Guelph HFTM celebrates 50th and $1M gift

GUELPH, Ont. — The School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management celebrated two special milestones during the University of Guelph’s annual Alumni Weekend held June 21-23.

Three hundred alumni, faculty and staff came back to Guelph to celebrate the anniversary, said Statia Elliot, the School’s director. “It was really a wonderful celebration of our 50 year history, with grads from the very first graduating class in 1973 and through every decade.” 

Throughout the weekend, HAFA/HFTM alumni, faculty and staff celebrated the 50th anniversary of the U of G’s Bachelor of Commerce program and the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management. 

The weekend’s celebration included a reception at the Bullring, the HAFA/HFTM Gala Dinner in the Athletic Centre on Saturday night, and Sunday Brunch at PJ’s Restaurant. Among the alumni in attendance were students from the HAFA Class of 1973, the School’s very first graduates.

“Although some of the original HAFA courses are long gone, what hasn’t changed is the School’s success in developing future leaders for the hospitality industry,” said U of G President Franco Vaccarino, who addressed the crowd at the gala. 

The class of 1989.

“The School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management has grown immensely over the last fifty years, with 400 current undergraduate students, a strong co-op program, graduate degrees and over 5,000 alumni.”

At the gala dinner, the School announced an extraordinary $1-million gift from alumnus Michel Eric Fournelle (Hospitality and Food Administration, ’92) that will transform the School’s food lab, in Macdonald Institute, into a state-of-the-art active learning facility. 

At the request of Fournelle, the new lab will bear the name of U of G’s food laureate and mastermind behind the highly influential and successful Food Day Canada campaign, Anita Stewart.

Benefactor Michel Eric Fournelle and Food Laureate Anita Stewart.