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Countdown to 100

Countdown to 100

JWU Count Down to 100 Donna Yena

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

In 1980, then University President Morris Gaebe ’98 Hon. said, “Johnson & Wales is the fastest-growing college in this state [Rhode Island] because we have a unique kind of education known as career education. Society today is interested in jobs.”

The college offered programs that were not available at traditional liberal arts schools. Concepts like “upside-down curriculum” allowed students to take courses in their major from day one, and the “four-day week” helped students to work on Fridays and weekends when the demand was greatest in the food service industry.

In 1979, John Bowen ’77, JWU’s future chancellor, started the co-op program to provide the industry experience expected of culinary graduates. Bowen’s innovative programs brought a number of companies to campus to recruit students. He also spearheaded the first International Student Exchange Program and launched the first international co-op in 1981.

Less than a decade old, the culinary arts program was solidifying its reputation. In 1979, J&W hosted the American Culinary Federation’s National Culinary Olympic Team. A year later, the Distinguished Visiting Chef program brought the first in a series of noted culinarians to campus.

In 1979, Donna Fantetti (Yena), a new member of the Career Development Office, created “Career Days,” employer open houses where students could connect with prospective employers.

Image top: In 1979, Donna Fantetti (Yena), was a new member of the Career Development Office. She retired this summer as vice president of employer relations after 32 years and an illustrious career in career services at the university.