At a time when the hospitality industry needs it most, the best-in-class program will aim to expand educational and professional opportunities for Howard University students and build the next generation of hospitality industry leaders.
“Arne Sorenson was the finest, most decent, most brilliant and creative man I’ve ever known. My life was so enriched by just knowing him and dealing with him. I have learned so much about both business and life from him. His passing is not only a loss for his family, friends and colleagues at Marriott but to all of us because he brought genuine good and made the world a better place for all of us. I hope that the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund in his honor, will continue the great and decent things he did in life by offering equal opportunities to future hospitality leaders. I’m very happy the work Arne did while he was alive will still continue and I am committed to helping to raise awareness and funds to support this effort,” said Mr. Schrager.
The Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership was created by a $20 million endowment by The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. Marriott International and now Ian Schrager have both pledged $1m to the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund and are inviting other companies, organizations and individuals – from all industries – to support this effort and pay homage to the work and memory of Arne Sorenson.
About The Arne M Sorenson Hospitality Fund
The Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership as well as the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund, which will support the programmatic and career development elements of the Center, were established just a week after the passing of Arne Sorenson in February. The experiential components of this new program, including access to top hospitality executives and industry leaders for Howard students, will make this curriculum appealing and unique. The Marriott family foundation and Howard University will work together to form a hospitality industry advisory council to design a program that will draw on the university’s ideal location in the geographic heart of the hospitality industry—Greater Washington, D.C.—where Marriott and many other hospitality companies are headquartered. In addition to advising on the development of a world-class hospitality curriculum, the Center’s advisory council members will serve as guest lecturers and mentors and provide hands-on learning opportunities for students. The council will include representatives from Howard, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation and Marriott International as well as corporate hospitality executives, industry practitioners, association leaders and academics who together will develop a hospitality program focused on traditional and experiential learning opportunities. The goal will be to expose students to the hospitality industry through a management lens.
Ian Schrager builds, develops and markets innovative lifestyle residences and hotels, introducing new concepts and reinventing industry standards. The boutique hotel was invented in 1984 by visionary Ian Schrager and his longtime partner and friend Steve Rubell. His formative 25+ year career revolutionized and impacted both nightlife (Studio 54 and Palladium) and hospitality (Morgans, Royalton, Paramount, Hudson, Mondrian, Delano, Shore Club, Clift, St. Martin’s Lane, Sanderson and Gramercy Park Hotel). He was the largest private hotelier in New York until he sold his company. Schrager’s recent projects include the transformation of the fabled Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, residential projects 50 Gramercy Park North in collaboration with world-renowned architect John Pawson, and 40 Bond in collaboration with Pritzker Prize winning architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron. He is now, for the fourth time in his career, starting all over again by launching a new hotel company, SCHRAGER HOTELS. This new company will include two new hotel brands, one luxury lifestyle brand and one that will be reasonably priced. Both new brands will be rolled out in 24 international gateway cities around the world with the first opening in Chicago in 2011.