$600,000 Marriott Culinary Lab Unveiled at Dedication Ceremony!
May 02, 2012

Marriott's partnership with the College of Merchandising, Hospitality, and Tourism (CMHT) was on full display April 18, 2012 when they celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the $600,000 state-of-the-art professional Marriott Culinary Laboratory. The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation committed $300,000 to the college, which was matched at $300,000 by the Texas Higher Education Assistance Fund. Dr. Judith Forney, CMHT Dean, opened the event expressing gratitude to the Marriott executives at the ceremony, and she welcomed faculty, students, administration, and UNT alumni who are now Marriott associates.

Dr. Forney related the history of UNT's Hospitality and Tourism Management program and the magnitude of Marriott's involvement from the program's inception. Marriott has served on the CMHT Board of Governors and has steadfastly supported UNT. In addition to Marriott scholarships, Marriott Executive-in-Residence, Marriott Culinary Lab, annual participation in the Hospitality and Tourism Career Expo, and employing many students over the years, Marriott is partnering once again with UNT to create the new Marriott Speakers Series for professional development to be launched in 2012.

Bob Jameson, Marriott Area General Manager, acknowledged Marriott and UNT guests and described a typical week at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Fort Worth. As he related the diverse and dynamic field of hospitality, Jameson stated, "Marriott is very proud and very fortunate to maintain the partnership that we have with UNT and are grateful to the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. I think it speaks so much to the foundation and to the significant success of this program."

The unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony followed with a tour of the new Marriott Culinary Lab led by Chef Jodi Duryea. Hospitality and Tourism Management students prepared and served a culinary mix of quiches, curried chicken salad profiteroles, chocolate cupcakes with UNT green icing, and lime and pineapple punches. John Negratti, Marriott Market Director of Human Resources, expressed his delight with the new lab and the students stating, "This is a cool event; it is very inspiring and very energizing. It is such a pleasure to work with the students and to watch them grow and develop their careers."

While the executives toured and spoke with the students, Chef Duryea illustrated the lab's overall transition from old-school wood to new stainless steel. She spoke on the new headset and sound system and ran a presentation on the two new 55 inch LED screens used to showcase different culinary techniques via video. The Marriott Culinary Lab has 16 working stations with room for 32 students. The Hospitality and Tourism Management department currently runs six sections with 256 students per year through the lab for professional food preparation courses.

For more information about Marriott International and the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, click Marriott International or J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation

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