By: Alize Rosado
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Over the summer big changes were made to on-campus living. One of the biggest changes lies in the formerly-known Varsity Village II house which has been renamed the Statler Hospitality House. Along with its new name comes some new renovations.
Improvements to the Statler House include an interior paint job and a new patio with flower beds. An awning has even been added over the patio to create a shaded area. The envision for the patio is to not just be a patio for hospitality students, but an area for Niagara University students to gather and build a sense of community.
These new improvements were made possible from a $60,000 grant from the Statler Foundation. This donation was just the most recent from a long history of grants and donations to the NU community. Founded in 1927, The Statler Foundation has consistently made donations to Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism to help fund scholarships and new campus improvements.
One of the biggest impacts the foundation has made was in 1999. The Statler Foundation donated $1.525 million to renovate the fourth floor of St.Vincent’s hall, modeling it as a hotel for Hospitality students to gain first-hand experience on campus.
The Statler House now houses six NU students who work with the school’s Center for Conferences and Events. Students help with planning and operating events both on and off campus. Their next event is the Statler Scholarship luncheon which they will help cater.
Another upcoming special event is the 50th anniversary of the College of Hospitality and Tourism. The Hospitality and Tourism students will be hosting a BBQ on the new patio with Dr. Kurt Stahura, the Dean of the College of Hospitality, working the grill himself. Both current NU students and alumni will be invited to this event in October.
Gigi Ortiz, a freshman in the Hospitality and Tourism college stayed in the Statler house for 10 Days as part of the Commuter Connections program at NU.
“It was my first chance to meet people in my major and get involved with events on campus” said Gigi. “I love it and I’m still close with all the girls that live there.”
“It’s fun to live with girls who have the same academic interest as me and who bond while helping out with events” says Lindsey Schultz, one of the hospitality students who lives in the house.
Niagara University has been working on ways to increase the number of students living on campus. The Statler Hospitality House is the latest project that shows the potential for future Varsity Village houses and on-campus living as a whole.