Hotelier and Philanthropist Harris Rosen and Dr. Abe Pizam Honored for Creating Top-Ranked UCF Rosen School of Hospitality Management

IDrive Chamber Lunch Awards 2024

ORLANDO, FL (May 9, 2024) – In honor of the 20th anniversary of the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, the International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce recognized hotelier and philanthropist Harris Rosen and Dr. Abe Pizam, the school’s former Dean, for their visionary leadership and significant contributions to the success of the college. Today, both men received the 2024 “Innovator” award at a special luncheon held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel.

Currently, the UCF Rosen School of Hospitality Management ranks as the top hospitality college in the nation by ShanghaiRanking, a ranking it has held for the last four years. The school also annually ranks as one of the top hospitality colleges in the world, reaching as high as No. 2 in 2020.

The initial thought of creating such a school came to Mr. Rosen and Dean Pizam over lunch. Both men felt with the right tools, the right staff and the right campus, this level of achievement was within reach, especially poised just minutes from Orlando’s world-famous attractions and tourism district. Thanks to a generous donation from Mr. Rosen, construction soon started. The resort-style campus opened in January of 2004 and transitioned to college status in May of the same year. Now, 20 years later, their vision continues to inspire local leaders, hospitality professionals and students.

The awards ceremony featured tribute videos, guest speakers and two proclamations. Representative Maxwell Frost read one on the floor of the U.S. Capitol. The other came from Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, which was read during the luncheon.

For media inquiries, please contact Rob Hubler, public relations manager for Rosen Hotels & Resorts, 407-996-7656 or

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