Industry Update
Press Release 3 January 2017

Professor Paul E. Wise, founder of Delaware University passes

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Professor Paul E. Wise is the Founding Director and a Professor of the University of Delaware's Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management program and serves as the program's Ambassador. He graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. degree in Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management and later received his M.B.A. from Michigan State University in Food Marketing. Professor Wise has operated restaurants and clubs in Pennsylvania, Panama and Alaska and has taught club management for Army and Air Force club managers at Fort Lee, Virginia. He served two tours in Vietnam; the first tour was with the First Logistical Command; the second tour was as a Vietnamese Advisor. Professor Wise is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and National Defense University. He is the recipient of two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars and four Army Commendation Medals, retiring as a full colonel in 1982. During the last ten years of his association with the military, he was responsible for the operation of 670 Army clubs and hotels that produced annual revenues of over $300 million.

Professor Wise is active in numerous hotel and restaurant associations. Currently he served as Vice Chairman of the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau and as a past member of the Delaware Restaurant Association's Board of Directors. He is designated by the American Hotel and Lodging Association as a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) and as a Certified Catering Executive (CCE) by the National Association of Catering Executives. In 1988 he was chosen as the Pennsylvania State University Hotel and Restaurant Society Alumnus of the Year. Shortly after that, he was inducted into the International Military Club Executive Association Hall of Fame. The Educational Institute's Lamp of Knowledge award, in the "Outstanding Educator--Four-Year School" category was given to him in 1992 for his efforts to help the Institute better serve the needs of educators. He has served on the Certification Commission and Education Committee of the Educational Institute, American Hotel and Lodging Association, and is a past member of the Institute's Board of Trustees. Professor Wise has also served as a consultant and speaker to numerous corporations and associations.


Wise came to UD in 1988 as founding director and HRIM chairperson. In less than 15 years, the program moved from temporary offices in a trailer to a top-ranked hospitality department. Industry experts have acknowledged the program's unprecedented rise to prominence was to a large degree the result of Wise's vision and tireless pursuit. Wise's part in HRIM's, including the creation of Vita Nova, UD's student-run restaurant, and the Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware hotel, both HRIM learning laboratories.

When he retired from UD in 2000, the Paul Wise Executive-in-Residence Fund was established in his honor. The Wise Executive-in-Residence Fund sponsors an on-campus program--including lectures, workshops, consultation and advisement sessions with HRIM faculty and staff--by a recognized leader who personifies current best practice in hospitality management.

There will be a viewing on Wednesday, January 4 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at Daniels & Hutchinson Funeral Home at 212 North Broad St., Middletown, DE 19709.

The funeral service will be on Thursday, January 5 at Middletown Baptist Church which is located at 419 Armstrong Corner Rd., Middletown, DE 19709. There will be visitation with the family from 10:00am-11:00am followed by the service which will start at 11:00am.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the University of Delaware Hospitality Paul Wise Scholarship. When you get to the site, please click on "Make Your Gift" and then choose "Other" and type in your giving for the UD Hospitality Paul Wise Scholarship.

William Sullivan
University of Delaware
Phone: 302-444-9256
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