Gift Opportunities

Centers and Institutes

Center for Hospitality Research

The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) links cutting-edge research with the needs of the hospitality industry. Research projects are supported by a network of corporate sponsors. In addition to the opportunity to become a corporate sponsor, there is also the opportunity to name the center.

Naming Opportunities Individual Gift
Center for Hospitality Research $10 million
Academic director position $1 million or $35,000/year
Support the Educational Mission Individual Gift
CHR Industry Relevance Awards $150,000 endowment or $6,000 current use
Hospitality Roundtables $25,000/event
Engagement Opportunity Individual Gift
Membership (pending approval) $25,000/year (suggested 3-year commitment)

To learn more about these opportunities, contact Jennifer Mayo ’13, senior director of external relations, at or 607.255.3101.

Center for Real Estate and Finance

The Center for Real Estate and Finance (CREF) sponsors rigorous academic research, disseminates that knowledge to practitioners, and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among professionals, the academic community, and students. It is a core component of the school’s undergraduate minor in real estate.

Naming Opportunities Individual Gift
Center for Real Estate and Finance $10 million
Support the Educational Mission Individual Gift
Executive Conversations Series $5,000 – $25,000
Real Estate Roundtable sponsorship $25,000/roundtable
Student travel $15,000/year
Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition Sponsorship $5,000 – $25,000
CREF Speaker Series $5,000
CREF Young Alumni Reception $10,000
Engagement Opportunity Individual Gift
Membership (pending approval) $10,000/year (suggested 3-year commitment)

To learn more about these opportunities, contact Nikita Sarkar, MMH ’06, director of external relations, at or 917.922.2972.

Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures

The Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures (CIHF) is a ground-breaking initiative, which is believed to be the first of its kind anywhere. It provides a unique trans-disciplinary platform for educating students, creating new knowledge through research, and exchanging information from the fields of hospitality, design, and health management/policy with a broad set of audiences. Through CIHF’s many activities, students and faculty connect with top-level professionals and build lasting relationships with alumni and other industry leaders. As the intellectual home for research bridging the fields of hospitality, design thinking, and health management/policy at Cornell, the center offers a portal to cutting-edge ideas to help advance service excellence in healthcare, wellness, senior living, and related areas. Our students combine theory with hands-on learning to build a rich understanding of these fields.

Naming Opportunities Individual Gift
Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures $10 – $20 million
Executive director position $1 million +
Associate director positions $1 million or $50,000/year
Named faculty positions $3 million
Research Fellow Program $1 million or $50,000/year
Industry Fellow Program $1 million or $50,000/year
Visiting Scholar Program $1 million or $50,000/year
Post-Doctoral Fellowship $1.5 million or $50,000/year
Graduate (MS/PhD) Fellowship $1.5 million or $50,000/year
Emerging Scholar (UG) Fellowship $1 million or $50,000/year
Industry practicum projects $10,000/year or $200,000 endowment
Engagement Opportunities Individual Gift
Founding member $100,000 or $33,300/year
Member $30,000 or $10,000/year

To learn more about these opportunities, contact Melissa Carlisle ’97, assistant director of external relations, at or 607.255.1078.

Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations

The Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations (CIHLER) was established in 2013 as a platform for students, employers, employees, unions, and their advocates who are involved in the hospitality industry and seek to educate, analyze, and improve labor and employment relations. To achieve this goal, the institute supports educational programs, sponsors and disseminates research, and holds conferences and roundtables dedicated to labor and employment relations, labor and employment law, human resource management, and leadership in the industry.

Naming Opportunity Individual Gift
Academic director position $1 million or $35,000/year
Support the Educational Mission Individual Gift
Student travel $10,000/year
Hospitality Roundtables $10,000/event
Engagement Opportunity Individual Gift
Membership (pending approval) $10,000/year (suggested 3-year commitment)

To learn more about these opportunities, contact Jennifer Mayo ’13, senior director of external relations, at or 607.255.3101.

Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship

The Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship supports the SHA academic entrepreneurial curriculum through three core facets: education, experience, and engagement.

Support the Academic Mission Individual Gift
Entrepreneurship professorship endowment $3 – 5 million
Entrepreneurship faculty renewal grant $500,000 over five years ($100,000/year)
Named academic director position $1 million or $35,000/year
Faculty ambassador program $40,000/year
Support Experiential Learning Individual Gift
Hospitality Business Plan Competition $50,000/year
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) $5 million  or $185,000/year;

or $5,000 – $50,000 sponsorship

Hospitality Roundtable (3-4 per semester) $10,000 per roundtable
Networking socials (2 to 3 socials per semester) $7,500/year
Engagement Opportunities Individual Gift
Entrepreneurs in Residence program $30,000/year
Membership (pending approval) $10,000/year (suggested 3-year commitment)

To learn more about these opportunities, contact Melissa Carlisle ’97, assistant director of external relations, at or 607.255.1078.

