AMHERST, Mass. – A new fundraising initiative at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst seeks to honor the memory of former undergraduate James “Jake” Hoffman through a permanent scholarship in his academic discipline, Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM).
Hoffman, a Stoughton native, died in a fire in an Amherst apartment at the beginning of his final senior-year semester on Jan. 21, 2013. Classmates and his professors described him as an outstanding student, active in his department and Jewish student organizations. His parents received his undergraduate degree at Isenberg’s graduation ceremony in May 2013.
Creation of the new scholarship marks the one-year anniversary of his death and follows up on fundraising that received a strong boost on Oct. 14 with the first annual James “Jake” Hoffman Memorial Golf Tournament at Brookmeadow Country Club in Canton. Organized by his family and his close friend and HTM classmate, Seth Rotberg, the tournament attracted 148 participants and raised $15,000 toward the scholarship. Current HTM students, including members of Isenberg’s student chapter of the Club Manager’s Association of America, helped coordinate the event. It included 18 holes of golf followed by a dinner, a raffle and a silent auction. Hospitality firms, public and private country clubs, and other businesses donated goods and services for the auction and raffle.
“The event underscored our affection and admiration for Jake,” says Haemoon Oh, HTM department chair who played in the tournament. “A scholarship in his name will be an enduring honor to him and to future HTM students.”
The annual scholarship will benefit HTM students with professional and student club interests similar to Jake Hoffman’s. “We plan on doing this golf tournament every year,” says Rotberg. “We hope to keep Jake’s memory and spirit with us forever in our hearts, at Isenberg, and at UMass Amherst.”
Contributions to the James “Jake” Hoffman Memorial Scholarship can be made online or by contacting the Isenberg Office of Development, Suite B4, 101 University Drive, Amherst, MA 01002.