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David W. Davis Named General Manager of the
Atherton Hotel and Ranchers Club

Hotel Operated by the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration
at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma

February 10, 20010 - The College of Human Environmental Sciences at Oklahoma State University has announced that David W. Davis, clinical instructor in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration, has been promoted to general manager of the Atherton Hotel and Ranchers Club.

Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in restaurant, hotel and institutional management from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in hospitality management from the University of Houston. He is pursuing a doctoral degree at OSU with research emphasis on revenue and sales management.

In addition to his role as general manager, Davis is responsible for teaching and overseeing students in two HRAD laboratories – The Atherton and The Ranchers Club.

School of Hotel and Restaurant Administrator Director Bill Ryan said he is pleased Davis has taken on the responsibility of general manager.

“David brings a unique combination of real world experience, a commitment to service excellence, and a passion for supporting the land-grant mission of instruction, research and outreach to this position,” Ryan said. “Students who are in the Atherton and Ranchers Club labs will participate in dynamic learning opportunities that will enhance their lives and careers.”

“To be able to run a full service hotel operation while also teaching about that topic in an academic setting is very rewarding to me,” Davis said.  “Teaching has always been a focus of mine as a hotel manager even before becoming a clinical instructor at the university level.  Now, I get to teach in both the real world environment of running a dynamic and exciting business, and also in a classroom setting that includes job shadowing and situational exposure.”

Before coming to OSU, Davis worked for John Q. Hammons Hotels and Resorts. He served as the general manager of the Hampton Inn & Suites in Springdale, Ark., the front office manager of the Coral Springs Marriott Hotel in Coral Springs, Fla., and the director of revenue management and sales manager at the Radisson Hotel in Houston. 

In 2006, Davis received the Hilton Corporate award nomination for Global Sales Partner of the Year for his work with Tyson foods, and he earned the Marriott International Conversion of the Year award for his part in the Coral Springs hotel’s conversion l from a Radisson to a Marriott in 2002.

Davis said he wants to continue the relationship of the Atherton and Ranchers Club with OSU, its alumni and donors, as well as enhance the research focus of the laboratories.

“I plan to incorporate rigorous and influential research into every aspect of our operations,” Davis said. “I want the Atherton and Ranchers Club to offer a live research environment to the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration, as well as all departments on campus.” 

He said he wants to maintain the hotel and restaurant’s reputation as some of the finest places to stay and dine in the state.  His plans include improvements to the facilities and “rebranding” the Atherton and Ranchers Club image.

“It will represent an unparalleled level of service and commitment to quality standards that guests of the Atherton and Ranchers Club expect,” he said.

The Atherton Hotel at OSU is both a historic gem on the campus of Oklahoma State University and a learning laboratory for today’s students.

Built in 1950, the Student Union Hotel has been an historical place for alumni, families, and visitors to gather. Among the special features of the Union Club Hotel were the 82 guest rooms. Each newly decorated room had restful, eye-appealing furnishings; wall-to-wall carpeting, air-conditioning, a private bath, and guest dial telephone service. The hotel became known for the circulating ice water, a faucet with chilled water in the system. The Union Club had automatic elevator service and ample parking space adjacent to the entrances. Moderate room rates appealed to parents and university guests.

Throughout the years, many famous guests have visited or stayed at the hotel. A few of the guests include Presidents Truman, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush. The Atherton Hotel has also served Senators John Edwards and Joseph Lieberman plus other Presidential candidates as the host property for political debates on campus. Bob Hope, Haile Selassie, Vincent Price, Will Rogers, Jr., Bill Crosby, Faith Hill, Sinbad, Wilt Chamberlain and Coretta Scott King are among the many other high profile guests that have stayed at the hotel.

The Atherton Hotel has a rich history of serving Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, and Oklahoma. The Atherton Hotel is now a part of the College of Human Environmental Sciences and the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration serving as a “living laboratory” for the education and experience of future hospitality professionals. For more than 75 years, the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration has been providing an outstanding education for our future hospitality professionals.

In 2001, the Student Union Hotel became The Atherton Hotel at OSU named in honor of Mr. Bill Atherton, an OSU graduate that spearheaded the renovation. A recent $6-million renovation and revitalization has imbued the hotel with a stately elegance and sophistication in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The Atherton was selected for membership in Historic Hotels of America in 2004. A hotel must be at least 50 years old and have significance in the community to qualify for membership.

In the continuing tradition of excellence and growth, The Atherton Hotel opened a new restaurant in the fall of 2005 called The Ranchers Club. It is upscale destination dining that features prime steaks, the freshest in fish and fowl, sumptuous sides and desserts. An additional new division, Rancher’s Club Catering, now offers full catering and beverage service both on and off campus.

The Atherton Hotel and Ranchers Club are operated by the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at OSU. For more information or to make reservations, go to or


Julie Barnard
Manager, Marketing and Communications 
128 HES
Stillwater, OK 74078-6113

Also See: Oklahoma State is One of Only Five Hotel Schools in US with Teaching Hotels on Campus / October 2002

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