Ithaca, NY– Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has established an empowerment fund at the School of Hotel Administration in honor of their former chief executive officer, J. Allen Smith ’80, MPS ’86. The J. Allen and Katherine Smith / Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Empowerment Fund will provide a holistic program supporting underrepresented minority and first generation students to help ensure their current and future success. This includes mentoring, professional development, and career guidance.

“I’m extremely grateful to Four Seasons for honoring Allen’s many contributions to the hospitality industry with the creation of this fund,” said Kate Walsh, dean and E. M. Statler Professor at the School of Hotel Administration. “This generous gift will enable our students to feel supported and thrive as they prepare to become our next generation of industry leaders.”

Founded in 1960, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently operating 111 hotels and resorts in major city centers and resort destinations in 47 countries, and with more than 50 projects under planning or development, Four Seasons consistently ranks among the world's best hotels and most prestigious brands in reader polls, traveler reviews, and industry awards. Since 1985, Four Seasons has been the global leader in branded residential, currently operating 41 branded Private Residence properties around the world, with over 80% of future Four Seasons projects including a residential component.

The School of Hotel Administration at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality leadership in education, research, and industry advancement. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the school provides business 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 School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world educator in hospitality.