Oregon hospitality owners Curt and Robin Baney have made a gift to Oregon State University - Cascades that doubles an endowed faculty fund to $1 million.
The fund supports teaching in the hospitality management program at OSU-Cascades and is the first faculty endowed position at OSU-Cascades to achieve $1 million in philanthropic support.
The Baneys are owners of the Oxford Collection of hotels including Oxford Suites properties in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, and the award-winning Oxford Hotel in Bend.
“As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Oxford Suites brand and the 10th anniversary of the Oxford Hotel, we are proud to advance the excellence already underway within the hospitality management program at OSU-Cascades,” said Curt Baney, Oxford president and chief executive officer. “The program is growing in both quality and reputation, and producing the innovative and technology-savvy employees our industry needs.”
An initial gift from the couple in 2016 established the endowed faculty position in the Baneys’ name, which is held by Senior Instructor Todd Montgomery. Montgomery joined OSU-Cascades in 2013 and helped launch the degree program in 2015.
The hospitality program is the only one of its kind in the state and was created in response to Oregon industry leaders’ call for a stronger workforce. Statewide, the hospitality industry is responsible for creating 112,000 jobs and contributing $11.8 billion to the economy.
“The Baneys are leading by example.” said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson. “Their generous gift doubles our faculty’s ability to teach innovatively and prepare tomorrow’s hospitality workforce.”
Montgomery has introduced students to cutting-edge technology in development for the industry, including service automation examples such as robot-delivery of room service and a 3D food printer.
He has also led efforts to build internship partnerships with more than 20 hospitality-related organizations, including Central Oregon-based companies Tetherow, Brasada Ranch Resort and the Oxford Collection of hotels, and to achieve a nearly 100 percent job placement rate for graduates into management level positions.
Montgomery has also collaborated with members of the hospitality industry across the state and engaged students in research that addresses the critical labor shortage facing the industry.
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About OSU-Cascades: Oregon State University’s campus in Bend, Ore. features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Nearly 20 undergraduate majors, 30 minors and options, and three graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, kinesiology, hospitality management, and tourism, recreation and adventure leadership. OSU-Cascades expanded to a four-year university in 2015; its new campus opened in 2016.