FLINT — Joseph Klobucher, brother of John “Big John” Klobucar, the founder of Big John Steak & Onion restaurants, has donated $100,000 to Mott Community College’s Culinary Arts Program. Klobucher made the donation after touring the College’s new state-of-theart Culinary Arts Institute in downtown Flint.
It is the third gift to the College made by Joseph Klobucher and the Big John family. Previous gifts include $100,000 in 2012 to the College’s culinary arts program in memory of his brother, and a second $100,000 gift in 2014.
Klobucher’s newest $100,000 gift will provide students with scholarships, and opportunities for study abroad experiences to study diverse styles of cooking and food preparation.
“MCC is deeply honored to receive yet another tremendous gift from Joseph Klobucher who is known for his passion in community education,” said Lennetta Coney, President of the Foundation for Mott Community College (FMCC). “The college offers an excellent program that prepares students for exciting career opportunities in the food service industry. We’re training future bakers, chefs, food service managers, restaurant owners, hospitality professionals, and more. With Mr. Klobucher’s help, our deserving students have a chance to make their mark in the world.”
Klobucher, who has been involved with his brother’s restaurants for years, as well as operating his own franchise, Big John Chicken & Sandwich Factory in Caro, has a long history of creating educational programs and services in the Caro and Flint communities. As one of the early adapters of community education, he developed strong ties to the community while developing vocational education programs, as well as adult continuing education programs.
He started the first off-campus college classes in Michigan with Delta Community College (DCC). Many classes, taught by DCC faculty, were hosted by Klobucher in Caro. This concept was ahead of its time — faculty traveling to where the students are. It was copied nationwide. He also embraced the community by bringing national and international entertainment to local communities. He brought the Geoffrey Ballet, the Atlanta Ballet, Will Geer Americana, Up With People, Michigan Art Train and many other fine entertainers to his community over the years.
Klobucher was the recipient of MCC’s most prestigious honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, in 2013. “We’re so grateful for this gift and the constant generosity of Joe Klobucher and the Big John family,” added Coney. — G.G.