School of Hotel Administration

The Best Student Experience

For as far back as we can remember, Hotelies have known intuitively that they are the happiest students on campus. And why shouldn’t they be? From the time of their application interview, they are in touch with an alumni network whose devotion and degree of connection are the envy of our competitors. From the time they first step into an SHA classroom, they are immersed in what we believe is the best and most attentive learning culture on campus.

Our faculty is studded with outstanding teachers, and the relationships they form with their students are lifelong. In addition to a rewarding and challenging curriculum and classroom experience, we offer our students a multitude of experiential learning opportunities.

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Our Vision

As the first and best training ground for future leaders of the hospitality industry, the School of Hotel Administration has been driving the world’s largest industry forward for nearly 100 years. Through Cornell’s sesquicentennial and beyond, we are committed to maintaining our position at the top.

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Our Goals & Plan

SHA has set clear goals to achieve our vision of continued excellence. The plan includes expanding academic opportunities and maintaining careful stewardship of SHA resources.

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SHA Annual Fund

No gift benefits the School of Hotel Administration 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 2012-13, more than 1,100 individuals made Annual-Fund gifts, for a total of $1.6 million in current-use cash. This amount, which is greater than the yearly payout from a $40 million endowment, is a remarkable example of the cumulative power of even modest annual giving.

Hotel 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. As a Hotelie, we encourage you to designate your annual fund gift to SHA. No gift is too small!

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Our school’s focused efforts to develop and expand the faculty have resulted in the renewal of 43 percent of our faculty since 2006. Fifteen of our 40 professorial faculty members—38 percent—have been recruited since then, as have 11 of our 21 lecturers—a renewal of 52 percent. This very selective recruiting push has been carried out in anticipation of the retirement of a significant number of senior faculty members, a trend that has already begun in SHA and across Cornell.

Contact Meg Keilbach '88, assistant dean for alumni affairs & development, to learn more or make a gift.

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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.

Contact Meg Keilbach '88, assistant dean for alumni affairs & development, to learn more or make a gift.

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Program Support

SHA maintains its reputation as the world’s premier hospitality management program though the quality of its academic programs. A gift in support of Hotel Ezra Cornell, the Hotel Leadership Development Program, the Master of Management in Hospitality program, or another of the school’s signature programs helps ensure that SHA continues to offer a one-of-a-kind academic experience.

Contact Meg Keilbach '88, assistant dean for alumni affairs & development, to learn more or make a gift.

Centers & Institutes

The school’s four outward-facing enterprises produce cutting-edge knowledge through research and outreach to the industry:

  • Center for Hospitality Research
  • Center for Real Estate and Finance
  • Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations
  • Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship

Contact Meg Keilbach '88, assistant dean for alumni affairs & development, to learn more or make a gift.

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To ensure that Statler Hall and the Statler Hotel continue to serve as state-of-the-art facilities for the teaching of a world class hospitality education, we constantly seek opportunities to renovate, restore, and upgrade our spaces for teaching and learning. Recent projects include the Marriott Student Learning Center.

Contact Meg Keilbach '88, assistant dean for alumni affairs & development, to learn more or make a gift.

