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In Memoriam: Paul Wise

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March 01, 2017
In Memoriam
Hospitality Upgrade Staff

Paul E. Wise
June 1, 1935 - December 27, 2016

Professor Paul E. Wise was the founding director and a professor of the University of Delaware's Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management program and served as the program's ambassador. He graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in hotel, restaurant and institutional management (HRIM) and later received his MBA from Michigan State University in food marketing. Professor Wise operated restaurants and clubs in Pennsylvania, Panama and Alaska, and taught club management for Army and Air Force club managers at Fort Lee, Va.

He served two tours in Vietnam; the first tour was with the First Logistical Command; the second tour was as a Vietnamese Advisor. Professor Wise is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and National Defense University. He is the recipient of two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars and four Army Commendation Medals, retiring as a full colonel in 1982. During the last 10 years of his association with the military, he was responsible for the operation of 670 Army clubs and hotels that produced annual revenues of more than $300 million. 

Professor Wise was active in numerous hotel and restaurant associations. Most recently, he served as vice chairman of the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau and as a past member of the Delaware Restaurant Association's Board of Directors. He has been designated by the American Hotel and Lodging Association as a certified hotel administrator (CHA) and as a certified catering executive (CCE) by the National Association of Catering Executives. In 1988 he was chosen as The Pennsylvania State University Hotel and Restaurant Society Alumnus of the Year. Shortly after that, he was inducted into the International Military Club Executive Association Hall of Fame. The Educational Institute's Lamp of Knowledge award, in the “Outstanding Educator ­– Four-Year School” category was given to him in 1992 for his efforts to help the Institute better serve the needs of educators. He served on the Certification Commission and Education Committee of the Educational Institute, American Hotel and Lodging Association, and was a past member of the Institute's board of trustees. Professor Wise also served as a consultant and speaker to numerous corporations and associations.

Wise came to UD in 1988 as founding director and HRIM chairperson. In less than 15 years, the program moved from temporary offices in a trailer to a top-ranked hospitality department. Industry experts have acknowledged the program's unprecedented rise to prominence was to a large degree the result of Wise's vision and tireless pursuit. Wise was instrumental in UD's part in HRIM, including the creation of Vita Nova, UD's student-run restaurant, and the Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware hotel, both HRIM learning laboratories.

When he retired from UD in 2000, the Paul Wise Executive-in-Residence Fund was established in his honor. This fund sponsors an on-campus program – including lectures, workshops, consultation and advisement sessions with HRIM faculty and staff – by a recognized leader who personifies current best practice in hospitality management.

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