Current Provost Becomes University's Second Deaf President

WASHINGTON, May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Jane K. Fernandes, Gallaudet
University Provost since 2000, was introduced today as Gallaudet's 9th
president. She will take office in January 2007. Celia May Baldwin, Interim
Chair of the university's Board of Trustees made the announcement at a
campus convocation this afternoon after the full board elected Dr.
Fernandes president over the weekend.
Fernandes will replace long-time Gallaudet president, Dr. I. King
Jordan, who made history in 1988 becoming the first deaf person selected to
lead a university when he was named Gallaudet's 8th president. Dr. Jordan
announced his retirement in the summer of 2005 after more than 18 years as
president. Dr. Jordan will retain the title "President Emeritus" and will
continue to assist the new president and the university.
"Gallaudet is extremely fortunate to have Dr. Jane Fernandes as our
next president," said Celia May Baldwin, Chair of the University's Board of
Trustees. "Jane has a deep understanding of how this university works,
having served in senior leadership positions here for more than a decade.
It would be difficult, if not impossible, for the Board to find anyone with
greater breadth or depth of experience. The executive positions she has
held at both the K-12 and University levels -- and the notable
accomplishments she has made in these positions -- make her uniquely
qualified to lead Gallaudet.

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"Jane has proven her leadership skills time and time again, often
having to make very difficult decisions, and we believe that this has
prepared her well for the presidency. We are thrilled to have someone of
her caliber succeed King Jordan and believe that she will be an outstanding
president of Gallaudet."
As Provost, Dr. Fernandes is the chief academic officer of the
University, responsible for all of the academic programs and academic
support components at Gallaudet. The Academic Affairs division for which
she is responsible has 670 faculty and staff and a budget of more than $83
million. She has been one of the key leaders in the development of the
University's vision and strategic plan, and recently co-authored "Towards
an Inclusive Deaf University: Achieving Equitable Outcomes for All
Students" which specifically addressed two of the key goals of the
university's plan.
A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Dr. Fernandes attended public
schools. She is a graduate of Trinity College (Connecticut), earning a B.A.
degree in French and comparative literature, and the University of Iowa,
where she earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature. After
graduating from Iowa, she worked for Northeastern University before coming
to Gallaudet as Chair of the Department of Sign Communication. She later
moved to Hawaii where she established the Interpreter Education Program at
Kapi'olani Community College and served for five years as the director of
the Hawaii Center for the Deaf and Blind.
In 1995 she returned to Gallaudet to become the Vice President for the
Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center where she and her team
developed innovative curriculum, materials, and teaching strategies for
schools serving deaf and hard-of-hearing students throughout the nation.
Last year, more than 450 schools had adopted the Clerc Center's methods.
Dr. Fernandes has authored and co-authored numerous scholarly
publications, and will soon be sending her new book, Signs of Eloquence: a
Study of Deaf American Public Address (with James Fernandes) to press. She
has been an invited speaker at conferences all over the country and will
travel this May to Bangkok, Thailand where she will give the keynote
address at the First World Congress on The Power of Language: Theory,
Practice, and Performance.
"I am humbled and honored by the decision of the Board," said Dr.
Fernandes at the ceremony announcing her appointment. "I give you my word
that I will make every decision and lead this university based on what is
in the university's best interest ... I am grateful that the Board has
entrusted me with this wonderful opportunity to serve this university that
I love."
Dr. Fernandes is married to Dr. James J. Fernandes, a former professor
in Gallaudet's Department of Communication Studies. They have two children,
Sean (15) and Erin (13).
Gallaudet University is the world leader in liberal education and
career development for deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduate students. The
University enjoys an international reputation for its outstanding graduate
programs as well as for the quality of the research it conducts on the
history, language, culture, and other topics related to deaf people. The
University's Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center serves deaf and
hard-of-hearing children at its two demonstration schools and throughout
the nation by developing, implementing, and disseminating innovative
educational strategies. Gallaudet is located in Washington, DC where it was
founded in 1864 by an act of Congress, and its charter was signed by
President Abraham Lincoln.

