Marriott and Howard University Team Up to Form a Center for Hospitality Leadership

Historically Black Howard University in Washington, D.C. announced the establishment of the Marriott- Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership at the university. The center has received a $20 million endowment from The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation in honor of Arne Sorenson, the CEO of Marriott, who died recently from pancreatic cancer.

The Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership, which will be housed in Howard University’s School of Business, will feature a best-in-class program that expands educational and professional opportunities for Howard students and aims to develop future executives in the hospitality industry.

J.W. Marriott, Jr., executive chair and chair of the board of Marriott International, stated that “our industry needs a pipeline of diverse leadership talent and that’s exactly what this center will achieve. This innovative program will foster leadership excellence and help drive greater inclusion at the most senior levels of the hospitality industry.”

Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University, added that “this program will be a game-changer for Howard University students and the hospitality industry by designing unique educational opportunities that meet the future demands of the industry, shaping the already promising talents and passions of our business students, and connecting those students with meaningful careers in the industry.”

In addition, Marriott International announced the creation of the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund which will support the critical programmatic and career development elements of the center. This fund is dedicated to helping the industry build leadership talent in hospitality. Marriott has pledged the first donation of $1 million to the fund.

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