WSU HRA First Western School to Partner with ARAMARK

PULLMAN, Wash. — Educational and professional opportunities for students and faculty in
Washington State University’s Hotel and Restaurant Administration program will expand
because of a partnership with ARAMARK, a multinational managed service company.
The partnership makes WSU the fifth university nationwide to be named a “partner school”
with the $6.5 billion, Philadelphia-based company. WSU joins Cornell, Michigan State, Penn
State and Purdue.
Through this partnership, “I see strength building upon strength,” said WSU President
Samuel H. Smith. “This makes ARAMARK and our university stronger.” Smith and other
university officials met Monday, Oct. 11, with ARAMARK executives and employees on campus
to announce the partnership and kick off the company’s annual fall recruiting at WSU.
The alliance has been successful at the other partner schools. At Cornell, it has given
increased visibility to all schools and colleges, not just the hospitality school. At Penn State,
company vice presidents and middle managers attend an on-campus Executive Leadership
training program developed specifically for the company.
“We feel that developing a close working relationship with selected leading universities can
benefit both of us. We selected WSU because of the quality of its programs, the enthusiasm of
the faculty and the continued success of the graduates as ARAMARK managers,” said Tom
Gaval, human resources vice president for the company’s Sports and Entertainment division.
“We can help WSU by sponsoring events, assisting faculty research, and providing guests
for classes and panels. WSU helps us by providing great interns and recruits for our food
service and facilities management, uniforms and career apparel, and educational resources and
child care initiatives,” Gaval said.
At the end of the past academic year, 18 percent of all WSU HRA graduates were placed in
career positions with ARAMARK. University-wide, 20 students report taking jobs with the
company in 1999.
“While it begins with the hospitality program, we really see the partnership benefiting the
entire university,” said W. Terry Umbreit, HRA director. “We are thrilled to be selected to
become the first partner school in the West.”
ARAMARK provides food and support services, uniform and career apparel, and child care
and early education programs. It has more than 150,000 employees, serving 15 million people at
500,000 locations in 14 countries every day.
WSU’s 67-year-old, nationally acclaimed HRA program has 350 majors and minors, and is
rated in the top 5 percent of 170 similar programs in the nation. Three active student clubs and
more than 70 specialized internships help majors earn their required 1,000 service hours.
Placement of HRA majors upon graduation runs consistently at around 95 percent, with an
average of 4.3 job offers per student, said Umbreit. HRA is part of the WSU College of Business
and Economics.