Hotelier and entrepreneur Ian Schrager has pledged $1m (£718m) to the Arne M. Sorenson Hospitality Fund.
The fund was established by Marriott International to honor the legacy of Arne M. Sorenson, the company’s late President and CEO. The donation will help support the programmatic and career development elements of the Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership.
Marriott said that at a time when the hospitality industry “needs it most”, the programme will aim to expand “educational and professional opportunities” and build the next generation of hospitality industry leaders.
Schrager said: “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.”
The Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership was created by a $20m (£14.3m) endowment by The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.
Marriott International and now Ian Schrager have both pledged $1m (£718m) 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.