In 1921, the American Hotel Association (AHA), including
John McFarlane Howie of the Hotel Touraine in Buffalo, proposed a
college program for training in hotel management. The AHA believed
that the quality of the hospitality industry would improve if its
management were taught to apply scientific principles of sanitation,
efficiency, and consumer economics to the maintenance of hotels. Consequently,
the first collegiate courses in hotel administration began at Cornell
in 1922, under the direction of Howard Meek, within the School of
Home Economics. Advocates of formal hotel administration instruction
hoped to turn hospitality from a trade learned by apprenticeship into
a profession learned in a classroom. This 1925 letter is evidence
of the great respect John Howie had for co-directors Martha Van Rensselaer
and Flora Rose. In 1950, the Department of Hotel Administration became
the School of Hotel Administration within the College of Home Economics.
Four years later the school was made an independent college with Meek
serving as dean.