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Giving to SDSU >> Areas of Giving - Programs >> Feature StoryPhoto of Bob Payne

Meeting the Challenges of a Changing Industry

Bob Payne exemplifies the possibilities that can result when alumni stay connected to their alma mater. A 1955 SDSU College of Business graduate and now president/CEO of Multi-Ventures Inc., managing director of 721 hotel rooms in San Diego, Payne has been a longtime advocate of SDSU's involvement in the hospitality industry.

In 1999, his vision and generosity enabled the university to launch the SDSU Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) program.

SDSU's Hospitality and Tourism Management Program

Payne's leadership gift of $1.1 million provided the seed money to create an interdisciplinary degree offered jointly by the College of Business Administration and the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts. Ongoing interaction between the university and San Diego's growing hospitality and tourism industry gives the curriculum real-world relevance.

"I received a great education at SDSU and went on to build my hospitality career in San Diego," Payne says. "I want to do what I can to grow the university and grow the community. SDSU showed me it was serious about serving the hospitality and tourism industry, and made a commitment to raising the necessary funds to develop and expand the program into one of the best in the nation. I'm thrilled to be a part of its evolution."

The Industry Reponds

Bob Payne's tenacity and commitment to SDSU's HTM program have influenced friends and colleagues. Norman Brinker, chairman emeritus of the restaurant conglomerate Brinker International, donated $1 million to establish the program's Executive in Residence program.

In addition, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation established the Conrad N. Hilton Distinguished Lectureship Series in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Substantial contributions to the lectureship series were also made by Jack Goodall, retired chairman of Jack in the Box Inc and Ron Fowler, CEO of Liquid Investments Inc. Professional education experiences such as these help connect industry leaders with students, faculty and community members.

"The university is committed to creating a stellar program at SDSU, and the industry is demonstrating its eagerness to provide the financial resources to ensure its success," says Payne. 

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