Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2021

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B M & T ••• March/April 2021 ••• 40 The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation together with Howard University announced recently the establishment of the Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership in honor of Marriott International's (NASDAQ: MAR) beloved president and CEO, Arne Sorenson, who trag- ically passed away recently from pancreatic cancer. The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation will provide a $20 million endowment to launch the Center at Howard University, one of the nation's leading historically Black col- leges and universities. 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 and is inviting other companies, organi- zations and individuals – from all industries – to support this effort. 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 edu- cational and professional opportunities for Howard students and aims to develop future executives in the hospitality indus- try. "I can think of no better tribute to the amazing legacy of Arne Sorenson than to focus on educating and advancing future leaders of the hospitality industry," said J.W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, Marriott International. "Arne's passion for creating a culture of opportunity brought real change in the executive ranks of our company. But work remains to be done. Our industry needs a pipeline of diverse leadership talent and that's exactly what this Center will achieve. We are proud to bring Marriott International and our family foundation together to partner with this esteemed university in the city of our founding. This innovative program will foster leadership excellence and help drive greater inclusion at the most senior levels of the hospital- ity industry. We hope that other hospitality companies will join us in designing the program and providing experiential oppor- tunities to generate talent that will meet the needs of the indus- try well into the future." "Now is the opportune time to launch this work," said Mieka Wick, Executive Director, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. "The hospitality industry is evolving in new and exciting ways and there is a clear need for a for- ward-looking program designed to prepare leaders for this dynamic environment. A deeper commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is imperative, not only because it is the right thing to do but because it is also good for the industry. The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation has a long- standing commitment to creating opportunity for all in the THE J. WILLARD AND ALICE S. MARRIOTT FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES $20 MILLION ENDOWMENT AT HOWARD UNIVERSITY TO ESTABLISH THE MARRIOTT-SORENSON CENTER FOR HOSPITALITY LEADERSHIP Marriott International to Create the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund to Support the Design of a World Class Hospitality Program and Curriculum

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