Niagara University’s Holzschuh College of Business Administration has received a $1.5 million gift from Wegmans Family Foundation to establish the Robert B. Wegman Endowed Director of Food Industry Innovation and Supply Chain Excellence. The director will lead the growth and development of its centers of Food Industry Leadership and Supply Chain Excellence and will guide the efforts in creating a leading-edge facility on campus to house the centers. The director will also collaborate with food industry leaders in Western New York and Ontario to create, build, and inspire transformative programs and partnerships that reach the pinnacle of global excellence and enrich the educational and career opportunities for students.
“This generous gift from Wegmans Family Foundation will advance Niagara University’s work to strengthen our academic programs focused on the food industry and the field of supply chain management, providing more impactful career pathways for our students and important collaborations and opportunities for our corporate partners,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., Niagara University president. “In addition, this work is grounded in our Catholic and Vincentian mission, and it provides an interdisciplinary approach to potential solutions to the food insecurity we witness in our surrounding community.”
Dr. Mark Frascatore, dean of the Holzschuh College of Business Administration, agrees. “This gift from Wegmans Family Foundation provides us the means to move to the forefront of food industry and supply chain education. Our graduates will be prepared to become the next generation of leaders in these dynamic and important industries.”
“At Wegmans, we believe education creates opportunity,” said Colleen Wegman, president and CEO of Wegmans Food Markets. “We’re proud to partner with Niagara University to help prepare the next generation of food industry professionals for their future in this essential business.”
Robert Wegman, who was known as one of the most respected and influential leaders in the supermarket industry, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Niagara University in 1941. In 2007, he was recognized in the university’s inaugural class of the Niagara Legacy – Alumni of Distinction.
Niagara’s interdisciplinary food industry leadership program already enables students to gain valuable experience and knowledge about the vast and diverse food industry while they pursue their chosen academic field. Recognized experts and professionals in the field of food logistics, global food systems, and food supply chain management teach the classes, assuring that the courses are current and relevant.
Niagara will also work to expand its current supply chain management course offerings. This expansion of offerings has been developed with the guidance of an advisory board consisting of distinguished supply chain executives from the United States and Canada and will better prepare students for work in logistics, transportation, and global trade.
Together, these programs will form the foundation of an innovative, multidisciplinary initiative that will meet current and emerging needs in the food industry. These include meeting the increased demand for organic and locally sourced food, an increased emphasis on farm-to-table systems, and developing the supply chain expertise necessary for moving the food materials from sourcing to the final consumers.
For more information on these programs, contact Dr. Frascatore at 716.286.8052.