Harrah’s Foundation makes $100,000 gift to Purdue Calumet hospitality program

The Harrah’s Foundation has awarded $100,000 to Purdue University Calumet to develop a beverage and wine laboratory as part of a university project to enhance and expand its hospitality and tourism management academic program.

The laboratory will become part of the new Purdue University Calumet White Lodging Services Center for Hospitality and Tourism Management. The lab will be used in course instruction and generating product knowledge about wines, spirits and coffees, according to university program Executive Director and Professor Michael Flannery.

Development of the new center begins this summer at the south end of campus during a renovation of what has been The Calumet Conference Center. The new hospitality and tourism management facility, completion of which is anticipated in time for the start of the 2011-12 academic year, will feature new and expanded labs, resources, and other instructional and service facilities.

Harrah's 4 presentation 0810-comop

Pictured, from left, are: Purdue Calumet Hospitality and Tourism Management Program Executive Director Michael Flannery, Hammond Horseshoe Casino Senior Vice President and General manager Dan Nita, Hammond Horseshoe Casino Vice President of Human Resources Dawn Reynolds and Purdue Calumet Chancellor Howard Cowen.

“Through experiential learning, our students are preparing seamlessly to step into their careers when they graduate,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Howard Cohen said. “This generous gift from the Harrah’s Foundations, for which we are most appreciative, will provide a distinctive, state-of-the-art resource that will contribute to the experience-rich education our hospitality and tourism management students obtain.”

Dan Nita, senior vice president and general manager of Hammond’s Horseshoe Casino, a Harrah’s Entertainment subsidiary, said, “Horseshoe is proud to support” Purdue Calumet’s hospitality and tourism management program. “With our gift of the Harrah’s Hospitality Lab within the Purdue University Calumet White Lodging Services Center for Hospitality and Tourism Management, we will help students reach their potential and embark upon successful careers in their respective fields.”

Flannery added that the Harrah’s Hospitality Lab “will be a very unique aspect of our program. It will

prove extremely valuable enabling our students to gain knowledge about profitability within the adult beverage component of hospitality.” There also are plans, he said, to use the lab to offer wine appreciation classes to the community.

Purdue Calumet offers undergraduate degree and professional certificate programs in hospitality and tourism management (HTM) for more than 250 students. The program is projected to grow to some 400 students following development of its new center.

The Harrah’s Foundation is a private, non-operating organization funded by a percentage of operating income from Harrah’s Entertainment’s operating subsidiaries (properties). The Harrah’s Foundation serves as the principal funding entity for the company’s community and social investments. Education is among three focal areas of the foundation’s philanthropic efforts.