Ian Schrager $1M Donation to Marriott Hospitality Fund: No Conflict of Interest

Ian Schrager has pledged $1m to the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund established by Marriott International to honour the legacy of the company’s late President and CEO.  The Fund was launched on February 24th, 2021.

Ian Schrager and late Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson. Photo Courtesy of Purple PR.

The donation will help support the programmatic and career development elements of the Marriott-Sorenson Centre for Hospitality Leadership, which will be housed within the Howard University School of Business.  

The Marriott-Sorenson Centre 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, organisations and individuals – from all industries – to support this effort and pay homage to the work and memory of Arne Sorenson. 

Those who closely follow the industry news will know that Marriott-Schrager duo are the ‘sweet couple’ of hotel industry that was dominating the headlines since its first Edition Hotel in Waikiki in 2010. We are assured however, that there is no conflict of interest in this generous contribution as the two work in partnership on Edition. A £2bn venture partnership to be precise, as described by FT.

“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 honour, 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. 

Marriott: Gender and Race equality is on agenda

The Marriott-Sorenson Centre 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.

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 goal will be to expose students to the hospitality industry through a management lens. But not only. Mieka Wick, Executive Director, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation commented: “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 hospitality industry. Howard University, one of the nation’s finest historically Black colleges and universities, is ideally suited to partner with us, given the extraordinary students it serves.”

“Lack of diversity in the executive ranks of companies across America has long been a headline and has been further elevated in the national conversation as we are in this important moment of racial reckoning,” said Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, President, Howard University. “Through this partnership with The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation and Marriott International, we are best positioned to further our existing commitment and address this most pressing issue.”

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Ian Schrager and late Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson

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