Purdum to retire from Penn State Hospitality Services

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- James W. Purdum, general manager of Hospitality Services at Penn State, will retire effective June 30, 2015, after 26 years of service to the University. Purdum is responsible for overall operations of The Nittany Lion Inn, an AAA 4 Diamond property, and The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, an IACC (International Association of Conference Centers) certified facility.

Penn State Hospitality Services, under Purdum’s leadership, delivers world-class hospitality to the University, the local community, and thousands of guests each year. Purdum is responsible for leading all facets of hotel operations, which include strategic, financial, and capital planning. He works closely with Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management to provide internships and work experience for students.

Throughout his career Purdum has been honored with several prestigious awards, including the 2013 Silver Plate Award - the highest possible operator award in the food service industry - from the International Association of Foodservice Manufacturers (IFMA). He is also a recipient of Penn State’s Barash Award for Human Service as well as the State Leadership Award from the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

Purdum is a past president and active board member of the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society. He has served as chairman of the board of directors for the Centre Communities Chapter of The American Red Cross, president of The Arc of Centre County, and a member of the board of directors for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. He is a frequent volunteer for the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games and volunteers for various Centre County United Way initiatives, including serving as project coordinator for the United Way’s annual Day of Caring.

“It is difficult to imagine Hospitality Services without Jim at the helm,” said Gail Hurley, associate vice president for Auxiliary and Business Services. “He has contributed much in his years with the University and has had impact far beyond his unit. His involvement with so many University and community organizations demonstrates his commitment to service, the community, and his profession. We are better because Jim has been among us, and we wish him well.”

Most important to Purdum has been “creating a guest-focused culture and an environment that celebrates genuine hospitality,” he said. “It’s very rewarding to know that our work really does make a difference. Our focus has always been on our valued guests, our team, and the students, faculty, and staff we’re so fortunate to engage in service to Penn State.”

Last Updated January 30, 2015