Hoyt Harper II ?77

Hoyt H. Harper II

Class Year


Current home

Greenwich, Connecticut


Sociology and Social Sciences

Current Position

Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection, at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Hoyt H Harper II ’77 graduated from Carthage with bachelor degrees in sociology and social sciences. He believes his college experience opened the door for careers in brand leadership, management, the hospitality industry, and more.

Mr. Harper is a senior global executive with more than 40 years of innovation and brand leadership. His career spans the travel industry from airlines and car rentals to leisure travel and hospitality. He has been recognized twice by Black Enterprise as one of the 75 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America, among many other awards. During his 25-year career at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Harper held a number of leadership positions in marketing and brand management.

Accomplished in brand management, business transformation, and strategic alliances, Mr. Harper also serves on the board of directors for organizations ranging from entrepreneurial startups and mid-sized food services companies to billion-dollar non-profits. In addition, he serves as vice-chair of Carthage’s Board of Trustees.

“Carthage prepared me for a lifetime of learning. Who knew my sociology degree would prepare me for a career in marketing and leading loyalty programs.”

Hoyt H. Harper II, ’77

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“I was blessed with the opportunity to travel the world — over 60 countries, over five million miles. Living in other countries and learning about other cultures is truly fascinating. It is humbling to realize how little we know about each other.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“Carthage prepared me for a lifetime of learning. Who knew my sociology degree would prepare me for a career in marketing and leading loyalty programs.”

How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?

“I had the opportunity to develop a new, innovative loyalty program in the travel/hospitality industry. As we developed the accrued liability and predictive modeling analysis, I recalled the lessons from my Behavioral Research Analysis class.”

Why did you choose Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because I wanted to play baseball. But I stayed because I received the personalized attention and support I needed to be successful.”

What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?

“After my junior year, I had the opportunity to convert a summer job into the beginning of a career. With the support of the Dean of Students Office, I was able to work full-time while remaining a full-time student.”

What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?

“Professor John Neuenschwander’s passion for history was infectious. Professor Clayton Diskerud, my academic advisor, and I had some meaningful conversations about school and life. Finally, Augie Schmidt, my baseball coach, greatly contributed to my success. Without his fatherly guidance and support, I would not have made it.”

Tips for current Carthage students?

“There are so many things I would have done differently. I encourage current students to study a foreign language, spend time developing stronger writing skills, but most importantly, to challenge themselves by stepping outside their comfort zone.”

Are you a Carthage alum who is excelling in your field?