Ambassador Whitney receives Cornell Hotel Society Honorary Diploma


Ambassador Whitney receives the Diploma from Leif Evensen, the President of the Cornell Hotel Society International. Simen Hare, Kjersti Ringholm and Tord Laeskogen in the background. Photo:

On June 12, U.S. Ambassador To Norway Benson Whitney received an Honorary Diploma from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration and the Honorary Committee of Cornell Hotel Society for his exceptional work with promoting educational exchange in general and study at the Cornell Hotel School in particular.

There was a small ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, and the Cornell Hotel Society was represented by Tord Laeskogen, General Manager at Sundvolden Hotel, Kjersti Ringholm, General  Manager at Thon Hotel Arena, Leif R. Evensen, President in Cornell Hotel Society International and Simen Haare, the Vice President of First Hotels.

Laeskogen said this when he presented the Diploma: “On behalf of the leadership of Cornell School of Hotel Administration and the Honorary Committee of Cornell Hotel Society, the Worldwide Alumni Association, it is a great pleasure to hand over this Diploma, signifying that you are an Honorary Cornell Hotel Society Member. We are recognizing your valuable support in providing the contact between Cornell Hotel Society Norway and the Educational Exchange Department of the Embassy. Beyond that we also recognize your general support of educational exchange while Ambassador to Norway, knowing that promotion of educational exchange has been your signature issue during your term as Ambassador.

As CHS Chapter Norway is launching a renewal of the Young Hotelier Award to obtain greater impact for the promotion of study at the various programs at Cornell Hotel School, the support of the U.S. Embassy and the educational exchange department will be most helpful.

The CHS Honorary is awarded to persons that have not attended the Cornell Hotel School, but in one way or another contributed to the school or CHS.  I would like to mention that the late Ambassador Mark Austad was made an Honorary  for his support of CHS  Europe while Ambassador in Finland and Norway. In the U.S. many heads of hotel chains and notabilities are Honoraries thanks to their support, like J.W. “Bill” Marriott Jr., Chairman & CEO of Marriott International Hotels.


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