HPU Recognized for Best Event Management Program for Third Time

HPU’s event management program won the Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Award for Best Event Management Bachelor’s Degree from the International Festivals and Events Association. Attending the IFEA conference and accepting the award are, from left, student Makayla Worley, student Skyler Niles, Assistant Professor Dr. Vern Biaett, Assistant Professor Dr. Brianna Clark, student and Planning on Point President Murphy DiRosa, and student Rebeka Hatherly.


HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 26, 2018 – High Point University’s event management program has been named the best bachelor’s degree in the industry again. For the third year in a row, the event management degree in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication won the Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Award for Best Event Management Bachelor’s Degree.

Professors and event management majors who are a part of HPU’s student-run event club, Planning on Point, accepted the award during the International Festivals and Events Association conference in San Diego. The conference recognizes some of the world’s top festivals, events and educational programs annually.

“Our program is unique,” says Dr. Vern Biaett, assistant professor of event management. “We have created an actual bachelor’s degree in event management at HPU – not an emphasis or a few courses, but a full, 54 credit-hour degree. Our classes emphasize what the IFEA requires their Certified Festival and Event Executives (CFEE) professionals to know.  And we are not done yet, with plans for future expansion on the horizon.”

As the first event management program in the world to be housed in a School of Communication, HPU’s bachelor’s degree offers innovative courses and experiential learning to prepare students for successful and satisfying careers. In addition to their classwork, event management majors are also community partners, volunteering and interning more than 6,000 hours annually with local event-related organizations and facilities as well as several non-profit organizations.

Graduates go on to produce events within the public, non-profit and private sectors, including weddings, conferences, festivals, sporting events and concerts. They are also prepared to work for a company in the hospitality, rental or marketing business that supports the festival and events industry.

Murphy DiRosa, a junior event management major and president of Planning on Point, says the event management program has given her a wealth of hands-on experience.

“I’ve been able to hold leadership roles and learn to work with various groups,” she says. “Attending the conference allowed me to network with so many different people from the industry, creating lifelong connections. This program continuously prepares me for the future. With so many classroom and real-life experiences, I feel that I have learned – and am continuing to learn – the skills I’ll need to be confident in my career.”

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