Faculty Club new menu and accommodations create a ‘metamorphosis’

Faculty Club
Executive Chef Graham Williams of the Stanford Faculty Club

If you haven’t been to the Faculty Club lately, you ought to make a point to check out the new menu and the new accommodations.

Fearing that the Lagunita Drive facility was becoming stagnant, RAY PURPUR, president of the Faculty Club, said he and fellow members of the all-volunteer board set about revitalizing everything from the dining room menu to the hotel accommodations to the pub to the private dining areas.

The result, he said, is a “metamorphosis.”

And now Purpur, deputy athletic director, is setting his sights on convincing more university schools, centers and departments that the Faculty Club is the place to hold events, celebrations and commemorations.

Talk to him because he’s ready to make a deal.

“We’ve got a lot of space to rent out,” Purpur said, adding that he has already struck up agreements with such organizations as the Stanford Historical Society to consider the Faculty Club the group’s home for its frequent events.

Purpur said the club, which is an independent organization founded in 1908, currently serves 2,405 individual members and 276 department members. Individual members are primarily emeriti, faculty and staff.

Membership has its benefits. For instance, the club offers its members a free weekday breakfast and such special events as wine tastings and holiday family buffets. In addition, only members can reserve one of the four guest rooms and three suites for guests.

Those benefits plus an abiding loyalty among members has kept the Faculty Club financially healthy during a time when similar institutions at other colleges and universities are struggling, he said.

“This is really the only place you can have a sit-down, tablecloth meal on campus,” said Purpur, who joined the board in 2005 and was elected president in 2010. That meal features the signature dishes of executive chef GRAHAM WILLIAMS.

As evidence of his association with the Cardinal, Purpur ensured that the renovated pub area features sports photographs. The pub is now open every weekday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. with free appetizers.

“When I first joined, this wasn’t a very kid-friendly place,” he said. “But if you come now in the evening, you’ll see kids running all over the place. This has become a wonderful place to enjoy the social aspects of Stanford.”