BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 2, 2007 – Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business hosted a recent visit by Marriott International executives that included a celebration of a $1 million gift by the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation to endow a professorship in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department.
The funds will enable the department to recruit a prominent scholar for the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Professorship in Hospitality Finance and Revenue Management, said department head Rick Perdue.
Thanking Marriott for the gift, Perdue said, “Our students need financial management knowledge to succeed in the hospitality profession. This professorship gives us the resources necessary to attract the very best scholar in this field, which would also help us attract superior students, advance student learning, and promote professional education in hospitality management.”
Steve Bauman, Marriott vice president for talent acquisition and selection, said preparing hospitality leaders who have the technical know-how plus the ability to motivate, educate, and develop others is essential — not only to Marriott but to the hospitality industry in general.
“That’s the kind of experience that Virginia Tech provides its students, which is a key reason the Marriott Foundation has contributed significantly to this university’s efforts to raise the bar when it comes to educating our industry’s future leaders,” said Bauman. “At the core of any world-class program is a faculty dedicated to academic excellence and currency. We believe this endowed professorship will contribute immensely to not only developing financial acumen in your students but as another means to attract the very best high-school graduates to your business school and the hospitality and tourism management program.”
The foundation is also giving the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department (HTM) $5,000 a year for the next three years to fund scholarships in memory of the victims of the April 16th campus tragedy.
During their day-long visit, the 10 Marriott executives gave lectures on various aspects of the hospitality industry, led class discussions, listened to student presentations, and interacted informally with faculty and students at a lunch and reception, both of which were catered and hosted by HTM students. The executives visited classes on lodging management, business policy and strategy, hospitality marketing, food and beverage and human resource management, tourism analysis, and financial management of hospitality organizations.
The visitors, several of whom are Pamplin alumni and friends, represent such areas as finance, front office management, regional operations, human resources, global brand management, and organizational capability and include recruiters and the executive director of the Marriott Foundation.
“Marriott Day” said Perdue, offers “a wonderful opportunity for our faculty and students to learn first hand from a top name in the hotel business.” The event, he said, is an extension of the department’s close relationship with Marriott International, which includes active participation by Marriott executives on the department’s advisory board, numerous internships, and frequent campus visits by recruiters. The department organized a similar visit last fall.
Marriott International Inc. is a leading lodging company with more than 2,900 lodging properties in 69 countries and territories. Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites, and Bulgari brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club, Horizons by Marriott Vacation Club, and The Ritz-Carlton Club and Grand Residences by Marriott brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and had approximately 151,000 employees at 2006 year-end. It is ranked as the lodging industry’s most admired company and one of the best places to work for by Fortune magazine. In fiscal year 2006, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of $12.2 billion.
Virginia Tech’s nationally ranked Pamplin College of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting and information systems, business information technology, economics, finance, hospitality and tourism management, management, and marketing. The college emphasizes the development of ethical values and leadership, technology, and international business skills. A member of its marketing faculty directs the interdisciplinary Sloan Foundation Forest Industries Center at Virginia Tech. The college’s other centers focus on business leadership, business diversity, electronic commerce, organizational performance, and services innovation. The college is committed to serving business and society through the expertise of its faculty, alumni, and students. It is named in honor of alumnus Robert B. Pamplin, the former CEO of Georgia-Pacific, and businessman, philanthropist, and alumnus Robert B. Pamplin Jr.