Par Excellence is an honors student organization dedicated to promoting the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management and its members through the actual experience of managing and operating first class hospitality staffing services of the Greater Houston area.
During the Spring semester of 1982, the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) was asked to provide students to serve a formal dinner at the home of Mr. Nick Nicholas. This event was hosted by television personality Mr. Warner Roberts and Mr. James Papadakis, owner of James Coney Island, and was a thank you dinner for underwriters who had contributed to the March of Dimes during the year. Fifteen students donated their services to this worthy cause. In June of 1982, the students were again asked o serve – this time for a cocktail party welcoming the new HRM Dean, Dr. Gerald Lattin, at the home of Dr. Fannie Howard.
Par Excellence has had the privilege of serving some of the nation's elite. In fact, our members have rubbed elbows with the likes of former US President George H.W. Bush and David 'The Admiral' Robinson, the NBA Hall-of-Fame member. We do not take these achievements lightly and we look forward to providing you with the same service that we have done for celebrities.
These two requests seemed to provide a potential opportunity for students to form an elite service organization, which would be available to the Houston community. All members would be full-time students in the HRM College, and would be available for hire as service personnel. The organization was formed with two primary goals in mind:To promote the Conrad N Hilton College and the University of Houston throughout the community and to provide a unique training experience for HRM students in aspect of service.
Dr. Clinton Rappole founded the organization and was the first faculty advisor while Dennis Caylor, Director of Food Services for the University Hilton, assisted with the development of a training program. Dr. Charles Bishop, President of the University of Houston Systems, was very supportive, and agreed to become the organization’s honorary advisor.
In order to become officially formed, a student General Manager needed to be selected. Mr. Allison Wen accepted the position, and Par Excellence was organized. Allison began at once to formalize by-laws, procedures, among other concerns, to select a uniform. A full tuxedo with tails, red cummerbund and red bow tie were agreed upon as the Par Excellence uniform. The Hilton College, under Dean Lattin, loaned Par Excellence the seed money needed to purchase necessary equipment and uniforms. Further donations were generously donated by ARA Services. Currently, we are advised by Chef Gloryvee Ramos and Dr. Juan Madera. Both have been key players in the success of Par Excellence.
History of the Tails
Par Excellence’s formal uniform is a tuxedo with full tails. The idea came from the elite male singing group at Yale University, the Whiffenpoofs, which dates back to 1909. The Whiffenpoofs are one of Yale’s most celebrated traditions and one of their trademarks are their full length tails. Following this great tradition for excellence, Par Excellence adopted a similar uniform and mission, to be an elite student organization.
30 years of Excellence
During the Fall of 2012, we celebrated our 30th anniversary with a Graduation Function that was themed after James Bond. Dr. Rappole, our founder, came back to celebrate our success of being on the hospitality staffing business for so long. We proudly continue to strive to be the best, and we thank you for your support for more than 30 years.
Par Excellence Today!
During the Fall semester of 2015, the executive team decided to make some pretty major changes. The changes started with a higher emphasis on recruitment and improving our recognition within the university. In addition, our website received a major overhaul. Major organization efforts were made internally to provide greater structure for the members of the program. To signify these changes, we decided to change our logo to reflect a stronger, more streamlined organization. We hope that our clients and members notice and appreciate these changes!