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Golden Anniversary Gala Raises More than $1 Million

Hilton College raised more than $1 million for student success initiatives during its Golden Anniversary Gala, held Oct. 15 at The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston. Some 650 guests attended the black-tie soiree, which celebrated the people and programs that have made the College a world leader in hospitality education. Dean Dennis (Hon. ’18) and Julia Reynolds, Pennie Landon, and Nick Jr. (’73) and Vicki (Hon. ’03) Massad served as event chairs.

Clare Sullivan Jackson (’85), Dorothy T. Nicholson (’77), Chris (Hon. ’94) and Maria Pappas, and Tony and Donna Vallone were underwriting chairs, while Mike Pedé (’89), associate vice president of alumni relations for the University of Houston Alumni Association, was the evening’s emcee.

To commemorate this final event of the College’s year-long celebration, former Secretary of State Rolando Pablos (MHM ’96), presented a proclamation from Governor Greg Abbott to UH System Chancellor and President Renu Khator, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Paula Myrick Short, Vice President for University Advancement Eloise Dunn Brice and Dean Reynolds.

To kick off the evening, guests enjoyed musical entertainment by Beetle, followed by a call to dinner from the UH Spirit of Houston Marching Band, a series of video presentations produced by Staging Solutions, a surprise operatic performance by The Three Waiters, silent and live auctions, and a spirited “heads or tails” contest. 

Before indulging in their own individual birthday cakes topped with the College’s 50th anniversary logo,  guests raised e-candles and joined together to sing “Happy Birthday” to the College with accompaniment by the UH marching band.

The gala culminated with words of thanks from President Khator and Dean Reynolds. As several student volunteers were called to the stage – a testament to the beneficiaries of this history-making fundraising event – a shower of red and white streamers cascaded from above.

In addition to the College’s many generous sponsors and alumni, guests included industry partners and friends, as well as students and UH leadership. It was the largest and most successful event ever held to benefit Hilton College.

“The outpouring of support we’ve received from our alumni and industry sponsors for this milestone celebration has been truly heartwarming and nothing short of amazing,” Dean Reynolds said. “It was epic!”

Click here to see photos of guests in front of the rose wall, here to see photos from event photographer Dave Rossman and here for another album from Hilton College.

(Story: Debbie Maurer | Photo: Dave Rossman)

Posted on Dec. 5, 2019