Richard G. Staley ’62
Grove City College’s central academic building was rededicated Friday as the Staley Hall of Arts and Letters in honor of a distinguished and generous alumnus.
Richard G. Staley ’62, the hall’s new namesake, said he was humbled. “Growing up in the Allegheny Valley, I could never have dreamed of the impact this college would have on my life, nor that I would be successful enough to one day give back in this way,” he said.
Staley, a native of Natrona Heights, Pa., is the founder of Flavor House, Inc., a West Coast-based developer and manufacturer of unique flavors found in many popular products.
Last year, he donated $4 million to Grove City College. It is the largest unrestricted gift in the College’s history and it made an immediate and lasting impact on the College’s ability to sustain its transformational mission. Unrestricted gifts enhance the ability to manage both the challenges of today and the strategic opportunities of tomorrow, from scholarships to unanticipated expenses, such as those related to the covid pandemic.
Staley is one of the College’s most generous supporters. Previous gifts in support of entrepreneurship and the sciences are recognized by a named laboratory in STEM Hall and the Richard G. Staley ’62 Visionary Entrepreneurship Lecture Series.
To recognize his willingness and ability to provide a strong financial foundation for the College’s future, the Board of Trustees approved renaming the Hall of Arts & Letters for Staley. Built in 2002, the hall, is a classroom and academic office building on the east side of campus that serves as the home of the Alva J. Calderwood School of Arts & Letters.
Staley Hall of Arts and Letters was rededicated at a ceremony that featured Staley and his family, members of the Board of Trustees and Alumni Council, the College Leadership Team, faculty, staff and students.
Representing a grateful student body, Senior Class President Patrick Finley ’21 and Student Government Association President Meredith Gartman ’21 presented Staley with a Wendell August Forge tray depicting Staley Hall.
“Buildings represent so much more than the bricks and mortar that they are,” Grove City College President Paul J. McNulty ’80 said. Staley Hall, he noted, houses a number of disciplines and is the home of the College’s humanities core, a place where students from every major take classes in civilization, literature and history and gain the knowledge to develop wisdom and a worldview. “A lot of lives have been transformed in classrooms in this building,” he said.
Chair of the Board of Trustees Edward D. Breen ’78 and McNulty hailed Staley’s success and generosity. “He took the fruit of his great accomplishment and brought it back to his alma mater,” McNulty said.
“It brings me great joy to know that the principles of faith and freedom are being preserved in this building and that future teachers, ethical business leaders, innovative entrepreneurs and more will continue to be equipped here for many years to come,” Staley said.
Staley earned a chemical engineering degree from the College in 1962. He founded Flavor House, Inc. in 1977. The Southern California business remains a privately owned, 100-percent debt-free company. It runs its own on-site research and development labs to work directly with its customers such as McCormick and Maruchan. In 1985, furthering the company’s brand, Staley founded Staley Equipment Co. to manufacture and sell blending equipment to be used in the food, pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic and plastic industries.