Hotel Online  Special Report


Larry Culver, Chairman and CEO of InnVentures, Inc., Gives
$500,000 to Washington State University's School
of Hospitality Business Management


PULLMAN, Wash. – June 22, 2007 - In the midst of celebrating its 75th anniversary, the School of Hospitality Business Management at Washington State University has been given another reason to celebrate – the support and generosity of its alumni.

Alumnus Larry Culver (’64 Hospitality Business Management) and his wife Vickie recently finalized an agreement with the SHBM to create the Larry and Vickie Culver Hospitality Fund at WSU with an initial gift of $500,000. The announcement came shortly before the last night’s 75th anniversary gala at the Westin Hotel in Seattle.

The gift will be used to fund a position within the SHBM for a liaison between the School and hospitality industry representatives and corporations. The position will also serve as an alumni coordinator for the SHBM as well as the internship coordinator, placing the school’s students with hospitality organizations.

“The Culver’s generosity is a true reflection on both the school and its alumni,” said SHBM Director W. Terry Umbreit. “Their financial commitment to our students will be a tremendous benefit to the school’s continued success.”

Culver, chairman and CEO of InnVentures, Inc., a hotel management and development company, is a dedicated volunteer for both the SHBM and the College of Business. He and his wife are very active in community activities and support a variety of charitable organizations that help young people get started in life. Together, the pair is committed to helping WSU students in their pursuit of careers in the hospitality industry.

During last night’s celebration dinner, Culver, along with nearly 100 other industry leaders, was recognized by WSU President Elson S. Floyd and Umbreit for his contribution to the hospitality industry over the years. Other honorees include: John Ascuaga, founder and owner of John Ascuaga’s Nugget Hotel and Casino in Sparks, Nevada (’52 Hotel and Restaurant Administration); Jerry Burtenshaw, Chairman, ABC Services (’58 Hotel and Restaurant Administration); Harry Mullikin, former CEO of Westin Hotels & Resorts (’51 Liberal Arts); Georgina Tucker, retired Westin Hotels and Resorts executive (’33 Home Economics); and Dennis DeYoung, Partner, Grand Slam Licensing, Inc (’68 Hotel and Restaurant Administration).

As the school continues to celebrate its 75th year of hospitality education, more events are taking place around the nation for alumni, friends, and supporters on both coasts. On Sept. 8, there will be celebration for all SHBM graduates at the Dry Soda Company in Seattle, three hours prior to the WSU vs. San Diego State football game. And on Nov. 3, there will be a celebration in San Francisco in conjunction with the Cougar football game against Cal Berkeley.

Additionally, the campus Burtenshaw Lecture Celebration will take place in Pullman on Oct. 18, 19, and 20, honoring alumnus DeVere Jerry (’56 Hotel and Restaurant Administration) and Angelina Burtenshaw. The lecture series was created in 1981 to honor the memory of their son, Calvin Brett. The Burtenshaw’s also created a memorial scholarship in their son’s name. Through the lecture series, dozens of hospitality leaders have given thousands of students invaluable insights into the industry.

The hospitality program began as the “hotel management” major in the College of Home Economics in 1932. It became “hotel and restaurant administration” in 1951, and “hospitality business management” in 2002. The SHBM offers a hospitality-focused business education from the fully accredited WSU College of Business, with expert instruction in the field of hospitality business management. It is consistently rated in the top five percent of the 170 similar programs in the nation.

For more information about events visit the anniversary Web site at


Frances Ryan
WSU CB Public Relations/Communications Coordinator






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