Part of 50th anniversary celebration of College of Hospitality & Tourism Management
Niagara University will officially dedicate the Statler Foundation Hospitality House, a residential living and learning community for students studying event management in the university College of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The college marks its 50th anniversary this week with a series of events, including the hosting of the 2018 International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators Conference and its annual awards dinner.
The Statler House is a refurbished Tudor-style residence hall that will now serve as both a residence hall and learning environment for students who will be part of the planning of more than 40 Niagara University special events, including conferences, symposiums, guest speakers, gala dinners and alumni events and reunions. The center has been made possible by a donation from the Statler Foundation, a longtime partner and supporter of the institution via funding for scholarships, programs and capital improvements. Positioned centrally on the university's campus, the two-story residence, formerly known as Varsity Village House No. 2, has undergone a complete renovation.
The dedication will take place at noon on Friday, with the following in attendance: NU President the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M.; Provost Timothy Ireland, Ph.D.; CHTM Dean Kurt Stahura, Ph.D.; and Robert M. Bennett, chairman of the Statler Foundation.
"The continued generosity of the Statler Foundation has, for many years, allowed us to augment the programming and facilities for our hospitality and tourism students," Maher said. "This next phase of our transformative partnership truly exemplifies our collective vision for a living-learning laboratory at Niagara University."
At the heart of the project is the opportunity for about 10 tourism and event management majors to live in community and supplement their classroom learning with the practical application of planning and executing university events.
"This new initiative will give students unique access to the planning, organization and management of events, directly leading to opportunities in hospitality careers," Stahura said. "We are grateful to the Statler Foundation for helping us to maintain and expand this focus, making our students even better prepared and more desirable for selection by future employers, and allowing our nationally ranked program to improve its reputation."
The College of Hospitality and Tourism Management's focus on practical industry applications has allowed NU to build relationships with some the best hospitality companies in the industry. It is also one of the founding members of Hotel Schools of Distinction
(formerly Leading Hotel Schools of the World).
The Statler Foundation was established in 1927 by the estate of hotelier Ellsworth M. Statler, whose will directed his foundation support research and training efforts to benefit the hotel industry. In 1999, it provided $1.525 million to help transform the fourth floor of St. Vincent's Hall at NU into a top teaching and dining facility. The foundation philanthropy has also played furnished NU with funding to bolster student scholarships, develop academic programming, bring experts to campus, create cutting-edge learning spaces, and expand the college's international programs, including joint degree offerings with partner schools in Peru and Germany.