Discretionary Funds

Based on current needs of the school, the dean determines the use of discretionary funds to broadly support SHA’s educational mission. Examples of discretionary-fund use include support for student travel to SHA-endorsed conferences and competitions, additional faculty research funds, bringing visiting faculty and industry leaders to campus, seed money for emerging programs, organizing academic conferences, and financing other needs that may arise.

For information on how to give to an existing fund or to establish a new fund, contact Meg Hardie Keibach ’88, associate dean of alumni affairs and development, at 607.255.9542 or

Cornell Annual Fund

No gift benefits SHA as broadly as one made to the Annual Fund. Meeting the current, daily needs of the school, the fund helps us send students to industry conferences, recruit renowned faculty who are trained in research, and provide those faculty with the resources they need to conduct studies and turn out findings that are critical to the hospitality industry. In 2014-15, more than 1,400 individuals made Annual Fund gifts, for a total of $1.85 million in current-use cash. This amount, which is the equivalent of a yearly payout from a $46 million endowment, is a remarkable example of the cumulative power of even modest annual giving.

SHA alumni are renowned as loyal alumni. By making a yearly gift, you can demonstrate that we have the highest level of alumni satisfaction and pride. Each year, requests are made of every alumnus/a of the university to support the Cornell Fund. We encourage you, as a Hotelie, to designate your Annual Fund gift to SHA. No gift is too small!

Endowed Scholarships

Endowed scholarships help us maintain our policies of need-blind admissions and need-based financial aid, making it possible to admit students solely on the basis of their potential to succeed. These policies ensure that we have a student body that is intelligent, culturally and socioeconomically diverse, leadership-oriented, entrepreneurial, and—most importantly—passionate about the hospitality industry.

The school’s scholarship endowments—a list that numbers more than 350—provided a return of about $2.35 million this year, a very significant help but well short of our current financial aid budget of approximately $9 million. To meet this budget fully through investment payout would require more than $125 million in additional scholarship endowment. Every endowed scholarship eases this burden and frees up more funds for other areas of the school’s operating budget.

Meek Scholars Fund

Contributing to the Professor Howard Bagnall Meek Scholars Fund is a wonderful way to honor the man whose vision helped found the School of Hotel Administration. Every donation over $1,000 entitles the contributor to one plaque that will bear his or her name (or someone of the donor’s choosing) and be placed on a seat in the Statler Auditorium.

Nestlé Library

Gifts, no matter what the amount, help support every facet of Nestlé Library—from enriching our holdings and expanding our resources, to preserving our collections and improving our services with advanced technology. Outright gifts and collection endowments provide the donor with naming opportunities for him or herself or to honor current or past SHA faculty members, fellow colleagues, or someone’s memory. Endowments provide assurance that funding will be available in perpetuity to support the library’s collections and programs.

Book plates in individual volumes acknowledge support. A specific journal title or electronic resource can also be endowed, with credit to the donor’s name in the Cornell University online catalog.

Scholarly Commons

Corporate or individual sponsors are being sought to support SHA’s Scholarly Commons digital library, where researchers and industry professionals from all over the world download over 1,000 important works by SHA’s scholars, our esteemed faculty, and other researchers each day. Over 1,200 papers in business, finance, real estate, and other hospitality-related fields are represented on the site. Its phenomenal level of usage shows SHA’s pre-eminence in its field and the reliance of researchers and professionals on the vital research done there. Please visit the site and contact SHA’s corporate relations team if you have any questions or interest in sponsoring this important aspect of SHA’s work.

Real Estate Databases

As real estate studies continue to grow in scope and popularity across the Cornell campus, access to industry databases is increasingly important. Students, faculty, and researchers rely on access to essential data to fuel coursework and research that is of value to the industry. These resources are seldom made available to universities and are very expensive when available. An endowment gift will ensure sustainable access to these databases, and continue to keep Cornell’s real estate research, tools, and publications output at the forefront.


SHA is committed to building a faculty of trained researchers and outstanding instructors who are regarded, by both the industry and academia, as the most distinguished in hospitality management. Since 2006, we have continued to build a faculty whose intellectual and pedagogical contributions will ensure the relevance and prominence of our academic program and industry outreach for decades to come.

In an effort to increase the current-use funding available to deans for faculty recruitment, the university initiated a Faculty Renewal Program. A gift of $500,000 (payable over five years) allows a donor to establish a faculty fellowship which will be matched by another $500,000 from the school for a total of a $1 million gift credit.

