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Longtime benefactors Carol and Jim Collins are the namesakes of the college.
The Collins College of Hospitality Management may be a public institution, yet a tradition of philanthropy from industry partners has enabled the college to grow significantly in infrastructure, reputation and quality of education.
The college has fostered a strong alignment to industry trends and commitment from industry leaders since its formation in 1973. The growth and maturation of the program during the past 35 years is due largely to the unwavering support from industry partners. Private funding has allowed the college to build 43,000 square feet of high-tech facilities including classrooms, laboratories, the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch, and a living wine library for applied food and beverage instruction.
The college also benefits from more than $11 million in endowments. Interest earned from these endowments is used to support student scholarships, faculty development and alumni outreach.
Generous donors such as Carol and Jim Collins, Hae and Shina Park, Peggy and Andrew Cherng, and Mary Alice and Richard N. Frank have allowed the college to grow and flourish throughout the years. Additionally, numerous companies such as Darden Restaurants, Disney, Handlery Hotels, Marriott, Hilton Hotels, Hyatt, and Panda Restaurant Group, Inc. have bolstered the quality of education at The Collins College through generous contributions.
The college remains on the forefront of industry trends by working hand-in-hand with its Board of Advisors. This group of key hospitality leaders ensures the program’s methods and practices are consistent with those of the industry and that its curriculum is aligned with industry needs.
Throughout the academic year, numerous industry leaders visit campus as guest speakers sharing keen insights into their careers. The college's signature keynote speaking event is the annual Richard N. Frank Distinguished Lectureship Series.
Of recent note, the college completed a campaign in 2011 to raise $10 million for an academic building expansion. In 2008, Carol and Jim Collins pledged to match up to $5 million to build the $10 million educational complex. 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. The expansion will include two buildings. Construction is slated to begin in the fall of 2013 and completed in the spring of 2015.
Hospitality Uncorked and the Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Award
Every year, Hospitality Uncorked celebrates the vibrant social and cultural life that has made hospitality the No. 1 industry in Southern California. Proceeds from the evening directly benefit The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona, one of the nation’s premier hospitality management programs.
The lavish celebration, previously called Harvest Auction, raises over half a million dollars for the college each year and is generously supported by the college’s generous industry partners. It is believed to be the single largest toast to the hospitality industry in the State of California.
Hospitality Uncorked, held at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE, is organized by members of The Collins College of Hospitality Management’s esteemed Board of Advisors with the college’s dean and support staff. The annual event provides an opportunity to keep the college and its students in front of a broad spectrum of individuals and companies within the industry, many of whom benefit directly from its gainfully employed students and alumni.
In 1999, The Collins College of Hospitality Management honored Margrit and Robert Mondavi for their vision and leadership in the American wine industry. Mr. and Mrs. Mondavi were recognized at the college’s 6th annual Harvest Auction, during a lavish gourmet dinner at the Tournament of Roses House in Pasadena.
In order to make a lasting homage to their impact on the industry, the college named the award on their behalf. Since 2000, the college has shown its appreciation to individuals whose vision and leadership has advanced the wine and food industry with the Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Award.
The award is given with much fanfare at Hospitality Uncorked. Since 2000, the college has bestowed this honor upon Julia Child, Alice Waters, Jim Collins, Sam Nazarian, Robert D. Olson, and 2017 honorees Gina Gallo and Jean-Charles Boisset.
Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Award Honorees:
- 1999 – Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mondavi
- 2000 – Julia Child
- 2001 – Alice Waters
- 2002 – Jim Collins
- 2003 – Bruce Schwartz
- 2004 – University then President Michael Ortiz and Past University Presidents LaBounty and Suzuki
- 2005 – Richard N. Frank
- 2006 – Leslie and Bob Spivak
- 2007 – none awarded
- 2008 – Carl N. Karcher
- 2009 - Steele Platt
- 2010 – Steve Slater
- 2011 – none awarded
- 2012 – Sam Nazarian
- 2013 – Caroline Beteta
- 2014 – Alan J. Fuerstman
- 2015 – Tom Simms
- 2016 – R.D. Olson
- 2017 – Gina Gallo & Jean-Charles Boisset
- 2018 – Larry Shupnick
- 2019 – Gary Eberle
The Hospitality Leader of the Year Award
The Collins College also pays tribute to a visionary individual or company whose dynamic leadership, innovative achievements, and on-going commitment to excellence have inspired groundbreaking advancements in the hospitality industry with the Hospitality Leader of the Year Award. The inaugural award went to Walt Disney Co. CFO Jay Rasulo in 2009. In 2010, the college honored Chip Conely, founder and CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality.