About

Founded in 1927, the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series has been a highlight of the SHA academic program, giving students an unparalleled opportunity to learn directly from the hospitality industry's seasoned leaders and rising stars.

DDLS speakers, who represent every sector of the industry, share their views on successful management styles and leadership qualities, possible career paths, and critical industry-related issues.

The DDLS was created by SHA's founding dean, Howard Meek, and remains a valuable part of SHA's educational program.

Who May Attend

Students may register for this one-credit course, which meets only during the fall semester in Statler Auditorium.

The Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series is open to the public, although the first floor of the auditorium is restricted to students enrolled in the class. Visitors may sit in the balcony.

All lectures will be recorded and posted the following week.

Origins and History

In the spring of 1927, the course Lectures on Hotel Management was offered for the first time. Given the course number 155 because it met at 1:55 on Friday afternoons, this recommended elective was open to students in all four class years. Featuring weekly lectures by visiting industry members, the course was followed by a coffee hour where students could talk with the speakers.

This course survives and thrives today as the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series, still taught on Friday afternoons (at 1:25) and still followed by a reception.

Informal names for the DDLS have evolved over the years, each typically with an alliterative (often culinary) theme anchored by the name of the presiding dean at the time (interim or otherwise). Names like "Brownies with Beck," "Cookies with Clark" (the graduate session after the speech was called "Turbocookies"), "Doughnuts with Dittman," "Bakery with Butler," "Kuchen with Kimes," "Java with Johnson," and now "Wind Down with Walsh" have helped set the professional yet congenial tone for this enduring tradition.