In recent years, the following faculty renewal gifts were received:

  • Bradley Stone ’77 made a $500,000 gift to establish the Stone Family Faculty Fellowship, awarded to Matthew Clayton, associate professor of finance.
  • Susheel Torgalkar ’99, managing principal at Westbrook Partners Real Estate, and his wife, Sohita Torgalkar, CALS ’98, who is a physician, made a $500,000 gift.
  • Chuck Henry ’74, MGA ’76, president of Hotel Capital Advisers, and his wife, Deborah Buell, P ’14 (A&S), a partner in Cleary Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton, made a gift in honor of Professor Robert M. Chase.
  • Rachel Etess Green ’98, director, owner and partner relations at Loews Hotels, and her husband, Jason Green, owner of Lifton Green, made a $500,000 commitment to fund faculty renewal fellowships.
  • Stephen Weisz ’72, President of the Marriott Vacation Club International, and his wife, Linda, parents of Scott Weisz ’01 and Kristen Weisz ’04, made a gift of $920,000 to endow the Weisz Professor of Practice.

Program Support

SHA sponsors many programs that not only enhance the quality of a student’s education, but also strengthen the entire hospitality industry. Program support comes from current-use gifts that are utilized immediately, or through a program endowment. Examples of endowed programs include:


Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC) is an annual, weekend-long educational conference hosted by the students of the School of Hotel Administration for leaders of the hospitality industry. Composed of educational seminars, leisure activities, and food-and-beverage events, the weekend strikes a thoughtful balance between education and entertainment. The purpose of the weekend is for students to practice the skills they have learned in the classroom and to showcase their talents to industry professionals.


The Hotel Leadership Development Program (HLDP) is designed for ambitious students who are interested in hospitality operations as a career path. Students may apply to HLDP after having worked in any of the Statler Hotel operations departments for at least one semester. Upon acceptance, students embark on a self-directed path throughout departments in the Statler Hotel to gain skills, knowledge, practical experience, and real supervisory and managerial proficiency. Students in this program maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5, have met basic SHA course requirements, and have demonstrated outstanding job performance and positive attitude in their first job at the hotel.


The National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) is a student-run organization with more than forty collegiate chapters nationwide. The organization was co-founded in 1990 by four students at the School of Hotel Administration. The NSMH provides students with a support network of peers, both locally and nationwide, who focus on enhancing their academic and professional growth.

Baker Program in Real Estate

The School of Hotel Administration manages giving on behalf of the Baker Program in Real Estate. To make a gift online, select “other” and designate the Baker Program in Real Estate in the instructions area. To discuss giving opportunities to the Baker Program in Real Estate, please contact Meg Hardie Keilbach ’88, associate dean of alumni affairs and development, at 607.255.9542 or


To ensure that Statler Hall and the Robert J. and Jan M. Beck Center continue to serve as state-of-the-art facilities for teaching a world-class hospitality education, we constantly seek opportunities to renovate, restore, and upgrade our spaces for teaching and learning. Numerous current-use and endowed opportunities exist to support this important and ongoing work:

Faculty Offices

Naming Opportunities Individual Gift
Faculty offices $100,000 each

Marriott Student Learning Center

Thanks to a $3 million lead gift from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, the school opened the Marriott Student Learning Center in fall 2012. The project transformed the Nestlé Library, the George B. Mallory ’54 Student Lounge, and the World Atrium into a fully digitized information center with optimized study and meeting space. As technological innovations and developing curricula change the way students learn, the Marriott Student Learning Center will provide Hotelies with the equipment and space they need to succeed.

Marriott Student Learning Center floor plan

floor plan of Marriott Learning Center
Naming Opportunities Individual Gift
Two research librarian offices $50,000 each

Statler Hotel

The Statler Hotel has 153 newly renovated guest rooms, many with breathtaking views of Cornell University and the rolling countryside, in addition to abundant meeting space. The Statler Hotel is host to hundreds of conferences and special events each year. Conference facilities include an 87-seat amphitheater, seven breakout rooms, and a ballroom with seating for up to 300 guests. Gifts to the Statler Hotel are used to renovate existing space, and donors can name hotel rooms or suites.

Naming Opportunities Individual Gift
Guestroom floor $3 million
Tower suite $360,000
Cornell suite $300,000
Guestroom $200,000
Princeton and Yale meeting rooms $560,000
Pennsylvania meeting room $350,000
Harvard meeting room $280,000
Dartmouth meeting room $210,000
Columbia meeting room $210,000

Tower Renovation Project

Naming Opportunities Individual Gift
Cost to build, equip, and maintain tower $10,000,000
4th-floor office suite $750,000
4th-floor offices (3) $50,000 each
3rd-floor office suite $750,000
3rd-floor offices (3) $50,000 each
3rd-floor conference room $250,000
2nd-floor office suite $750,000
2nd-floor offices (3) $50,000 each
1st-floor office suite $460,000
1st-floor conference/green room $70,000
1st-floor office (92 sq ft) $40,000
1st-floor office (184 sq ft) $65,000