The Palm Desert Campus of Cal State San Bernardino will host a special gala to celebrate and support its hospitality management program. The event will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2024, from 5-9 p.m. at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells.

The gala, called “Spirit of Polynesia,” will feature classic Tiki cocktails and mocktails, as well as native dishes influenced by Southeast Asia, Europe and South America. It will also showcase program developments, introduce students in the program and recognize sponsors and donors.

Guests will feel like they’ve been transported to Polynesia, a region made up of more than one thousand islands in the Pacific Ocean known for its rich and diverse culinary traditions, warm hospitality and natural beauty.

“The gala affords students the opportunity for experiential learning and serves as a platform to celebrate their accomplishments and acknowledge the outstanding support from sponsors, donors and the community,” said Joe Tormey, director of the hospitality management program at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus.

The world-class hospitality management program caters to the $8.7 billion hospitality and tourism industry in the Coachella Valley. There is a consistent demand for qualified applicants for managerial positions, and this program is attracting top students from the Coachella Valley and beyond.

“The gala is a component of the hospitality management program’s curriculum and a learning activity in the Meetings and Event Planning course,” said Tormey. “Students assist in planning a large-scale event that generates financial support for their education, study abroad opportunities and the marketing of the program.” 

Individual event tickets are $150, and sponsorship opportunities start at $1,500.

All proceeds from the event support the university’s hospitality management program.

Event sponsors include Visit Greater Palm Springs, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, Indian Wells, Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa, Oak View Group, Desert Champions, The Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, Lulu California Bistro, Las Casuelas Terraza and the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration at CSUSB.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the CSUSB Hospitality Management Program webpage.

About PDC: The CSUSB Palm Desert Campus offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, teaching credentials and certificates, and plays a vital role in educating the region’s growing population.

For more information about the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, contact Mike Singer in the Office of Strategic Communication at or (760) 341-2883, ext. 78107, or visit the PDC website at