Luther College receives $100,000 grant from The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation

Gift Amount
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The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation awarded a grant of $100,000 to Luther College in honor of Marriott International CEO and Luther alumnus, Arne Sorenson '80, who recently completed his third term and final year of service on the Luther College Board of Regents. During Sorenson's final board meeting on May 8, news of this generous grant to Luther was shared with the full board.

"I was grateful to be asked to serve on Luther's Board of Regents for the last 12 years. It is a special place to me," said Arne Sorenson. "As my service as a Regent comes to an end, I was thrilled to hear about the Marriott Family Foundation's grant. It will enable Luther to deepen the impact it has on its students, preparing many more for successful careers of meaning and impact."

The $100,000 grant will be used to establish a Marriott Success Award Fund for students who are recipients of the Morris A. Sorenson Family Scholarship. Established by Arne's father, Morris Sorenson, a distinguished Luther graduate, and generously endowed by Arne and his wife, Ruth, this scholarship supports some of Luther's most high-need students throughout their four years of college.

"I am truly grateful for the Marriott Family Foundation's generosity in honoring Arne Sorenson as he concludes his service to the Luther College Board of Regents, and for the wisdom and leadership Arne has offered to the Board over the years," said President Jenifer K. Ward. "Both Marriott and Luther have benefited from his clear-eyed and passionate dedication to hospitality, in all senses of the word, and it is so very fitting that Luther students will continue to be welcomed to Luther with the assistance that these awards will provide."

This grant will help to ensure recipients of the Morris A. Sorenson Family Scholarship have the necessary financial resources to fully engage with experiential learning (e.g., internship, service learning trip, collaborative research fellowship) and other high-impact experiences as part of their liberal arts education. It will also be used to fund textbooks, lab supplies or other necessities that may be out of reach for high-need students.

"Our Foundation shares a passion for creating opportunities for those who may not have the means to achieve their educational goals," said J.W. Marriott, Jr. trustee of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. "We were delighted to honor Arne with this special grant to assist students at his beloved alma mater. Creating Marriott Success Awards at Luther College is a meaningful way of connecting our family's philanthropy to a student scholarship created by his family's philanthropy."

The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation is committed to sustaining vibrant, healthy communities where all people have the opportunities and means to achieve their dreams and make a positive difference in the world. Through its grants, the Foundation supports effective organizations that are creating significant, lasting and transformational change either through smart and innovative responses to today's needs or through systematic solutions that address the root causes of economic and societal challenges.


Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.

Arne Sorenson '80