New Endowment to Honor Contributions of Industry Vet

From left to right: John McKibbon, Lee Pillsbury, Burt Cabañas , Mike Hampton, Dean, Rocco Angelo, Jay Litt, , Mark B. Rosenberg, Ken Furton

MIAMI, Fla.—Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management is reaching out to its global alumni base to support the Rocco Angelo Legacy in Leadership Campaign. The new fundraising campaign was created to recognize the contributions and ensure the legacy of the university’s Teacher, mentor and friend, Rocco Angelo, acting Associate Dean for Alumni Relations at the Chaplin School. Still active after six decades of service to the hospitality industry, Angelo’s exceptional achievements will be honored through an endowment fund that will make certain his legacy endures, benefiting FIU students of the future. The funds raised will provide scholarships, recruitment initiatives to attract the best and brightest students, alumni engagement efforts, mentoring programs, career services, and student enrichment opportunities.

Several prominent alumni of the Chaplin School have already contributed seed money to launch the effort, with alumni John McKibbon ’75, Chairman, McKibbon Hospitality; Burt Cabañas ‘76, Founder and Chairman, Benchmark Hospitality International; and Eric Pfeffer ’77, Founder and President, The Pfeffer Group, contributing $25,000 each.

“A legend in the hospitality industry, Rocco Angelo has personally led more than 15,000 students and alumni on their academic and professional paths to success,” says FIU alumnus Burt Cabañas, Chair Emeritus, Chaplin School’s Dean’s Advisory Council.


A visionary leader and a gifted teacher, Rocco Angelo’s achievements span the globe, teaching and consulting in North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Middle East, and Europe. As co-author of Hospitality Today: An Introduction, he saw his textbook, now in its eighth edition, used in colleges and universities across the United States. His efforts were rewarded with numerous accolades, including the Statler Foundation Professorship in 1993.

FIU recently launched a campaign page online containing video testimonials and numerous quotations from industry leaders who benefited from Rocco Angelo’s knowledge, experience, wisdom and his deep commitment to his students.