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Hospitality curriculum expands to serve Seattle professionals

By Sue McMurray, College of Business

Pettit,-left,-and-BeattieSEATTLE – Beginning fall 2014, Washington State University will have a bigger presence on the west side of the state when it launches its bachelor of arts in hospitality business management at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett.

The expansion aims to provide higher education opportunities to hospitality professionals who want to advance to the next stage of their careers. In addition to on-campus delivery, courses will be offered through other state-of-the-art methods including video stream, online and hybrid.

In fall 2015, students will have the option to complete the hospitality business management degree entirely online.

Students may apply at

The WSU School of Hospitality Business Management recently hired two faculty, Bill Pettit and Mark Beattie, for WSU North Puget Sound at Everett.

“We are very pleased to help meet the Pacific Northwest’s need for quality hospitality training and welcome Bill and Mark to our team of world-class faculty,” said Nancy Swanger, director of the school.

Pettit is the senior living executive-in-residence. As president of the R.D. Merrill Company, parent company of senior living provider Merrill Gardens, he brings a wealth of industry experience to the classroom.

He will develop the popular senior living elective into a full major, create professional development modules for industry professionals and establish an online caregiver certification program endorsed by trade associations such as the American Seniors Housing Association. Certification will assure teams around the country achieve the same quality of training, he said.

He also plans to expand the senior living program into international territories through online delivery, especially to China, noting that its aging population is almost 10 times larger than that of the United States.

“The WSU senior living class is unique, and I am thrilled to be able to take it to the next level,” said Pettit. “Exposing students to the opportunities in senior living is critical to the long term success of our industry.”

Beattie is an assistant clinical professor and will teach hospitality business management electives and required upper division hospitality courses.

Prior to coming to WSU, he worked in the hospitality industry for 30 years, spanning both commercial and non-commercial segments. He was an adjunct instructor and director of distributive learning for the School of Professional Studies and director of student services for the Virtual Campus at Gonzaga University.

“The hospitality program at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett supports the university’s land grant mission to provide educational access to a student population we have not yet tapped,” said Beattie. “Expanding WSU’s footprint will help build new communities of transfer students, employers and working professionals in the hospitality industry. I am excited to be part of a continuum of learning designed to set students up for success across degree levels.”



Nancy Swanger, WSU College of Business, 509-335-2443,

Sue McMurray, WSU College of Business communications, 509-335-7578,

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