About Jay Litt '73
Jay Litt (1946–2023) was a force in the hospitality industry, a strong supporter of FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, the first president of the FIU Hospitality Alumni Society and part of the school’s first graduating class back in 1972. Jay was the longest-sitting member of the Executive Advisory Board (EAB) and the school’s first valedictorian. During Jay’s tenure, he generously arranged for a variety of zero-cost receptions from New York to Chicago, ensuring the success of the alumni organization and sharing his Chaplin School journey with those around him. Jay never declined a request to share his vast knowledge in classes, advise students and alumni, and was an honorable donor to the Chaplin School.
From Queens, New York, Jay lived an astounding life. In 1971, he returned from a two-year stay in Asia—where he planted rice with the Peace Corps in the Philippines—to meet with Florida International University (FIU) hospitality school dean Tony Marshall, who granted him the job as busboy at the Fontainebleau Hotel. He graduated as FIU valedictorian in 1973, with a B.S. in Hospitality Management after earning a B.A. in Sociology from Parsons College.
Jay remained in the hospitality industry his entire life, working as Resident Manager at the St. Regis Hotel and the Sheraton Bal Harbour; as Senior Vice President, Executive Vice President of Operations, Senior Vice President of Operations for the Americas Resorts Group, and Chief Procurement Officer of Wyndham International Inc; and Senior Vice President of Operations for Interstate Hotels. Jay, his son, Samuel, and Lea Ann Kish are LittKM, a hotel project management firm, specializing in the renovation of repositioning of hotels, including oversight of Waramaug’s 60 plus hotel renovations over the past 15 years.
Jay had an amazing career in the hospitality industry. His kindness, love of hospitality, and his willingness to give back to our students lives on in the Jay Litt Scholarship Endowment established by Jay’s colleagues, friends and family members.