has announced a $10 million gift from Carol and James A. Collins in support of the .
The largest single gift ever to the college will establish an endowment for scholarships and internship opportunities for academically talented hospitality management students from historically underrepresented groups, as well as provide resources for faculty. The gift also will enable the university and Collins College to expand and create programs, including a PhD program in hospitality management; strengthen its international outreach; and introduce new restaurant and classroom technologies.
"The growth and national reputation of the Collins College are a direct result of Carol and Jim's longtime philanthropic support and their belief in the power of education to shape lives and better communities," said Cal Poly Pomona president Soraya M. Coley. "Their latest gift to the university is remarkable, but it is no surprise based on what remarkable people they both are. They are a personally engaging, down-to-earth couple who worked hard to achieve success, and then used the fruits of that success to improve the lives of others."
A Navy veteran, James A. Collins graduated in 1950 from the University of California, Los Angeles — where he met his wife — with a degree in civil engineering and began his career building Catholic churches and schools. After meeting with fast-food pioneers Richard and Maurice McDonald, he switched to a new career path and opened his first Hamburger Handout in 1952, became a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisee in 1960 after meeting Col. Harland Sanders, and purchased the Sizzler Family Steak House chain from its founder in 1967. In 1985, he and his wife founded the .
"We are honored to provide a perpetual pathway for educating future leaders," said Collins. "Carol and I are proud of the college's reputation, and we are pleased to make such a great investment in our students and faculty."
(Photo credit: Cal Poly Pomona)