“We should be shouting it from the rooftops,” said UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield to an enthusiastic crowd of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and supporters who gathered in Hospitality Hall on April 26 to celebrate news of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality’s top rankings.
The college nabbed the number one spot on CEOWORLD Magazine’s “World’s Best Hospitality and Hotel Management Schools for 2023” list. In addition, the college was named the top U.S. program (number two in the world) for “Hospitality and Leisure Management 2023” on QS World University Rankings, beating out national rival Cornell and such global academic powerhouses as the Swiss Hotel Management School.
President Whitfield congratulated the students, faculty, and staff for “continuing to raise the bar when it comes to academic excellence.”
He also gave special recognition to the college’s Events Management Culminating Experience class for planning and executing the event, aptly titled, “Celebrating Excellence.” Under the guidance of instructors Murray Mackenzie, Ian Seidenberg, and chef Mark Sandoval, students carried out all aspects of the event – from logistics to marketing.
Guests were treated to celebratory mocktails, giveaways, and a reception on Hospitality Hall’s fourth floor terrace with passed hors d'oeuvres, live entertainment, and a lavish buffet. Guests also enjoyed special touches like a greeting from the UNLV’s Scarlet Dancers and an unveiling of a nine-foot, student-designed banner promoting the ranking results.
“There was so much relief and satisfaction when we unveiled the banner,” said senior Lyla Saab, who served as a team lead on the class’s marketing team. “It was great seeing people smile and clap; but then watching them talking to each, making connections, and just being relaxed … I thought, ‘Wow! This is why we did this!’”
In addition to President Whitfield, speakers included: Harrah College of Hospitality dean Stowe Shoemaker; faculty member, and alumna, Bobbie Barnes; and Palms general manager, and alumna, Cindy Kiser Murphey.
Kiser Murphey gushed with pride over the college’s standing while urging students to leverage the college’s strong industry partnerships.
“There are so many great opportunities for you here, like internships, mentorship, work experience,” said Kiser Murphey, whose Palm Casino Resort runs a successful internship program with UNLV. “I would encourage every one of you to take advantage of these incredible opportunities.”
CEOWORLD Magazine and QS World University Rankings are based on evaluations of performance across a numerous categories such as research output/citations, academic reputation, facilities, employer reviews, job placement, etc.