Innisfree Hotels Founders pledge $250,000 to UWF Hospitality program

University of West Florida | news@uwf.edu

During a press conference today, the University of West Florida announced its partnership with Innisfree Hotels to provide new opportunities for students in the Hospitality, Recreation and Resort Management program. Julian and Kim MacQueen, founders of Innisfree Hotels, have pledged a $250,000 gift commitment to the program, which will be renamed The MacQueen Hospitality, Recreation and Resort Management Program. This marks the first named academic program at UWF.

This mutually beneficial partnership will enable UWF hospitality students to participate in onsite training, internships and field experiences at Innisfree properties located along the Gulf Coast in Florida and Alabama. In turn, Innisfree will benefit from having a future workforce locally trained and integrated within the corporate culture. The partnership will also allow UWF to develop a more unified hospitality curriculum, designed to address current, identified industry needs.

There are currently more than 200 students enrolled in the Hospitality, Recreation and Resort Management program. Recent partnerships, including the MacQueen gift and the direct-admit program with Northwest Florida State College, are expected to increase the enrollment to more than 350 students by 2015.

Innisfree Hotels owns and operates six beachfront hotels and resorts in the Gulf Coast region of Florida and Alabama, as well as several limited service properties in the southeast United States. The company embodies a top down approach of fostering a workplace environment that promotes both responsibility and service to humanity.

Innisfree also promotes creativity, innovation and mobility, enabling it to serve as a prime employer for graduates in the hospitality industry.

“At Innisfree, we live and breathe our core principles, and believe that if you give people purpose, they’ll do a whole lot with it,” said Julian MacQueen.

For additional information about the Innisfree Hospitality and Resort Management program, visit uwf.edu/hles/hospitality.cfm.

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