The Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University got a much needed makeover thanks to the efforts of two alumni, Matthew and Roberta Jenkins, who donated money to refurbish the lobby, bar and restaurant areas.
Two other alums, designer Vicki Carter and project manager Kathy Webb, planned and implemented the renovation on a pro-bono basis. The lobby features new animal print furnishings that can comfortably accommodate 40 people and an imported blown glass chandelier.
The 10-week project used a mix of existing and new fixtures to update the look of the hotel while embracing its history. For example, in the restaurant area, the old dining tables got a new and innovative look. The tops were redone with an automotive paint treatment resulting in a unique and glossy, deep chocolate finish that is durable and easy to maintain. Columns bearing quotes from university figures, past and present, remind diners of the university’s deep legacy.Visitors were treated last week to a walking tour with the donors and design team. Ribbons were cut on the doors leading to the three refurbished areas. Along with a new look, the bar and restaurant areas got new names. The restaurant is now known as Dorothy’s Place, paying homage to Dorothy Hall, the historic university guesthouse, which is now the Kellogg. The newly dubbed Skegee Lounge features a unique marble top bar that is more efficient, making drink service faster.
Donor Roberta Jenkins said the changes to the hotel will benefit students studying hospitality and dietetics and said the facility can now serve as a laboratory and training ground with state-of-the-art equipment. Matthew Jenkins said he wanted the best for the renovations and encouraged a new service attitude to go with the Kellogg’s first class adornments. He also urged others to give and help with future needed upgrades to the hotel.
“Jump on the team. Get behind it and push it,” Matthew Jenkins said. “We have a gem here… polish it.”