The Rosen College of Hospitality Management received a $1.5 million gift from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott to help fund the construction of a new foodservice lab within the College.

The Marriott Foodservice Lab will consist of 3,500-square-feet of modern restaurant kitchen tools as well as video monitors and other instructional enhancements. Currently, 1,400 students are enrolled in six different courses that teach design, catering, franchise development, food preparation, cost controls, and managerial skills across two existing foodservice labs.

The new lab has an undisclosed completion date in 2019.

The Marriott Foundation seeks to help educate and prepare the next generation of hospitality leaders bu supporting programs that offer exceptional curricula, real-world experiences, and opportunities for students to engage with mentors in the field, UCF said.

“The Rosen College of Hospitality Management not only offers an excellent education but also emphasizes access and opportunities for students from all backgrounds,” said Marriott Foundation executive director Anna Gunsteens.“That aligns closely with our Foundation’s priorities.”

“That aligns closely with our Foundation’s priorities.”

The Rosen College receives international recognition for its world-class hospitality programs and proximity to theme parks. In 2016, the College was named top five in the world.

“The Marriott Foundation’s support of the Rosen College is an endorsement of our programs and an investment in the hospitality leaders of the future in foodservice operations and food industry management,” said Dr. Abraham Pizam, Dean of Rosen College.

“The Foundation recognizes the importance of stellar educational facilities and the challenges of growth, and we are extremely grateful for their partnership and support as we prepare our students to take on the challenges of accommodating and entertaining the 66 million visitors that make Orlando their destination of choice each year.”