Hotel Online  Special Report

Sustainability and Innovation Practices are the Highlight of the 82nd Annual
Hotel Ezra Cornell, a Student-run Hospitality Showcase
at Cornell, April 12-15, 2007
Ithaca, N.Y., November 10, 2006 — When the student Board of Directors of the 82nd Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC) decided that this year’s theme would be “Sustainability Through Innovation,” they were aiming to create “The Summit of Hospitality Education.” 

For 82 years, HEC has been an essential part of the Cornell Hotel School; soon, HEC will become an essential part of the entire hospitality industry.

Hotel Ezra Cornell is a weekend-long, student-run hospitality conference. The weekend features a delicate blend of education and leisure. Industry leaders attend HEC in order to mingle with students, learn cutting-edge business concepts, and enjoy a feast of culinary delights.

What makes HEC 82 unique from the 81 preceding HECs is the deeply meaningful and relevant theme, “Sustainability Through Innovation.” The theme originated from the question: what must innovative hospitality organizations do in order to survive and to thrive? The world is fast changing, and stagnant organizations quickly become dead organizations. What everyone may not know, however, are the keys to success—the keys to staying alive and relevant as a hospitality organization. HEC will be the place for students and guests to find answers.

So, what exactly comprises a conference about “Sustainability Through Innovation”? To begin, the keynote will be titled “Innovating an Empire” and will feature one or more renowned leaders of the hospitality industry. (But we can’t tell you who because it’s a surprise!) 

Another panel, titled “Sustaining the Environment,” will focus specifically on the “green” aspect of the theme. HEC 82 will also incorporate many student projects: from original academic research to creative business concepts to student/business collaborations. 

For example, Sue Brush, the Senior Vice President of Westin Hotels and Resorts, will showcase her collaboration with students and professors through an interactive case study. Guests will be invited to do their “homework” ahead of time and participate in a lively case discussion to explore how Westin’s innovative branding strategies have sustained the organization for many years.

Knowing that guests will require a break from the intellectual, students are planning leisure activities, such as a chocolate demonstration event, a Banfi wine tasting, and a culinary mystery box competition. On Friday, April 13, a gala banquet will honor the past, present, and future of HEC; afterward, guests will be swept off to the Johnson Museum of Art for cocktails, live music, and fireworks!

Registration for the 82nd Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell, “the Summit of Hospitality Education” is now open online at

Questions about the conference or registration can be sent to

About HEC

Hotel Ezra Cornell dates back to 1925, when Dean Howard Meek took a group of students to New York City to manage the Hotel Astor for a day. Upon returning to Ithaca, the students decided to hold a "hotel for a day" to invite industry pioneers to Ithaca to see the new program. On May 7, 1926, the first Hotel Ezra Cornell was held at Risley Hall, which was a women's dormitory at the time.

HEC provided a unique opportunity for Hotel School students to demonstrate to industry leaders the benefits of an education in the field of hotel administration. As a result, E.M. Statler donated the funds to construct Statler Hall and the Statler Hotel. From its earliest beginnings, HEC has played a significant role in the Hotel School's history.

Today, HEC offers a unique experience for the hospitality leader. Highlights include dynamic seminars that address pressing issues in the hospitality industry, an awards banquet celebrating research and academic achievement, and leisure activities that take advantage of Cornell's campus and the surrounding Finger Lakes region.

Now in its 82nd anniversary, HEC strives to create an atmosphere where industry professionals, academics, and students can gather and share their passion for hospitality. Our dedication to service and culinary excellence is complemented by our commitment to quality educational seminars featuring some of the industry's most respected leaders. Please join us as we celebrate this industry and prepare for the promising years ahead.

The leaders of HEC 82 will also be roaming the International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show in New York City and can be found at the Cornell Hotel School booth from Sunday, November 12th to Tuesday November 14th.


Arthur Chang
Managing Director

Also See: Hotel Ezra Cornell, a Student-run Hospitality Conference, Set for April 6-8 in Ithaca; Hospitality Media Leaders to Make Up Keynote Panel / February 2006
Students at The Cornell Hotel School Take Over the Statler Hotel to Host 200 Industry Executives for Annual Conference, Known as Hotel Ezra Cornell / April 2001

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