The Warrior-Scholar Project team mourns the passing of board member Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his friends and family.
Arne had a profound impact in the five years he served on our board, providing critical guidance and selflessly working to expand our network of supporters. He demonstrated his commitment to the Warrior-Scholar Project mission of empowering enlisted service members and veterans by leading sessions at our humanities boot camps. Arne’s reflections on his experience leading these sessions provide wonderful insight into his deep commitment to service.
“Arne was one of the most authentic and effective leaders I’ve ever known. When he spoke, everyone listened. It’s exceedingly rare for such a talented and experienced leader to deliver guidance with true humility and grace, but that’s exactly what he did,” said Ryan Pavel, CEO of Warrior-Scholar Project. “He made everyone he interacted with feel valued and respected.”
Nick Rugoff, Warrior-Scholar Project co-founder and board member, added, “Arne did everything well, and more importantly, he did everything the right way. His integrity and generosity of spirit set the standard for great leadership.”
Navy veteran and Warrior-Scholar Project alumna Kaedy Puckett commented on her experience observing Arne’s last guest lecture: "For these students, who all hail from the enlisted ranks of the military, having the CEO of Marriott take time out of his demanding schedule to engage them in a discussion about the Constitution can be a surreal experience. Many of them are stepping into the world of academia for the first time and feel intimidated,” she said. “Arne, however, had a unique way of connecting with students and making them feel confident in their intellectual capabilities. He has made a lasting impact on each of them as individuals, and on the entire Warrior Scholar Project community."
We were beyond fortunate to have Arne on our board, and we are committed to honoring his legacy in all of our future work.