Tom Drumheller Memorial Scholarship Supports Hospitality Students

Alumnus Tom Drumheller (’75 H&RA), a man whose compassion and optimism touched the lives of many in the hospitality business and beyond, will be remembered through the newly endowed Tom Drumheller Memorial Scholarship.

Drumheller passed away in 2017 after a brief battle with cancer, and his family and friend Mark Falkner established the scholarship to honor Drumheller’s legacy and support students majoring in wine and beverage business management or hospitality business management.

After graduating from WSU, Drumheller was accepted into the Hyatt Hotel Management Training Program. In 1987 he moved to Cannon Beach, Oregon, to work for hotel developer Steve Martin, CEO at Steve Martin Management Company. These experiences set the foundation of his philosophy toward the hotel and restaurant industry, where he worked for 25 years before establishing Escape Lodging Company with Patrick Nofield, his long-time business partner. Located in Cannon Beach, the company builds boutique hotels differentiated by innovative architecture and timeless design. Drumheller’s latest venture was The Lodge at Columbia Point, whose spectacular viewing decks and fireplaces provide the Tri-Cities community with a great place to relax and socialize over a glass of wine supplied by the region’s many wineries.

An inspiration to others

Besides building and running hotels, Drumheller turned a great many of his actions towards kindness and peace. He slipped money to people he barely knew. He wrote cards, bought gifts, and loved to smile and say, “You can be a big success if you just follow your passion.”

“Drumheller was much loved because he saw the good in others. He forgave faults. He overlooked mistakes. He inspired us to be better versions of ourselves,” said Nofield.

Drumheller served on the Carson College National Board of Advisors and was inducted into the School of Hospitality Business Management Hall of Fame in 2017. He loved to share his hotel industry knowledge with business students.

Anyone interested in contributing to the scholarship may give online at or contact Hannah Finkas-Ganders, assistant director of philanthropic engagement, at or 509-335-5341.