Rosemont Redefined!

ROSEMONT, Ill., May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Standing on the land that will
redefine Rosemont, Mayor Donald E. Stephens and developers along with
representatives from the convention, hospitality and business sectors,
today unveiled the master plan and anchors for Rosemont Walk, an ambitious
$500M mixed-use family-friendly development of hotels, restaurants,
entertainment and offices built around the Donald E. Stephens Convention
and Conference Center and Rosemont Theatre. The pedestrian-friendly 60-acre
development will add 600,000 sq. ft. of prime retail, office and
entertainment space, over 1,100 hotel rooms and is expected to create some
3,000 new jobs in the Village that is conveniently located in the heart of
Chicago's suburbs next to O'Hare International Airport and serviced by
Interstate, Tollway, CTA and Metra train service.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060509/CGTU020 )
"For years we've had a vision for a comprehensive entertainment
district," said Mayor Donald E. Stephens. "With today's announcement,
Rosemont opens the most exciting chapter in our history -- a chapter that
will be remembered as our defining achievement. It can no longer be said
that Rosemont waited for the courts, the legislature or any state agency or
official to determine our destiny. Today we chart our own course and the
people of Illinois will benefit."
After unveiling the master plan for Rosemont Walk, the group broke
ground on the $300M phase one which includes the project anchors of Grizzly
Falls Resort, a 400,000 sq. ft. family waterpark resort featuring a 100,000
sq. ft., state-of-the-art indoor waterpark and a first-rate 400-room hotel;
a 525-room Le Meridien Chicago O'Hare Hotel, one of the world's leading
luxury hotel brands, and Muvico Rosemont Walk 22, a first-class 110,000 sq.
ft., 4,750-seat, 22-screen themed megaplex by Muvico Theaters.
"Rosemont Walk will bolster the Village's positive economic
contribution to the Chicagoland and Illinois economy," said Stephens.
"We're growing Rosemont into an enhanced destination location for our
existing and new meeting, convention, tradeshow, leisure, business and
entertainment customers from Chicagoland and around the world."
Linked by new streetscapes, signage and features, Rosemont Walk will
encompass the existing Donald E. Stephens Convention and Conference Center,
Rosemont Theatre, Gibsons Steakhouse, Morton's Steakhouse, and Sofitel,
Crowne Plaza, Embassy Suites and Doubletree hotels. The overall development
will cover the area bound by Bryn Mawr on the north, River Road on the
east, I-294 on the west and the Village boundary on the south. The Village
is planning a free trolley service to link Rosemont Walk to the Allstate
Arena, O'Hare International Airport and area hotels, restaurants, office
buildings and shopping.
Design and marketing efforts for Rosemont Walk are being led by Marc A.
Offit, Chairman and CEO of Sierra Realty Advisors. The firm is managing the
project's master plan and will market future phases that will include
office space, hotels, restaurants and entertainment offerings including
plans for a bowling alley and a focal point outdoor ice rink.
"I have the rare opportunity to bring to life the Mayor's vision of a
Village mecca that's as pedestrian friendly as it is lively," said Offit.
"It will be the premiere destination for lodging, entertainment and dining
in Chicago and the Midwest."
A first in the Chicagoland market and one of the largest and most
exciting in the Midwest, Grizzly Falls Resort, with its state-of-the-art
100,000 sq. ft. indoor waterpark, a 400-room all-suites resort will bring
new tourism dollars to Illinois and creates a new leisure product in the
Developed by Chicago-based Landmark Resorts & Hotels, at an approximate
project cost of $110M and a total of some 400,000 sq. ft., this is no
