Supporting Future Hospitality Leaders

The Howard University School of Business, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, and hospitality industry leaders have joined together to establish interdisciplinary, innovative, and practical learning opportunities through The Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership. The goal of this partnership is to expand the pipeline of highly qualified students to lead hospitality companies.

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The Howard University Scholarship Fund for Hospitality Leadership

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Anthony Wilbon, PhD, PMP - Dean, Howard University School of Business

The need for a fund to support student development and retention is paramount to the success of diversifying the hospitality industry. I look forward to the long-term impact of establishing a $10M scholarship fund to support the academic achievements of our students.

Howard University remains attentive to the disproportionate number of African Americans that have not reached the executive office or other related professional positions within multinational hospitality corporations. According to a report published by the Castell Project in 2020,

Black executives represent 1.5 percent of hospitality industry executives at the director level or above on company websites which is 12.5 times below their proportionate share of hospitality industry employment…Korn Ferry reports that black people hold 5 percent of executive positions across all industries and four percent of executive positions at S&P 500 companies.

Since 1995 the number of business degrees conferred to African American collegiate students nearly doubled, yet there have not been significant advances to reach parity throughout the professional workforce at the most prominent institutions representing the industry. The US Census Bureau 2020 estimates that Blacks represent 13.4 percent of the US population, demonstrating there is not an equitable representation of people of color earning degrees and subsequently ascending in the most profitable industries and subsectors.

With the support of hospitality industry leaders, the goal is to establish a $10M endowed scholarship fund, over the next three years, as a mechanism for recruitment and retention of students in the Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership at the Howard University School of Business. The scholarship fund is a primary component of the Center's comprehensive strategy to help address the dearth of African Americans in leadership positions and build a sustainable employee pipeline model for the future.

Scholarship recipients have a 70% six-year graduation rate, which is significantly higher than the 41% rate for all African American college students nationwide. A $5,000 scholarship…increases the likelihood of graduation by 7%.

- United Negro College Fund


Forging A New Path Toward Racial Equity in the C-suite