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Bacardi USA Donates $5 Million to Florida International University

Bacardi USA Donates $5 Million to Florida International UniversityFIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management has announced a $5 million gift from Bacardi USA dedicated to a new and unique educational program tailored for the spirits industry. The gift will create the Bacardi Center of Excellence, which will position the top-ranked school as a leader in beverage management education and partner with one of the world’s most historic and leading spirits companies.  The Bacardi Center of Excellence will provide student scholarship opportunities, promote community events and provide pathways to entrepreneurship. The Bacardi Beverage Innovation Fund will be used to establish a beverage curriculum and create collaboration opportunities between Bacardi USA and FIU faculty. The Bacardi Scholarship Endowment will offer students financial assistance and establish professorships. The gift also expands programming at FIU’s CasaCuba. CasaCuba seeks to provide a dynamic home for the discussion and study of Cuban affairs - history, policy and business - and the celebration of Cuban culture. The initiative is bringing together scholars, policymakers, business leaders, students, and the community at large to realize a multidimensional Cuban cultural center and think tank that will be housed in a state-of-the-art facility at FIU’s main campus. Family-owned Bacardi was originally founded by Don Facundo Bacardí Massó in Santiago de Cuba in 1862. Today, Bacardi Limited is the largest privately held spirits companies in the world and South Florida is home to the regional headquarters for North America. "At FIU we are proud to partner with Bacardi, a company with deep roots in our community and a legacy of success that goes back to Cuba more than a century ago," said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. "This gift will fuel a perfect combination of tradition [...]

Michael Cheng Appointed as Dean

Michael Cheng Appointed as Dean of the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management MIAMI (Feb. 19, 2020) – Michael Cheng has been appointed dean of Florida International University's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Cheng has served as interim dean of the Chaplin School since December 2017. “In just over two years as interim dean, Michael has demonstrated energetic leadership to define Chaplin School’s identity, vision and strategy; a knack for building and growing relationships with our industry partners; and the curiosity and creativity to develop new learning methods and approaches for the benefit of our students,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Kenneth G. Furton. “Dean Cheng is elevating the Chaplin School to record levels of performance for our learners and industry partners, at home and abroad.” Under Cheng’s tenure, the four-year graduation rate for Chaplin students has increased 14 percentage points. Wages for Chaplin graduates also increased during that time, while the average estimated cost of student attendance decreased from $13,000 to $8,000. In the past two years, Cheng also brought innovative and experiential classes called PODS (Program on Demand) to the school and increased alumni engagement globally. Cheng also has elevated the Chaplin School's reputations and rankings. The Chaplin School is now ranked one of the top 50 Hospitality & Tourism Management programs in the QS World Rankings 2019. It is also ranked No. 1 for its Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and has maintained a No. 1 ranking for its online programs. While at the helm of the Chaplin School, Cheng has also been a successful fundraiser, exceeding a $4 million dollar goal in his first six months. In his second year, he raised the bar again, bringing [...]

2019 SOBEWFF® raises $2M for students

2019 SOBEWFF® raises $2M for students The numbers are in. The 2019 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF®) raised nearly $2 million to support the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and student success at FIU. “We’re pleased not only to be able to continue to support the school financially, but also as an interactive learning platform for its students,” said Festival founder and director Lee Brian Schrager. “Each year more than 1,200 students gain hands-on work experience at the Festival, and their participation is vital to our overall success.” Click here to read the article on FIU News