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A world of hospitality

Education in the hospitality industry at RIT dates to the founding of the Cooking School in 1892 by Captain Henry Lomb. Today, the School of Hospitality and Service Management and has expanded to several parts of the world, including Croatia and the Dominican Republic, with more offshore links under consideration.

Catherine Bement ’89 and Danyelle Dockstader ’98 and ’01, member of the Alumni Network Board of Directors, soak up the culture in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

The school went global in 1997 with the formation of the American College of Management and Technology (ACMT) in Dubrovnik, Croatia. In May of 2003, ACMT held its fifth commencement and conferred degrees upon 320 graduates, with the nation’s deputy minister of science and technology and the mayor of Dubrovnik as well as RIT President Albert Simone and other officials participating in the ceremony.

ACMT and RIT have a unique collaboration that involves a student exchange program and an affiliated alumni chapter. Recently, the school launched an executive leader master’s program in the Dominican Republic. Guillermo Graglia ’01, an M.S. graduate and native of Croatia, leads the RIT initiative in Santo Domingo.

A group of alumni established the Hospitality Alumni Society in 1984.

Board members are president Danyelle Dockstader ’98 and ’01, vice president Andrew Fuhrman ’92, treasurer Janice Emerson ’93, secretary Lynne Perry ’94, and Alumni Relations Office representative Catherine Bement ’89.

Jen Schuler ’98 and Marc Sessler ’86 attended an alumni reception hosted by Tod Barber ’88, vice president and partner at Shaw’s Crab House, during the National Restaurant Show in Chicago.

“Being involved with the society is an ideal way for me to stay connected to the school and to RIT,” says Dockstader. “I truly enjoyed my RIT experience and I don’t want that to end.”

RIT has a lot to offer alumni, such as top-notch students for co-op jobs, networking and partnering opportunities with fellow alumni, and eager graduates ready to make a difference in their companies. “It’s important for alumni to continue building professional relationships throughout their careers and RIT offers abundant opportunities to do just that,” says Dockstader.

Each year, the society hosts activities including a student/alumni workshop, alumni panel, awards dinner, golf outing and educational seminar, and events during the National Restaurant Show and International Hotel Show. This year’s alumni panel and awards dinner take place Oct. 9 during Alumni Weekend 2003.

The Hospitality Alumni Society boasts a membership of 150 alumni and strives to accommodate the changing needs of RIT, the School, students, alumni, and industry. As the society approaches its 20th anniversary in 2004, members reflect on past achievements and prepare for the exciting journey ahead . . . to all parts of the world.

The society meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m. at the RIT Inn & Conference Center, 5257 West Henrietta Road, Rochester. Interested in joining? Contact Catherine Bement at 585-475-4975 or cxbrar@rit.edu. For information, visit www.rit.edu/academics, click on College of Applied Science & Technology, then Hospitality, then Alumni.