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Hospitality Business Management revives 1940s tradition — The Bellhop

By Sue McMurray, Carson College of Business

Bellhop graphicPULLMAN, Wash. – The School of Hospitality Business Management at Washington State University is renewing a tradition that began in 1940s — The Bellhop, a celebration of the hospitality program featuring a dinner and dancing.

The event includes the SHBM Hall of Fame inductee celebration and will begin 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, in the CUB senior ballroom. The public is invited.

Registration is $125 and is available on the Carson College website or by calling 509-335-5766 until 5 p.m. Friday, March 9.

WSU hospitality award presented at Bellhop 1959 celebration. The annual event previously ran from the 1940s to the 1980s.
WSU hospitality award presented at Bellhop 1959 celebration. The annual event previously ran from the 1940s to the 1980s.

The Bellhop was a longstanding fundraiser that ran from the 1940s to the 1980s. Students turned the women’s gym into a nightclub for an annual dance, drawing attention to the hotel and restaurant program and raising money for their seniors to travel and tour some of the finest hotels in the country. Each year, the club selected a national bellman or hotel sales manager to honor and bring to Pullman for a series of events.

“The purpose of bringing the Bellhop back is to honor the past, celebrate the present, and build the future of the School of Hospitality Business Management,” said Nancy Swanger, SHBM director and Carson College of Business associate dean.

Additionally the event includes a live auction and raise the paddle fundraiser. Proceeds will support the Hospitality Business Management Development Fund.

Hall of fame inductees include:

  • Joseph Bradley, professor emeritus, (posthumous).
  • Rick Ellingson, retired president, Bargreen Ellingson.
  • George Forbes, owner/publisher, Portland Visitor’s Map.
  • Chris Marker, retired president/CEO, The Hilhaven Corporation.
  • Harry Mullikin, retired chairman/CEO, Westin Hotels, (posthumous).
  • Peter Smith, retired chief operating officer, Canyon Ranch.
  • Georgina Tucker, retired director of housekeeping, Westin Century Plaza Hotel, (posthumous).
Make reservations now to attend the 2018 revival of the Bellhop.
Make reservations now to join in the celebration and 2018 revival of the Bellhop — a night of dining, dancing and fun.

“We thank our sponsors Boyd Family Vineyard, Hilton, Marriott International, Panda Express, San Diego Zoo, Seattle Hospitality Group, LLC, Stonebridge Companies, Swanger family, and The Hotel Group,” said Swanger.

The school was established in 1932 and ranks eighth among the best hospitality programs nationwide. Additionally, recently ranked the school No. 1 for best online hospitality programs in the United States in 2018.


  • Darcie Bagott, administrative assistant, WSU School of Hospitality Business Management, 509-335-5766,
  • Sue McMurray, assistant director of communications, WSU Carson College of Business, 509-335-7578,

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