A year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Peter and Stephanie Nolan Cornell School of Hotel Administration kicked off at the 97th Annual Ezra Cornell Hotel, the school’s student conference and welcoming event , which was held from April 21 to 24.
The Nolan Hotel School, part of the SC Johnson College of Business, will host a series of other festive events throughout the year.
“Over a century, Cornell’s modest background in college education for hoteliers has undergone continuous transformation to become what is by far the largest hospitality business school in the world,” said Kate Walsh, Dean from the Nolan Hotel School.
“Our enormous success is the result of a strong and innovative vision to develop service-minded leaders, a world-class faculty of industry-focused thought leaders and caring teachers, a community of dedicated alumni and passionate people who drive it forward, and a relationship-experience-driven educational model that brings our faculty and alumni together to prepare, launch and hire the future leaders of our industry,” she said.
The school opened on September 20, 1922, with courses in hotel operations management. The program’s original 11 transfer students graduated in 1925; the first four-year-old class followed in 1926.
From there, the program grew and began sending its graduates to set up and manage businesses in all aspects of hospitality, including institutional investing, real estate, property, capital- investment, global brands, food and drink, online travel and data analytics.
In September 2021, a historic gift from Peter Nolan ’80, MBA ’82 and Stephanie Nolan ’84 established the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration and provided scholarships for future generations of hotel business leaders .
“We look forward to another 100 years of continued, thoughtful growth and abundant opportunity for our students, alumni, faculty and staff, and for active engagement with our valued hospitality industry partners,” said Andrew Karolyi , Dean of SC Johnson College.
Notable alumni currently leading the industry include Marriott CEO Tony Capuano ’87, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts CEO Keith Barr ’92, Hilton CFO and President of Global Development Kevin Jacobs ’94 , and Blau + Associates CEO and notable conservator-developer Elizabeth Blau, MS ’97. (Blau will be honored at Cornell Hospitality Icon and Innovator Awards gala on June 7 with the schoolCornell Hospitality Innovator Award.)
Over the next century, Walsh said, the school will prioritize initiatives such as tuition affordability, innovation and the development of programs that harness the power of Cornell, and on deepening the school’s extensive relationships with alumni and industry leaders around the world.
“Being part of the SC Johnson College of Business only expands our opportunities for pioneering research, incredible course offerings, and continued focus and impact on the global hospitality industry of tomorrow,” she said. .
Sarah Magnus-Sharpe is director of public relations and communications at Cornell SC Johnson College of Business.