Hotel Ezra Cornell honors memory of John Harney '56, founder of Harney & Sons, with teatime event

Mar 04, 2015

Media Contact: Kira West, Marketing & Communications Director,

Ithaca, NY - Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC) is an annual weekend-long educational conference, a tradition at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA), during which students showcase their hospitality leadership and education. HEC guests include alumni, professors, and industry professionals; they participate in discussions, panels, and dining events. This year is the 90th Annual HEC and will take place March 19-22.

The theme of HEC 90 is "...and the rest is history!" Students take this year to look back on SHA's unique past. With this in mind, HEC is proud to announce that one of the weekend's events will pay special tribute to John Harney '56, who passed away last June.

Harney was an alumnus and close friend to SHA and HEC. He had been featured as a speaker at HEC, was a longtime HEC sponsor, and donated his teas to the conference. Harney graduated in 1956 and worked in several inns until founding Harney & Sons Tea Company. Harney & Sons imports over a million pounds of tea each year and sells domestically and abroad.

Cornell students can purchase Harney & Sons tea right in Mac's Café in Statler Hall, while others can find the tea in luxury hotels in New York City and Paris, along with the Historic Royal Palaces in Britain.

Harney's entrepreneurial spirit developed at SHA, but his love for tea did not manifest until his post-graduate days. Upon lamenting the dying art of tea appreciation, he founded Harney & Sons. Harney said in a 2001 CNN interview, "All we wanted to do was get out there and convert—sort of like St. John with his gospel of tea. That's what I consider myself." He started the company in his family's basement and watched it thrive for over 20 years.

HEC 90 will hold a "Tea with Friends" event where light bites and tea will be served and John Harney's life and contributions to HEC will be celebrated.

Visit HEC on the web at Follow the conference on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

About the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University
The School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research, and industry advancement. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the school provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world leader in its field. For more information, visit