1973: The Program is Founded

Cal Poly Pomona becomes the first university on the West Coast to offer a four-year degree in hospitality management. The program forms in response to a call out by business leaders, led by Carl N. Karcher of Carl’s Jr., for qualified professionals due to the hospitality industry's explosive growth in the 1970s. The university hires its founding director, Dr. Donald Lundberg, to teach courses in the School of Business of Administration with one other faculty member and 34 students in the department its first year.

1981: A Campaign for the Future

After the idea from faculty member Dr. Bob Small and restaurateur Patrick Terrail of building a separate facility for a high-quality hospitality management training center at CPP, a full-fledged campaign launches to fund the construction. Along with Karcher, Jim Collins of Sizzler International, Richard Frank of Lawry’s Restaurants, Al Levie of Gulliver’s Restaurants, and Paul Handlery of Handlery Hotels get involved and become committed to the program’s success.

1986: The Program Separates From CBA

Cal Poly Pomona's hospitality department breaks away from the College of Business Administration to become the Center for Hospitality Management. The program remains housed in Building 6 until the future hospitality complex opens.

1988: Phase I Groundbreaking

A capital campaign is complete having raised $4.5 million, leading to the ground breaking of the future James and Carol Collins Center for Hospitality Management. With over 800 students, 13 faculty members and generous donor support, this is an exciting time.

1990: The Collins Center Opens

The James and Carol Collins Center for Hospitality Management opens (building 79), which includes classrooms, offices, kitchen laboratories and the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch.

1991: From Center to School

The Collins Center becomes the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, promoting Dr. Small as the its first dean. Student enrollment and number of faculty members continues to increase creating a need for more facilities, so a second capital campaign begins. Julia Child gives a master class.

1999: The School is Named

The school is named The Collins School of Hospitality Management in recognition of a $10 million donation from the Collins family. This major gift, as well as donations from industry partners, enable the construction of two more buildings.

2000: Phase II Groundbreaking

The construction of bbuildings 79A & 79B start with plans to more than double the space of classrooms, labs and offices

2021: Dedicating Buildings 79A and 79B

Dedication ceremonies for the opening of buildings 79A and 79B take place.

2008: School Becomes a College

Then University President J. Michael Ortiz leads a signing ceremony to designate the school as a college, enabling the expansion of its degree program. It remains the only hospitality management college on the West Coast. Carol and Jim Collins pledged to match up to $5 million in donations for the construction of a $10 million academic building, starting a new capital campaign.

2010: Masters Program Established

The Collins College launches a Master of Science in Hospitality Management graduate degree program, the only one of its kind in California.

2013: Phase III Groundbreaking

The ceremonial groundbreaking of a $10 million dollar 15,000 square-foot expansion to house the college's graduate program celebrates the start of the Phase III construction. In addition to the $5 million match from the Collins Family to fund the expansion, Panda Restaurant Group founders Andrew and Peggy Cherng donated $2.5 million; The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation gave $2 million; and prominent Inland Empire businessman Eugene Park donated $1 million to the college. 

2013: Lobbying at the Capitol

The CSU Hospitality Management Education Initiative lobbies state leaders in Sacramento for support of hospitality education.

2014: Phase III Beam Signing

A beam signing ceremony was held to celebrating significant progress during the final stretch of the construction of the $10 million building. 

2015: Phase III Grand Opening

In January 2015, a beam signing ceremony was held to celebrating significant progress during the final stretch of the construction of the $10 million building. The project was completed in November 2015 and a grand opening celebration was held in its honor. View event photos.

2016: LEED Gold Certification

In April 2016, The Collins College announced that its newly opened building, which houses the program's nationally ranked graduate program, was awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council for its commitment to sustainability throughout all phases of development.

2018: Jim & Carol Collins Donate $10 Million

In, 2018, Carol and Jim Collins made a $10 million leadership gift to establish the Carol and James A. Collins Excellence Endowment to provide scholarships and internship opportunities for academically talented, historically underrepresented undergraduate and graduate hospitality management students, invest in resources for faculty, enabling them to continue to be steeped in the cutting-edge trends in industry, and enhance innovation by expanding and creating new programs.

2020: Pandemic & the Collins Promise Stipend

The World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic and the state implements shutdown orders to prevent the spread. In-person classes and business operations are conducted virtually for the next year at CPP. Dean Lea Dopson and the Board of Advisors quickly create the Collins Promise Stipend, giving approximately $143,000 of immediate assistance to students facing pandemic-caused hardship.