Dear friends,

As we begin the new year, it presents a time to reflect and facilitates thoughts on new beginnings. 2022 marks the 90th anniversary of the School of Hospitality Business Management (SHBM). As we enter this year, we will embark on a strategy to assess our future: What do we want to be at our 100th anniversary? What is the future of the hospitality industry? How can our students prepare to take advantage of and contribute to these changes? And, what resources are needed to get there?

The last few years have presented many challenges, but we continue to see successes based on the quality of our students, faculty, staff, and industry support. For example, in 2021, the SHBM ranked 2nd in the United States and 7th globally, based on the hard work of our faculty on impactful research, quality teaching, and international collaborations. Our students’ skills distinguish them from their peers with the following accomplishments: WSU Vancouver students placed in the top four against teams at top schools globally in the STR Market Study Competition; students competing in the Intercollegiate Wine Business Invitational swept the field taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places against peers in top hospitality programs; and student Emma Claire Spring won the She Has a Deal hotel pitch competition in Washington, D.C.

Our research prestige shines brightly with our rankings and faculty awards. Dogan Gursoy, Taco Bell Distinguished Professor, received the 2021 Lifetime Research Achievement Award from the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education, the premier professional association for hospitality and tourism educators. He also was one of only four WSU faculty members to be included among the world’s top 1 percent most cited researchers.

In recognition of its work on education, service, and research, our Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living received the Mather Institute national Promising Practices Award. The institute is growing its cohort of faculty fellows with the recent appointment of Shelly Fritz, WSU Vancouver associate professor of nursing, as the first affiliate faculty member. The work of the institute is also highlighted in a cameo appearance in Argentum’s national senior living campaign video.

While we celebrate these achievements and others, such as alumnus Larry Culver’s 2017 induction into the SHBM Hall of Fame, 2021 brought some sad news and goodbyes to some great Cougs and SHBM supporters, and tragically, our beloved faculty member Byron Marlowe, who passed away unexpectedly on December 28. This edition of the Crimson Pineapple pays tribute to these members of the SHBM family—Jerry Burtenshaw, Stacie Hamilton, and Marlowe—all of whom are greatly missed!

We will still share with you the feature we had planned on Marlowe’s accomplishments as the Don Smith Distinguished Professor in Hospitality Business Management and director of the WSU Tri-Cities wine and beverage business management program. The story highlights Marlowe’s recent insights from his Fulbright experience in Austria at the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems. His positive influence on and leadership of students are also reflected in a profile on Jack Costa, a WSU Tri-Cities senior majoring in wine and beverage business management. A new wine tasting room certificate further elevates our program that thrived under Marlowe’s leadership.

WSU Tri-Cities plans to establish an endowed scholarship in Professor Marlowe’s honor. In the meantime, if you would like to send a note to his family, please reach out to Brenda Alling, interim director of marketing and communication, at, and she will coordinate.

Please save the date for this year’s hospitality week—March 7–11, 2022. We are returning to an in-person format with a variety of panel discussions, the Burtenshaw career night and lecture series, the SHBM Hall of Fame induction, and the Bellhop gala, with the theme of “Cheers to 90 years.” I hope to see you there!


Bob Harrington, director