adds 25 to 30 more seats, gives our program additional community exposure and will provide better training opportunities to a larger number of students.”

The Hospitality Room is used for the program’s popular special cuisine dinners that attract college and community members throughout the semester, as well as college events such as regional board meetings. Students get the experience of running a restaurant, and this expansion—which will add 630 square feet to the existing space—will allow even more people to sample Hospitality Administration students’ cuisine.

The English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation is a Fort Wayne-based organization that contributes to charitable organizations, especially spaces that benefit the public. In its 35-year history, the foundation has helped a wide variety of organizations; last year alone, it contributed $5 million to charitable organizations.