Clark College President Robert K. Knight announced that The Tod and Maxine McClaskey Family Foundation made a $4 million gift to the college’s culinary program that will transform the learning process for students, as well as the community’s on-campus dining experience.
During a celebration for donors on May 18, at Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver, Knight revealed that the college’s new dining and teaching facility, which will undergo remodeling, will be known as the Tod and Maxine McClaskey Culinary Institute at Clark College. It will showcase Clark’s Cuisine and Professional Baking and Pastry Arts programs.
The lead gift from The Tod and Maxine McClaskey Family Foundation simultaneously changes the face of the college’s culinary building, while dramatically enhancing the student learning experience.
A redesign of the building includes a glass façade, outdoor dining space, contemporary restaurant, ethnic food choices and an open food court layout. A revamped academic curriculum aligns with industry standards and prepares the college to be accredited by the American Culinary Federation. This top priority project also addresses nutritional needs of the college community and supports student retention by providing access to food service on campus.
Knight extoled Tod and Maxine McClaskey’s contribution to the business community during Savoring Excellence, Clark College Foundation’s annual celebratory dinner.
“This gift will positively affect every student at Clark College whether they just stop by the Tod and Maxine McClaskey Culinary Institute for a healthy option on the way to class or graduate from the Tod and Maxine McClaskey Culinary Institute ready to go to work in one of the great culinary options in the region,” said Knight.
Tod McClaskey was one of the founders of the Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay, a popular hotel and restaurant enterprise that began in Vancouver.
Lisa Gibert, president/CEO of Clark College Foundation spoke about the McClaskey’s passionate vision and values for the hospitality business and how naming the institute after them is a perfect fit to honor their memory.
“Tod believed in first-class service and an excellent dining experience. The Red Lion was also the launching pad for hundreds of careers in the hospitality business for this region and beyond. That light of excellence for the McClaskeys will now shine for generations,” said Gibert.
The McClaskey family expressed excitement about being an integral part of the college’s future.
“Clark’s new culinary program fits our family’s ideals for excellent food preparation and management, as well as collaborating with other state educational organizations. We are thrilled to be a part of this innovative project,” said Jillian Hagstrom, granddaughter of Tod and Maxine McClaskey.
Clark College has educational partnerships with the Clark County Skills Center and Washington State University Vancouver that consolidates the steps toward achieving a college degree.
The new facility is expected to be under construction for several months with portions of it opening in spring 2017. There will a food court with several kiosks offering cooked-to-order items, soups, sandwiches, salads, a bakery and a variety of ethnic and food-sensitive choices. A full-service bakery will serve artisanal desserts, breads and offer a barista station. And Clark’s popular restaurant will return, modeled after modern, open-kitchen dining establishments. All services will be open to Clark’s community as well as the general public.
Clark College Foundation is accepting donations for the culinary project, which is expected to cost $10.5 million. As of November 2016, the foundation has $4.5 million to raise. For more information, contact Joel B. Munson, vice president of development at 360.992.2428.