Adolph O. Krisch '37
Adolph O. Krisch was born in New York City. He graduated Jefferson High School in Virginia and attended Roanoke College in 1933 and again in 1937. He also attended the University of Virginia.
After attending Roanoke, Krisch and his brother began working in their parent's pawn shop in downtown Roanoke. In 1956, the two brothers built their first Holiday Inn Motel at Hollins, Virginia. The next year, the Krisch's built a second Holiday Inn in Charlotte and a third in Gastonia, North Carolina. In the early 1960's, they were given the motel's franchise in the Baltimore area. For the next 25 years, the Krisch brothers and their brother -in-law, Sydney Shaftman, owned and operated over 50 Holiday Inns and other motels under the corporate name of American Motor Inns.
In 1984, Adolph and his family sold AMI to Prime Motor Inns, and by 1985, the Krisch family created a privately held company, Krisch Hotels. Adolph then started a publicly owned company, Krisch American Inns of Roanoke, which owned several motels and had a share of several others.
Adolph and the rest of his family were not just in the motel business. In 1969, Adolph started Universal Communications Systems, owned by AMI. Universal Communications Systems designs, sells, and services computerized telephone systems for hotels, motels, and other businesses. BellSouth acquired UCS in 1988, and remained a high powered communication system.
Adolph Oscar Kirsch received the Roanoke College Medal on April 15, 1989 at the All Alumni Dinner. He received this medal for building a business that stood at the top of the Motel Industry. He combined quality with hard work to become a very successful entrepreneur.
Adolph retired in July of 1987 as chairman and board member of Krisch American Inns, but the company has remained in the family. He was married to Heidi. O. Feller and raised two daughters; Victoria K. Mills and Juliana Krisch Weiss. Adolph has been very generous to share his gift for enterprise and vision with Roanoke College as well. He and his wife were Presidential Associates and were Roanoke College Associates for 13 years.