The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association at Michigan State University Honors Two Alumni with Lifetime Achievement Awards

  • Michigan State University
  • 08.18.11
Two alumni were honored with Lifetime Academic Achievement Awards by The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association at Michigan State University during the annual conference of the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) in Denver, Colo., on July 28.

The award breakfast in the Pinnacle Room at the Grand Hyatt Hotel was hosted by The School’s Alumni Association, and recognized Dr. H.A. “Andy” Divine (BA ’60) and Professor George Alley (BA ’59) for having “guided, mentored, and taught hundreds of students in the achievement of their dreams during careers that span half a century.”

George is the retired director of the School of Food, Hotel & Resort Management and retired professor of management at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  A renaissance man, a painter and Julliard-trained musician, George left a remarkable legacy at the Rochester Institute of Technology when he retired there in 1988.  From there, George served as dean of the School of Hotel and Food Administration at Boston University, and then as director of the Food, Hotel and Resort Management Program at Keuka College in New York.  At each institution, he was a builder, growing enrollments and establishing new and innovative programs, including chapters of Eta Sigma Delta.  George has been honored with ICHRIE’s Stevenson W. Fletcher Achievement Award in 1988, and with its prestigious Howard B. Meek Award in 1993.

Andy is professor emeritus and past director in the Fritz Knoebel School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, part of the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.  His influence extends to several institutions of higher learning, since before coming to Denver, he has served as chairman of the business management program at Bellevue Community College in Washington; director and associate professor of the Seattle Center for Hotel and Restaurant Administration for Washington State University; and, from 1983 until 1991, director and professor in Penn State’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management.

Andy has earned numerous awards, and is a prolific author of publications, research projects and presentations.  He continues to serve as consultant and expert witness in court cases.

Welcoming the guests which more than filled the room, School Director and Professor Ron Cichy introduced George Fischer (BA ’79), alumni association board member and vice president and managing director at Destination Hotels & Resorts, who was on hand to present each honoree with his award.

He then noted that both Andy and George attended MSU during the same time period and both recall the legendary professors of that era who influenced them and their own careers.  “And both educators,” he said, “have spoken of their students as their inspiration.”

Frank Borsenik (BS ’55, MS ’58, Ph.D. ‘64), Lifetime Academic Achievement Award winner for 2010, recalled in an email being a teaching assistant for both Andy and George when he was just embarking on his academic career.  “Both were potential leaders,” he explained, “but each has had different approaches as distinguished leaders.”

Accepting his award, George referred emotionally to his Greek immigrant father, who spoke several languages, was an accomplished violinist, valued education and owned a successful restaurant.  He thanked his former teachers, industry friends, colleagues and students, with whom, he said, he shared the award.  “It’s been a great journey,” he said.

Andy also recalled his former teachers at MSU and in the Kellogg Center, and jokingly appreciated the “mercy” they showed him, since he focused on “athletics, work, and studies, in that order,” while at MSU.  He talked of his 20 years with University of Denver, and noted that six of the past 11 directors there have had MSU connections.

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