It was wonderful to see many alumni a couple weeks ago at our annual school and CHS events held in conjunction with the New York hotel show, HX: The Hotel Experience.
At our sixteenth annual MMH Reception on November 12, we had the pleasure of honoring restaurant innovator Elizabeth Blau, MS ’97 as the 2017 Cornell MMH Outstanding Alumna of the Year. In partnership with such legends as Sirio Maccioni at Le Cirque and Steve Wynn at the Bellagio, and now leading her own development consulting firm, Blau + Associates, Elizabeth is widely credited with transforming Las Vegas into the world-class culinary destination it is today. She is passionate about giving back and helping our graduates develop successful career paths in the industry, and we are very proud to count her among our alumni.
On Monday, November 13, I shared updates from the school with members of the Cornell Hotel Society during their annual meeting. We are busy here on campus reimagining our undergraduate curricular experience to ensure we offer the most rigorous and relevant hospitality-based education in the world. We are also hard at work developing new graduate programs for our school. As part of the SC Johnson College of Business, we are imagining our two campuses, one college model for both here in Ithaca and in New York City.
Our time in New York City culminated in the Center for Real Estate and Finance‘s ninth annual Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition, held November 14 at Convene in the Financial District. This competition brought together 27 teams of students from top universities around the world for an analysis and presentation of an actual real estate transaction, judged by a panel of leading experts. This intense, real-life experience is recognized as one of the most prestigious student events, offering exceptional learning and networking opportunities, as well as generous prize money. We are very proud to say that our own SHA team placed third in this rigorous competition.
Back on campus, we celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 13–19) with our sixth annual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), an outstanding program for disabled veterans that, this year, brought fourteen budding entrepreneurs to our school to develop their food-and-beverage concepts under the guidance of our faculty. The program, fittingly, culminated on Veteran’s Day. Read the Cornell Chronicle‘s coverage of this year’s EBV.
None of this would happen without your care, your engagement, and your support. We are grateful for our partnership with you, and all the meaningful ways you help us to prepare tomorrow’s industry leaders. We have much to be thankful for, and we all appreciate this gift of being able to educate our amazing, talented students, and in doing so, shape the future landscape of this exciting industry.
From all of us at Statler Hall, we send our sincere thanks and warmest wishes for a joyful holiday season ahead.
Kate Walsh, PhD
Dean and E. M. Statler Professor
School of Hotel Administration