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 Bethune-Cookman University Announces the Naming Ceremony for its School of Hospitality Management 


January 21, 2016 -Daytona Beach, Fla. - Dr. Bob Billingslea, an influential retired Walt Disney executive, will be honored this Friday at Bethune-Cookman University.  President Jackson, the Board of Trustees and B-CU leadership will proudly introduce invited guests to the new Bob Billingslea School of Hospitality Management.  The new school currently offers a Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management; and will add more programs in the near future.  Guests are invited to celebrate with Dr. Bob Billingslea on Friday, January 22nd at 11 a.m. at the Wendell P. Homes Business Building.  There will also be a second celebration on Friday night. 

Students in the Bob Billingslea School of Hospitality Management take a combination of lodging, food and tourism courses, in addition to other relative business classes.  In addition, students are required to complete two internships to gain "real-world" experience, help them test their career goals, and increase their competitive position with potential employers.  The school currently offers opportunities with reputable companies including Walt Disney World, Marriott, Starwood, Hilton and Sodexo.

Dr. Bob Billingslea spent more than 40 years with Disney and continues to serve as an invaluable advisor to Disney and other organizations.  Dr. Billingslea, former Vice President of Corporate Urban Affairs and Development for the Walt Disney Company, has been influential in social change and diversity for nearly five decades.  Dr. Bob Billinglea’s relationship with B-CU began early in his career when he was tasked with establishing recruiting sources at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In 1986, Bob and a team of Walt Disney World colleagues met with President Dr. Oswald P. Bronson and presented him with a proposal to establish a hospitality management program at B-CU. The proposed program came to fruition in 1986. Bob became a member of B-CU’s Board of Trustees in 1987.  In October 2015, B-CU inducted Bob into the Dr. Richard V. Moore Legacy Society.  He also received an honorary doctorate degree from B-CU in December 2015.  

In his retirement, Bob continues to support the following organizations that he championed at Disney: Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida, 100 Black Men of Orlando, Central Florida Urban League, Bill Dickey’s Scholarship Association, and the League of Black Women. He is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) and Kappa Alpha Psi and Sigma Pi Phi (Boulé) fraternities. He also serves on the board of directors of Axiom Bank and Gourmet Services Inc. Bob has one son, two grandchildren and one great grandchild. He and his wife, Deidre (“DeeDee”) reside in Windermere, Florida.  

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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