Auburn students learning wine-making techniques from the best California vintners, apprenticing in some of the finest hotel kitchens in the world, vying for scholarships to spend a semester abroad in Ariccia, Italy, and training to be the next generation of leaders in the hospitality industry…. all through Auburn University’s Hotel and Restaurant Management Program (HRMT) and a special partnership with The Capella Hotel Group.
The Hotel and Restaurant Management Program debuted in 1987 as part of Auburn University’s Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Hospitality Management in the College of Human Sciences. At that time, Mr. Horst Schulze, already one of the most illustrious names in the hospitality industry, was introduced to the Dean of the College, Dr. June Henton. His admiration for her visionary leadership led him to accept her invitation for appointment as an advisory board member to the College and the Program. Schulze’s appointment signaled the start of a relationship that would grow to establish Auburn University’s HRMT program as one of the finest hospitality leadership and training programs in the world.
A legendary leader in the service world, Mr. Schulze was co-founder, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, LLC. Under his dynamic leadership, that company was twice awarded the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge Award for its scientific approach to creating and sustaining premium quality service in the hotel industry. Today, through his Capella Hotel Group, Mr. Schulze and his partners are reshaping concepts of customer service throughout the hospitality and service industries. But, Schulze’s impressive background is not nearly as commanding as his vision for the future. His global development strategy and obsession with researching ways to improve his own hybrid system of Total Quality Management consistently deliver the most reliable and discriminating personalized guest experiences and are the key drivers in his company’s quest, “To be known as the Global Leader in the Service Business.” The Capella Hotel Group’s association with the College clearly provides a unique academic and business partnership committed to creating an outstanding learning experience for the HRMT students.
“The partnership between The Capella Hotel Group and Auburn University offers students unique access to the hospitality industry’s leading figures and benchmark practices,” says Schulze. “Since its inception, the Program, under Dean Henton’s leadership, has been committed to excellence and staying on the leading-edge of change.”
One look at the curriculum bears that out. Through management of The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center, The Capella Hotel Group offers hotel-as-classroom instruction with Practicum Classes designed to provide hands-on experience in all facets of hotel and restaurant operation. Company executives and guest lecturers in the classroom, the hotel and distinctive off campus venues, representing the finest purveyors, wineries, restaurants, service companies and providers, give students unprecedented insight into best practices. With the launch of Capella Hotels and Resorts and that brand’s global recognition for the most discriminating of highly personalized service as well as the uniquely sophisticated Solis Hotels & Resorts, The Capella Hotel Group is able to offer students a Leadership Development Program in distinctive domestic and international settings.
Providing students both classroom theory and practical experience with a model of continuous quality improvement as a fundamental component of their degree requirements, The Hotel and Restaurant Management Program is preparing students to make their own way and define their own positions as the future “Global Leaders in the Service Business.”