Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

August 21, 2006

New HTM Scholarship Honours Former Ontario Deputy Minister, U of G Grad

Hospitality and tourism management (HTM) students at the University of Guelph are being served up a new $2,500 annual scholarship named for Bill Allen, former Ontario deputy minister of tourism and recreation. The inaugural scholarship will be awarded in March 2007.

Allen, a two-time graduate of U of G's Ontario Agricultural College, served in the provincial public sector for more than 30 years. His posts included the Ministry of Citizenship, where he was responsible for seniors' and women's issues and culture and recreation; the Ministry of Natural Resources; and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. He was also a board member of the Canadian Tourism Commission, Toronto Tourism, the Ontario Place Corporation and U of G’s HTM program.

In addition, Allen, who currently sits on the advisory board of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, is a 2002 Queen's Jubilee Medal winner and a 2005 recipient of the Northern Ontario Tourism Outfitters Association's President's Award. He was named a fellow of the Ontario Hostelry Association in June 2006.

The scholarship was initiated by William Duron, executive producer of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and was supported by many of the businesses and organizations that worked with Allen during his tenure. Duron wanted to honour Allen following the announcement of his retirement in April.

"Bill has been a hero to the tourism industry in Ontario, especially during the SARS crisis, when he displayed strong leadership and support for the industry," said Duron, who chaired a committee of senior hospitality and tourism executives that secured donations to fund the award from industry partners, tourism professionals and through a reception held on campus in Allen's honour in late June.

"He believes very strongly in the educational success of U of G students, and there's no question that donors felt really good about investing their money in them," said Duron, adding that the HTM program at Guelph is highly regarded and respected in the tourism industry.

The award will go a long way in making university more affordable to deserving students and will help increase the pool of qualified hospitality and tourism professionals, said Marion Joppe, director of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

"I'm overwhelmed by the support this has received," said Allen. "When you retire, you hope you can leave some sort of legacy, and in my estimation, a scholarship is one of the best things you can leave because it's contributing to the success of the next generation."

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56039.

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