As the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University nears its fundraising goal of $5.8 million, construction can begin on its groundbreaking Culinary Business Learning Lab (CBLL) revitalization project.

The School launched a two-year, fast-paced fundraising campaign in May 2008 in support the CBLL revitalization project. This project is the largest in the 82-year history of The School. A key component of the project is incorporating use of sustainable materials and sustainable practices.

More than 11,000 square feet of space will be totally rehabbed and updated and will feature a teaching and demonstration theater; teaching and research kitchen; dining room; Alumni Association Hall of Fame; entryway and display gallery; and gathering space. The new space will reflect future trends but will also honor The School’s considerable history and influence.
The Lab will be used for food-production management courses for undergraduate and graduate students, special School events, and MSU executive development programs for industry professionals.

Recognizing that the CBLL will educate future leaders and decision makers in the industry and capture the attention of current industry leaders, forward-thinking companies, foundations, and individuals have already committed funds to the project.

The demonstration theater and display gallery will carry the name of the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, recognizing its leadership gift of $1.3 million. The gathering space will be named for the Ecolab Industry Foundation and Ecolab Inc. for their $300,000 gift. In-kind commitments of state-of-the-art equipment and products have been received. The 100 chairs to be located in the demonstration theater will display names of alumni and friends. Although the “chair naming” campaign has not been officially launched, a number of eager and loyal donors have already pledged $10,000 needed to name one chair.

A variety of “naming opportunities” are still available, ranging from the teaching and research kitchen to the kitchen’s workstations, and from the office for the Professor of Culinary Business to the chill-out (walk-in refrigerator and freezer) space.

Those interested in learning more about the CBLL project, naming opportunities, in-kind equipment needs, and multiple year pledge plans are welcome to contact Shelley MacMillan at The School (517-884-1586 or