NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University’s James I. Perkins College of Education’s hospitality program will host the sixth annual Kentucky Derby dinner and auction at 6 p.m. April 19 at the Fredonia Hotel.

The evening commences with a cocktail reception featuring a cash bar at 6 p.m., followed by a four-course dinner inspired by Kentucky Derby cuisine at 7 p.m. Silent and live auctions will take place throughout the evening featuring items from numerous businesses in Nacogdoches and beyond, including multiple gift baskets, gift certificates and other fun items.

Students in the special events production course will plan and execute the event. The students’ responsibilities include organizing the menu, auction items, marketing, ticket sales, decorations and all other aspects of the planning. Students from the introductory hospitality course, as well as other hospitality students, will assist with the event.

“In addition to contributing funds to the program, this event provides an opportunity for students to get valuable, hands-on experience in event planning,” said Carlie Allen, adjunct instructor in human sciences. “They are able to learn all the different aspects of planning an event, and they have opportunities to interact with guests and demonstrate the skills they have learned in the hospitality administration program.”

Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the School of Human Sciences through student scholarships, student travel funds to conferences and industry events, and faculty development programs. 

Guests are encouraged to wear traditional derby attire, which includes wide-brimmed hats, bow ties and colorful dresses. Tickets are $60 per person, $100 for couples and $400 for a table of eight and must be purchased in advance at

For more information, contact Allen at

Stephen F. Austin State University, the newest member of The University of Texas System, began a century ago as a teachers’ college in Texas’ oldest town, Nacogdoches. Today, it has grown into a regional institution comprising six colleges — business, education, fine arts, forestry and agriculture, liberal and applied arts, and sciences and mathematics. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SFA enrolls approximately 11,000 students while providing the academic breadth of a state university with the personalized attention of a private school. The main campus encompasses 421 acres that include 37 academic facilities, nine residence halls, and 68 acres of recreational trails that wind through its six gardens. The university offers more than 80 bachelor’s degrees, more than 40 master’s degrees and four doctoral degrees covering more than 120 areas of study. Learn more at the SFA website.