DENVER – The Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver Daniels College of Business today announced the creation of the Marriott Foundation Scholarship Endowment Fund with a gift from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation of $100,000. In June 2013, the University’s Board of Trustees approved renewed funding for undergraduate endowed scholarship matching programs and matched the Foundation’s investment, dollar for dollar. Beginning in the fall of 2014, the endowed scholarship will generate $9,000 in annual student scholarships to support and attract underrepresented undergraduate students. In addition to documenting financial need, undergraduate students selected for the Marriott Foundation scholarship must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA, be enrolled as a hospitality major with a desire to work in the industry, and participate in student organizations that have demonstrated leadership.

“The Knoebel School has had a fruitful partnership with the Marriott Foundation, and the Foundation’s generous support helps us continue to foster the next generation of hospitality leaders,” said Dr. David Corsun, Director of the Knoebel School. “This annual scholarship will create a permanent source of funding that will have tremendous impact. We are extremely grateful for Marriott’s continued support of our students and programs.”

The Foundation’s Executive Director, Anne Gunsteens, notes that “The Foundation is proud to continue its partnership with the Knoebel School at the University of Denver, which is well aligned with our mission of helping to better prepare future hospitality leaders with the practical operations experience and business skills needed to succeed in today’s rapidly changing sector.”

The Marriott Foundation Scholarship grant continues a long tradition of support between Marriott International, which is separate from the Foundation, and the Daniels College of Business. In 2006, Marriott International and Daniels established a strong relationship through formalized internship and recruitment programs. That year, Knoebel School hosted its inaugural “Marriott Day,” bringing Marriott’s industry experts to campus to meet with students and faculty to discuss the hospitality industry. Most recently, the University of Denver welcomed more than 100 potential employers to the 4th annual All Colorado Alumni Career Fair at the Marriott Denver Tech Center on June 25, 2013. From the School’s activities and strong ties within the hospitality industry, more than 50 Knoebel School alumni have gone on to work for Marriott International, including several in senior executive positions.

In 2007, with a $50,000 grant from the Foundation, the Marriott Foundation Scholarship Fund was also created to increase diversity, and to increase program inclusiveness and produce business educated professionals to fill future leadership roles in hospitality.  Since 2010, the University of Denver has awarded 34 scholarships to nine scholars.

Founded in 1946 as one of the world’s first hospitality management programs at a four-year institution, Knoebel has long-served as a training-ground for numerous, distinguished leaders in hospitality. In January 2006, Knoebel completed a new 46,000 square foot building with classrooms, laboratories, and event facilities to provide students with practical hospitality experience. The world class facility houses a multipurpose conference center; 2,800-square-foot, full-production kitchen; beverage management center fashioned after a Tuscan wine cellar; and a 150-person dining room with adjacent patio. As a result of capital enhancements, curriculum innovations, and program quality, Knoebel’s enrollment has more than doubled (to nearly 300 students) during the past 10 years and has continued on an upward trajectory, and will reach its enrollment goal of 300 in 2015.

Founded in 1908, The Daniels College of Business is the top-ranked business college at the University of Denver, one of the country’s premier private universities. Daniels is globally recognized as a leader in providing an immersive and engaged business education. Grounded in ethics, our educational experience not only teaches students, it transforms lives. As a learning community, our students, faculty and staff nurture service, outreach and personal integrity as we proactively tackle the tough business issues of our day.

In May, 2013, Bloomberg Businessweek named Daniels as the one of the top ten undergraduate business programs in the country. In January 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Master of Science and Executive Master of Science degrees offered by the College’s Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management No. 65 out of 213 online business programs. In October 2012, the Financial Times, a major London-based business newspaper, ranked the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business Executive MBA (EMBA) Program as one of the world’s top 100 best, marking the fifth consecutive year that Daniels was included in the Financial Times EMBA rankings. In November, 2011, Global CEO Magazine ranked Daniels as the top business school in the Western U.S.