Klemis Kitchen Wins $31K from Student Alumni Association
Junior’s Grill, a Georgia Tech dining staple for six decades, may have closed in 2011, but the legacy of owner Tommy Klemis will live on with Klemis Kitchen, a new student-led initiative that has won the Student Alumni Association’s 2014 Gift to Tech.
SAA’s gift of more than $31,000 will help provide meals to Tech students in need and was presented in a ceremony at the Campanile Thursday. Klemis was grateful to have his name associated with the project.
“I can’t think of a better legacy to leave for our future Tech students than one that actively provides funds to feed those in need,” he said. “It honors all the employees of Junior’s, many of whom were students.”
Klemis Kitchen will be part of the Campus Kitchen chapter that was established on campus this semester. That initiative lets students cook leftovers from dining halls and distribute meals to community partners and those in need off campus. With Klemis Kitchen, students will be able to do the same for their peers.
“Since Campus Kitchen has an external focus but would follow a process similar to what the Klemis Kitchen idea had envisioned, it seemed only natural to collaborate,” said Sidhartha Sinha, one of the students who organized the Klemis Kitchen effort.
Klemis was known for serving students at Junior’s whether they were able to pay for a meal or not, being more concerned with students’ wellbeing than with his own profit. Junior’s began at the corner of North Avenue and Techwood Drive, where North Avenue Dining Hall now sits, and then operated out of the Bradley Building in the space that is now Highland Bakery. Both the Campus Kitchen and Klemis Kitchen efforts will operate out of a space in Brittain Dining Hall.
The final gift sum will be determined at the end of the fiscal year on June 30. Until then, any new SAA member contributions will be added to the gift, which is the cumulative sum of $5 from each member and a $10,000 match from another food service leader, Waffle House President and CEO Walt Ehmer (IE 1989).
Ideas for the 2015 Gift to Tech can be submitted online at gtsaa.com/gift-to-tech.