Cecil Burke Day, founder of Days Inn, embodied the American dream. Committed to providing the traveling public with quality rooms and courteous service, his Atlanta-based lodging company grew from a single motel into a system of more than 300 hotels in the United States and Canada.
Born December 10, 1934 to Rev. Ron and Kathleen Day, young Cecil was raised in Savannah, Ga., with a strict set of values and ethics. It was these same beliefs that his mother and father instilled in him that led to the core business values upon which he built his simple motel concept. Day recognized that affordable lodging accommodations were in short supply in America. To fill the void, he set out to develop motels with clean, comfortable, moderately priced rooms.
In 1970, Day started his business with one motel on Tybee Island, Ga., and within eight short years, more than 300 Days Inns dotted the North American landscape. Day possessed natural business acumen. That, coupled with a fantastic imagination and extraordinary perseverance, was a prime ingredient in his march toward success.
One final ingredient in Cecil B. Day's success story was his core beliefs and values. To him this meant treating everyone — from the most modest employee to the shrewdest customer — with dignity, respect and fairness. He was respected in the community because he gave of his time and wealth to worthy organizations.
By the time of Cecil B. Day’s death at age 44, he had amassed a multimillion-dollar fortune that he generously shared with many. He shared with charitable institutions, schools, nonprofits and churches. Day’s legacy lives on through his generosity and philanthropy.
The Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration is named in honor of the late founder of the Days Inn hotel chain. Day is remembered as an astute businessman who developed Days Inn to national prominence. His legacy of entrepreneurship is the foundation upon which the program bases its philosophy for preparing future generations of innovative hospitality leaders.