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Jay H. Shah and Neil H. Shah of Hersha Hospitality Trust Honored as Hospitality
Leaders of the Year by The School of Hospitality Business
Alumni at Michigan State University

The Shahs Create an Endowment for a Scholarship for Student Internships in NYC

(November 28, 2012, East Lansing, Michigan)  Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE: HT) CEO Jay H. Shah along with President and COO Neil H. Shah were recently honored as Industry Leaders of the Year by The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association at Michigan State University (MSU).  The School recognized them at its annual Celebration of Leadership at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

At the reception, The Shah brothers announced their commitment to create an endowment to MSU, in the name of Hersha’s co-founders, their parents, Hasu P. and Hersha H. Shah. The endowment will annually fund a scholarship for a Level II intern’s housing expenses while he or she gains leadership experience in New York City with a hotel managed by Hersha Hospitality Management (HHM).  The scholarship provides a way to give back directly to parents and students who also strongly believe in the importance of education.

School Director and Professor Dr. Ron Cichy introduced the honorees.  “Although Jay and Neil have thrived at a collection of top universities, it’s the ‘hard-working excellence’ in their lives and their companies that reflect our Spartan spirit and values,” Cichy said. “They lead a family business built on hard work, patience, creativity and skill.  They have displayed for our students the very best of entrepreneurial spirit in hotel investment, development and management.”

Speaking directly to the 60 students who traveled from East Lansing, Michigan to the historic Waldorf Astoria in New York City for Celebration of Leadership, Jay accepted his award, acknowledging Hersha’s core value of education.  “Persevere in what you decide to pursue – goals sometimes take longer to achieve and require more sacrifice than expected, but stick with it.  We joined the company with six limited service hotels in central Pennsylvania.  Today we have 64 hotels in the U.S. urban gateways of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami and Los Angeles,” he said.  “Let honesty, communication, community, personal growth and achievement be the core values that serve as your daily compass. Leave the world more interesting than how you found it.”

Neil’s comments also inspired as he reminded the students that the hospitality industry is an attractive growth sector in the economy that provides opportunities for international exposure without having to leave the United States.  “This business allows us to help ‘increase the pie’ and generate jobs,” he said. “Be optimistic. Coming out of an economic downturn can strengthen your foundation.”

The evening’s events were made possible by generous sponsorships from a variety of companies and individuals.  The students’ travel was assisted by travel scholarships provided by alumni and industry partners.

“WE” represents the tens of thousands of relationships among students, faculty, alumni, and industry partners.  “THE” reflects our 85-year foundation of preparing the hospitality industry’s managers and operators.  Today The School also emphasizes real estate and thinking like the owner throughout the curriculum, for all our students.

About The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University:  We are The School
Recognized as the top-ranked hospitality business school, The School has a unique and industry-specific position within the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.  Celebrating its 85th anniversary year in 2012, The School has almost 10,000 graduates worldwide, including a number of leading academicians and industry executives who have earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees.  Founded in 1927, The School offers an exceptionally well-crafted curriculum, taught by innovative professors who are leading textbook authors, sought-after consultants, and respected researchers.

The mission of The School is
  • to INSPIRE continuous learning by empowering present and future managers to ACQUIRE knowledge, skills, and global Hospitality Business leadership positions
  • to CREATE knowledge by engaging in collaborative theoretical and applied research for the benefit of undergraduate and graduate students, Hospitality Businesses, and the community of hospitality management scholars
  • to ENGAGE our Hospitality Business partners through outreach and service, and to ENHANCE global Hospitality Business economic, community, and academic development and
  • to CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVE The School's global leadership position in Hospitality Business operations, development, ownership, and management.
For more information, please visit us at

About Hersha Hospitality Trust
Hersha Hospitality Trust is a self-advised real estate investment trust, which owns 64 hotels in major urban gateway markets including New York, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Miami totaling 9,221 rooms.  HT follows a highly selective investment approach and leverages operational advantage through rigorous and sustainable asset management practices.  For further information on the Company visit our website at

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements related to the expected timing of the transaction described above, and, as such, may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results or performance to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statement.  For a description of these factors, please review the information under the heading “Risk Factors” included in Hersha Hospitality Trust’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, filed with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission.

Lena Loeffler

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Dr. Ray Schmidgall of The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Honored with the University of Delaware Michael D. Olsen Research Achievement Award / January 2012

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The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Establishes a Real Estate Development Institute to Focus on Hospitality Business Real Estate Development and Ownership / February 2011

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