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 Cofounder Horst Schulze was honored with a naming dedication at the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center to link his name with the school.
“Mr. Horst Schulze, the co-founder and former president of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, is synonymous with excellence and success,” Auburn University President Dr. Christopher B. Roberts said. “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 of Human Sciences and Auburn 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 Dr. 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 as a teen. 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. The Auburn University 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 dating back almost 30 years.
“There was an early vision of excellence that convinced me I wanted to stay engaged and become more involved,” Schulze said. “We had only 25 students in the hotel program. To think from that moment to this moment here, this is so immensely different. So the distance from where we are now to becoming the best is attainable. I stand behind the vision that I have created for myself and with others for this institution and that’s not only to be the best, but to be known as the very best. It’s such an exciting moment. This is the right place at the right time.”
As part of the ceremony, Schulze was awarded with a framed resolution honoring the naming of the Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management and a bronze eagle statue bearing the new name, Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management.
“I am especially touched to know this School of Hospitality Management at Auburn University is where Horst Schulze’s 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 Schulze’s 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.”
For more information on the Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management, visit humsci.auburn.edu/hosp.