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Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership Launches at Howard University

ribbon Cutting for the Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership at Howard University

WASHINGTONThe Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership at Howard University School of Business hosted its official ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.  

Created in honor of former Marriott president and CEO Arne M. Sorenson, the Marriott-Sorenson Center was created by a $20 million gift from The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation in 2021. It was Sorenson’s mission to create greater opportunity for all, and build a more diverse and inclusive executive workforce, within Marriott and the broader industry. 

Members of the Marriott Family, members of the Howard University Board of Trustees and Marriott Student Scholars were all in attendance. 

The day kicked off with a breakfast and fireside chat where Wayne A.I. Frederick, M.D., MBA, president of Howard University and David Marriott, chairman of the board at Marriott, spoke to students about working in the hospitality industry and current efforts to increase diversity at the executive levels.   

“The young people who come here to get an education don’t just come to learn the technical aspects of being in the hospitality business. They are here to learn exactly how to change people’s lives and to make the circumstances of others better. I don't think any other educational institution in the world underscores that commitment like Howard University does and this program certainly intends to epitomize that,” said Frederick. 

The center will use Howard’s powerful research history and strategic location to create thought leadership to prepare students to be the future of the hospitality workforce and empowers them to be co-creators in what industry will look like.  

“The work that this center is charged with will absolutely transform the landscape of the hospitality industry, while also transforming the already bright futures of our Marriott-Sorenson Scholars,” said Ashli Johnson, inaugural executive director of the Marriott-Sorenson Center. 

The inaugural cohort of Marriott-Sorenson Scholars will have opportunities to network with top executives and be exposed to C-Suite level leadership in the hospitality industry. 

“To help solve the challenges that we have in the top organizations across hospitality, and the struggles that we have with diversity, we're honored to partner with Howard and honored to have so many wonderful students interested in hospitality. We look forward to having some great successes together as we build the future of hospitality,” said Marriott. 




Media Contact: Brittany Bailer; brittany.bailer@howard.edu


About Howard University  

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, two Schwarzman Scholar, more than 70 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.