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Faculty in the Media

In a New York Times debate piece, Prof. Arturs Kalnins discusses labor implications of evolving franchisor/franchisee duties.
Professor Cathy Enz discusses the role of innovation in hotels, and how the industry must foster and encourage it.
Senior lecturer Reneta McCarthy urges hotels to be judicious in their use of texting to communicate with customers.
Prof Howard Chong's project "Real Savings from Home Retrofits" is one of eleven chosen for 2015 Academic Venture Fund awards.
Prof Mona Olsen: Tech can set hotels apart from competitors, but must be done well to avoid detracting from the experience.
Lecturer Cheryl Stanley '00 continues an SHA tradition, teaching Intro to Wines, having once served as a TA for the course.
Prof Rohit Verma says hotel guests who participate in sustainability programs are generally more satisfied with their stay.
Research questions tipping's impact on service, but Prof Mike Lynn says it's too ingrained in restaurant culture to go away.
Prof Kathy LaTour: thinking in pictures & shapes, not just words, will lead to improved consumer sensory memories about wine.
Professor Rohit Verma says Uber appeals to business customers, who are generally more focused on convenience than price.
Associate dean Steve Carvell asks "How are hotels going to respond?" with rising popularity of standalone conference centers.
"No hotel can be truly sustainable because you have to fly to get there," comments senior lecturer Jan Katz on ecotourism.
Prof Dave Sherwyn says McDonald's making a public wage policy statement reflects shifts in discussions about low-paying jobs.
"The big issue here is that this is putting a new social pressure on customers," Professor Michael Lynn said of tipping apps.
Cheryl Stanley, who teaches Introduction to Wines, discusses the course format and the value of knowing wine as a life skill.
Prof. Michael Lynn: "Customers will look at the menu price, and because it's higher, they'll think you're more expensive."
Cheryl Stanley '00 teaches one of the most popular courses at Cornell: Hotel Administration 4300: Introduction to Wines.
"There are records of Washington and Jefferson giving tips to their slaves," said Prof. Michael Lynn on tipping history.
"This is the tip of the iceberg," said Prof. Dave Sherwyn of a case arguing corporate responsibility for franchisee actions.
"There's gluten-free beer, seaweed beer, beet beer, all kinds of fruit beer," said Giuseppe Pezzotti, senior lecturer. …
University of Minnesota prof. mentions SHA as a highly regarded exception to widespread academic marginalization of tourism.
"It's wonderful that there are people out there who do things like this," said Professor Mike Lynn.
"[Projections indicate] the U.S. is on track to reach full employment by 2016," said Professor Jack Corgel.
Profs. Kimes, Verma, & McCall comment on the proliferation of payment technology & benefits to proprietors and patrons.
"These graduating students are expected to take executive positions in both US- and China-based hospitality, travel, and …
"If I reject the item, it looks as though it's too expensive for me, that I'm not as wealthy or generous as I might want …
"30% of people stiff the maid," says Professor Michael Lynn, commenting from his research on hotel tipping.
"Unless there's a really egregious problem, you should be tipping," said Professor Michael Lynn, while also scrutinizing …
Professor David Sherwyn commented on a ruling moving the fine line between a corporation's control of its franchise and …
As Professor Michael Lynn points out, the erratic and often poverty-level realities of tip-based pay means servers may …
Professor Rohit Verma explained that while "greening" hotels doesn't increase demand, it does improve customer …
Professor Michael McCall was a guest on a radio show that explored possible effects of mobile payment apps on how much …
"High-end travel in the air, on the sea, and on land has never been more robust," says Associate Dean Steve Carvell. …
Bill Carroll, senior lecturer, says the pervasiveness of mobile technology and devices is pushing hotels to make use of …
A 2011 SHA report indicated that women were the fastest-growing segment among business travelers in the U.S.
"You're probably not going to schlep into town to go to dinner," says Stephani Robson, senior lecturer, discussing why …
Professor Kathy LaTour explains how wine features prominently in the hotel experience: "As millennials travel more, …
According to Professor Michael Giebelhausen, "The hospitality industry is focused on the customer experience right now. …
Professor Alex Susskind explains how the length of a typical visit to a casual-dining restaurant like Red Lobster, as …
Professor Rohit Verma found that hotels with various levels of sustainable certification are more resource-efficient and …

