Tom Pritzker named 2013 Cornell Icon of the Industry

Nov 14, 2012

Contact: Ashlee McGandy, 607.254.1368,

The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration has named Tom Pritzker the recipient of the 2013 Cornell Icon of the Industry Award in recognition of his outstanding success in the hospitality industry and his extraordinary philanthropy. Pritzker will receive the award at the fifth annual Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards gala and dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City on June 4, 2013.

“We created the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award to honor individuals who are both outstanding hospitality leaders and great humanitarians. With these criteria in mind, Tom Pritzker was a clear choice for our award winner this year,” said Michael D. Johnson, dean and E. M. Statler Professor of Hotel Administration. “His business acumen reaches well beyond the hospitality industry, and his philanthropic contributions have helped spur economic development, advance the arts, and promote scientific research. We look forward to honoring Tom at our fifth annual Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards.”

Pritzker is executive chairman of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, a worldwide hotel chain, and chairman of Marmon Group, Inc., a diversified manufacturing concern. He is chairman and CEO of The Pritzker Organization and on the Board of Directors of Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD. Pritzker is also a founding member and chairman of the Board of Managers of Bay City Capital, LLC, a merchant bank specializing in biotech and life sciences.  Over the course of his career, he has built companies in a range of industries including container leasing, pharmaceuticals, and managed care. 

In addition to his business interests, Pritzker is active in a broad array of civic, cultural, and scientific organizations and institutions. He is a member of The Business Council, a national organization of CEOs, and the Civic Committee, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to encourage economic development in the Chicago area. Pritzker is chairman of the Art Institute of Chicago and a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago. He is also chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the Pritzker Architecture Prize, recognized globally as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in the field of architecture. Pritzker serves on the Board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC. In addition, he organized the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium, a unique collaborative effort involving leading scientists from Stanford, Cornell, UC Irvine, UC Davis, and University of Michigan focused on research into the biology and genetic basis of psychiatric disorders.

The Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards began in 2009, and previous recipients of the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award are J. W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., Charles “Chuck” Feeney, the Hilton family and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and the Tisch family. This special event, the largest on the School of Hotel Administration’s calendar, raises funds for the school's scholarships and programs. In 2012, more than 900 guests from 17 countries attended the awards ceremony.

Current sponsors are Hyatt - title sponsor; Travel + Leisure and USA TODAY - exclusive media co-hosts; Amazing Taste - strategic marketing and event consultant; The CSK Group - strategic brand marketing and design; and American Hotel Register, Baccarat, Banfi Vintners, Boutique Design, Carlson Rezidor, Cipriani 42nd Street, Cleverdis, FRANCE 24, Hersha Hospitality Trust, Hilton Worldwide, Hospitality Design, Hotel Business, HotelNewsNow,, Hsyndicate, IHG, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, LaQuinta Inns & Suites, Marriott International, PAR Springer-Miller Systems, PhoCusWright, Inc., Questex Hospitality Group, SchellingPoint, Southworth Development LLC, Stonebridge Companies, Taj Hotels Resorts Palaces, Thayer Lodging Group, The Lodging Conference, Wells Fargo, and Wyndham Hotel Group.

For more details about the Cornell Icon & Innovator Awards Dinner, please visit: Or, contact Joe Strodel, Jr., director of the School of Hotel Administration’s communications and corporate affairs, at or 607.255.4646.