J.W. Marriott, Jr. wins Cornell Icon of the Industry Award;

May 14, 2009

Contact: Jerry Daly, Chris Daly, Daly Gray Public Relations
(703) 435-6293


Cornell University School of Hotel Admnistration has announced that its dinner, honoring J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr. as the winner of the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award, now features White Lodging as the title sponsor of the event. The award honors J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, Marriott International, Inc. for his transformational leadership and lifetime achievements. The special event will become an annual gathering of the world’s most influential hoteliers to raise funds in support of Cornell University School of Hotel Administration scholarships and programs. The event will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner and an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on June 2, 2009, at the New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway, New York, NY.

In addition, Michael D. Johnson, Dean of the School, announced that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and ABC News Radio’s “The Joe Scarborough Show”, will be the masters of ceremonies. Johnson stated “we are delighted that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, exemplary members of the national media, are partnering with us on this event.”

“The name Bill Marriott has been synonymous with hospitality, innovation, quality and integrity for more than five decades, and I cannot think of a more deserving inaugural recipient of this prestigious award than Bill,” said Bruce White, White Lodging CEO, who will co-present the award with Dean Johnson. “Bill has been a lifelong leader in the hospitality industry and has contributed vast amounts of time and resources to civic and philanthropic organizations. He has grown Marriott International from a family restaurant business into a global lodging company with more than 3,100 properties in 66 countries and territories.”

Joe Scarborough is host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, a popular morning news show which features interviews with key newsmakers and politicians and in-depth analysis of top news stories. Scarborough also anchors “The Joe Scarborough Show” on ABC News Radio. He is the former host of MSNBC’s Scarborough Country and was the publisher and editor of The Florida Sun. Scarborough served as a member of Congress between 1994 and 2001 where he was a member of the Judiciary and the Armed Services Committees. He was named by President Bush to the President’s Council on the 21st Century Workforce, where he served with Labor Secretary Chao, national labor officials and business leaders.

Co-emcee Mika Brzezinski is co-host of Morning Joe and “The Joe Scarborough Show”. Previously, Brzezinski was an anchor for CBS News Up To The Minute. During the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, she served as principal “Ground Zero” reporter. In addition, Brzezinski was an anchor for CBS Evening News Weekend Edition, and contributed to CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes.

A special logo to commemorate the award, prominently featuring the pineapple, the universal symbol of hospitality, in the center of the Cornell shield, was created by Ypartnership, the marketing services firm headed by Cornell alumnus Dr. Peter C. Yesawich '72, MS '74, Ph.D. '76.

The event already has attracted more than 40 sponsors and 350 attendees, according to Jon Denison, Associate Dean of External Affairs, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. “Having one of the industry’s premier owner/operators, Bruce White, help us honor J.W. ‘Bill’ Marriott, Jr., with the first Cornell Icon of the Industry Award sets a high standard for what we expect to become one of the hotel industry’s premier annual events.”

To RSVP, please contact Ashlee Mills at am754@cornell.edu. Admission prices are $500 for Provost tickets; $250 for Dean’s; and $195 for Cornell Young Alumni Limited Seating.

Interested sponsors may contact Joe Strodel, Jr., director of corporate & foundation affairs at js343@cornell.edu. For additional information, please go to the event’s official Web site: www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/industry/events/awardsdinner.html.