Cornell Nolan School Celebrates A Century of Hospitality Leadership

By: Sarah Magnus-Sharpe
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The Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration, part of the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University, is proud to announce a yearlong celebration to commemorate its 100th anniversary. The year will kick off at Nolan’s 97th-annual Hotel Ezra Cornell, the school’s signature, student-run conference and hospitality event, which will be held April 21-24, 2022. A series of other celebratory events will take place throughout the year.

Nolan Dean Kate Walsh is honored to be leading the school, which was once again ranked number-one in the world for hospitality education by CEO World Magazine 2022, into its second century.

“Over the course of a century, Cornell’s modest experiment in collegiate training for hoteliers has undergone continuous transformation to become what is far and away the world’s preeminent hospitality business school,” she said. “Our tremendous success is a result of a strong and innovative vision to develop service-minded leaders, a world-class faculty of industry thought-leaders and caring teachers, a dedicated and passionate community of alumni who pay it forward, and a relationship-driven, experiential educational model that brings our faculty and alumni together to prepare, launch, and hire our industry’s future leaders.”

With the opening of classes on Sept. 20, 1922, the school began with courses in nutrition and textiles for 20 students. The program’s original 11 transfer students graduated in 1925; the first four-year class followed in 1926. And from there, the program developed a flourishing tradition of sending its graduates on to create and run businesses in all aspects of hospitality, including institutional investing, real estate, ownership, private equity, global brands, food and beverage, online travel, and data analytics. Notable alumni currently leading the industry today include Marriott CEO Tony Capuano ’87, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts CEO Keith Barr ’92, Hilton CFO and global president Kevin Jacobs ’94, and CEO of Blau + Associates and notable restaurateur-developer Elizabeth Blau, MS ’97. (Blau will be honored at the Cornell Hospitality Icon and Innovator Awards gala on June 7, 2022, in New York City with the school’s Cornell Hospitality Innovator Award.)

Looking ahead to the next century, Walsh will prioritize initiatives such as tuition affordability, innovation and curriculum development that harness the power of Cornell, and on deepening the school’s extensive connections with alumni and industry leaders across the globe. As part of this plan, Walsh’s goal is to build from all of the resources across the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and Cornell University to ensure that the Nolan School continues to strengthen its position as the premier educator for the global hospitality and services sectors.

“Our partnership with the SC Johnson College of Business only expands our opportunities for trailblazing research, incredible course offerings, and continued focus on and impact for tomorrow’s global hospitality industry,” she said.

“We look forward to another 100 years of continued, thoughtful growth and abundant opportunities for our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and for the active engagement with our valued hospitality industry partners,” said Andrew Karolyi, dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business.

Sarah Magnus-Sharpe

Sarah Magnus-Sharpe

Sarah Magnus-Sharpe is the director of Public Relations and Communications for the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

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