AH&LEF Awards $730,500 in Hospitality Student Scholarships

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Washington, D.C.—The American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) awarded $730,500 through 380 scholarships to students studying hospitality.

The Annual Scholarship Grant Program, the foundation’s largest, is co-administered with 71 universities and colleges. In 2015, 243 students, nominated by AH&LEF affiliated schools, were awarded $422,000 in funds. The program is supported by proceeds of the Americas Lodging Investment Summit, the Foundation’s Annual Giving Campaign, previous AH&LEF capital campaigns, annual special events, and the following scholarship endowments: Melinda Bush; John Clifford Memorial; Cecil B. Day Memorial; Handlery Hotels Foundation; Conrad N. Hilton Memorial; Hilton Worldwide; Creighton Holden Memorial; Hospitality Asset Managers Association; Steve Hymans Extended Stay; Richard Kelley; Richard Kessler; J. Willard Marriott Memorial; Joseph McInerney; and Curtis C. Nelson.

Other AH&LEF core programs include the Incoming Freshmen scholarship, which disbursed $80,000 to 41 students, and the Graduate scholarship, which awarded $70,000 to 14 students in hospitality programs at the graduate level.


AH&LEF also administers three scholarships on behalf of industry suppliers and partners American Express, Ecolab, and PepsiCo, totaling $51,000.

The American Express Scholarship Program awarded nine scholarships totaling $17,000. Founded in 1994 by American Express, it is designed specifically for current hotel employees and their dependents. The fund has awarded more than $354,000 in scholarships to 303 students and hotel employees. The program also offers professional development scholarships for distance learning and certification offered through the Educational Institute (EI).

The Ecolab Scholarship Program awarded 12 scholarships totaling $23,000. Established by Ecolab in 1997, the program has awarded more than $399,500 to 264 hospitality management students and hotel professionals. The program also supports scholarships for professional certification offered through EI.

The Pepsi Scholarship awarded three alumni of the Hospitality High School in Washington, D.C., a total of $11,000 to continue their hospitality management studies in college. The PepsiCo Foundation established this fund with a $250,000 gift to provide perpetual scholarships to graduates of this school.

The Foundation also provided three scholarships totaling $10,000 through the Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship Program, the Foundation’s oldest award of its kind. This program, started in 1974 to honor third-generation hotelier Packard’s numerous accomplishments in the lodging industry, is awarded to three students at AH&LEF-affiliated four-year educational institutions. Each school nominates their top student to compete. The first place winner is Jessica Calamari from The University of Massachusetts-Amherst, second place is Sarah Coleman from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and third place is Janice Jeup-Wilson from East Carolina University.

Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance, hospitality work experience, financial need, and other requirements based on specific criteria of the scholarship. This year, AH&LEF is projected to distribute almost $1.3 million to prepare promising college students for a career in hospitality, attract and retain quality industry professionals, and fund valuable research for lodging properties.

“These scholarships provide a strong pipeline of future employees for the lodging industry,” said Joori Jean, AH&LEF‘s president and COO. “Funded solely by contributions, the Foundation’s mission to helping people build careers that improve their lives and strengthens the hospitality industry, would not have been possible without the financial support of these great industry partners.”

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