SHA Highlights

Cornell study demonstrates effectiveness of behavioral reward incentives in encouraging health-conscious food choices.
Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series student blog: Kenneth Fearn, founder and managing partner of Integrated Capital.
Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series student blog: Patricia Will, founder and CEO of Belmont Village.
Every year, SHA and ILR students in HADM 4810/ILRLR 4060 are selected to attend the HR in Hospitality Conference and Expo.
Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series student blog: Alyshia '09 & Omar, A&S '08 Mangalji of Westmont Hospitality & Cap-Meridian
Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series student blog: Andrew '71 and Jonathan Tisch, co-chairmen of Loews Corporation.
Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series student blog: Michelle Russo '87, founder/CEO, Hotel Asset Value Enhancement (hotelAVE).
Student blog: despite efforts to guide the business sector toward gender equality, the airline industry is still lagging.
SHA was named best hospitality/hotel-management school in the world for 2015 by CEOWORLD Magazine, based on a global survey.
Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series student blog: Rick Caruso, founder and CEO of Caruso Affiliated.
Harry Macklowe was the 2014-12-05 SHA Dean's Distinguished Lecturer. He gave this interview that day.
Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series student blog: Gabe Kennedy '13, season-three winner of ABC's The Taste.
Richard Branson promised Virgin Hotels would provide a new design and offerings that would attract female business travelers.
Ronald T. Harrison was the 2014-11-21 SHA Dean's Distinguished Lecturer. He gave this interview that day.
Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series student blog: John Meadow '02, founder and president of LDV Hospitality.
Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series student blog: John Ceriale, founder and president of Prospect Hotel Advisors.
J. Allen Smith, A&S '80, MPS '86 was the 2014-11-14 SHA Dean's Distinguished Lecturer. He gave this interview that day.
Leland Pillsbury '69, noted SHA alum and benefactor, has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneurship at Cornell.
Ken Fearn, founder of Integrated Capital, mentors SHA students as an entrepreneur in residence and through other programs.
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation awards $5 million grant to SHA to support diversity and inclusion initiatives and financial aid.
By creating unforgettable experiences that turn consumers into brand devotees, Chris Meyer '87 is reinventing marketing.
Launch of Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures, new collaboration between SHA and CHE to merge hospitality with healthcare.
SHA program brings accomplished entrepreneurs to campus to mentor students interested in launching businesses of their own.
Inspired by a course, two SHA students teamed up with a local chef to open the Dos Amigos Tacos food truck in Collegetown.
Prof Sherri Kimes, Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow, designs teaching models to virtualize/internationalize education.
Liz Ngonzi, MMH '98 shows the humanitarian side of service at Afrika Tikkun, creating opportunities for South Africa's poor.
Rob Rush '77 was the 2014-11-07 SHA Dean's Distinguished Lecturer. He gave this interview the day of his talk.
Harris Rosen '61 was the 2014-10-31 SHA Dean's Distinguished Lecturer. He gave this interview the day of his talk.
Jack Mason '11 is one of only 229 ever to pass the notoriously difficult Master Sommelier exam since its creation in 1969.
Keith Barr '92 was the 2014-10-24 SHA Dean's Distinguished Lecturer. He gave this interview the day of his talk.
The Turano brothers were the 2014-10-17 SHA Dean's Distinguished Lecturers. They gave this interview the day of their talk.
New infographic illustrates SHA's fundraising successes on the first Cornell Giving Day, when SHA raised over $1.13 million.
Maribeth Bisienere was the 2014-10-03 SHA Dean's Distinguished Lecturer. She gave this interview the day of her talk.
The 7th Annual Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards gala honored industry leaders on June 2 in New York City.
Kevin Jacobs '94 was the 2014-09-26 SHA Dean's Distinguished Lecturer. He gave this interview the day of his talk.
Toward the end of the summer, SHA will launch a bold new brand identity and accompanying new website.
Harris Rosen '61 of Rosen Hotels & Resorts has personally funded a transformation of the troubled community Tangelo Park, FL.
Teddy Zhang '97 was the 2014-09-19 SHA Dean's Distinguished Lecturer. He gave this interview the day of his talk.
SHA gave ten students the opportunity to attend the 9th annual HR in Hospitality Conference, the top conference of its kind.
SHA's Professional Development Program provides the lifelong learning opportunities to advance business and personal success.

Tuition rates and fees

The total cost of attending Cornell includes tuition, student fees, and expenses for housing and dining, books, supplies, and personal items. Tuition varies, depending on which Cornell school or college a student enrolls in and whether he/she is a New York State resident.

Click here to see the breakdown of costs here.

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Cornell Giving Societies

Cornell’s nine giving societies celebrate Cornell’s most loyal and generous supporters. Become a member today by making a gift to Cornell.

  • Chairman’s Circle- $100,000 and above
  • President’s Circle- $25,000-$99,999
  • Dean’s Circle- $10,000-$24,999
  • Tower Club- $5,000-$9,999 or $2,500-$9,999 for alumni 0-10 years post-graduation
  • Quadrangle Club- $1,000-$4,999
  • Charter Society- $500-$999
  • Ivy Society- $250-$499 for alumni 0-10 years post-graduation

Class of 2017 profile

  • 50% female, 50% male
  • 15% are international, with students representing Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, France, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States
  • 27% of domestic students identify as being non-majority
  • 88% worked in the hospitality industry before enrolling

What do our graduates do?

These statistics are based on the Class of 2012 Post-Graduate Survey:

  • 94% reporting job acceptance
  • 1% continuing education
  • 5% seeking employment
  • Mean Base Salary: $51,591
  • Median Base Salary: $50,000
  • Range of Base Salary: $20,800-$120,000

Employment by Job Function (Top 4):

  • Real Estate/Consulting-19%
  • Hotel/Resort Property-14%
  • Banking/Financial Services-11%
  • Restaurant - Property/Corporate-7%

How many SHA alumni are there?

SHA alumni

Total alumni: 22,991

Total living alumni: 15,109

Total mailable living alumni: 12,043

School of Hotel Administration Contacts

Marketing and Communications Alumni Affairs and Development

Meg Keilbach '88
Assistant Dean of Alumni Affairs and Development