Brigham Young University officials announced Friday the university will name its school of management in honor of a prominent Utah family that has contributed millions of dollars to the institution.
Two generations of the Marriott family have supported BYU, and their latest gift, $15 million from the J. Willard Marriott Foundation to the school of management, will be used to build on the school's strength in ethics, international business and entrepreneurship. It is a challenge grant that is to be matched through additional fund-raising efforts headed by a committee of BYU's National Advisory Council.BYU President Jeffrey R. Holland said the school will be called the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott School of Management.
"Bill and Allie Marriott's gifts to Brigham Young University are far broader and have touched many more lives than the Marriotts have ever allowed us to reveal," Holland said. "The board of trustees and the university community at large are proud to express our gratitude through the bestowal of this distinctive honor.
"The naming of BYU's 23,000-seat Marriott Center in 1973 was the first public recognition of the Marriott generosity to BYU, and we now are extremely pleased to have further affiliation with a name that is respected worldwide for superb leadership, high ethical standards, initiative and accomplishment in the field of business," he said.
The Marriott School of Management, housed in the N. Eldon Tanner Building, includes the BYU College of Business and the Graduate School of Management, which enroll about 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students, said Paul H. Thompson, dean of the school.
The student body has some distinctive characteristics that make it outstanding, he said. For example, many of the students enrolled in the school have gained extensive international experience through missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through study abroad and through international opportunities. In 1987-88, 62.3 percent of the students enrolled in the school were bilingual, and 79.6 percent of the master's of business administration students spoke a second language.
About 20 percent of the bilingual students spoke Asian languages and 33 percent spoke Spanish. This language capability is a resource that is gaining national attention, Thompson said.
The school offers degrees in information management, business management, human resources, accounting, master of organizational behavior, master of managerial economics and master of accountancy.
"We are honored to have these programs under the Marriott family name," Thompson said.
J. Willard and Alice Sheets Marriott, both Utah natives, were married in 1927 and moved to Washington, D.C., where they opened a nine-seat root beer stand called The Hot Shoppe.
Their modest start developed into a chain of restaurants, and, through a series of successes, ultimately resulted in today's Marriott Corp., which is a world leader in lodging and food service.
At the time of J. Willard Marriott's death in 1985, company sales totaled more than $4 billion a year. In 1987, sales exceeded $6.5 billion. Under the direction of the couple's oldest son, J.W. Marriott Jr., who serves as chairman of the board and president of the corporation; the second son, Richard E. Marriott, vice chairman; and Alice S. Marriott, vice president and director, the corporation now employs more than 210,000 people, making it one of the 10 largest employers in the United States.