KIM SMITH DEDAM
PAUL SMITHS — Graduates of the Class of 2013 will hear words of wisdom from a world-class restaurateur as they receive diplomas Saturday.
Speaking at the 66th Paul Smith’s College commencement is Wally Ganzi, co-owner of The Palm Restaurants and Palm Restaurant Group, based in Manhattan.
The Palm has built first-class, fine-dining restaurants throughout the United States and abroad.
Ganzi is a 1963 hotel-management graduate of Paul Smith’s and will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree at the ceremony this weekend.
“Ganzi’s grandfather, John, opened the first of the renowned restaurants in New York City in 1926 with a partner, Pio Bozzi,” college spokesman Ken Aaron said in a press release announcing highlights of upcoming ceremonies.
“The Palm remains owned by the Ganzi and Bozzi families to this day. When Wally Ganzi began at the Palm in the early 1960s, he learned the trade from his father and grandfather.”
Ganzi continues to recruit staff for his restaurants, both for front and back of the house, from among top Paul Smith’s graduates, Aaron said.
“He is the namesake of the Wally Ganzi Jr. Restaurant Training Center on the Paul Smith’s campus, which is outfitted with a kitchen equipped to Palm specifications.
“The 40-seat restaurant gives culinary and hospitality students the opportunity to train in a white-tablecloth environment without leaving campus.”
The dining center named for the Palm’s restaurateur is open Friday and Saturday evenings from June 28 until Aug. 17.
Graduation ceremonies begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Paul Smith’s College campus, honoring about 320 students in the 2013 graduating class.
Email Kim Smith Dedam: firstname.lastname@example.org