Each year, the Dedman School of Hospitality confers the Cecil B. Day Ethics Award upon a highly successful hospitality industry leader, who is recognized for ethical leadership. The honor carries a $10,000 donation, which is given to a non-profit organization selected by the award recipient.
Cecil B. Day was known for his unshakeable commitment to faith-based values. To him, that meant treating everyone - from the modest employee to the shrewdest banker - with dignity and respect. In 1970, Day opened the first Days Inn with the goal of providing travelers with clean, comfortable, moderately priced rooms and restaurants. By the time he passed away eight years later, he owned more than 300 Days Inns in the U.S. and Canada. His family sold the company for $639 million.
In 2007, Clint Day, Cecil’s son and a 1982 Florida State graduate, established the Cecil B. Day Ethics Award in partnership with the Cecil B. Day family and Florida State University in cooperation with the National Restaurant Association.
Past recipients of the Cecil B. Day Ethics Award include:
- 2016: Cheryl Bachelder, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
- 2015: Robert B. Rowling, TRT Holdings, Inc.
- 2014: Joel Manby, Herschend Family Entertainment
- 2013: Eric Affeldt, ClubCorp
- 2012: J.W. “Bill” Marriott Jr., Marriott International Inc.
- 2011: Richard Rivera, Real Mex Restaurants Inc.
- 2010: Michael Kaufman, National Restaurant Association
- 2009: Horst Schulze, Capella Hotel Group
- 2008: Craig Miller, SONIC Drive-in
- 2007: Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A Inc.