U of A Hospitality Program's SMASH Fundraising Event on March 11

Hospitality innovation students in Bumpers College plan, prepare and serve a fine dining event.
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Hospitality innovation students in Bumpers College plan, prepare and serve a fine dining event.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas students in the hospitality innovation program are putting their skills on display at the eighth annual Students Mastering the Art of Southern Hospitality – SMASH – event, a fine dining experience to benefit students in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. The theme of the event is southern hospitality and cuisine.

The deadline to purchase tickets is Friday, March 3.

The event takes place Saturday, March 11, at Fayetteville’s Hilton Garden Inn on North Palak Drive. A reception for sponsors begins at 6 p.m. followed by the main reception at 6:30, tastings and socializing at 7 and the “Experience” live auction at 8. Donors, scholarship recipients and students will be recognized during dinner.

SMASH proceeds help fund scholarships for hospitality innovation students, professional development for students and faculty, equipment, supplies and research in the School of Human Environmental Sciences. The event was known as “A Class Act” for six years, but the name changed prior to last year’s event.

“This event is the highlight of our year,” said Kelly Way, associate professor and assistant director of the School of Human Environmental Sciences. “It showcases the abilities of our students in menu design, catering, serving and overall hospitality skills they will use as they advance in their careers. This is almost like a job interview as they perform in front of and serve industry leaders and professionals. We are proud of them and always look forward to watching them succeed.”

“The students in our special topics SMASH class spend the beginning of the spring semester planning the event details, then spend the rest of the semester creating an event timeline to pass on to the students who will execute the event the following year,” said instructor Dede Hamm. “It is a true hands-on learning experience where they learn event planning from start to finish.”

Individual tickets are $75 and include the reception, dinner, beer and wine. Couples packages are $125, parents and grandparents of students participating in the event may purchase $100 packages, and tickets for faculty and staff of the School of Human Environmental Sciences are $50.

Sponsorships are also available. The Diamond Pineapple ($5,000) includes tickets for 10 guests to the sponsor’s reception and SMASH, and interaction with hospitality innovation students throughout the year; the Platinum Pineapple ($2,500) includes tickets for eight guests to the sponsor’s reception and SMASH, the Golden Pineapple ($1,000) is for six guests, Silver Pineapple ($400) four guests and Bronze Pineapple ($250) for two guests. All sponsorship packages include various levels of acknowledgement during the event.

To purchase tickets, go here. For more information about the event or sponsorships, call 479-575-5132 or 479-575-4985.

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Robby Edwards, Director of Communications
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
479-575-4625, robbye@uark.edu


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