Leland C. Pillsbury Named Rhodes Professor

no image

Leland C. "Lee" Pillsbury has been named Cornell University's newest Frank H. T. Rhodes Class of 1956 Professor. A 1969 graduate of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration (SHA), Pillsbury is chairman and CEO of Thayer Lodging Group, a real estate investment fund that has generated three subsequent Thayer funds, an internet-based marketing firm that serves the global hospitality industry, and a web-based hotel reservation platform for China's domestic hotel industry. Before starting his own businesses, Pillsbury was the youngest executive vice president in the history of the Marriott Corporation.

"Lee will be an outstanding Rhodes Professor," said Michael D. Johnson, dean and E. M. Statler Professor at SHA. "His experience as an entrepreneur and his knowledge of real estate, the global hospitality industry, and internet commerce are extensive. He will be an important mentor for undergraduates throughout the university."

In 2006, Pillsbury and his wife, Mary, made a transformational gift to SHA to establish the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship and were honored by being named foremost benefactors and builders of Cornell. They also support the men's rowing team and have established a significant scholarship fund at SHA.

Pillsbury currently serves on the Cornell University Council, the SHA Dean's Advisory Board, the advisory board of the Pillsbury Institute, the Entrepreneurship@Cornell Advisory Council, his class's reunion major gifts committees, and the Cornell Rowing Association Advisory Board. He has been a guest lecturer at SHA and the Johnson Graduate School of Management. In addition to his BS in Hotel Administration, Pillsbury earned an MBA from Northwestern University's J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Rhodes Professorships enhance the undergraduate experience by bringing to Cornell individuals from every walk of life who are at the pinnacle of their careers in scholarship, public life, government, international affairs, health, nutrition, agriculture, business and industry, the professions, the arts, communication, or any comparable field. Pillsbury will visit Ithaca for one week during each year that he serves as a Rhodes Professor and will connect with students from many of Cornell's schools and colleges.

More Spotlights

Edgard Sanchez

Featured EBV Alumnus: Edgard Sanchez

Edgard Sanchez was working a secure warehouse job. A veteran of the U.S. military having transitioned back to civilian life, he could easily have stayed where he was, comfortable in the day-to-day routine of earning a steady paycheck for an honest day’s work. But he knew there was something more for him...

Read more »
HR in Hospitality

SHA and ILR students network with the movers and shakers in hospitality

Every year, Professors David Sherwyn and Richard Hurd select a group of students from their co-taught Labor Relations in the Hospitality Industry class (HADM 4810/ILRLR 4060) to attend the HR in Hospitality Conference and Expo, now in its tenth year...

Read more »
BPC 2017

Food preservation team wins hospitality business contest

Five student teams competed for the chance to win $25,000 March 18 as part of Hotel Ezra Cornell’s seventh annual Hospitality Business Plan Competition.

Read more »
Robert Schnitz

Featured Advisory Board Member: Robert Schnitz

Robert Schnitz is senior vice president and associate general counsel overseeing legal support for global operations of Hyatt Hotels and Resorts...

Read more »
HR in Hospitality reception

HR in Hospitality Conference advances Cornell students' education

For fourteen Cornell University students, their trip to attend the annual HR in Hospitality Conference and Expo in Las Vegas was a capstone for their hospitality and labor-related education.

Read more »