Hotel Online  Special Report

 California Hotelier Terry Brown Gifts $1 million
to San Diego State University's Hospitality
and Tourism Management program


SAN DIEGO (Wednesday, June 22, 2005) -- San Diego State University today announced a $1 million contribution to its acclaimed Hospitality and Tourism Management program from California hotelier Terry Brown, president of Atlas Hotels Inc. The gift will endow an Executive-in-Residence program that will bring top hotel industry executives to the classroom.

"Imagine yourself at 19, and the person who is teaching one of your classes is running a multi-million dollar business. When you complement tenure track faculty with senior executives in the industry, there's a lot of synergy that occurs in the classroom," said Carl Winston, director of the university’s Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) program. "It's not just about an academician teaching the theory; it's about a senior executive saying, here's how you apply the theory."

The Brown Family Hotel Executive-in-Residence endowment, which will fund bringing top executives from the hotel industry into the classroom, is the third gift to the HTM program of $1 million or more in its first five years. San Diego hotelier L. Robert Payne launched the program with an initial $1.2 million investment, followed by a $1 million gift in 2003 from national restaurateur Norman Brinker to establish a restaurant focused Executive-in-Residence program.

“Our family is delighted to partner with San Diego State by contributing to this extraordinary program.   We selected this program because of its unique combination of rigorous scholarship and real-world experience that provides students with a first-class, comprehensive education that will prepare them to become the next generation of industry leaders,” Brown said.

Brown, whose properties include San Diego's landmark Town and Country Resort, has been an avid supporter of the HTM program since 2000 when he made a $100,000 gift to help build the HTM program in a city that is one of the country's top tourism destinations. The Brown family has since welcomed program students as interns and its graduates as full-time employees. The program's success at attracting major private-sector support is matched by its results. Winston reported nearly 100 percent job placement for this year's 60 graduates. The majority of graduates accepted positions in San Diego.

"This program is a blueprint for how to engage a city's intellectual and entrepreneurial leadership to fuel economic growth," said Ron L. Fowler, chair and CEO of Liquid Investments Inc. and board chair of The Campanile Foundation, SDSU's private fundraising organization. "We applaud the generosity of the Brown family for making this important investment in San Diego State’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program."

The HTM program, an interdisciplinary degree program, draws its curriculum from SDSU's College of Business Administration and College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts and requires two, 300-hour industry internships. The program offers three emphases: hotel operations and management, restaurant operations and management, and attractions, events and convention management. The program – the only one of its kind in the country to require a 3.0 GPA of entering students – also is home to a research institute, a continuing professional development component and a full-time job-placement center.

Community residents working in San Diego's third-largest industry will also benefit from this gift, Winston said, since the program invites Executives-in-Residence to meet with local hospitality executives and program alumni. "We get great reviews when we're able to bring someone at that level to talk about their views of the industry, offer industry advice and say, here are some of the tricks of the trade," Winston said.

“Our Hospitality and Tourism Management Program exemplifies SDSU’s commitment to serving the needs of our community. Since the program’s inception, we’ve involved key industry leaders in developing curriculum and designing a comprehensive program that offers our students the opportunity to develop real-world experience through hands-on training. Many of our industry partners have expressed how pleased they are to have access to SDSU’s HTM graduates because our graduates are prepared to enter the work force and offer skills and talents of immediate value," said SDSU President Stephen L. Weber.

San Diego State University is the oldest and largest higher education institution in the San Diego region. Since it was founded in 1897, the university has grown to offer bachelor’s degrees in 81 areas, master’s degrees in 72 areas and doctorates in 16 areas. SDSU’s nearly 33,000 students participate in an academic curriculum distinguished by direct contact with faculty and an increasing international emphasis that prepares them for a global future. 


Renee Haines
SDSU Marketing & Communications
Tel: (619) 594-4298
[email protected]

Also See: L. Robert Payne and Norman Brinker Provide Significant Funding to San Diego State University's Hospitality and Tourism Management Program / Oct 2001
Former Hotel Executive Michael J. Corr To Teach Hotel Management at San Diego State University / Feb 2003

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