Campus: Cal Poly, Pomona -- July 30, 1999

The Collins School Of Hospitality Management - A First For The California State University System

At its July meeting, the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees renamed Cal Poly Pomona's School of Hotel and Restaurant Management the Collins School of Hospitality Management. It is the first "named" school in the 23-campus CSU system. The trustees voted to rename the school in recognition of the generosity of Jim and Carol Collins who provided a $10 million endowment and building gift to the school.

"The CSU is grateful to the Collins for their tremendous generosity and vision. I can think of no better investment in our future than ensuring a quality education for students," CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed says. "There will be countless students who will benefit from the Collins' gift forever."

With this gift, the Collins family becomes the largest individual donors in the history of the university since cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg donated 1,400 acres to the State of California. For 15 years, Jim and Carol Collins have worked tirelessly to support the school and its mission.

"It's our good fortune to be in a position to give back to the industry that we love," says Jim Collins, Chairman of Sizzler International, Inc. and co-chair of the school's capital campaign. "Building new classrooms and laboratories for students working toward degrees in hotel and restaurant management, and providing endowment funds for scholarships and research is our investment in the future of the hospitality industry."

Two million dollars of the gift will be used to complete a 23,000 square foot, five million-dollar expansion of the School's facilities, which includes two new buildings. The school is anticipating an enrollment increase from 450 to 700 by the March 2001 opening of these new buildings.

"We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Jim and Carol Collins and grateful for all their leadership and support over the years," says Bob H. Suzuki, Cal Poly Pomona president. "The Collins gift will help propel a nationally-recognized program into a internationally-acclaimed school."

Originally an engineer, Jim Collins was inspired by the McDonald brothers and opened his own drive-up hamburger restaurant in 1952 called Hamburger Handout. In 1962, he became the exclusive agent for Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken in Southern California. Five years later, he acquired the Sizzler Family Steakhouse chain, today known as Sizzler International Inc. Under Collins' guidance, the corporation now operates 346 Sizzler restaurants worldwide and 101 Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Australia.

Collins has served as president of the California Restaurant Association, director of the National Restaurant Association and chair of the school's Board of Advisors. Collins' remarkable leadership in the hospitality industry is matched only by his humanitarianism and philanthropy. His high ideals, hard work, vision and generosity have paved the way for young entrepreneurs to follow in his footsteps.

"This gift comes at the perfect time as the school celebrates its 25th anniversary," says James F. Burke, dean of the Collins school. "It represents an investment in our future that will provide the resources and momentum the school needs to become the premier hospitality management program in North America."

In another first for the university, the gift will also establish a $1.2 million faculty chair the largest single gift for an endowed chair to any school or college at Cal Poly.

"The Collins School will be enriched by the caliber of faculty this endowed chair will attract," says Richard Santillan, vice president of Academic Affairs. "It will give our students an unparalleled opportunity to learn from the best in the business."

The Collins School of Hospitality Management is consistently ranked among the top 10 undergraduate hospitality management schools in the United States. Students receive a superior education in state-of-the-art facilities, where they learn to apply hospitality business management theories and concepts in real-world settings. An important element of this unique academic experience includes managing and operating a fine dining restaurant, the school's Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch, as part of the "learn by doing" hospitality management curriculum which the School offers.

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