‘To be known as the very best:’ College of Human Sciences celebrates naming of Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management

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It was another milestone day and celebration surrounding Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company co-founder Horst Schulze was honored with a naming dedication on Jan. 23 at the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center.

“Mr. Horst Schulze, the co-founder and former president of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, is synonymous with excellence and success,” said Auburn President Christopher B. Roberts. “He is a visionary and a mentor, an icon in the hospitality industry, and now his name and wealth of wisdom are forever sewn into the fabric of the College of Human Sciences at Auburn University.”

A generous anonymous gift made in honor of Schulze forever connects his name to what is now the Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management.  

In addition to Roberts, the naming dedication included invited guests and key college and university leaders, including Auburn University Board of Trustees President Pro Tempore Bob Dumas, College of Human Sciences Dean Susan Hubbard, head of the Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management Martin O’Neill and many of Schulze’s family members and colleagues to honor the lifelong hospitality icon.

At just 14 years old, Schulze began learning the importance of hard work, as his humble beginnings included cleaning ash trays and tables at a hotel in Germany. That hard work taught him the meaning of excellence, and in the years to follow, Schulze would ultimately help establish and operate a $2 billion dollar-international hotel company.

Auburn’s hospitality management program was established in 1987 and became the academic model as it is known today in 2002, integrating industry professionals in supporting roles, with the vision and assistance of Schulze. 

At an invitation he almost did not accept due to a full professional calendar, Schulze joined the Dean’s Advisory Board in the College of Human Sciences almost 30 years ago.

As part of the ceremony, Schulze was awarded a framed resolution honoring the naming of the Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management and a bronze eagle statue bearing the school’s new name.  

“I am especially touched to know this School of Hospitality Management at Auburn University is where Horst Schulzes name will be displayed, and his experience and wisdom will resonate through the halls and lives of every student and faculty member passing through for years to come,” Hubbard said. “The eagle is symbolic of pride, strength, honesty and truth. It is also known for its strong vision … all qualities you exemplify and desire to share with others.

“Of course, the eagle also represents the Auburn spirit.”

Echoing Hubbard’s remarks, O’Neill said he was intimidated at first that Schulze’s name would forever be synonymous with the School of Hospitality Management because of the level of excellence, attention to detail and integrity Schulze brings to the program.

“Listen, the facilities alone have already increased our enrollment, now you add Horst Schulzes involvement, and the sky is the limit,” O’Neill said. “It’s very reassuring to know that moving forward the next generation of hospitality leaders will be stepping out of the Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management. I can assure you these graduates will live, breathe and practice excellence every single day and will make you proud.

“Horst, it is an honor and a privilege to be a part of your journey in this way. Please know that my team and I are eager and enthusiastic to carry on the legacy your life journey exhibits.”

More information on the Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management can be found on its website.

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