The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation has announced the establishment of the Marriott-Sorenson Centre for Hospitality Leadership.
The location has been set up to honour of Arne Sorenson, the Marriott International chief executive who died earlier this month from pancreatic cancer.
The foundation will provide a $20 million endowment to launch the Centre at Howard University, a leading historically black college.
In addition, Marriott International announced the creation of the Arne Sorenson Hospitality Fund which will support the critical programmatic and career development elements of the centre.
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, organisations and individuals – from all industries – to support this effort.
The Marriott-Sorenson Centre 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.
“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., 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 centre 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 hospitality industry.
“We hope that other hospitality companies will join us in designing the program and providing experiential opportunities to generate talent that will meet the needs of the industry well into the future.”
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