Our History Timeline

Over 50 Years of Developing Exceptional Leaders in Hospitality

We are very proud of the growth, maturity, and depth of education that has been nurtured over the years.  Our alumni are a testament to this.

Photo of George Bedell


  • 1965: Hospitality industry in Canada asks the University of Guelph to develop a degree program
  • 1968: Hospitality Founders’ Fund is created to raise money for a building to house the proposed school
  • 1969:  Twenty-six students enrol
    • George Bedell is named as Founding Director of the School of Hotel and Food Administration


  • 1973: First class graduates
    • HAFA Alumni Association is formed
  • 1974: Construction begins on the HAFA building beside Macdonald Stewart Institute supported by the Founders' Fund and Macdonald Stewart Foundation
  • 1975: Macdonald Stewart Hall Opens
    • The School has 300 full-time students and 6 full-time faculty
  • 1978: Institutional food-service management program is established
  • 1979: Dr. Tom Powers becomes the second Director of HAFA
    • Industry supports a new priority - research

Photo of HAFA Students


  • 1981: Summer work program puts HAFA students to work in the inaugural year of Canada's Wonderland
  • 1983: Advanced Management Program for the Hospitality Industry (AMPHI) is launched
  • 1986: 400 students and 10 full-time faculty
  • 1987: Dr. Michael Nightingale is appointed as third Director
    • Hospitality Manager's Development Course (HMDC) is introduced



  • 1990: B.Comm. program expands to include business-related majors in other departments - agricultural business, housing and real estate management, management economics in industry and finance, and marketing
  • 1991: First France semester and the launch of our annual Job Expo
  • 1992: Co-op major is launched
    • Study-abroad programs expand
    • New Master of Management Studies program enrols six students
  • 1993:  HAFA has more than 500 undergraduates, 11 graduate students and 18 full-time faculty
    • Management development programs offer first course by distance education
  • 1995: The School celebrates its 25th anniversary (later than the actual 25th year of 1994)
    • Dr. Michael Haywood is appointed fourth Director
  • 1997:  Ground is broken behind the School, to include a case-teaching suite funded largely by the hospitality and food industries
  • 1998:  Dr. John Walsh becomes the fifth Director

Pj's Restaurant


  • 2000: Master's degree program became an MBA in Hospitality and Tourism. First students enter the new Tourism Management major
  • 2002: The School rebrands from Hotel and Food Administration (HAFA) to Hospitality & Tourism Management (HTM)
  • 2003:  Dr. Marion Joppe becomes the 6th Director
    • The atrium addition is completed to Macdonald Stewart Hall
    • The expanded food preparation space is known as the Compass Group Culinary Management Facility
    • The restaurant is called PJ's Restaurant in the Atrium. Named for Cara's modern founder, the late Paul J. Phelan
  • 2006:  The University created the College of Management and Economics
    • BComm grew to include an entering class of almost 800 students
  • 2007: Dr. Stephen Lynch is appointed Interim Director
  • 2008: CME received approval to offer a PhD in Management
  • 2009: The 40th anniversary is celebrated
    • First students accepted into the PhD in Management - Services Management; Marketing and Consumer Behaviour and Organizational Leadership
    • Dr. Kerry Godfrey is appointed the 7th Director

50th Anniversary Logo


  • 2013: Dr. Joe Barth is appointed Interim Director
  • 2014: The College rebrands and becomes the College of Business + Economics
    • HTM becomes the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management (HFTM)
    • Dr. Statia Elliot becomes the 8th Director
  • 2017:  End of HAFA major and beginning of the Hospitality and Tourism Management major with streams in accommodation, foodservice and tourism
  • 2018: The Hospitality Leadership Certificate (HLC) is launched
  • 2019:  The School celebrates its 50th Anniversary!
    •  An extraordinary gift of $1,333,000 was made by Michel Eric Fournelle (HAFA, 1992) to transform our Macdonald Institute food lab into an advanced teaching facility, to be named The Anita Stewart Memorial Food Laboratory, honouring UofG's Food Laureate
    • The School's heritage room is unveiled, located in the central hallway of the School’s building, a visual recognition of our 50-year history and alumni achievements.
    • The College rebrands and becomes the Gordon S. Lang School of Business & Economics

2016 Alumni Golf Tournament Group Photo


  • 2020:  New partnership with Whirlpool Canada to outfit The Anita Stewart Memorial Food Laboratory with state-of-the-art appliances and food preparation equipment.
    • Introduction of the specialized major - Sport & Event Management
    • Covid-19 pandemic - Teaching transitions from in person to online/virtual format
    • Construction of the Anita Stewart Memorial Food Laboratory
    • Dr. Chris Choi is appointed Interim Director
  • 2021:  Lang School earns AACSB International Accreditation
    • Dr. Statia Elliot returns as School Director
    • Opening of the Anita Stewart Memorial Food Laboratory
    • Construction of the grand Lang Plaza
  • 2023: Dr. Mark Holmes is appointed Interim Director
  • 2024: Dr. Mark Holmes becomes the 9th Director