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Academic Spotlight: Bob Billingslea School of Hospitality Management

HospitalityBob Billingslea School of Hospitality Management Raises Over $50,000 for Hospitality Program Scholarships at Bethune-Cookman University

DAYTONA BEACH, FL- B-CU’s Bob Billingslea School of Hospitality Management Inaugural Pineapple Ball held on November 15, 2019, was a huge success, according to feedback shared by guests. The first of its kind for the school, student-led event raised over 50,000.00 excluding in-kind donations. The introductory fundraising event for the hospitality program demonstrated hands-on experience in partnership with the Daytona Beach Hard Rock Hotel. Proceeds from the Pineapple Anchor Ball will help fund scholarships for current and incoming students, making it possible for them to complete their hospitality management degree, while supporting academic and professional development initiatives outlined in the school’s strategic plan.

Students from the HM430 event management course worked directly with the hotel, learning invaluable skills in the industry such as planning, organizing, managing and executing a corporate level fundraising event under the instruction of the Event Management faculty Dr. Ruth Smith and various industry partners.

Nearly 200 guests attended the spectacular Friday night event. President Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite, Mayor of Daytona Beach Derrick Henry, local city officials and the dynamic event keynote speaker Ken Lawson, the Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (and former CEO of Visit Florida) were among notable guests. Other recognized attendees included members of the School of Hospitality Management advisory board, alumni, B-CU deans, faculty, and event sponsors.

Among the highlights of the evening, a proclamation was read and presented to Dr. Deanne Williams-Bryant Dean of the Bob Billingslea School of Hospitality Management by Mayor Derrick Henry recognizing the day a “Pineapple Anchor Day” in the City of Daytona Beach.

"We are so proud of our students for executing such an elegant event,” said Dr. Deanne Williams-Bryant. Students showcased their talents through oration, entertainment, service, presentation, organization, and more. "On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students of the Bob Billingslea School of Hospitality Management, immense thanks to Hard Rock Hotel and all contributors for supporting the Pineapple Anchor Ball and its initiatives. We look forward to an even more successful event next November,” Dean Williams-Bryant shared in her closing remarks.

Learn more about the Bob Billingslea School of Hospitality Management Program, visit, or email Dr. Williams-Bryant at

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