ordinary water park. It will feature a world-class spa, a large family
entertainment center, a family food court, concierge and limousine service.
"Rosemont is a great location for a resort destination of this
magnitude," said Eric Lund, principal and cofounder of Landmark Resorts &
Hotels. "Landmark is proud to be part of the Village's efforts to broaden
its entertainment offerings. We look forward to working together with
Rosemont in creating a new and fantastic resort destination to serve
families from around Illinois and the world."
Grizzly Falls Resort will offer unique entertainment and year-round
recreation and leisure options for Chicago area families seeking a
fun-filled, getaway close to home and give new options to Rosemont's
growing convention, tradeshow and meeting visitors.
Adding to Rosemont's 14 hotels and 5,673 hotel rooms, the $128M Le
Meridien Chicago O'Hare Hotel development is a 16-story, 433,000 sq. ft.
525-room property with an 810-car parking garage and three dining options.
Osteria di Tramonto, the in-hotel restaurant by Cenitare Restaurants, LLC
of which Rick Tramonto of TRU is the executive chef and culinary director,
is a mid-priced, three-meal concept that will offer hotel guests and
visitors specialties from all regions of Italy. Deals on two upscale
restaurants that will front River Road are in the works and will be
announced shortly.
"We're pleased to bring Chicagoland's newest upscale hotel development
to Rosemont," said The Harp Group president Peter Dumon also representing
Mid-America Development Partners. "With prime frontage adjacent to the
Rosemont Theatre, the project will extend Rosemont's offerings south along
River Road."
Adding to Rosemont's entertainment options, Muvico unveiled detailed
plans for Muvico Rosemont Walk 22 that will transport movie-goers back to
the golden age of the grand movie palace. With its lavishly themed
environment this 22-screen megaplex will have the classic look and feel of
a bygone era of cinema with all the modern amenities and technologies
expected of today's savvy moviegoers.
Muvico Rosemont Walk 22 will feature Muvico's exciting "bigger than
life" themed architecture and the same innovative, signature amenities and
services that have long-ranked high among its current movie-goers
throughout Florida, Maryland and Tennessee. In addition to stadium seating
and wall-to-wall curved screens, the auditoriums feature 24-inch wide seats
and 46-inch row spacing to offer enough room to walk between aisles and
Dolby digital sound in every theater. Muvico will offer an expanded
concession menu and signature guest services including valet parking and
online ticketing.
"We are thrilled to bring the golden era of the grand movie palace to
Rosemont Walk and Chicago," said Muvico Theaters president Mike Whalen.
"This project seamlessly blends our signature themed design and
architecture with all the modern technologies of today. Muvico will bring
unparalleled customer service, unmatched amenities and an entertainment
destination unlike any other movie theater in this market."
With an exclusive on-site children's playroom supervised by teachers
and assistants, Muvico will return spontaneity to movie-going parents who
want to relax and enjoy a film hassle-free without having to worry about
finding a babysitter. The playroom will feature a fun, kid-friendly themed
environment for ages 3-10 that will include such amenities as a computer
zone, a reading corner, and arts and crafts space, a science area, a free
play spot and assorted play activity areas.
The complete Rosemont Walk will offer a variety of restaurants spanning
every dining interest, from ethnic specialties and upscale to kid-friendly.
Visitors will be able to enjoy leisurely shopping at stores and boutiques
and will have a dazzling good time at nightclubs and other entertainment

