In Memory of Dr. Lea R. Dopson

By the Collins College of Hospitality Management

In Memory of Dr. Lea R. Dopson

In Memory of Dr. Lea R. Dopson

The hospitality industry and The Collins College of Hospitality Management lost a beloved family member, our dear Dean, colleague and friend, Dr. Lea R. Dopson. She has touched and bettered the lives of those who had the opportunity to work with her or be a student in her classroom as well as future students and faculty who will benefit from her leadership, policies, curriculum, and her tireless dedication to securing the financial wellbeing of the school.     

Dr. Lea R. Dopson, Dean and James A. Collins Distinguished Chair For sixteen years was an integral part of The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona, first as a faculty member from 1993 until 2001 and then as Dean from 2014 until her passing.  Dr. Dopson championed several important projects and career-long causes in her time as a Cal Poly Pomona faculty member. She designed and advised the hospitality opportunity program for educational enhancement (HOPE2) for underrepresented hospitality students, she advised the ICHRIE (International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education) ESD (Eta Sigma Delta) Honor Society, which recognizes hospitality and tourism students for outstanding academic achievement, service and professionalism, and Lea spearheaded a major overhaul to the curriculum. She shared her sense of adventure and passion for international causes when she spent nine months developing a degree program at the Bulawayo Polytechnic in Zimbabwe.

Beyond The Collins College, Dr. Dopson led the Cal State University Hospitality and Tourism Alliance, which inspired thousands of students to pursue an education in hospitality. She was the current President of ICHRIE and had served two terms as Treasurer prior. Dean Dopson was also the founding President of West Federation CHRIE. She served as a Commissioner and Site Team Visitor for the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA). Dr. Dopson’s research focused on competency and curriculum development and sustainable tourism in developing countries.  She authored two texts, Food and Beverage Cost Controls and Managerial Accounting for the Hospitality Industry. Her passion for seeing the world also resulted in her accomplishments of traveling to six of the seven continents in the world and creating a master’s program in International Sustainable Tourism joint degree program between the University of North Texas and Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), Costa Rica.  

Please join us in continuing Lea’s legacy and commitment to student success. Donations given on this page will help establish the Dr. Lea R. Dopson Memorial Endowment Scholarship. The purpose is to provide funding for scholarships to hospitality students with a focus on supporting under-resourced communities who have financial needs and experience real challenges while remaining in school and graduating on time. Your contributions will not only assist students but will keep Lea’s memory alive in the countless students that will be aided in her honor, in perpetuity.

If your preference is to donate by mail you can do so by sending a check made payable to Cal Poly Pomona Philanthropic Foundation to:

Cal Poly Pomona Gift Processing

Attn: Collins College / Honor of Dr. Lea R. Dopson

P.O. Box 3121

Pomona, CA 91769


For further questions feel free to contact Krista Spangler, Director of Development, Collins College of Hospitality Management at (909) 869-4450 or email at

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