CHAUTAUQUA - While visiting Chautauqua Institution on Thursday, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was treated to a celebratory dinner at the Athenaeum Hotel.
According to Bruce Stanton, general manager for the Athenaeum, Roberts and the nearly 250 guests enjoyed an intimate setting, a nice meal and an evening program.
"Every event is exciting, but there's always that upper level of excitement when it's the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court," said Stanton. "And, we're representing the Chautauqua County community in welcoming him here to Jamestown and the Athenaeum Hotel. We want his overall total experience at the Jackson Center and the Athenaeum Hotel here at Chautauqua to be one that certainly makes an impression on him."
Over the course of the 19 years Stanton has been at Chautauqua Institution, he has had an opportunity to be involved with many Robert H. Jackson Center events.
"When it comes to Jackson Center events I usually take on a leadership role - but, we have a great staff here," said Stanton. "April Seibert, director of conferences and special events, has played an integral role in this. We have a great food and beverage director and a team of chefs who (designed) a really nice dinner."
The dinner menu had been in the planning stages for several months, said Stanton. More than 220 area residents reserved a spot at the dinner, and Stanton expected the dining room to be filled to capacity. A small stage was set up in the dining room for an evening program, which featured an interview-style presentation with Roberts.
"We try to design a menu that can be done for a large group with consistent quality and plate presentation," said Stanton. "I think the nature of the attendance we see really says a lot about Chautauqua County and how they can get behind something like this to show their appreciation."
In the past, Chautauqua Institution has also hosted the likes of President Bill Clinton, who visited for debate preparations. Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Gov. George Pataki are also among government officials whom Stanton has taken part in hosting.
"There's always a sense of patriotism that comes into this," said Stanton. "Whenever we have someone of this stature coming in they all rise to that level. And, this (compares) to any of those events."