When the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center was officially dedicated on the afternoon of Sept. 15, some of the happiest in attendance were Auburn University College of Human Sciences students, who will get a wealth of hands-on experience in the new state-of-the-art facility located at the corner of East Thach Avenue and South College Street.
The six story Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center has 142,000 square feet of opportunity and is now home to Auburn’s School of Hospitality Management, Alabama’s only professionally accredited hospitality management program.
Students majoring in event management, culinary science, hotel and restaurant management or pursuing a graduate degree can now utilize a space with world-class equipment and food laboratories all while learning from credentialed faculty, world-renowned chefs and master sommeliers that will prepare them to be top leaders in the hospitality industry when they finish their degree at Auburn.
Anna Lee Bosarge, a senior majoring in event management, said the hands-on learning experiences that will come from the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center will be the biggest asset to her educational experience.
“Before, it was more lecture based instead of real world application,” Bosarge said. “Now just having the representation and being able to actually go into and have the experience of a restaurant and hotel and getting real world experience instead of just a practicum is huge. The wine appreciation room is also really cool and being able to have a master sommelier as a teacher is definitely one of my highlights of this semester.” Furthermore, Bosarge is already getting hands-on experience in the field of event management this semester for an event she’s planning within the Rane Culinary Science Center.
“Right now, for one of my classes, I am planning an event for the community and the faculty of Auburn to introduce the Rane Center building in October so that’s definitely giving me a lot of hands-on experience just within the building and using my major for it,” Bosarge said. “As a student ambassador for the building, it’s definitely one of those things I can say that no one has the state-of-the-art technology of the labs and technology in the classrooms like the Rane Center has.”
As it pertains to the culinary science side of things, the Rane Culinary Science Center offers 1856, an upscale teaching restaurant, Thrive Coffee Roastery, side-by-side culinary laboratories, a microbrewery, Hey Day Market, a wine appreciation laboratory, a distilled spirts laboratory, a culinary exhibition laboratory and more that College of Human Sciences students will be able to utilize for years to come all in one building. Iona Gordon, a junior majoring in culinary science, said making the move from Spidle Hall to the Rane Culinary Science Center has made a world of difference.
“There’s a lot more room to maneuver in terms of cooking and the new equipment is ten times better and easier to create dishes here at the Rane Center rather than at Spidle,” Gordon said.
As a freshman, one of Gordon’s reasons for committing to the College of Human Sciences was knowing that the Rane Culinary Science Center was being constructed on campus.
“I was in the exploratory major freshman year and I committed my freshman year to culinary science after they had announced the new Rane Center building,” Gordon said. “Leaders at the university hotel essentially convinced me and about four other people to join the program and I committed right then and there.”
Although the Rane Culinary Science Center is the first building on campus to blend a major academic component with revenue generating elements, there’s no mistake that those benefitting the most will be College of Human Sciences students for decades to come.