Thomas More announces plans to launch the hospitality industry program.


CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2024) — Thomas More announces its plan to launch a new undergraduate degree program in hospitality management for the upcoming 2024-25 academic year, contingent upon accreditation and state approvals. The program is housed in the University’s Robert W. Plaster College of Business and focuses on providing hands-on learning to future industry leaders. Coursework includes experiential learning in both lodging and food service industries, along with an exploration of current and future trends. 

The University’s size, location, and strong community affiliations allow Thomas More’s hospitality management program to uniquely prepare its students to excel in the field. “Upon completion of the program, students will enter the workforce with diverse and dynamic skills applicable to both traditional and non-traditional hospitality career paths,” explains Ryan Maloney, Ph.D., assistant professor of hospitality management at the University. Maloney has dedicated his time to developing the most thorough and rewarding hospitality program possible, utilizing his experience at three elite hospitality schools, coupled with years of industry experience. Prior to teaching, his professional portfolio includes hospitality roles with Walt Disney World, Marriott, the Ritz-Carlton, and Delaware North. 

The Crestview Hills campus is in a prime location to offer both urban and rural hospitality experiences. Popular area specific events and attractions such as the Kentucky Bourbon trail and Cincinnati’s annual Oktoberfest Zinzinnati (largest Octoberfest celebration outside of Munich) offer students unique opportunities for study and experiential learning. In addition to in-class learning, hospitality students can expect to gain on-the-job experience through Thomas More’s many community partners. 

One community partner who is providing support is Columbia Sussex Corporation, a privately owned hotel company based in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. Columbia Sussex Corporation owns and operates over 40 hotels and resorts in the United States and the Caribbean. These properties operate under flags from Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt. In addition to providing advice during the creation of the hospitality management program, the company is working with University leadership to ensure there is a pipeline for Thomas More students to utilize for internships and co-op opportunities throughout the portfolio of properties that Columbia Sussex manages. “We are happy to partner with Thomas More to facilitate a place locally for students to earn a degree in hospitality management and begin their careers in the hospitality industry,” says William Yung, CEO of Columbia Sussex.

Another partner which plans to support the hospitality management program is St. Elizabeth Healthcare, a long-time collaborator of the University. Their involvement includes working with University leadership to ensure students have hands-on opportunities, specifically as it relates to one of their newest ventures, the Ormsby. When complete, the Ormsby will include over 200 modern residences geared for retirement living which provide a full spectrum of lifestyle amenities in addition to a full continuum of life care services for residents. Opportunities for internships, co-ops, and careers can be pursued both during and after graduation. “St. Elizabeth is pleased to support Thomas More University in expanding the career opportunities available to members of our community who will serve residents, patients, visitors, and associates,” says Senior Vice President of Human Resources Julie McGregor. “At St. Elizabeth, we always strive to be a leading community partner.”

The University looks forward to the growth of the hospitality management program as the industry is projected to create 1.9 million jobs between 2021 and 2031, according to Insight Global. “As the program continues to develop and grow, we will continue to look in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati for partners,” adds Maloney. “Also opening doors to national and worldwide brands gives our students a variety of opportunities.”

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