Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Culver Military Academy Dinning Hall  



This article is incomplete - :

    A NOBLE STRUCTURE,
    New Mess Hall at Academy to Be the Most
    Complete of Its kind Anywhere
    Culver Military Academy has just completed its thirteenth session, the most successful in its history. As in previous years, the applications for admission have far exceeded the capacity of the buildings. Yet no new barracks will be built. The trustees i nstead had decided upon comprehensive plans...

    ...present mess hall, with some crowding, would seat the number we propoce [project] so seat in our new building, yet the lod [old] hall has only half the floor space of the new. This comparison give an idea of the spaciousness of the new building. The generous dimensions provided for broad aisles between the tables...

    ...addition there will be provided a canning and preserving room; also a room equipped with power ice cream freezers.

    The floor space of the kitchen will be about equal to that of the mess hall. Those already familiar with the academy's plant will again an idea of the size of the mess hall and kitchen building from the fact that it will occupy more space than the which hitherto has been the largest building on the grounds. In this building there will be adequate messes for civilian employess [employees] and for kitchen and mess hall help. Like the mess hall the kitchen will be built of reinforced concrete throughout, fireproof and absolutely saniotary [sanitary]. It...


On April 17, 1911 the new CMA Mess Hall was dedicated. It altered the layout of the campus. It's size dominated the west side of the campus. The cost of construction, excluding furniture, fittings, and kitchen equipment was $80,000.

The rear of the building was three stories high and supported a hugh kitchen, refrigeration plant, bakery, dairy and ice cream plant.

The main floor of the Mess Hall was constructed of small green, wine, and white tiles. They were laid in 1911 and quickly became a focal point of the expanse of floor without supporting pillars was quite revolutionary for the period. The ceiling was divided by three skylights, thus providing natural lighting, reducing weight and supplementing electric lights.

The main hall is 90x130 feet, and contained seating for 1,000.

Cadet and faculty tables were set family-style and served by waiters through 1958.

Each waiter was assigned two-three tables and and was respondible for his settings, silverware, and glassware. They maintained small pantrys built into the walls and were responsible for washing and maintaining their inventory.

The waiter staff was under the command of major domo and head waiter, Charlie Dickerson.

His service to the Academy covered more than half century. He maintained a military-like precision with his waiters. They stood inspection, were checked for clean uniforms, polished shoes, and took great pride in their professionalism.

The expansive hall seated the entire corps of cadets in a single formation. The sidewalls are wainsccoated in white marble broken at intervals by green marble pilasters. The four murals depicting scenes from Indiana history were gifts of the Class of 1928.

The unique chairs were designed for the Academy by E.R. Culver. Each had a metal frame attached to the back that could hold a folded overcoat and hat of the occupant.

The second floor mezzanine was used almost exclusively for visitors.

Faculty were at assigned tables beneath the mezzanine.

To add character, ivy was allowed to grow unimpeded well into the building's second decade when the ravages on the masonry were finally heeded. Thereafter, "ivy-covered walls" became an anathema.



Shortly after the mess hall was built the academy had a short lived in-house dairy. The academy bottled its own milk around this time - a Half-pint milk bottle imprinted "Culver Military Academy Culver , Indiana", dated 1914 exists. It is believed that the dairy barn was probably located on St. Rd. 117 at the south west entrace of what is the golf course today - this barn burnt down in the 1970's. Later the Newman Dairy Farm south of Culver supplied the milk for the academy which was pasteurized on-site at Culver. There was a series of pipes where the milk came down to a spicket where waiters would get it.



1957-58 also brought the end of the "Waiter System" that had been used and insituted "Cafeteria-style" dining into effect.

1962 - Dec 19 - Schutte Names To Head CMA Food Services., James C. Kurz to Manage The Inn.
    Wilbert H. Schutte has been named genral manager of the Culver Inn and the dining hall at the dining hall at Culver Military Academy, Fred Vollmer, president of Management Foor Service, annouced today

    In additon, Vollmer announced that James C. Kurz will become manager of the Culver in as of March 1, 1963. Management Food Serivxe is a subsidiary of Stoufer Corportation Inc., national restaurant chain which operates both the Culver Inn and the dining hall under a joint agreement.

    Schutte who has been senior member of Management food personnel since the agreement was made with the Academy in 1958, succeeds DOnald H. Ralph, manager of the Inn since last March. Ralph has left the campus to take a new position with Michigan State Uinversity.

    Academy Superintendent Delmar T. Spivey said the changes in management of the Inn will bring a closer workign relationship between the Academy and the Inn.

