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The University of Delaware Conferrs Honorary Doctor
of Humane Letters Degree on J. Willard Marriott Jr.


February 2, 2005 - The University of Delaware has conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on J. Willard Marriott Jr., the chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International Inc.

The ceremony took place during the Nov. 21, 2004, dedication of the new 126-room Marriott Courtyard hotel on the University’s Newark, Del., campus. The hotel is a partnership between UD and the Shaner Hotel Group, which also is managing the University’s Conference Services, providing key marketing and management support. Under the terms of the partnership, the University is the majority owner of the hotel.

Howard Cosgrove gives an honorary degree to J. Willard Marriott Jr. 
Photographer: Kathy F. Atkinson
Howard Cosgrove, chairman of the UD Board of Trustees, conferred the degree on Mr. Marriott, noting that the honor is given to those “whose contributions to the quality of our nation warrant exceptional recognition.”

Mr. Cosgrove called Mr. Marriott “an unparalleled businessman,” saying, “You have led the transformation of the company from a family restaurant business to a $19 billion global lodging company with 2,700 properties in 70 countries.

“As a hospitality industry icon,” Mr. Cosgrove added, “you have set the standard for the world’s providers of hospitality services. As a visionary leader, you have based your life’s work on the underlying ‘spirit to serve,’ continuing a business environment based on a philosophy begun by your parents, J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott, more than 75 years ago.”

“I understand that today I am officially a Fightin’ Blue Hen,” Mr. Marriott said upon accepting the honorary degree. “My parents would have been thrilled to have been here.”

Mr. Marriott said that UD’s campus is beautiful, that its Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management program is one of the finest in the country and that the new Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware is a great contribution to the hospitality industry.

“It’s a great honor to open a new hotel here and an even greater honor to receive this honorary degree,” Mr. Marriott said, receiving a standing ovation from the audience of more than 200.

After the awarding of the degree, an official ribbon cutting for the new hotel was held.

“The impact of the new hotel is significant,” UD President David P. Roselle said. “The hotel will serve as a ‘working laboratory’ for our students and faculty, providing a hands-on experience in all aspects of today’s hotel industry. The hotel also houses the Marriott Center for Hospitality and Tourism, funded in part by a generous grant from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.”

President Roselle said the center has state-of-the-art, high-tech classrooms featuring video-conferencing and wireless technology and an experimental guest room where new technologies and products will be tested by guests.

Office of Public Relations
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Also See: J. Willard Marriott Jr, the 72-year-old Chairman of Marriott Hotels International, Talks about Starwood's Beds, Why It Is Expensive to Use Hotel Room Telephones / August 2004
J.W. Marriott, Jr. Receives Arizona State University's Global Services Leadership Award / March 2004

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