Auburn University has announced a $12 million commitment from alumnus James W. Rane ('68) and his family to create a culinary science center.
To be located adjacent to The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center, the new facility will include a restaurant, teaching and demonstration kitchens, a beverage appreciation center, a terrace and rooftop function space, and a premier spa. The building also will house meeting and board rooms, hotel guest rooms, suites, and luxury apartments. In recognition of the gift, the center will be named in honor of Rane's parents, Libba Mills Rane and Anthony "Tony" J. Rane, the son of Italian immigrants and an entrepreneur who owned several restaurants, retail stores, and hotel franchises.
Rane, a member and former president pro tempore of the Auburn University board, graduated from Auburn with a bachelor's degree in business administration, earned a law degree from Samford University, and owned a private practice before serving as a district judge in Henry County, Alabama. He is founder, chairman, president, and CEO of Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc.
"We are grateful for the Rane family's vision to establish a facility that will help train students for careers in the global hospitality and tourism industries," said Auburn University president Jay Gogue. "This center will serve as a lasting tribute to Tony and Libba Rane."