Our Mission

We are a community in creating an environment of quality education that integrates philosophy, theory, and practice while enhancing professional and personal growth of our students.

Our Vision

The Hart School at JMU will be nationally renowned by students, peers, and industry partners for innovative teaching, exceptional research, and transformational impact on the greater community.

Our Core Values
  • Leadership
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Student-Centered Learning
  • Diversity
  • Innovation
Message from the Director
A Dream Come True

O' Fallon Profile PhotoAlthough the hospitality program at James Madison University has been in existence since 1974, it wasn’t until June 2010 that it became a freestanding school.  At that point in time, the Hospitality and Tourism Management program merged with the Sport and Recreation Management program, becoming what is now the School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management.  After four years of solid education, our students now earn a bachelor’s of science degree.

As a student within our program, you will be challenged on many different levels.  First, you will be challenged intellectually.  Throughout your tenure at JMU, you will take 48 credit hours, 16 courses, of Hospitality Management related courses.  Once you graduate, you will have taken courses in Leadership, Culinary Arts, Ethical Decision-Making, Human Resources, Lodging, Event Management, Cost Control, and Hospitality Finance, to name a few.  In addition, you will earn a Business Minor from the nationally acclaimed College of Business at JMU.  Within the minor, you will take courses in Microeconomics, Computer Information Systems, Managerial and Financial Accounting, Marketing, Management, and Finance.  In its entirety, these courses will set you up to be a successful manager in the fast-paced hospitality industry.

Second, you will be challenged experientially.  Although we offer practical, hands-on, experience in the classroom, we also have a 1,000-hour work requirement.  This is completed through two courses, including a required 400-hour internship, prior to your senior year in the program.  Your experience will be critical, as we combine theory and practice in all of our courses.  Your work experience will not only assist you with your learning in the classroom, but will also give you an advantage when you are looking for your post-graduation job opportunity.

Finally, we will challenge you to learn more about yourself, and your strengths, as a manager in the industry.  Through our small class sizes (no larger than 40 your junior and senior year), we continually strive to: enhance your understanding of yourself by incorporating self-assessments; bring in industry professionals into the classroom who share “real world” situations; and, place you in a management position during your senior capstone experience.  Without question, you will be a stronger leader in the industry when you complete our degree in Hospitality Management.  After all, you are the future of the Hospitality industry.

I, as well as the rest of the Hospitality Management faculty, look forward to making your experience at James Madison University a positive one.  We build relationships with our students that last a lifetime.  As quoted from a leader of the hospitality industry, Mr. J. Willard Marriott, “Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees”.  Collectively, we will build a forest of the strongest trees in the nation.

The Hart School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management had a very busy fall semester.  In August 2014, we held a two-day retreat at the Mimslyn Inn, where the faculty began the process of developing a strategic plan.  Today, we are busy identifying key components that will enable us to become a nationally renowned school.  One of those components could be the construction of a new Hotel & Conference Center on the James Madison University campus.  In October, the Harrisonburg City Council approved the project, which includes a 205-room Hotel & Conference Center to be located on the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Main Street.  We are hopeful that the Hotel & Conference Center will serve as a learning laboratory for our students in the School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management.    

On November 14, 2014, we celebrated Hospitality Management’s 40th year of “Hospitality Excellence” in education and the 25th year of themed events at our annual fundraiser, Le Gourmet.  At the event, a number of individuals received an award, including Mr. Derek Sprague (current President of the PGA) who received the third annual Hall of Fame Award. 

As reported in previous Newsletters, our program continues to grow.  Currently, we have approximately 900 majors in the school.  We have 18 full-time faculty and staff that work extremely hard in preparing our students to become industry leaders. 

Dr. Michael O'Fallon
Hart School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management

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