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Business Observer Friday, Mar. 1, 2013 9 years ago

USF alum serves up $650K gift to hospitality school

Robert Purzycki, class of '68, co-wrote five books on the tourism industry.

SARASOTA — Travel industry entrepreneur and University of South Florida alum Robert Purzycki announced a $650,000 gift for the USF Sarasota-Manatee College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership.

The donation will support operations and both need and merit-based scholarships for graduate students, according to a USF Sarasota-Manatee release. Purzycki, of Ipswich, Mass., graduated from USF in 1968 with a geography degree. He later co-wrote five books for the tourism industry and trained travel agents, hotel administrators and airline managers in sales, marketing and customer service techniques, the release states.

Purzycki, according to USF, frequently visits the Sarasota-Bradenton region and meets with USF Sarasota-Manatee students. “The education I received at USF, nearly a half-century ago, has constantly guided and helped me navigate through the various tangents that have come my way while pursuing careers,” Purzycki says in the statement. “I'm proud to support the COHTL program, giving future students a chance to live their dreams.”

USF Sarasota-Manatee administrators are also excited about the gift. “This wonderful donation from someone who knows the tourism industry so well from the inside will help develop our College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership into one of the top 10 programs in the country,” says Dr. Cihan Cobanoglu, dean of the college, in the statement. “We are proud to know that Bob Purzycki values our role as a unique resource for future leaders in global hospitality and technology education, innovation and research.”

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