Countdown to 100

Countdown to 100

Count Down Spring 10 230x160

As JWU nears the century mark, share in our enthusiasm and pride as we recount our university’s rich and vibrant history.

The Johnson & Wales College business program saw the advent of the hospitality division in 1972. Students could pursue associate degrees in hotel-restaurant management, travel-tourism management or a travel-tourism diploma. The first bachelor’s degrees in hotel-restaurant management were awarded in 1975 and in food service management in 1978.

In the early 1970s, David Friedman ’75 Hon., then CEO of Paramount Restaurant Supply in Providence, offered to donate and renovate buildings to house a culinary program at Harborside Park. President Morris Gaebe ’98 Hon., Vice President John Yena ’06 Hon. and Director of Admissions Manuel Pimentel Jr. ’98 Hon. researched the food service market and tie-ins with the hospitality program. After initially hesitating, the trustees approved the proposal, stipulating a minimum of 80 applicants by May 1973.

In fall 1973, 141 students reported for orientation at the School of Culinary Arts. Led by Belgium native Franz K. Lemoine, it offered an associate in science degree focused on food preparation and service, training students to become professional chefs. Lemoine appointed chef-instructors Hugh Larkin, David S. Howe, Socrates Inonog and Joseph Weigand, recognized experts in their culinary disciplines. Within the decade, the program experienced phenomenal enrollment: 400 in 1974; 800 in 1975; 1,200 in 1976. The launch of the culinary program had a major impact on the scope and success of the institution.

l-r: Franz Lemoine, director of the culinary arts program, and President Gaebe ’98 Hon., accept a contribution from Nicholas Follachio, president of the Connecticut Chef’s Association, in November 1973.