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Magnolia Hotels’ President Creates Scholarship Fund for Female Students Pursuing Hospitality Degree

July 22, 2008 (DENVER) — Leigh Hitz, president of Denver-based Magnolia Hotels, has created a scholarship fund in conjunction with her husband, James, for the University of Denver. The Leigh and James Hitz Endowed Scholarship Fund has been established in the amount of $50,000 to support female students pursuing a degree in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management at the University of Denver Daniels College of Business. Leigh Hitz received her bachelor’s degree from DU’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, prior to completing the General Managers Program at Cornell University’s Hotel School.

“I am thrilled to announce the creation of a scholarship that will help provide financial assistance to women who want to pursue a career in the hospitality industry,” said Leigh Hitz, who has worked for Magnolia Hotels for the past 18 years and has served as president for the past five years. “This scholarship is intended for a student who is well-rounded, community-minded and motivated to succeed in the hospitality industry. As a DU alumna, I take great pride in the creation of this scholarship and look forward to meeting the first of many scholarship recipients.”

Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of academic merit or financial need, and recipients will be designated as Hitz Scholars. The Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management School will work with Magnolia Hotels to identify internship opportunities for Hitz Scholars. The first scholarship will be $1,000 to be awarded in fall 2008, and the next in fall 2009.

“The scholarship created by Leigh and James Hitz speaks to the caliber of our program,” said Dr. David Corsun, director and associate professor, School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. “This will encourage the development of female leadership in the hospitality industry as well as the opportunity for students to gain firsthand experience at Magnolia hotels.”

The Magnolia hotels are upscale boutique hotels catering to the sophisticated traveler, operated by Denver-based Magnolia Hotels, a privately held hotel management and development company. The company focuses on development, management, acquisition, re-branding, new construction and conversion of existing independent hotel properties. The core product line consists of award-winning, independent boutique hotels that offer a comfort, personality and style unlike that of trendy or branded hotels. Stylish interiors are designed with local flair. Comfort is fashioned through warm personal spaces such as signature Club rooms and restful suites. The company currently operates Magnolia hotels in Denver, Dallas, Houston and Omaha and is exploring other markets for additional growth opportunities.  Magnolia Hotels also is actively seeking to acquire new hotel management contracts. For more information, visit

The Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver is recognized as one of the top seven schools in the world for producing graduates with high ethical standards. Of the approximately 550 business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Daniels is among the top 15% of undergraduate programs and the top 5% of graduate programs, and is the only graduate business school in Colorado ranked by both The Wall Street Journal and Business Week. In 2008, the College celebrates its 100th anniversary. It is among the first business colleges founded in the U.S. – a group that includes Wharton, Chicago, Berkeley, Dartmouth, New York, Wisconsin, Illinois, Harvard, Northwestern and Pittsburgh. For more information, visit:

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