Ferris State University’s Hospitality program is hosting its 20th annual gala, “The Road to 20,” on Saturday, March 26 at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids.
“The Road to 20” begins with a cocktail reception that features the Hospitality Gala Silent Auction, beginning at 5:30 p.m. At 7 p.m., the event shifts to the International Ballroom for a five-course meal. The gala includes live entertainment, a live auction and a special address from featured speaker, Richard M. DeVos Sr. A successful West Michigan-based businessman and philanthropist, DeVos is co-founder of Amway Corporation and chairman of the ownership group of the Orlando Magic National Basketball Association franchise.
Since its inception in 1991, the Hospitality Management program’s annual gala has been planned and d by its students. The students are assisted by chefs, industry leaders, faculty and other supporters. “The Road to 20” will recognize that spirit of student leadership and collaboration.
“In the Hospitality Management program at Ferris State University, we embrace a learner-centered teaching approach. This gala fundraising event is the epitome of an authentic learning experience. It affords our students the opportunity to take their classroom lessons and bring them to life in the real world,” said Julie A. Doyle, program coordinator.
The 2011 gala’s main goal is to establish the Hospitality Program Scholarship Endowment to provide financial assistance to current and future students.
“The proceeds of this event have been designated to launch a Hospitality Program Scholarship Endowment,” said Sara VanHouten, a senior.
Brianne Staley, a junior at Ferris, added, “By contributing to this scholarship endowment people will be providing financial support for the future leaders of the hospitality industry.”
Reservations are $100 per person, but seating is limited. Fifty percent of the ticket price tax is deductible. The JW Marriott is offering a special rate for the night of the event, available only to guests of “The Road to 20.”
Ferris’ Hospitality programs prepare students for careers in the people-and-service-oriented, multi-trillion dollar industry of hospitality. Hospitality career opportunities range from managing a bed and breakfast to managing elegant hotels, spectacular restaurants, cruise ship operations, resorts, casinos and more.