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Letter from John Howie

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.


College of Human Ecology Cornell University
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