Marriott Alumni Magazine

Winter 1989 Exchange

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Page 14 of 31

ALICE S. MARRIOTT Alice Sheets Marriott grew up in Salt Lake City and was a University of Utah honors student majoring in Spanish when she first met Bill Marriott in 1926. She was a Chi Omega junior, active in campus affairs, and an officer of both the Spanish and French clubs. She envisioned marrying a doctor some day, but Bill Marriott would change that vision. He first saw Allie (as he came to affectionately call her) on a February day and made the comment to a friend that she was the kind of girl he'd like to marry. He arranged for an introduction, made a proper impression, dated her, and became engaged to her that May. They married in the Salt Lake Temple on June 9, 1927-the day after Alice graduated with her bachelor of arts degree in Spanish. They left immediately for Washington, D.C., where they opened the nine-stool A&W root beer stand that marked the beginning of the Marriott family success story. Before they were married, Allie had said, "You don't expect me to go back there to Washington with you and sell root beer, do you?" Bill answered, "Of course not. I wouldn't think of having you do a thing like that." Later he claimed, "Well, she didn't really sell root beer, but she took charge of the money." And she worked hand-in-hand with her husband, building up the family concern. As the business grew, so did the family, with two sons, eight grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren to date. Alice Marriott continues to be active in the company she and Bill founded, serving as a vice-president of the corporation and on its board of directors. In 1974, Alice was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from the University of Utah. She received the same recognition from Mount Vernon College in 1980. She gives generously of her time to many civic, charitable, and cultural organizations. Since 1970 she has served on the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' Board of Trustees, advising both executive and finance committees. She is also a member of the National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Advisory Council and is on the honorary board of the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse. For more than thirty years, she has been on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Washington Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, which recently honored her with its first Lifetime Achievement Award. EXCHANGE 13

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