Reflections- People Who Made a Difference | Donald E. Lundberg


We don’t always know what we want or what we expect and my first undergraduate class in my major was a real shocker for me.

Donald E. Lundberg was the department head of Hotel & Restaurant Administration when I first enrolled at the University of Massachusetts.   Few department heads at that time taught the Hotel 101 class (Introduction to Hospitality and Hotels), yet Dr. Lundberg seemed to cherish the 8am class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday that was perhaps not such very popular time slot for the 200+ freshmen and sophomores taking the class.

My recollections of the class were two-fold:

1)      it was a very good class In the sense that it provided an exceptional history of many individuals around the world that had been pioneers and

2)      I also learned that university grading was not the same as high school.  My 85 became a C, as he decided in his wisdom that a curve was to be used, meaning that at least 10% of the class would fail, no more than 5% would get an A and the balance was a formula never shared with students.

I got over the frustration of receiving a C in my first major class and learned a lesson on the need to better prepare on things that were important, because life is not always fair and there are many surprises to be experienced.  I learned there was a real need to do “a bit more”.

Dr. Lundberg left UMASS my senior year to begin a new program on the west coast and to continue his book authorship.  His books on restaurants, cooking, tourism and industry leadership remain available on many web sites today. The Restaurant: From Concept to Operation

I came to respect his knowledge and that his approaches were not as draconian as first imagined.  In fact, in my Junior year, I served as his undergraduate teaching assistant in that Hotel 101 class.   This experience led me to a career of interaction with higher education as an adjunct professor at three colleges over a 20 year period, as a corporate educator working with professionals and as an author and seminar leader.

The reflection here for me – remember those who influenced you and the reasons for that influence.    As I progress in my career, I try to impact others in the positive ways I feel provide value and growth for those I come in contact with.

Success does not come by accident or chance.

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KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for my 2011-2012 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™  and Principles for Success.

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John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is CEO and Co-Founder of , which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.  is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.
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