Event management program named world’s best

Recreation, parks and leisure services administration earns top honor

Central Michigan University has the world’s best undergraduate recreation and event management program.

That’s according to the International Festivals and Events Association, which honored CMU with its Gold Pinnacle Award for Best Event Management Bachelor’s Degree.

The IFEA evaluated the REM program in the following areas:

  • Number of staff and student-to-staff ratio.
  • Number of students enrolled and graduated.
  • Cost of tuition and financial assistance offered.
  • Alumni success.
  • Practical event experience required by the program.

Recreation faculty member Tim Otteman accepted the award on CMU’s behalf Sept. 26 at the 2019 IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

A career launch pad

Recreation and event management prepares graduates for careers organizing festivals, conferences, performances and other special events throughout the U.S. and abroad.

It’s the largest of three concentrations within the recreation, parks and leisure administration department with more than 200 students majoring and more than 100 minoring. RPL’s other two programs are outdoor and environmental recreation and therapeutic recreation.

Otteman toured the U.S. earlier this year to showcase on social media recreation alumni working coast to coast in positions ranging from coordinator of publicity and corporate communications for a music label in Nashville, Tennessee, to operations coordinator for an adventure tour business in Boulder, Colorado, to associate directing event services for the famous Rainbow Room at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

“CMU recreation students take the real-life experiences we provide them through our curriculum and quickly become practicing professionals and leaders in our industry,” Otteman said.

Step up your game

Interested in a recreation-related career? CMU has one of the nation’s five largest recreation education programs.

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