In just 11 years, since its inception in 2006, the Niagara University Club Managers Association of America (NU CMAA) student chapter has achieved success in the field of club management in unique ways that no other University has yet to attain. Not only has the student chapter been selected by the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) as the best in the nation every year since 2008 (yes, that is eight consecutive years!), the student chapter also boasts a 100% placement rate of its students in internships every Summer, as well as a 100% placement rate upon graduation in exclusive private clubs throughout the United States. Various members of the student chapter have been conferred 16 prestigious Joe Perdue Scholarships from The Club Foundation since 2009, three times the amount of any other institution’s student chapter. NU CMAA has also been awarded seven first place awards in CMAA’s annual “Club of the Future” idea competition. Clearly, achieving such positive results has not gone unnoticed.
The one element that has remained unchanged since its inception has been the student chapter’s faculty advisor, Dr. William Frye. “Beginning in 2003, a handful of club managers who had graduated from Niagara University urged me to consider creating a student chapter. After completing a faculty internship through CMAA’s Club Foundation in 2005 and witnessing the incredible support for student education and professional development from the CMAA national office, as well as the more than 4000 manager members, it was clearly evident that such an endeavor could yield significant opportunities, for both the College and its students. My goal was to put Niagara University literally on the map. At that time, very few people outside of New York State had heard of Niagara University or its College of Hospitality and Tourism Management. I also quickly realized that no other hospitality school had significantly distinguished itself as the premiere leader in club management education. This would be our chance to establish Niagara University as the unequivocal trailblazer in a discipline that had been underserved by most hospitality educational institutions.”
Fast forward 11 years, and the mission has yielded substantial success. NU CMAA has maintained its 100% placement rate every year, hundreds of club managers continuously seek out Niagara University interns and graduates, members of the chapter have completed more than 3,000 hours of volunteer community service since it was founded, and more than 40 club scholarships have been awarded to its members. Graduates of the student chapter remain employed as managers in some of the most admired and respected clubs in the United States and they create even more experiential learning opportunities for future NU CMAA members. The story has come full circle.