Jason Koski/Courtesy of Cornell University

Alumni Stephanie Nolan ’84 and Peter Nolan ’80, MBA ’82 donated $50 million to Cornell's SC Johnson College of Business, which will directly support financial aid for students.

September 21, 2021

School of Hotel Administration to be Renamed After Peter and Stephanie Nolan Following Major Donation

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After a $50 million donation from alums Peter Nolan ’80, MBA ’82 and Stephanie Nolan ’84, the School of Hotel Administration in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business will be called the Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration. 

In 2017, Fisk Johnson and SC Johnson donated a combined sum of $150 million, the largest ever received by the Ithaca campus, to rename the College of Business to the SC Johnson College of Business. The Nolan donation is now the latest to create a renaming of a college.

The Johnson donation came with a $50 million challenge grant, a mechanism to allocate donations through competition among several organizations. 

The Nolans’ donation will activate these challenge funds, which will direct $16 million to financial aid for students in the Johnson Graduate School of Management and the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. These funds will be in addition to $50 million that the Nolans earmarked for financial aid.

In a University press release, the dean of the hotel school emphasized that the donation will be beneficial to the students by providing more financial aid for students through scholarship funds. 

“This incredible gift will aid generations of future students and will support us into the next 100 years,” said Prof. Kate Walsh, MPS ’90, dean of the Nolan School and E.M. Statler Professor of management. 

The money will be provided to students through existing scholarship programs created by the Nolans, such as the Nolan Family Scholarship Fund for undergraduate students in the Dyson School and the Peter and the Stephanie Nolan Veterans’ Professional Scholarship Fund in the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.

The Nolans have a long line of Cornell alumni, with all three of their children being Cornell graduates, and have a long history of giving back to the University.

In 2011, the couple endowed the David J. Nolan Deanship of the Dyson School. The deanship was named after Peter Nolan’s father, David Nolan ’49, M.S. ’51 who graduated from the Department of Agricultural Economics, which is now known as the Dyson School. 

The two alums are leaders in the hospitality industry, according to the announcement from the University. 

Mrs. Nolan worked for L’Ermitage Hotel Group and was a resident manager at Sunset Marquis, a California luxury hotel. 

Mr. Nolan is the founder and chairman of Nolan Capital, a venture capital and private equity firm based in Hermosa Beach, California, is also currently a senior adviser at Leonard Green and Partners, a Los Angeles private equity firm, and has served on the University Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2016. He also currently serves on the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business Leadership Council as well as the Ad-Hoc Campaign Committee.

“Education is the greatest equalizer that we have, because it truly does give everyone an equal shot at the future,” said Peter Nolan.