D&E College Hospitality programs featured at state events

Davis & Elkins College staff and students from Graceland Inn and Hospitality Management recently wrapped up a series of off-campus spring presentations.

Graceland Innkeeper Clark Evans and Melanie Campbell, Davis & Elkins College general manager of hospitality services and assistant professor of hospitality management, participated in the Legislative Reception hosted at the Cultural Center as part of West Virginia Tourism Day in Charleston. West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick, Sen. Clark Barnes and Delegates Bill Hartman and Denise Campbell, along with other state leaders, attended the reception.

The annual event brings together members of the state’s tourism and hospitality community to share the wide spectrum of offerings. Representatives of Davis & Elkins College have attended the event for 20-plus years, Campbell said.

“It also gives us a chance to meet with legislative representatives,” Campbell said. “As members of the West Virginia Tourism Association, it’s important to stay in contact with our legislative leaders. We want to know what’s going on in the Legislature because there are some issues that directly affect us.”

Campbell and Evans, along with Head Chef of Dining Services Derrick Lantz, also accompanied student Ruby Stathers to the West Virginia Culinary Classic at Stonewall Resort. Stathers, a senior from Marietta, Ohio, majors in hospitality management.

Participants in the annual public event prepare select items from their menus to give guests a taste of their offerings. Graceland Inn served tuna carpaccio with mango salsa, Chef Mel’s brownies with marinated blackberries in balsamic vinegar, and peanut Asian slaw.

The college has been represented at the event for 10 years, Campbell said.

“It was a great opportunity for Ruby to experience the resort and be a part of a great evening of sharing a taste of Graceland with others,” Campbell said.

The hospitality management major is designed to provide students with a sound knowledge of management principles and a thorough understanding of food and other hospitality-related businesses along with practical, working experience. In addition to off-campus internships, students have the opportunity to work on campus in the Graceland Inn and Conference Center.