History of HARF

The seeds for the Hotel and Restaurant Foundation (HARF) were sown at the first post-war meeting of the California Northern Hotel Association, held in 1946 at the Sonoma Mission Inn.

At that meeting, San Francisco hotelier Harvey Toy pledged $25,000 to City College’s hospitality program. Shortly thereafter, George Smith, owner of Hotel Mark Hopkins, matched that pledge. With donations growing, in 1948 City College of San Francisco (CCSF) faculty and alumni, joined by industry leaders, created the “City College of San Francisco Hotel and Restaurant Foundation.”

In its early years, HARF led fundraising efforts for the construction of all the purpose-built facilities for CCSF’s Hotel and Restaurant Department (now Culinary Arts and Hospitality Studies), including Smith Hall (1955), Statler Wing (1963), Statler Wing extension (1973), and the Alice Statler Library. HARF paid faculty for fellowships, purchased equipment for City College, funded out-of-town student field trips, awarded scholarships, and more. Today, HARF continues to support the Alice Statler Library, the finest hospitality library west of the Rockies and one of the few open to the public.

Recognizing the burgeoning of both associate-degree and baccalaureate programs specific to our industry, in the late 1970’s HARF amended its bylaws to offer scholarships to degree-candidate students enrolled in all hospitality, travel and tourism, and culinary arts programs at Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredited colleges and universities throughout California.

HARF’s major endowed benefactors ($50,000+) include industry luminaries such as John, Hilda and Mary Louise Gifford, Handlery Hotels, Manny Goodman Memorial, Swig Foundation, George Smith, Hart Smith, Harvey Toy, Hotel Council of San Francisco, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, Henry Meyer, and San Francisco Travel.

Since its inception, millions in scholarships have been awarded to thousands of students attending universities throughout California including City College of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, Cypress College, California State University East Bay, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, California State University Chico, California State Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo and San Diego State University.