Udupi, Dec 11: The Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA), part of the esteemed Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), observed its illustrious Annual Day and Awards Ceremony on December 7. The event was grandly held at the lawns of Fortune Inn Valley View in Manipal.
Gracing the event were several notable personalities, including Vasanti Pai, trustee, MAHE Trust; Sanjay Bose, executive vice president of HR & learning & development, hotels division, ITC Limited; and MAHE dignitaries Dr H S Ballal, pro chancellor; Lt Gen (Dr) M D Venkatesh, vice chancellor; Dr Narayana Sabhahit, pro vice chancellor-technology & science; Dr N N Sharma, pro vice chancellor - strategy & planning; Dr Giridhar Kini, registrar; alongside distinguished alumni awardees of 2023, faculty, guests, parents, and students.
The ceremony's highlight was its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) theme, titled ‘Celebrating Micro Cuisines of India with a Sustainable Development Goal Focus’. This theme underscored WGSHA's commitment to sustainability and celebrated India's rich and diverse culinary heritage, spotlighting lesser-known micro cuisines from Bikaner, Indore, and Bhubaneswar.
Dr Chef K. Thirugnanasambantham, principal of WGSHA, presented the annual Report for 2023, outlining the college’s milestones, including accreditations, collaborations, student achievements, international study tours, and faculty recognitions. Sanjay Bose, the chief guest, lauded WGSHA's contributions to national building and its partnership with ITC Ltd. He praised WGSHA for its emphasis on nurturing not only academic excellence but also human values and conscience. The guest of honour, Lt Gen (Dr) M D Venkatesh, vice chancellor of MAHE, commended WGSHA for its exceptional service during the MAHE Convocation and its participation in the G20 summit at New Delhi. He highlighted WGSHA's national and global reputation as a premier hotel school and its significant contribution to MAHE's impressive NIRF rankings.
The ceremony also witnessed the release of a book titled ‘Lived Experiences of Hospitality Connoisseurs’, featuring 52 short cases authored by WGSHA faculty members. Key awards of the evening included ITC chairman’s gold medals for academic excellence and the prestigious Distinguished Alumnus and Alumna Awards for 2023, conferred to Giju Varghese and Sumita Kaul, respectively. The event concluded with a cultural extravaganza, featuring energetic dances and drama, followed by a themed dinner prepared by student chefs, paying homage to the culinary delights of Bikaner, Indore, and Bhubaneswar. This annual celebration not only marks the achievements of WGSHA but also its unwavering commitment to educational excellence and sustainable practices, setting a benchmark in hospitality education.