Rosen Philanthropy Fact Sheet
In a career spanning more than half a century, Florida’s largest independent hotelier Harris Rosen has made it his mission to enhance the quality of life of his neighbors, his city, the hospitality industry and those living in many other parts of the world. For decades, his namesake foundation has contributed tens of millions of dollars to create and support educational and youth-benefiting programs and scholarships throughout Central Florida, among a number of notable programs.
About Harris Rosen
Harris Rosen currently serves as president and chief operating officer of Rosen Hotels & Resorts®, Inc., the largest privately owned hotel company in Florida. A native of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Rosen launched the Orlando firm in 1974 with the purchase of his first hotel and has managed its growth into a portfolio of nine world-class properties encompassing close to 6,700 guestrooms and suites and more than 700 million square feet of versatile meeting and event space.
About The Harris Rosen Foundation®
Rosen established the foundation to identify, develop and manage numerous wide-ranging philanthropic initiatives under his direction. In 1993, the organization embarked on its first project, a bold effort to improve educational opportunities for children in the impoverished Orlando neighborhood of Tangelo Park, a program that has received national acclaim and one that continues today.
Currently, Rosen Hotels & Resorts and The Harris Rosen Foundation focus their philanthropic efforts on education, wellness, animal welfare and cultural diversity. Past and ongoing programs include:
1992 – Rosen YMCA Aquatic Center
When a popular Orlando aquatic facility faced permanent closure, Rosen organized a community-wide effort to keep it open. The facility was later gifted to the YMCA and revenue-generating programs now offset its operating costs.
- In honor of Harris Rosen’s many contributions, the facility was renamed the Rosen YMCA Aquatic Center in 2018.
- The facility is home to a number of international, highly acclaimed swim meets and serves as a home for the local Special Olympics swim team.
1993 – Tangelo Park Program
Reflecting Harris Rosen’s passion for education, the visionary program includes free preschool for all 2-, 3- and 4-year old children in the underserved Orlando neighborhood and a free parent resource center. In addition, Rosen funds education to every Tangelo Park high school graduate accepted to a trade school, community college or four-year public college in Florida.
- The neighborhood’s high school graduation rate has dramatically improved from approximately 55 percent when the program began to now nearly 100 percent!
- Approximately 250 full college scholarships have been awarded to date.
- The program also provides a Neighborhood Resource Center for Families, where parents can take parenting courses and obtain counseling and other resources to help them become positive role models for their children.
2004 – Rosen College of Hospitality Management at UCF
In 2002, Rosen donated $18 million to the University of Central Florida (UCF) to develop a world-class institution to develop future generations of hospitality industry leaders.
- After opening in 2004, the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at UCF currently is among the fastest growing programs in the United States, with enrollment at nearly 3,500 students.
- The school has consistently ranked among the top two hospitality schools in the world.
- As part of his ongoing support, Rosen funds a $2.5 million scholarship endowment for UCF matched by the state of Florida. To date, his contributions to this scholarship have totaled $3.6 million.
2008 – Alternative Spring Break
For the past decade, Rosen has funded a week-long mentoring program between undergraduates at Cornell University (Harris Rosen’s alma mater) and the children of Tangelo Park.
- Cornell students stay at Rosen Shingle Creek while adhering to a full schedule of learning activities including assisting teachers at Tangelo Park Elementary and Dr. Phillips High School, as well as attending a Tangelo Park board meeting, among many activities.
2009 – Jack and Lee Rosen Jewish Community Center
With a total contribution of 9.6 million, Harris Rosen helped develop a state-of-the-art community center and school named for his late parents, as well as expanded the facility to host an events center.
- The school now serves approximately 150 students ages 2 months to 5 years old.
- In 2016, with the assistance of additional Rosen donations, the facility added a multi-million dollar multipurpose theater to serve its growing needs and those of the surrounding community.
2011 – Japan Relief
After students at Orlando’s Lake Highland Preparatory School raised more than $40,000 to benefit Japanese victims of a hurricane and tsunami, Rosen matched the amount, bringing the total to more than $86,000.
- Rosen also has given generously to support a student exchange program between Orlando and its sister city in Urayasu, Japan.
2013 – Gary Sain Memorial Skybridge
Honoring the late president and CEO of Visit Orlando, the county’s main tourism marketing agency, a $3 million pedestrian bridge funded entirely by Rosen Hotels & Resorts links the busy Orange County Convention Center with the adjacent Rosen Plaza Hotel.
- Two years earlier, sister hotel Rosen Centre built the company’s first pedestrian bridge to the convention center, a project also funded by Rosen Hotels & Resorts.
2016 – Parramore Program
More than 20 years after launching the Tangelo Park Program, The Harris Rosen Foundation started an even larger effort in Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood, an urban community five times the size of Tangelo Park.
- The first-of-its-kind Rosen Preschool opened in 2017 within Orange County Public Schools’ Academic Center for Excellence. Rosen funds teachers’ and teachers’ aides salaries, as well as a director, for all 24 classrooms.
- Like the Tangelo Park Program, the Parramore initiative covers higher education expenses or vocational school (including tuition, books, room and board) for every neighborhood high school graduate.
- In 2017, Rosen announced he would offer three annual scholarships to the private Rollins College, located in Winter Park, Fla., a suburb of Orlando. Eligible Tangelo Park and Parramore high school students now have the opportunity to attend this prestigious private liberal arts college.
Ongoing – Haiti Relief
Recognizing that more than one third of Rosen Hotels & Resorts associates are Haitian or of Haitian descent, The Harris Rosen Foundation has devoted significant humanitarian efforts for the country for more than a decade, including funding for food, medical and school supplies.
- In 2005, Rosen’s Water for Haiti Gala raised $350,000 to supply filtration devices that provide clean drinking water for approximately 200,000 people.
- In 2010, Rosen launched the Haiti Relief Rebuild Sustain program, which raised $650,000 to aid victims of the 2010 earthquake.
- After HurricaneMatthew in 2016, The Harris Rosen Foundation spearheaded an effort to build storm-resilient homes for residents. In December 2017, close to 100 families were invited to take ownership of their new hurricane-resistant homes with expanded living space and more modern facilities.
For more information about Rosen Hotels & Resorts, visit www.rosenhotels.com.
For more information about the charitable work of Harris Rosen and The Harris Rosen Foundation, visit http://www.rosengivesback.com/.