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The Village has also approved plans by Duke Realty Corporation for a
72,000 sq. ft. office and warehouse for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Valued at over $14M, the project located east of Rosemont Walk will bring
some 250 Department of Homeland Security employees to Rosemont,
strategically located in Chicagoland and near O'Hare International Airport.
May 9, 2006 Rosemont Walk Unveiling and Phase 1 groundbreaking
Summer 2006 Muvico Rosemont Walk 22 construction begins
Late 2006 Grizzly Falls Resort construction begins
Fall 2007 Muvico Rosemont Walk 22 opens
Spring 2008 Grizzly Falls Resort opens
May 2008 Le Meridien Chicago O'Hare Hotel opens

The Village of Rosemont is a major economic engine for Illinois and a
premier destination for commerce, entertainment and hospitality. Only 50
years ago, this 2.5 square mile area was unwanted land adjacent to O'Hare
International Airport. Capitalizing on its strategic location, 85
pioneering residents had the idea to incorporate the Village of Rosemont
and create a center of commerce to support visitors from around the world.
Rosemont. Welcoming the World for 50 Years. On the web at
http://www.rosemont.com .

Host Hotels & Resorts Announces Purchase of Four Hotels in Europe By its European Joint Venture
BETHESDA, Md., May 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Host Hotels & Resorts,
Inc. (NYSE: HST) today announced that its joint venture in the Netherlands
with Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, the Dutch pension fund, and Jasmine
Hotels Pte Ltd, an affiliate of GIC Real Estate Pte Ltd, the real estate
investment company of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation
Pte Ltd, completed the purchase of four hotels from Starwood Hotels &
Resorts Worldwide, Inc. ("Starwood"). The Company also announced that it
contributed the Sheraton Warsaw Hotel & Towers to the joint venture.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060417/HOSTLOGO )
The four hotels purchased by the joint venture today include: The
Westin Palace, Madrid, located in Madrid, Spain (468 rooms); The Westin
Palace, Milan, located in Milan, Italy (228 rooms); the Sheraton Skyline
Hotel & Conference Centre, located in Hayes, United Kingdom (350 rooms);
and the Sheraton Roma Hotel & Conference Center, located in Rome, Italy
(634 rooms). The purchase of these hotels had been deferred from the
previous closing of the Company's purchase of assets from Starwood on April
10, 2006 as a result of certain notice requirements. The Company expects
that the fifth hotel that was deferred from the initial closing, The Westin
Europa & Regina, located in Venice, Italy, will be purchased by the joint
venture by June 15, 2006, at which time the initial joint venture
investment of approximately $621 million in six hotels will be complete.
The joint venture partners also are contemplating entering into an
expanded joint venture, which would be subject to antitrust clearance, that
would increase the aggregate size of the joint venture to euro 533 million
of equity, which including anticipated leverage would provide the joint
venture with aggregate funds available for investment of euro 1.5 billion
(including the funds invested in the six initial joint venture properties).

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About Host Hotels & Resorts
Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. is a lodging real estate company that
currently owns or holds controlling interests in 129 luxury and upper
upscale and hotel properties primarily operated under premium brands such
as Marriott(R), Westin(R), Sheraton(R), Ritz-Carlton(R), Hyatt(R), W(R),
Four Seasons(R), St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), Fairmont(R),
Hilton(R) and Swissotel(R)*. For further information please visit the
Company's website at http://www.hosthotels.com.
* This press release contains registered trademarks that are the
exclusive property of their respective owners. None of the owners of these
trademarks has any responsibility or liability for any information
contained in this press release.
(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within
the meaning of federal securities regulations. These forward-looking
statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as
"anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may,"
"plan," "predict," "project," "will," "continue" and other similar terms
and phrases, including references to assumption and forecasts of future
results. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future
performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other
factors which may cause the actual results to differ materially from those
anticipated at the time the forward- looking statements are made. These
risks include, but are not limited to: national and local economic and
business conditions, including the potential for terrorist attacks, that
will affect occupancy rates at our hotels and the demand for hotel products
and services; operating risks associated with the hotel business; risks
associated with the level of our indebtedness and our ability to meet
covenants in our debt agreements; relationships with property managers; our
ability to maintain our properties in a first-class manner, including
meeting capital expenditure requirements; our ability to compete
effectively in areas such as access, location, quality of accommodations
and room rate structures; changes in travel patterns, taxes and government
regulations which influence or determine wages, prices, construction
procedures and costs; our ability to complete pending acquisitions and
dispositions; and our ability to continue to satisfy complex rules in order
for us to qualify as a Real Estate Investment Trust for federal income tax
purposes and other risks and uncertainties associated with our business
described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission. The acquisition of The Westin Europa & Regina from Starwood is
subject to numerous closing conditions and there can be no assurances that
we will complete the acquisition of this hotel. Although the Company
believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are
based upon reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that the
expectations will be attained or that any deviation will not be material.
All information in this release is as of May 3, 2006, and the Company
undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to conform
the statement to actual results or changes in the Company's expectations.)



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