Alice S. Marriott

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Alice Sheets Marriott was an entrepreneur and philanthropist.

She was born on October 19, 1907, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Alice Taylor and Edwin Spencer Sheets. Her father died during the flu epidemic of 1919 when Alice was twelve years old. She began studying at the University of Utah at the age of sixteen. She graduated with honors at the age of nineteen. Immediately after her graduation, she married J. Willard Marriott and they moved to Washington, DC, where he had opened his first A&W Root Beer stand that gradually grew to the Hot Shoppes franchise. She worked as the bookkeeper for the business.

Alice gave birth to two sons, Bill Marriott and Dick Marriott, both of whom became involved in the family business. Her older son, Bill, expanded the company into the hotel business, which often did not sit well with her husband. She supported Bill as he grew the company into an international presence. She helped her husband “come to terms” with handing off his role as CEO to Bill.[1]

Alice was active in civic, charitable, and cultural efforts. She was treasurer of the Republican party national conventions in 1964, 1968, and 1972. She was also a trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and served two ten-year terms on its board and its executive and finance committees. She served as a member of the National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Advisory Council, as well as on the board of the Metropolitan Washington chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, winning the latter's first Lifetime Achievement Award. Other organizations to which she gave time and talent include the National Symphony Orchestra, National Ballet Society and Goodwill Industries Guild, among others.[2]

She provided endowments to educational institutions. In 1988 she funded the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. In September 1989, the University of Utah opened the Alice Sheets Marriott Center for Dance, which houses the University's departments of Modern Dance and Ballet. Marriott International partnered with Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation to grant scholarships since 2012 in her honor. The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for students in hospitality and tourism at various universities.

Following her husband’s death in 1985, Alice died on April 17, 2000.