It's been 47 years since Jerry Jaeger was selected as the Most Inspirational Student of his graduating class at Washington State University.
Yet Jaeger continues to inspire as a leader in the hospitality industry, and his alma mater recognizes it.
Jaeger has been selected as one of the first inductees of the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management's inaugural Hall of Fame. He and 10 others will be honored during the school's 85th anniversary celebration on the Pullman campus next Friday.
"I was elated," Jaeger said of how he felt when he heard he had been chosen. "I have a lot of really fond memories during my school years. I learned a great deal. I made a lot of lifelong friendships. That's been pretty special."
Jaeger is president and co-owner of Hagadone Hospitality in Coeur d’Alene. He’s a recipient of WSU's Alumni Achievement Award, a past president of the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce, United Way and the Idaho Innkeepers Association. Jaeger was also the Idaho Travel Council's first statewide chairman.
Last May, Jaeger received the Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor given to those who make significant contributions to developing, managing or conserving Idaho's recreation resources and promoting tourism in Idaho.
"My most important job is making sure we have the very best people," Jaeger said. "I'm very proud of the people on our team and I think that's a huge part of our success."
Jaeger and other inductees will field questions on a panel during the Burtenshaw Lecture Series on campus the afternoon before the celebration.
"The WSU School of Hospitality Business Management thanks Hagadone Hospitality Corporation President Jerry Jaeger for his long-term commitment that has provided valuable summer internships for undergraduate hospitality students as well as for a doctoral student seeking operational experience," said Nancy Swanger, SHBM director and Carson College of Business associate dean. "We commend his dedication to the SHBM ambassador program, which he has supported by offering complimentary room nights and retreats at The Coeur d'Alene Resort."