Marriott Hotels makes $20M donation to Howard University to launch hospitality programme

  • 06 Mar - 12 Mar, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

Marriott is making a huge push for more diversity in the hospitality industry with their recent decision to fund a hospitality leadership programme at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The worldwide hotel chain announced the news sharing that they would be providing a $20 million endowment to the historically Black university's School of Business to create the Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership. The center will be named in honour of Marriott's late president and CEO, Arne Sorenson, who recently died of pancreatic cancer. According to the company, Sorenson was passionate about creating spaces for diverse talent in the company, and his namesake programme will work to expand "educational and professional opportunities for Howard students and aims to develop future executives in the hospitality industry." In addition to the $20 million endowment, Marriott will also be donating $1 million towards the new Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund, which will support students in the programme. They are inviting other organisations and individuals to contribute as well. "This innovative programme will foster leadership excellence and help drive greater inclusion at the most senior levels of the hospitality industry," said J.W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board at Marriott International in a press release.