Some of the School’s noteworthy highlights since its opening in 1972
In early 1971, the then Associate Dean of Cornell Hospitality program, Gerry Lattin was hired to lead the School of Hotel, Food and Travel Services at the new and not yet built, first state university in Miami, Florida – Florida International University. This decision would impact the future of the School for years to come.
In the fall of 1971, Dean Gerry Lattin moved to Miami and began designing a curriculum, hiring faculty and staff and recruiting students. This effort was based on two fundamental principles: industry-oriented faculty with executive experience and required academic credentials, as well as a School’s scope that would be local, statewide and international. Students were recruited from Florida, across the country, and around the world.
In early 1972, Anthony G. Marshall was hired as Assistant Dean but later would be promoted to Associate Dean. Among the founding faculty was Mike Hurst, a restaurateur who had moved to Ft. Lauderdale to open the New River Storehouse restaurant and the Marina Bay Club. He was responsible for shaping the restaurant management curriculum. In his 27 years at FIU, he taught over 6,000 students and was a mentor to many of them. He served as Director and President of the National Restaurant Association.
In 1978, the School’s name was changed to Hospitality Management. In that same year, the Board of Regents of the State of Florida designated the School as a Program of Distinction. This honor enabled adding additional notable faculty, including distinguished author and educator Lendal Kotschevar and the former Executive Vice President of the National Restaurant Association, Donald Greenway. Front row: Ted White, Rocco Angelo, Steven Moll, Irving Sicherman, Elisa Moncarz, Leonard Berkowitz, Fritz Hagenmeyer, Tony Marshall. Back row: Percival Darby, Dennis Marzella, David Grier, Phillip Parrott, Lendal Kotschevar, William Morgan, Richard Huse, Mike Hurst.
In 1983, the first edition of the FIU Hospitality Review was published. This new hospitality journal became a pillar of academic rigor for FIU. As one of the early entrants into the realm of academic publishing that focused on hospitality, the FIU Hospitality Review was ranked as one of the top hospitality academic journals in several published studies.
In the Summer of 1989, the School of Hospitality Management relocated from the University Park Campus–presently known as Modesto Maidique Campus (“MMC”) – to the North Miami Campus–presently known as Biscayne Bay Campus (“BBC”). The School was housed in its own building located alongside Biscayne Bay with three floors of offices, labs and classrooms.
Since 1997, the School co-sponsored the annual Florida Extravaganza (later renamed South Beach Wine and Food Festival “SOBEWFF®”) which has become the nation’s largest wine and food event. It has served as the signature fund raising event for the School and featured hundreds of wine makers and spirits manufacturers. Hosted by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of America and FIU, the Festival benefits the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Since its inception, more than $28 million has been raised in support of scholarships, state-of-the-art learning facilities and more at the school. In addition, the Festival annually presents a unique opportunity for more than 1,000 student volunteers to gain experience in the field of hospitality as well as networking with industry leaders.
In August 2006, FIU unveiled the first American hospitality and tourism school in Tianjin, China. The Marriott Tianjin China Program is FIU’s largest international program, with a capacity for up to 1,200 students. The government of the People’s Republic of China selected Florida International University from a group of hospitality schools in the U.S. and Europe as its partner in establishing a hospitality and tourism campus in Tianjin, the fourth largest city in China. The $100 million center, which was fully funded by the Chinese government, sat on 80 acres of land and contains more than 450,000 square feet of space, including a dormitory tower 20 stories high, which can accommodate 1,200 students.
In 2011, the School was renamed the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management in honor of the Chaplin family. The naming recognizes the commitment of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and the Chaplin family as passionate supporters of FIU’s hospitality and tourism education. In doing so, the goal was to continue providing cutting-edge management education for students who intend to pursue careers in the hospitality and tourism industries.