Darden Restaurants Provide $50,000 Gift to Establish Two Scholarship Awards

Darden Restaurants Provide $50,000 Gift to Establish Two Scholarship Awards
From right, Christopher Plunkett and Kathy Nahlovsky from Darden Restaurants make a donation of $50,000 to President Bob Suzuki, Dominic Donatoni, Jim Collins and Dean Jim Burke.

Two new scholarships for hospitality students will be established at Cal Poly Pomona thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Darden Restaurants group, which includes Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Fourteen representatives from Darden Restaurants presented the gift on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch.

Through a unique endowment matching grant program created by the Kellogg Foundation and the Jim and Carol Collins Gift, the Darden Grant of $50,000 will be tripled, creating a $150,000 endowment account. The Darden Restaurants Foundation grant will be used to create two types of awards, called The Darden Awards of Excellence. One award will be used to recruit high school and community college transfers. The other will help fund current Collins School students who wish to attend hospitality industry conventions.

?We are grateful to the Darden Restaurants Foundation, The Collins School?s newest industry partner, for assisting us in preparing graduates to meet the current and future management needs of the industry,? says James Burke, dean of The Collins School of Hospitality Management. “The Darden Awards of Excellence will ensure we recruit top students, reward our best and brightest students, and afford them opportunities to expand their knowledge at industry conventions.?

University President Bob H. Suzuki attended the Feb. 25 event along with Kathy Nahlovsky and Christopher Plunkett, from Darden Restaurants, who presented the check.