The School of Hospitality Business At Michigan State University (MSU) recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the Hospitality High School (HHS) of Washington, DC, at its graduation ceremony June 6.
Originally founded as Marriott Hospitality Public Charter High School, the first four-year public charter high school in the nation devoted to preparing students for careers in both the restaurant and hotel industries, HHS has for eight years sent more than half a dozen of its graduates to MSU to study in The School. Aided by a generous $550,000 scholarship endowment from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, The School has been able to assist these students financially, as well as with one-on-one mentoring, career services, and outstanding academic advising. The record of success for HHS students who come to The School is extraordinary, according to a press statement.
Director of The School's Student and Industry Resources Center (SIRC) Authella Collins-Hawks was present to accept the award from HHS Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Spigler, who noted that Hawks and the faculty and staff of The School have "worked tirelessly to assure our students feel that MSU is their home away from home, and to ensure their success."
Hawks acknowledged the long and fruitful partnership between the Marriott Foundation, HHS, and The School, and introduced a graduate of HHS in the audience who is now a very active senior in The School, Alvin Brown (BA '10). In addition, she informed the gathering that the very first HHS student to graduate from The School, Victor Quintanilla (BA '08), is now working in management in the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
Noting that 100 percent of HHS graduating class plans to go on to college, Hawks wished them the fortitude to overcome any obstacles they might face and the true wisdom that comes from lifelong learning. She reminded the graduates, too, that while the field of hospitality is a business, it can also "be a way of life; one that encompasses service, sacrifice, caring and a sense of welcome."