Platinum Circle Honoree Richard H. Penner Dies

Will Speros • December 19, 2016

Former professor emeritus with Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Richard “Dick” H. Penner has died at the age of 70. Penner served at the university for more than 40 years—from 1970 until 2012—teaching courses ranging from hotel development to design.

A native of both New York and Winchester, Massachusetts, Penner developed a passion for design at an early age. He went on to enroll in Cornell’s Department of Architecture, Art, and Planning in 1964, and earned bachelors and masters’ degrees in architecture before joining the faculty in the School of Hotel Administration in 1970. While at Cornell, he was active in the design and operations of campus facilities, serving as chair of the university’s committees on campus planning, residential life, and student unions. Penner also held the title of director of graduate studies for the hotel school.

Penner was an avid writer, penning articles as well as books including Conference Center Planning and Design in 1991, the pictorial anthology Cornell University in 2013, and co-authored three editions of Hotel Design, Planning, and Development in 1985, 2001, and 2012. Penner also led design and planning seminars around the world.

Penner was named to Hospitality Design’s Platinum Circle in 1992 for his contributions to the field as an author and teacher.