Ian Schrager, a renowned American hotelier and friend of the late Arne Sorenson, has pledged US$1 million ($1.28m) to the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund.
The fund was established by Marriott International to honour the legacy of Arne M. Sorenson, the company’s late President and CEO, who tragically passed away in February.
The donation is expected to help support the programmatic and career development elements of the Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership, which will be housed within the Howard University School of Business.
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,” Schrager said in a statement.
“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.”
The Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership was created by a US$20 million ($25.6m) endowment by The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.
Marriott International and now Ian Schrager have both pledged US$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.