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Fall 2010 Table of Contents

Seasoned Entrepreneur Takes Over at SHA

Christopher Muller: hospitality is vital to humanity

| From Commonwealth | By Caleb Daniloff

Christopher Muller is a fourth-generation restaurateur and an educator. Photo by Vernon Doucette

Serving strangers is in Christopher Muller’s blood. His great-grandfather ran a restaurant in Brooklyn, his grandparents owned a delicatessen, his father worked as a butcher, and he managed a Carvel ice cream stand as a 16-year-old. But hospitality is much more than a living, Muller says—it binds our common humanity.

On August 16, Muller took the reins at BU’s School of Hospitality Administration, which each year prepares some 400 students—in the classroom and in the field—for management positions in hotels, food service, travel and tourism, and entertainment. As the new dean, Muller brings to the program a decidedly holistic approach—a mix
of educational, entrepreneurial, and philosophical.

“I do harbor a favoritism toward entrepreneurial activity,” he says. “A good portion of hospitality education is creating a desire to own. When someone puts their name on the side of a building or takes that risk to establish themselves by adding value to the community by taking resources from one place and putting them in another, that’s a really positive thing.”

In 1999, Muller helped found the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, which enrolls 2,700 students. Before that, he taught at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. He won Hospitality Teacher of the Year five times at Cornell and was Rosen’s Teacher of the Year in 2001.

Muller is no stranger to New England. As a wine manager in Beantown in the early 1980s, he was a guest lecturer at SHA when it was just getting off the ground. He later ran eateries at Boston’s Quincy Market, in Stowe, Vt., and on Nantucket. He also owned a restaurant on Cape Cod.

Muller earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hobart College and a master’s and a PhD in hospitality management, both from Cornell.

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