Hotel & Restaurant Foundation

History of the Hotel and Restaurant Foundation

The City College of San Francisco Hotel and Restaurant Foundation was formed in 1948 by leaders identified with the hospitality industry either through the operation of establishments or the hotel and restaurant educational program at City College. The purpose of the Foundation was to promote and support the aspirations of the Hotel and Restaurant Department at City College of San Francisco.

In 1976, the Foundation’s name was shortened to the Hotel & Restaurant Foundation and its mission expanded to provide support to other hospitality programs in addition to City College of San Francisco's program.

The Foundation was chartered as a non-profit corporate entity. The founders realized that such a foundation could provide assistance to students, faculty and to the overall program of instruction in areas not covered by the San Francisco Unified School District budget.

The importance of the Foundation as vital to program betterment and improvements was clearly demonstrated in 1964 when it provided the corporate vehicle by which City College could legally accept the $125,000 gift from the Statler Foundation and supplemental gifts amounting to $50,000 from northern California hotel and restaurant owners and City College alumni. As a result, the Ellsworth M. Statler Wing of Smith Hall was completed, thereby providing students with classrooms, cooking laboratories, library, and a faculty dining room for work experience.

The Foundation also acted as the fiscal agent to receive a Ford Foundation grant given for Project FEAST (Food Education and Service Technology), a training program for high school students and a recruiting vehicle for the hotel and restaurant program at City College.

The Foundation exists today as one of the largest hospitality scholarship granting organizations in large part due to the vision, leadership and financial support of John and Hilda Gifford. John Gifford was the founding director of the City College Hotel and Restaurant department in 1935 and remained actively involved with the program and the Foundation until his death in 2000.

Hilda Watson, later Hilda Gifford, was the director of Hotel and Restaurant department from 1935 to 1954 and later founded Project FEAST. The highest award given by the Foundation is named in honor of Hilda Watson Gifford for her energy, enthusiasm and contributions to hospitality education.

Other Scholarship Opportunities:

American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation
California Restaurant Association
Golden Gate Restaurant Association
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation


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