DAVID A. Burke Foundation

Our Mission

Our foundation is passionate about paying it forward to our community’s less fortunate and educating our leaders of tomorrow in the South Florida hospitality industry that Dave loved so much.   

Our Beginnings

The David A. Burke Foundation was established in 2018 to continue the philanthropic legacy that “Burkie” led throughout his lifetime. David was an icon in the hospitality industry in South Florida, and the contributions that he made to his alma mater, community, and the lives of many will be continued through this foundation.

David served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for The Breakers Palm Beach for 27 years. David served on many advisory roles, including the Vice Chairman of the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council, Ambassador to the Honda Classic Golf Tournament, President of Florida Restaurant Lodging Association, Executive Committee member of the Boca Raton Bowl and also on the executive board for Discover the Palm Beaches.

He will forever be cherished for his contributions and generosity to the South Florida Community. His larger than life personality is carried on by his loving wife, Amy and two boys, Ryan and Matthew.

The David A. Burke Scholarship​

Dave established the David A. Burke Scholarship Endowment to support both undergraduate and graduate students at FIU pursuing careers in hospitality and tourism management. To read more about the scholarship, click here

Maria Velez Arango & Sage Rubin

Scholarship Recipient

Tiffany Rose

Scholarship Recipient

To have had the privilege of being the last recipient of the David Burke Scholarship was not only humbling but an honor. If you would have asked me several years ago where I thought my life would be right now, my answer would be extremely different than what it is today. I would not have been able to reply back today that I am a proud graduate of Florida International University, Chaplin School of Hospitality with my Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management. Through this endeavor, I have had so many incredible opportunities, a strong foundation of knowledge in the hospitality industry, tremendous personal growth and the ability to build life-long relationships with other students, staff, and colleagues.

As a result of this process, I have had the distinct pleasure of learning from the most incredible professors; they were actually the ones who really made me fall in love with this industry. Their passion, experience, and expertise were truly the driving force of my inspiration. The knowledge they shared about the industry made me realize that this was my calling and my purpose; it was time for me to follow my dreams.

Moreover, the David Burke Scholarship assisted me in achieving my educational goals by providing me with the funds I needed to meet the priorities for my education and future objectives. In addition, I was able to grow as an individual, leader, and innovator in this industry. I believe that the education that I received from FIU has propelled me into that direction and made me the best version of myself.

Furthermore, my last two semesters at FIU were very difficult; I had to take all my courses online due to very severe health issues. Being in and out of the hospital has been an ongoing battle for the past year and a half now, so I was not able to attend classes in person. The online classes along with medical bills have still been a huge financial burden and the grant that I received from the David Burke Scholarship greatly assisted in helping me graduate and allowed me the opportunity to focus more on the most important aspect of school…my learning and my health.”

Tiffany Rose Calestina
FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality C/O 2019
2018 David A. Burke Scholarship recipient.

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