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Nick and Vicki Massad Gift $1.5 million to Conrad N. Hilton College
at University of Houston
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Gift to Greatly Enhance College’s Library and Hospitality Industry Archives

HOUSTON, September 26, 2007— The Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston has announced the receipt of the largest gift ever presented to the college from a source other than the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
 
Nick and Vicki Massad of Houston-based American Liberty Hospitality have presented the college with a $1.5 million gift that will significantly enhance the college’s Library and Hospitality Industry Archives. 

Upon completion in August 2008, the 4,000-square-foot facility will be named the Massad Family Library and Hospitality Industry Archives at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston.  

Ironically, it was a $1.5 million donation from Conrad N. Hilton which opened the school in 1969.
 

Nick Massad, a 1973 graduate who first learned of the college while working as a bellman at a Howard Johnson hotel in Arlington, has always wanted to “give something back.” Recently, he did just that by presenting his alma mater with a $1.5 million gift that will significantly enhance the college’s Library and Hospitality Industry Archives.

“The college changed my life,” says Nick Massad, a 1973 graduate who first learned of the college while working as a bellman at a Howard Johnson hotel in Arlington.  “When I graduated, I always said that one day I would give something back.” 

Besides providing a venue for students to study, conduct research and network, the renovated facilities are expected to house personal and corporate archives from some of the hotel and restaurant industry’s most influential names.  These include Conrad Hilton of Hilton Hotels, Holiday Inns founder Kemmons Wilson, Colonel Harlan Sanders, Four Seasons Hotels chairman Isadore Sharp and Michael Rose, past chairman of Gaylord Entertainment. 

“No other facility in the world will house the research and archival resources dedicated exclusively to the hospitality industry,” says Dean John Bowen. “It will be a gold mine of information for students and scholars of the industry as well as an important student and faculty recruiting tool.”

According to Bowen, the college will consult with students and hold focus groups to develop the facility’s design and functionality.  Construction is expected to begin in May 2008. 

The Massad family’s donation continues the college’s recent fundraising successes.  Along with the family’s contribution, the college will receive $560,000 in matching funds from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and $350,000 from the University of Houston for the project.  In 2006 and 2007, the college accepted 29 new endowments while 63 percent of its donors from the past year were either new donors or ones who had not donated recently.   

“The excellent leadership provided by Dean Bowen and Director of Development Jon Schultz has created great momentum at the college,” says Massad.  “Hopefully our donation will spur other alumni to lend their support.”

All five members of the Massad family are alumni of the Conrad N. Hilton College. The family also established a Massad Family Endowed Scholarship in 2004. Today, Nick Massad is President of American Liberty Hospitality which develops, owns and operates an extensive portfolio of hotels throughout the southwest.  Vicki Massad serves as the company’s Senior Vice President.

Other prominent graduates of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston include Douglas Brooks, chairman of Brinker International; Bill Fortier, Senior Vice President with Hilton Hotels Corporation; Todd Diener, president of Chili’s; and top executives with Marriott Hotels, Outback Steakhouse, Four Seasons Hotels and Sysco Corporation. 

For more information on the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, visit our website at:  
http://www.hrm.uh.edu/default.asp

About the University of Houston 
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

For more information about UH visit the university’s Newsroom at www.uh.edu/admin/media/newsroom

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Contact:

Debbie Maurer  
September 26, 2007 713/743-5594 
dkmaurer@uh.edu
 
Bernard Kaplan
American Liberty Hospitality
713/784-1077
bkaplan@kaplanpr.com
 

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Also See: Howard Schultz, Chairman of Starbucks Coffee Company, and Gary Loveman, Chairman & CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment, to be Inducted into the 2007 Hospitality Hall of Honor at the Univeristy of Houston / August 2007
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