Since 1927, the Broad College’s School of Hospitality Business has been on top. It’s the second oldest hospitality school in the United States and maintains a strong legacy, with programs ranking among the best, renowned faculty working on the latest industry research and alumni forging successful careers at some of the world’s leading companies.
Now, the School will physically be located on top, with its offices moving back to the fourth floor of the Eugene C. Eppley Center on campus. Through a building renovation project, the School will gain a new home to bolster support for faculty, staff, students and alumni to achieve even greater success.
“For about 30 years, from the 1960s to the 1990s, the School of Hospitality Business occupied the fourth floor [of the Eppley Center] with the dean’s office. That was when it was the standalone business building on campus,” Carl Borchgrevink, director of the School and John and Becky Duffey Faculty Fellow in Hospitality Business, said. “We’re really excited to come back to the fourth floor now and to be united as a School again.”
The Eppley Center, built in 1961, helped MSU become a leader in graduate training in hotel, restaurant and institutional management, with its namesake known at the time as the largest individual hotel operator in the world. And with this renovation project and the School’s move up, the building will continue to serve its fundamental purpose for years to come.
The renovation will give the interior of the Eppley Center the clean and modern look of the Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion, which opened its doors in 2019. Updates include safety and energy efficiency improvements such as LED light fixtures, fire alarm and suppression systems and heating and cooling systems, as well as creating curricular spaces on the first floor for student clubs and organizations, two computer labs, a Broad Tutorial Center on the second floor and renovations for the Department of Finance on the third floor.
On Eppley’s fourth floor, the School will have space for faculty, staff, recruiters and prospective students, a visitors’ lounge, career and advising space and conference rooms. This will provide ample space for Spartans to collaborate and connect — a hallmark of the MSU experience. The floor will also serve as home to Broad’s International Business Center.
The strength of MSU’s hospitality business Spartans is helping to make the School’s move a success already, as many of the alumni have contributed their time, talent and financial support. Take Doug Cole (B.A. Hotel and Restaurant Management ’72), retired vice president of food and beverage at Pyramid Hotel Group, who made a gift for a faculty fellowship for innovation in hospitality business.
“I want to support a rising star in the School of Hospitality Business who will help usher in a new generation of innovation and excellence and who will inspire students to enjoy the entire MSU experience as much as I did,” Cole said. “My experience was enriched by a well-focused curriculum and work experience both on and off campus. This overall education prepared me for much of the success I have enjoyed in the 50 years working in the hotel and restaurant business.”
Houston Striggow (B.A. Hotel and Restaurant Management ’75), co-founder and COO of SusieCakes Bakery, recently made a donation for the naming of the hospitality business alumni director office.
“It is my hope that other School of Hospitality Business alums will now step up to the plate, pandemic aside, and take a place on the fourth floor to memorialize their commitment and thanks to a school that likely laid the foundation for whatever level of success they have achieved,” he said.
In addition, John Theuer (B.A. Accounting ’82, MBA ’83) and his wife Judy (B.A. Communication ’84) made a difference for the School on MSU’s Give Green Day on March 16. For every donation to the Eppley renovations, the Theuers matched dollar for dollar, helping the School reach over $50,000 in a single day.
“Judy and I are proud to support the ‘Back on Top’ initiative,” John said. “We met at MSU and are thrilled to help pay it forward for our future hospitality industry leaders. Spartans Will … and the School Will as well.”
The Eppley Center renovation project is on track to be completed this summer, with Spartans eager to settle back in soon and make business happen in a completely updated and modernized space. For hospitality business, this means bringing the community together again to further the leading legacy.
“We’re most looking forward to the sense of community and touch of hospitality that we’ll be able to provide our visitors,” Borchgrevink said. “It’ll be a beautiful place that we’ll inhabit for the next 50 years.”
For more information about making a gift to support the School of Hospitality Business, contact Sean Mulligan (firstname.lastname@example.org), senior director of development, or Khaatim Boyd (email@example.com), associate director of development.