The Pensionados Center is a training and hotel facilities to be established in the university town of Ithaca, New York. The center is named in honor of the “Pensionados,” the first group of boys and girls from the Philippines sent to America to study from 1903 until 1914. Of the more than 200 Pensionados and those affiliated with the scholarship program sent to the U.S. during the period, 10 students studied at Cornell University. Tomas Mapua (Class of 1911), founder of Mapua University, one of the Philippines’ premier engineering schools, studied Architecture; Ambrosio Magsaysay (Class of 1909), the co-founder of the Magsaysay Shipping Lines that pioneered the training of Filipino seafarers for the international shipping industry, studied Civil Engineering; and Victor Buencamino (Class of 1911), instrumental in the founding of the University of the Philippines College of Veterinary Science, took up Veterinary Medicine.
The Pensionados Center engages in research and international training for global development by initially focusing on the development of the Philippines but its long term goal is to get involved in international development. The services that the center provides include international development consulting and training services, technology demonstration, and hotel facilities. The center heavily relies on the research and academic resources of Cornell University but still explores collaboration with the other universities in the U.S. The Pensionados Center eventually contributes to promoting Thompkins County, New York as an international training, scientific conference, and tourism destination.
The center serves as a venue for institutions and individual scholars and professionals to be actively involved in research works, academic advancement, professional enrichment, and volunteering work. In effect, the center serves as a place where Filipinos and other immigrants are able to participate in the development of their mother countries. In the process, Ithaca’s contribution to global development undertaking, which has been existing since the early years of Cornell University, is further strengthened. For the hotel facilities of the center, DHP Inc. (DHP) builds and manages the branded hotel with 140 guest rooms and rooms for office space, training, and conference purposes. The New York City-based firm is a unique hotel lodging developer that focuses on creating hotels with key demand generating destinations on a global basis. DHP specializes in the development, construction, and management of hotels on college campuses, universities, hospitals, medical centers and ad hoc hotel projects worldwide. The total hard cost and soft cost to build the hotel facilities is 22.7 million USD. Net cash flow before debt services in the first year of operations is projected to be 3.2 million USD, which increases gradually until it is 3.9 million USD by the fifth year. The hotel room occupancy is projected to start at 70 percent in the first full year of business. The training and short conference programs that the center offers in partnership with various research and training centers at Cornell University generates 65 percent of the number of room-days sold while the 35 percent is generated by yearly events in Ithaca such as move-in of students to dormitories at the start of fall term, graduation in the month of May, alumni homecoming and local social, business, and tourism activities