Pat Moreo was born in the borough of Queens in New York City. His family moved to the Finger Lakes region when he was ten and he finished grade school and high school in Horseheads. He grew up in a close Italian family watching his mother and his grandparents cook both southern and northern Italian dishes. Pat shares his family history, explaining how his maternal grandfather was originally a tunnel builder but quit that trade to open a luncheonette in New York, own and run apartment buildings, and become the first Pepsi Cola distributor in Queens Other family members ran the Pepsi franchise after his grandfather died. Mr. Moreo graduated from New York City Tech in 1967. He worked that summer at various hotels and restaurants and then decided to get his bachelor's degree in hotel and culinary work. He and several friends applied to Oklahoma State and were accepted, but were convinced at the last moment to apply at UNLV. They were accepted as students by Jerry Vallen, the new chair, and arrived in Las Vegas on Labor Day weekend. Coming from New York to Las Vegas in September of 1967 was like landing on Mars Pat describes in detail the heat, the small campus, and the supportive staff at UNLV. People like Jerry Vallen, Boyce Phillips, George Bussel, and Bruce Balton made the newcomers feel welcome, inviting them into their homes and making sure they were comfortable. Pat lived in Tonopah Hall and found work in the student union while working on his degree. After graduation in 1969, Pat went on to work for Harris Kerr Forster and Company (now PKF Consulting) and traveled for them all around California. After a stint in the Naval Reserves, he worked for Howard Johnson Company in NYC, and at the same time completed his master's degree at Cornell University. In 1975 he returned to UNLV as an instructor, earned a PhD in Ed Administration under George Kavina and went on to work at Penn State and New Mexico State. Pat returned to UNLV in 2006 to head the hotel/culinary department and is working with faculty and staff to make revitalizing changes. He expresses his opinions about the importance of food in every culture, explains his position on making people feel welcome, and shares his thoughts on what the future holds for Harrah's College of Hotel Administration.
Contributor: UNLV @ 50 Oral History Project
Pat Moreo oral history interview, 2007 September 13. OH-01329. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada. http://n2t.net/ark:/62930/d1db7zt20
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An Interview with Pat Moreo An Oral History Conducted by Claytee D. White The UNLV @ Fifty Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas 2007 ©UNLV@ FIFTY Oral History Project Univer