Virginia State University To Receive $1 Million Donation From Thompson Hospitality
Virginia State University proudly announces that Thompson Hospitality, the nation's largest black-owned and privately held hospitality company, will donate $1 million to the university. The generous donation made by Warren Thompson is a tribute to his parents, Fred and Ruby Thompson. It marks the second $1 million contribution to VSU from the Thompson Family, following an initial pledge in 2011.
"The Department of Hospitality Management is honored and humbled to receive a donation of this magnitude that celebrates the legacy of Fred & Ruby Thompson," said Berkita Bradford, Department Chair of Hospitality Management at VSU. "This is a game-changer for our department. A gift of this magnitude allows us to recruit the best and brightest. We're committed to preparing hospitality graduates for long-term success as they enter the global hospitality industry."
Warren founded Thompson Hospitality in 1992 and has partnered with VSU as its food service provider for three consecutive terms. His connection to VSU, where his parents received degrees, has been deeply rooted in his life. Warren’s mother, Ruby, graduated with a degree in Home Economics, while his father, Fred, obtained a master’s in education. Both were passionate about education and pursued careers as teachers. Warren fondly recalls visiting the university with his parents and siblings, Fred Jr. and Benita. These experiences fostered his allegiance to VSU and eventually led to him giving back.
"We’re honored to not only partner with Virginia State University but also to give back to its staff, students, and community through this donation," said Warren Thompson. "By virtue of my parents, Fred & Ruby Thompson, receiving their degrees from Virginia State University, I have always felt like I am a product of this great institution. Honoring their legacy and memory makes this commitment even more special."
Thompson Hospitality's dedication to excellence in hospitality perfectly aligns with Warren's passion, his family's connection to the university, and the numerous VSU alumni who now contribute to Thompson Hospitality's success. In recognition of the great things the Thompson Family has done for the university, it is with great pride that VSU's Hospitality Department will be named the Fred & Ruby Thompson Hospitality Department.
“After all the Thompson family has done for the university, we wanted to do something that would commemorate the legacy of both Fred and Ruby,” said Tonya Hall, Vice President of External Relations. “We are profoundly grateful for the Thompson Family’s significant contributions to VSU, and we look forward to a fruitful partnership that will empower our students and shape the future of hospitality."
As Thompson Hospitality continues to grow its presence in multiple segments, including Food Service, Restaurants, Hotels, and Facilities Management, it recognizes the crucial role of young professionals nurtured in a premier hospitality department like that of VSU. The donation will allow the university to continue its mission to provide a comprehensive and top-tier education to its students while expanding its resources and further enhancing student experiences within the hospitality department. The gift will be presented during halftime of Saturday’s Homecoming Game.