Over the past few years, the Scholarship Committee at UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management has seen a decrease in endowed scholarship funds due to the economic downturn. But recently, thanks to the generosity of its donors, Rosen College was able to award scholarships to nearly twice as many students as it was averaging in the past two years.

“During the 2011-2012 academic year, we were fortunate to see a significant increase in scholarship funds due to our generous donors,” said Scholarship Committee Chair Dr. Hyung-il Jung. “In recent years, we were averaging roughly 30 scholarships a year, but in 2012, we were able to award funds to 53 deserving students.”

Orlando hotelier Harris Rosen – the college’s chief benefactor – was one of the main contributors to this year’s scholarship upsurge, after he personally increased his own endowment fund to the college.

As a result of the scholarship increase, all 53 recipients were honored at a formal award ceremony and reception, held by the Dean, Dr. Abraham Pizam – a tradition that was on hiatus since 2009.

“We were very excited to bring back our scholarship award ceremony,” said Dr. Jung. “The award ceremony not only recognizes the successes of our current scholarship recipients, but it also helps inspire others to strive for greatness.”

During the Feb. 2 ceremony, the Dean, Mr. Rosen, Dr. William Fisher, and Dr. Duncan Dickson all addressed and congratulated this year’s recipients in front of an audience of their family members, friends and fellow students.

The ceremony also honored Mark & Ellen Schaefer with the President’s Medallion Society Award for establishing the college’s newest scholarship – the David Benjamin Schaefer Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund. The Fund was created in memory of the Schaefers’ late son, David, a student at Rosen College, who tragically passed away in 2010.

“We truly appreciate the generosity of all our donors, who help recognize and support the academic success, professionalism and leadership of our students,” said Dr. Jung. “It is because of them that our college, as a whole, can achieve greatness.”

To help plan this year’s award ceremony, Dr. Jung enlisted the help of Instructor A’Rion Raymond’s Event Management class, who organized, marketed and coordinated the event and reception.