    The elevation of Wilberty Schutt as head of boath The Inn and dining hall, and the addition of Jame Kurz to the Inn management will result in iprovement in the services offered visitors, parents, alumni, and cadets., he said. Schuttes long experience in the food business and Kurz many years in the business world will bec combined for a b etter relationship between the Academy and the Inn and ecellent services for guests.

    Although Schutte's primary training was in business administration he has spent 28 years in the foods business. He spent three years with Statler Hotels, Ic. and in APril of the next year her will celebrate his twenty-fifth year with the Stouffer organization.

    Schuutte began with Stouffer as a student manager in Cleveland. and then was made executive assistant manager of the first Stouffer Restraurant in Chicago, opened in 1941 at Randaloph and Wabash. He was manager of Stouffer operstions in Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and Philadelphia before taking over as manager of the Academy dining hall in 1958. Schutte served as president of the Western Pennsylvannia Restaurant Association for two term.

    Kurz, who joined the administrative staff in 1961 to work on the Program for Excellence funding raising campaign, will continue as secretary of the Culver SUmmer Schools ALumni Association when he takes over as manager of the Inn under Schutte in the spring. Kurz is a graduate of Beloit (Wis. College and the Culver Summer Schools. Before joining the staff Kurz was engaged in advertising, public relations and fund-raising activities. The Culver Inn and Motel are located on the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee and on the campus of Culver Military Academy, nationally known college preparatory school.

    In taking over the Inn management, Schutte and Kurz will arrange for conventions and business meeting. The Culver In has 14 rooms, while the complete aircondition Motel has 64 untis. Available for conventions, business meetings, parties and receptions are many of the facilities of the Academy. These include the 1,500 seat auditorium, a smaller 300 seat theater, complete dining facilities, meeting rooms, and such recreation activities as tennis, golf, swimming and boating.

    The dinding hall sevres 850 cadets from September to June and 1,600 boys who are enrolled in the Culver SUmmer Schools during July and August.


1963 - OCt 2 - William Schutte, manager of the dinning hall of the Culver Military Academy, was honroed for his 25 years of serivce with Stouffer Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio - the firm operates the dining hall at the academy with Mr. Schutte as manager.

During this period when the academy contracted the dining hall out to the Stouffer Corporation the academy recieved funds for "Special Milk Program for Children schools and child care institutions" and was involved in a controversy of whether being qualified to recieve such funds - which was found in "Decisions of The Comptroller of the United States VOLUME 46 JULY 1 1966 TO JUNE 30 1967 pg 6-11"

1970'S Academy decided to hire the Saga Corporation to take over the food services (Dining Hall) the top few people were After a few years, the administration felt Saga wasn’t living up to its promises, and their contract wasn’t renewed. Thus the Academy resumed full control of the food services.

1986 - The Lay Dining Hall renovation in 1986 was a gift to the school in mormory of Herman W. Lay Sr. by his wife Amelia Lay Hodges, and son H. Ward Lay Jr. H. Ward Lay Jr. ('64) and his mother also dedicated the Lay Student center in memory of H. Ward Jr's son., H. Ward II ('84) who died just weeks after his graduation from the Academey . ( Herman Warden Lay Sr founder of H.W. Lay Co., Inc., now part of the Frito-Lay corporation; Herman Warden Lay Jr., was a Dallas-based co-founder of a bottling company in Mexico for Pepsi and 7 Up).

1986, the lower level of the Dining Hall was remodeled and the Bookdstore AKA QM Store was given the space at the west end. From 1911 various of activities occupied the lower level: the Academy library 1912-1924; a canteen; bowling alley; YMCA office and model train layout.

In 1986, structural flaws in the sub-floor required its demolition. It was replaced exactly as in the original colors and design

About the old Snack Bar moved over(c1991 when the Culver Inn was demolished to where it is now. The snack bar employees lost ALL of their seniority, one of which had 40 years! Everyone went back to zero and the food service employees were treated so poorly, that is why they ultimately brought in the union to the dining hall/snack barbr>
In 2001, they again tried to shop it around for a vendor. No takers. Lots of companies came and put in bids but in the end they remained self-operating.

2011 - Saw renovation and a name chane to the "Lay Dining Center" Weigand Construction done the expansion and renovation of the Mess/Dining Hall. The Lay family name now graces



Culver school starts program to reduce food waste and feed hungry people

Five days a week, dining hall staff work with student waiters to turn leftover food into microwaveable meals that go to places like Meals on Wheels and the Culver Food Pantry.

Culver Academies worked with the Marshall County Food Policy Council to make sure the packaging followed all regulations.

Culver has also partnered with a local dairy farm to repurpose its food scraps into energy


2018 - May - There is rumor that the Academy is once again turning to outsourcing the dining hall/snack bar; implied is that the employees will no longer be employees of the Academy but of the food service company which is yet to be hired - loosing all seniority and benefits.







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