Alumni Spotlights

Know an alumnus/na we should spotlight? Share what you're doing in AlumNotes, or send us an email to

Don Landry (COBA ‘70) 

UNO, frequently recognized for its hotel, restaurants, and tourism program, has produced many successful graduates.  Perhaps Don Landry, class of 1970, exemplifies one of its best examples.  His résumé includes serving as president for a company that owned over 4,000 hotels in 30 different countries; acting as former CEO of a hotel real estate and management company with hotels in 25 states; and currently owning and managing a company that equips those in the hospitality industry with the proper networking, marketing tactics, and development services in order to succeed.  Don has been part of and has excelled at nearly every aspect of the hotel, restaurant, and tourism industry—from working the breakfast shift while attending college to helping others in the business achieve his stature of success—and accredits his achievements to the opportunities provided him at UNO. 

 UNO students are notorious for juggling school and work, and according to Don, this advantage gave him the jump-start on his successful career.  UNO provides an unmatched opportunity for students to be immersed in the job market in a way that other colleges in other smaller, less diverse cities do not provide.  Don believes that “UNO is a critical element of our community” and that “it is absolutely necessary that people work in their field and have the ability to observe and apply in the real world what they are learning in the classroom.”  This advantage goes a long way for students like Don who are eager to flourish post-graduation.

Don Landry truly cherishes his UNO education. The feeling is clearly mutual: Landry was honored by the University as one of the its Homer L. Hitt Distinguished Alumni.  Landry continues to give back to his alma mater hosting prospective students at his home and  always highlighting his UNO experience at his many speaking engagements.  Find out easy ways that you, too, can give back to UNO by contacting the Office of Alumni Affairs by email at or by phone at 504.280.2586.

  Interview and article by Alexis Vigier (BA English 2012) November 2011
as part of Johanna Schindler Memorial News & Media Internship.

Read more Alumni Spotlights