Hotel Online  Special Report

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration Opens
$16.2 million, 36,000 sq ft Beck Center; Named for
Robert Beck, the Second Dean of the Hotel School


Ithaca, NY, October 28, 2004 -- The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration today celebrates the opening of The Robert A. and Jan M. Beck Center, a striking facility that provides state-of-the-art learning space for the School's undergraduate and graduate programs.

"The Beck Center defines our commitment to teaching excellence," said David Butler, dean of the Cornell Hotel School. "This superb facility ensures that our faculty is equipped with the best teaching technology, and that our students will continue to enjoy an engaging and effective learning experience."

The 35,000 square-foot Center features:

    * A lecture hall for 140 individuals
    * Three case study rooms (one fully-equipped for distance learning)
    * Two flat classrooms
    * Eight interview rooms for the School's on-campus recruitment program
    * Two group study/meeting rooms, each for 10 students
    * Two informal seating areas
    * An expanded computer center
    * A hospitality suite to welcome visitors
    * A dramatic balcony overlook
    * A three-story entrance atrium with meeting space
    * A new courtyard entrance 

The project also included the complete renovation of the 19,000 square-foot Alice Statler Auditorium.

The Center is named for Robert Beck '42, the second dean of the School, and his wife, Jan. Dean Emeritus Beck's association with the School spans a half-century as a student, professor, dean, adviser and friend. Under his stewardship, the School broadened its international reach and became known as the world leader in hospitality management education.

The lead benefactor for the Center is The Atlantic Philanthropies, whose generous gift enabled planning to begin. In all, more than 450 people and organizations made financial contributions to the $16.2 million project.

"The timely completion of the Center reflects the extraordinary loyalty and support of our many friends," Butler said. "Our alumni, corporate partners, faculty, students, staff, the Cornell community and other friends rallied together during difficult economic times to help create this spectacular facility. Their support is a fitting tribute to Dean Beck and his wife Jan, who so ably led the School for 20 years. It also recognizes the contributions of Deans Meek, Clark and Dittman and their respective faculties, all of whom played important roles in building the strong backing the School enjoys today."

KSS Architects of Philadelphia designed the Center. The project was led by Christine Carstensen, project manager in Cornell's Planning, Design and Construction Division.

The Cornell School of Hotel Administration is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research and industry advancement. The school provides management-level instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world’s largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation’s first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell Hotel School is recognized as the world leader in its field. For more information, visit

Bill Summers
Also See: Edward Evans Named Founding Director for Cornell Hotel School's Center for Entrepreneurship / September 2004
Ali Kasikci, GM The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, Advises Cornell Hotel Students to Learn How to Think / November 2002

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