Washington State University’s School of Hospitality Business Management will celebrate the formal naming of the Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living, first publicly announced in 2017, on Oct. 30.

A dedication ceremony and reception will recognize the completion of a $2.5 million fundraising campaign.

The institute name honors the late industry veteran, who founded assisted living company Cobbco; served as president, CEO and director of Summerville Senior Living; was president and CEO of Emeritus Senior Living; and then became a board member of Brookdale Senior Living when Emeritus and Brookdale merged. Cobb, a former chairman of Argentum’s board (when the organization was known as the Assisted Living Federation of America), died in September 2015 after an intermittent battle with cancer over several years.

Not quite a decade ago, executives from four senior living companies, including Cobb, helped build the WSU senior living curriculum and taught a semester-long course in senior housing administration for juniors and seniors, according to R.D. Merrill Co. President Bill Pettit.

“Sadly, we lost Granger in 2015, but his passion lives on through the WSU Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living,” said Nancy Swanger, director of the School of Hospitality Business Management, of which the institute is a part. “He touched countless lives, and I am so proud that WSU is carrying out his professional legacy and passion for creating the future senior living industry workforce.”

The hospitality school is expanding its senior living management program to equip students with real-world operations knowledge and industry-expert connections in senior living before they graduate. Students must complete a 1,000-hour industry internship before graduating. The institute also offers a certificate program.

See the institute’s steering committee members here.

“The Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living will be a pioneer in integrating teaching and research for a rapidly growing industry,” said Chip Hunter, dean of the Carson College of Business, of which the School of Hospitality Business Management is a part. “In addition to industry partners, our efforts reach across campus with touch points in nursing, electrical engineering, human development, psychology and construction management. Our collective momentum will redefine the perception of senior living and prepare the next generation of leaders in this space.”

Those interested in attending the dedication reception must register online by Oct. 5.

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