ATLANTA – The Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration of Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business celebrated its 50th anniversary at a gala and awards celebration on Oct. 26.
More than 325 hospitality alumni, donors, and industry partners attended. The program celebrated leaders in hotels and lodging, club management, event management, foodservice, and travel/tourism. Georgia State President M. Brian Blake opened the evening with a message of congratulations on 50 years of excellence, and Robinson College Dean Richard Phillips concluded the evening with a toast to 2073 when the School of Hospitality will celebrate its centennial.
Among the honorees were Georgia leaders in restaurants and private club management. Karen Bremer, CAE was honored for 50 years of service to the restaurant industry and her upcoming retirement as president and CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association in January 2024. The School of Hospitality announced a new position, the Karen Bremer Executive-in-Residence for Hospitality Leadership, in her honor.
G. Mead Grady, CCM was honored for his 56 years of service to the club management profession. The School of Hospitality plans to name a dedicated space in his honor in the coming year.
Honorary School of Hospitality alumni named included Jim Sprouse, executive director of the Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association, and Wassim Takriti (EMBA ’22), regional vice president of dining operations for Paradies Lagardère. Additional awards were given for honorary hospitality faculty, hospitality service, hospitality impact, and rising leaders in hospitality.
History of the School of Hospitality
Georgia State’s first hospitality students enrolled during the summer of 1973 in the College of General Studies for a two-year associate of science degree. On May 11, 1988, the program was renamed the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration in recognition of a generous gift from Georgia State alumna Deen Day Sanders (A.B. ’61) in honor of her late husband, who founded Days Inn. The School of Hospitality then moved from the College of Public and Urban Affairs into the College of Business Administration in 1996 (renamed the J. Mack Robinson College of Business in 1998).
Today, the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration has undergraduate and graduate programs; its Master of Global Hospitality Management is named for foodservice icon Regynald G. Washington. The School of Hospitality Administration’s vibrant alumni base, comprising more than 2000 graduates, is located worldwide with many in key hospitality leadership positions.
Georgia State’s School of Hospitality Administration consistently ranks among the top hospitality programs in the nation and the world based on academic quality, reputation, internship opportunities, and experiential learning beyond the classroom. It is the oldest and only dual-accredited hospitality program in Georgia.
Learn more at robinson.gsu.edu/hospitality.
Photo: Debby Cannon of the School of Hospitality Administration, Karen Bremer of the Georgia Restaurant Association, George McKerrow of Ted’s Montana Grill