Nov. 21, 2005
Hersha and Hasu P. Shah, founders of the locally based Hersha Group of Companies, today announced that they will contribute an unspecified amount to fund the hotel, restaurant and institutional management program at HACC (Harrisburg Area Community College) in central Pennsylvania, where the company is based. Funding for the program, to be called The Hersha and Hasu P. Shah Program of Hospitality and Lodging Management, coincides with the Hersha Group's 20th anniversary.

"Our success in the hospitality industry is directly correlated with the caliber of our managers, employees and communities," said Hasu P. Shah, chairman and CEO of the Hersha Group of Companies. "We believe that HACC serves our communities in the Pennsylvania capital region-and increasingly the hotel industry at large-exceedingly well. We believe in their students and admire the school's mission."

The contribution will be used to establish an endowed fund within the HACC Foundation that will provide future monies for faculty and professional development awards, including registration fees for professional seminars, conferences and activities. Additionally, funds will be used to create and provide summer faculty internship opportunities at Hersha-owned and operated hotels.

Co-founders Hersha and Hasu P. Shah began what would eventually become the Hersha Hospitality Group in 1984 with the purchase of a 120-room independent hotel in Harrisburg. Since that time, the organization has emerged and evolved into a leading publicly-held real estate investment trust (REIT), a national hotel management company and a successful developer of hotel properties. The companies develop, manage and own premium limited- and full-service hotels in the eastern United States with strong, national franchise affiliations. The collective company's owned and managed portfolio consists of ownership interests in approximately 45 hotels in nine states.

"We are firm believers in giving back to our community, as well as to our industry," Shah added."My own family has benefited from a strong educational grounding in this industry, and it is our hope that this endowment will ensure that other deserving students have the same access to academic and professional training."

"In recognition of their magnanimous support, we are pleased to announce that we are re-naming our hospitality and lodging program in honor of Hersha and Hasu P. Shah," said Dr. Edna V. Baehre, HACC president."The program will be a model for academic and professional training and industry involvement in the education of its workforce."

HACC serves nearly 17,000 degree-seeking students in a 10-county region in Central Pennsylvania. In addition, the college serves more than 50,000 students in its workforce development and community education programs. The college operates campuses in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and Gettysburg, a center in York, as well as a number of off-campus community sites. As central Pennsylvania's community college, HACC provides degree and diploma programs in more than 154 fields.

The Hersha Group of Companies includes industry leading hotel management, development, and furnishings businesses based in New Cumberland, Pa. The company's New York development pipeline and successful real estate investment trust are widely recognized by the national real estate industry. For more information on the company, visit their website,

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