Darden Grant Bolsters Collins School Scholarship Opportunities

Darden Grant Bolsters Collins School Scholarship Opportunities
Darden Restaurants has donated another $50,000 to The Collins School for student scholarships. The company also employs many alumni, like those pictured at a reunion in 2006.

Students from The Collins School of Hospitality Management will have more professional development opportunities than ever thanks to a new $50,000 grant from the Darden Restaurants Foundation.

This generous grant will be added to the Darden Experience the Industry Award endowment, which has provided students with financial assistance to attend renowned industry conferences and trade shows since 2003.

“Few of our students can afford traveling to industry conferences on their own,” says Andy Feinstein, dean of The Collins School. “Darden's ongoing support allows our students to compliment their education through enriching professional development outside the classroom.”

This grant marks the second contribution to this endowment from Darden Restaurants, which owns several successful chains such as Red Lobster and Olive Garden. In 2003, the foundation gave The Collins School $50,000, which was matched by Carol and Jim Collins and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to create a $150,000 endowment for student scholarships.

Attending conferences and trade shows invoke Cal Poly Pomona's learn-by-doing philosophy because students are able to interact with and learn from professionals in the hospitality industry. This May, for example four Collins School students will each be given $300 to supplement their travel expenses to attend the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago.

Past scholarship recipients have also attended the International Hotel & Restaurant Show, the Western Foodservice Show and the Las Vegas International Restaurant Show.