The gift is an investment in student success, faculty expertise and innovation
POMONA, Calif. – Carol and Jim Collins have made a $10 million leadership gift, the largest single donation ever to The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona, to establish the Carol and James A. Collins Excellence Endowment.
“The growth and national reputation of The Collins College are a direct result of Carol and Jim’s longtime philanthropic support and their belief in the power of education to shape lives and better communities,” said University President Soraya M. Coley. “Their latest gift to the university is remarkable, but it is no surprise based on what remarkable people they both are.”
The gift will provide scholarships and internship opportunities for academically talented, historically underrepresented undergraduate and graduate hospitality management students who would otherwise have little chance to pursue higher education. It will also support the college’s first-class leadership and management education by investing in resources for faculty, enabling them to continue to be steeped in the cutting-edge trends in industry.
The donation supports the vision of both Cal Poly Pomona and The Collins College to enhance innovation by expanding and creating new programs. Among them are a Ph.D. in hospitality management, expanded international outreach, and new restaurant and classroom technologies.
“We are honored to provide a perpetual pathway for educating future leaders,” Jim Collins said. "Carol and I are proud of the college's reputation and we are pleased to make such a great investment in our students and faculty.”
As the millennial generation continues to improve its economic standing and assumes greater leadership in the hospitality industry, the customer experience will evolve. On-demand smart technology, sustainable practices, contemporary design and locally inspired ambience will become prevalent, making innovation a top priority for companies and Cal Poly Pomona. The Collins endowment will fund innovative initiatives and programs for students to thrive in a world-class, industry-standard environment, giving them a crucial edge as they prepare for careers in a competitive field.
“We are truly humbled by Carol and Jim Collins’ generous support and leadership over the last three decades,” said Lea Dopson, dean of The Collins College. “Their contributions have helped us become the country’s premier hospitality management college. Their gift endows The Collins College’s future and its status as a world-class institution known for shaping current and future hospitality leaders.”
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About The Collins College of Hospitality Management
The Collins College of Hospitality Management has the fourth largest hospitality and tourism management undergraduate degree program in the country with approximately 1,400 students, educated by a team of internationally recognized faculty. Its Master of Science degree program is ranked as one of the nation’s top 10 hospitality and tourism graduate programs and is the only one in the state of California. The college is dedicated to advancing the field of hospitality management through its collaborative learn by doing approach, its profound appreciation of diverse backgrounds, ideas and cultures, and its strategic integration of scholarship, service and applied learning. The Collins College is a preeminent and global source of future leaders in the growing hospitality and tourism management industry.
The Collins College of Hospitality Management's renowned undergraduate degree program has an impressive job placement rate with 82 percent of its students in management roles upon graduation.
Selection of influential Collins College graduates in hospitality in the region and state
- Michele Gendreau (1983), director of food and beverage experience integration, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
- Bridget Bilinski (1979), area vice president, Marriott Internaitonal, Inc.
- Bruce Gorelick (1978), general manager, Loew’s Regency, San Francisco
- Eva Wassermann (1986), senior vice president, GEM Realty Capital, Inc.
- Mark Peel (1978), owner of three restaurants and author of three cookbooks
- Jill Bosich (1993), chef/owner of Cowgirl Cookie and educator
- Lera Van Straatum (2009), operations director, City Club of Los Angeles, ClubCorp
- Jon Farzam (2011), vice president, Shore Hotel & Ocean View Hotel
- Art Barajas (1992), chief operating officer and general manager, Glendora Country Club
Photos Available by Request.