While petitions around the country circulate demanding that American academic institutions rename buildings that pay tribute to historic figures tarnished by their ties to practices of racial subjugation, this article imagines a future in which namesake buildings can heighten inclusivity, equity, and universities’ commitment to the economic well-being of their surrounding communities. Specifically, the article draws upon the meaning of the term “transformative” to examine the philanthropic endeavor of an Italian American family whose donations made possible the creation of a culinary science center at Auburn University in Alabama. Drawing upon the center's “garden to table” slogan, the article examines the intersection between Italian American gardening traditions for self-sufficiency and Black Alabamians’ historical involvement in farming as a practice for self-sustenance. Named the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center, this facility can commemorate the history of its Italian American donors, uphold the rich history of Black farming in Alabama, be a driving force in advancing diversity on campus, and fulfill the mission of its land-grant institution by becoming the proponent of transformative food and transformative placemaking.

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