Hotel entrepreneur Hasu Shah to receive Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree
May 11, 2010
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Mauree Gingrich (R,101) is the spring commencement speaker at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College.
More than 1,400 students are eligible to participate in the ceremony that begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 18, at the Farm Show Complex on Cameron Street in Harrisburg. Hasu Shah, who with his wife Hersha, founded The Hersha Group of Companies in Harrisburg and endowed HACC’s hospitality and tourism program will be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Public Service. Sean Fortney of Mechanicsburg is the student speaker.
Gingrich, who has represented Lebanon for eight years, was named commencement speaker in recognition of the 20th anniversary of HACC’s Lebanon Campus and her support for the campus and for the college.
Many of Gingrich’s priorities parallel HACC’s strategic plan. She is a member of HACC’s Nursing Advisory Board and the HACC-Lebanon Campus Trade and Technology Strike Team that seeks to attract and sustain high quality jobs in the Lebanon Valley. Her higher education priorities also include evaluating both the funding formula and quality of the system.
Gingrich serves on four legislative committees, including appropriations, aging and older adult services, local government, and the health and human services committee where she is minority chairman of the subcommittee on programs and benefits. In addition, she serves on the bi-partisan Pennsylvania Local Government Commission.
Hasu Shah, this year’s recipient of the Honorary Doctor of Public Service, came to the United States from Mumbai, India, worked his way through college and pursued a business dream with his wife that would grow from a single motel property in central Pennsylvania in 1984 to a national presence in the hospitality and lodging industry. Hersha Hospitality Trust has been publically traded for more than 10 years and is presently listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Through his company, Hersha Hospitality Trust, Hasu Shah has developed, managed or owned more than 80 hotels primarily in the Eastern United States. Many of these hotels have been developed from the ground up, including seven new hotels in New York City.
Other affiliated businesses in the Hersha Group include a management company, a developer of hotel properties and a company that provides furnishings and supplies to hotels across the country.
Shah has been a member of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg for nearly 30 years and was named a Paul Harris Fellow for his support of the International Rotary Foundation. He is a trustee and generous benefactor of the Vraj Hindu Temple in Schuylkill Haven and the India Heritage Research Foundation in Louisville, Ky.
Shah has served on charitable and civic boards, including The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, Holy Spirit Hospital, American Red Cross of the Susquehanna Valley, Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, and the Minority Purchasing Council of Central Pennsylvania.
In 2005, the Shahs funded a hospital in Gujarat, India, and established the Shree Krishna Foundation to provide eyesight to one million disadvantaged blind people living in India.
Student speaker Sean Fortney will graduate with an associate degrees in general studies and business administration. He plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in political science and work toward graduate degrees in public and higher education administration.
Fortney was active in the Student Government Association as president at the Harrisburg Campus and SGA representative for the entire college. He also was involved in HACC’s student jazz, dance and chorus clubs.
Fortney is an intern lobbyist for the Student Public Interest Research Group and serves as director of the Cumberland County Young Democrats. He volunteers for New Hope Ministries, Relay for Life, March for Jesus, Allison Hill Community Center, Invisible Children and The Ronald McDonald House.
HACC Commencement 2010 Fast Facts
Graduates: 1,441
Gettysburg Campus: 109
Harrisburg Campus: 848
Lancaster Campus: 333
Lebanon Campus: 80
York Campus: 71
Top five majors:
General Studies (prepare to transfer to four-year college or university)
Business Administration
Tie: Business Studies and Elementary Education
Social Science
Please click the links below to share the latest #HACCnews on YOUR social media sites.