A Tribute to Former Dean Kevin Duffy

JWU Providence Interim Dean Susan Marshall, Ed.D., shares a tribute to her late colleague, Kevin Duffy, who served many roles during his years at Johnson & Wales.

It is with deep sorrow and respect that I share the sad news that Kevin Duffy, former dean and most recently, a College of Food Innovation & Technology faculty member, passed away unexpectedly on October 19.

Kevin Duffy M.A.T. '04 working at JWU Providence in the early days, circa 1979.

Duffy began his JWU career in 1979 as a chef-instructor and worked as a faculty member until he left the university in 1986 to open his own operation, the Greenville Gourmet Shop.

After 10 years of success, he returned to JWU as a faculty member in 1996 and began to climb the leadership ladder, first serving as chair for the bachelor of science Culinary Arts program, then moving to assistant director of Culinary Education (1999-2004), and rising to dean in fall 2004, a position he held through 2012.

After a brief appointment as director of Culinary Education at Virginia College, in Savannah, Georgia, he again returned to JWU in 2013, serving as a faculty member of the College of Culinary Arts.

After a long and successful career as chef and faculty, Duffy retired from JWU in May 2019. Over his many years at JWU, he has been recognized with multiple honors; he received the Robert M. Nograd Teacher of the Year in 1985; the Les Amis d’Escoffier Award in 1998; served as the Team Manager for the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany in 2004; was named Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Rhode Island chapter in 2006; won the President’s Award by the ACF, Rhode Island chapter in 2007; and many others.

At JWU, Duffy was instrumental in developing Study Abroad programs, selecting partner schools, approving program outcomes, and monitoring students while traveling. He also developed and oversaw culinary exchange programs in Ireland, France, and the Azores.

Duffy leaves three daughters — Shauna Duffy, Tara Duffy Girard (Johnny) and Keara Duffy — three grandsons — Gavin, Jameson, and Declan Girard — his former wife Robyn, and many close colleagues and friends. Plans to honor Kevin are currently under discussion and will be shared once announced.

Kevin Duffy M.A.T. '04 Faculty Portrait

Kevin Duffy M.A.T. '04 with JWU CCA faculty, 2009.